The Tormey Law Firm recently represented a client charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose at the Passaic County Superior Court in Paterson, NJ. Our client was in his 40s with no prior criminal record. The circumstances of the arrest were as follows: Our client, a father of two, grew up in Paterson. As a result, he tried to give back to the community by volunteering at a local boys center where he also spent time growing up. During the course of his volunteer work there, he overheard several boys talking about a handgun that one of the boys had in his possession. He confronted the young man about the handgun and convinced the boy to turn it over to him. The gun was wrapped in a t-shirt and was never actually touched by our client. He took the weapon, put it in his trunk, and planned on turning it in to one of those “voluntary surrender” programs that have been held recently after the events in Newton, Connecticut.
Then, our client and his wife had an argument, and she called the police. She was furious that he had been unfaithful to her with another woman. She was aware of what had transpired with the young man, and she knew that out client had the gun in his car. She told the police that he threatened her with the gun, and he was arrested immediately. He was facing multiple felony charges, including unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was facing between five (5) and 10 years in NJ State Prison with a presumption of incarceration. The typical plea offer in a case like this is five (5) years in state prison, with at least three (3) years to be served without the possibility of parole.
Our client was distraught, and he hired Mr. Tormey to represent him. We hired an investigator on behalf of our client to take statements from the pastor who ran the volunteer program at the boys center and from our client’s girlfriend, who had since recanted her statements to police and who told the investigator that our client never threatened her with the weapon. As a result, the prosecutor’s office presented the case to the Grand Jury for an indictment with both statements from the police and the new statements from the pastor and the girlfriend. Based on this new evidence, the Grand Jury declined to indict our client, and the charges were dismissed altogether.
This was an unbelievable result for the client and his family considering he was surely facing at least three (3) years in prison without parole.