Our weapons defense attorneys recently represented a client who was charged with possession of a defaced firearm under 2C:39-3d. The charges stemmed from a search of our client’s house after they were called to the residence for earlier issue. Based on the circumstances of the call, the police decided to seize all the firearms in the household and ended up finding the defaced handgun which had the serial numbers scratched off.
Our client was a professional with no prior record and actually possessed a firearms identification card but unfortunately none of these mattered because the offense involved an illegal firearm and New Jersey takes a very strict position against plea negotiations with cases involving guns. In order to achieve the best possible deal for our client we looked to resolve his case pre-indictment because the fear was that his case could easily be indicted for more serious crimes such as possession of a firearm with unlawful purpose which could subject our client to mandatory state prison through the Graves Act. As part of our defense strategy, we applied our client for both Pre-Trial Intervention and the mental health diversion program. However, after a review of the charges he was initially denied admission from both programs. In the mean time, we entered a plea to the fourth degree charge for possession of a defaced firearm to prevent the prosecutor’s office from potentially charging him with more serious crimes down the line. At that point we began to seek a re-consideration of the prosecutor’s original stance on the PTI denial based on the admission of guilt and a psychological examination by a state’s physician. Based on the above, the state reconsidered their original position and granted our client admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention. Now after a successful completion in 12 months the cases will be dismissed completely and our client can go back to his normal everyday life.
State v. D.R. decided June 14, 2017