Travis Tormey Helps Virginia Woman Stay Out of Jail for Bergen County Handgun Charges
The skilled criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm LLC recently represented a client in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey. The client was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5 after being stopped for a minor traffic offense on an NJ road. Since the criminal statute classifies illegal possession of a handgun as a second degree crime, the client faced 5-10 years in NJ State Prison, with a presumption of incarceration even though the client did not have a prior criminal record. Moreover, because of NJ’s strict gun laws, which are codified in the Graves Act, a conviction on the handgun possession charges could have resulted in the client being sentenced to a minimum term of five years in prison, with at least three of those years being served before the client would become eligible for early release on parole.
Our client was a female driver employed by a bail bonds company in Virginia. She was traveling to New Jersey for work-related reasons and got pulled over for a moving violation. During the traffic stop, the patrol cop came across a handgun in the client’s car. Although the client had legally purchased the weapon in Virginia and she had a valid carry permit in Virginia, she had not properly registered the handgun in New Jersey. Beyond that, the gun was not properly secured in the car’s trunk, nor was it placed in a locked gun case. These are both requirement when transporting a gun through New Jersey in a legal manner.
The stakes were high for the client, so the Tormey Law Firm immediately got to work defending her against the very serious criminal charges. When applying the client for admission into the New Jersey Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, we cited the client’s background and lack of criminal history. PTI is an alternative sentencing program that allows a defendant to avoid prison time and keep a criminal conviction off their permanent record. In this case, the assistant prosecutor needed to apply to the Attorney General’s Office for a Graves Act waiver. Additionally, the head Bergen County prosecutor had to approve the client’s admission into PTI. Once all of this had been accomplished, the client was successfully placed into the PTI program. As long as she successfully completes the probationary period, she will avoid prison and keep her record clear of a gun crime conviction.
This was an extremely good outcome for our client and a huge success for the Tormey Law Firm.