A Philadelphia mother of two is facing up to 11 years in prison after police in New Jersey found a licensed gun in her vehicle when they pulled her over for a minor traffic offense.
Shaneen Allen was traveling through the state and says she was not aware of the state’s gun laws.
When she got pulled over for a minor traffic offense she told the police about the gun and was arrested facing a mandatory three-year sentence.
After hearing about the case, most people thought there’s no way she would do time for an honest mistake. Well, yesterday she was in court and she can now face a maximum sentence of 11.5 years in prison. Ten years for possession of a weapon and another 18 months for possession of the bullets.
Allen’s attorney Evan Nappen discussed how a person with no prior offenses could end up spending a decade behind bars for being honest.
“New Jersey’s gun law is as unforgiving as a prosecutor or judge wants to make it. Either of those two, the judge or the prosecutor could have taken steps to relieve Shaneen from this situation, but it didn’t happen,” he said. Nappen said that not only did the judge not dismiss the case, but the prosecutor will not allow her into a pretrial intervention to avoid jail time.
The decision left Allen with no choice but to go forward to trial. She hopes a jury will not think that an honest mistake should cost her 11.5 years of her life.
“Shaneen Allen has no criminal background at all. She has no firearm disqualifiers at all. Listen if she did, she wouldn’t have gotten a license to carry from the city of Philadelphia,” Nappen explained to MyNJ 9.
The best offer given by the prosecution was a five-year plea deal with no option for parole for 3.5 years.
We will keep following this story.
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