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Sentencing

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents persons charged with criminal offenses throughout New Jersey.

Sentencing by the Judge after conviction for a criminal offense: 2C:43-1. Degrees of crimes 2C:43-1. Degrees of Crimes. a. Crimes defined by this code are classified, for the purpose of sentence, into four degrees, as follows:

(1) Crimes of the first degree;

(2) Crimes of the second degree;

(3) Crimes of the third degree; and

(4) Crimes of the fourth degree.

A crime is of the first, second, third or fourth degree when it is so designated by the code. An offense, declared to be a crime, without specification of degree, is of the fourth degree.

b. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a crime defined by any statute of this State other than this code and designated as a high misdemeanor shall constitute for the purpose of sentence a crime of the third degree. Except as provided in sections 2C:1-4c. and 2C:1-5b. and notwithstanding any other provision of law, a crime defined by any statute of this State other than this code and designated as a misdemeanor shall constitute for the purpose of sentence a crime of the fourth degree.

Amended by L. 1979, c. 178, s. 81; 1987, c. 106, s. 8.

2C:43-2 Sentence in accordance with code; authorized dispositions.

2C:43-2. Sentence in accordance with code; authorized dispositions. a. Except as otherwise provided by this code, all persons convicted of an offense or offenses shall be sentenced in accordance with this chapter.

b. Except as provided in subsection a. of this section and subject to the applicable provisions of the code, the court may suspend the imposition of sentence on a person who has been convicted of an offense, or may sentence him as follows:

(1) To pay a fine or make restitution authorized by N.J.S.2C:43-3 or P.L.1997, c.253 (C.2C:43-3.4 et al.); or

(2) To be placed on probation and, in the case of a person convicted of a crime, to imprisonment for a term fixed by the court not exceeding 364 days to be served as a condition of probation, or in the case of a person convicted of a disorderly persons offense, to imprisonment for a term fixed by the court not exceeding 90 days to be served as a condition of probation; or

(3) To imprisonment for a term authorized by sections 2C:11-3, 2C:43-5, 2C:43-6, 2C:43-7, and 2C:43-8 or 2C:44-5; or

(4) To pay a fine, make restitution and probation, or fine, restitution and imprisonment; or

(5) To release under supervision in the community or to require the performance of community-related service; or

(6) To a halfway house or other residential facility in the community, including agencies which are not operated by the Department of Human Services; or

(7) To imprisonment at night or on weekends with liberty to work or to participate in training or educational programs.

c. Instead of or in addition to any disposition made according to this section, the court may postpone, suspend, or revoke for a period not to exceed two years the drivers license, registration certificate, or both of any person convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense in the course of which a motor vehicle was used. In imposing this disposition and in deciding the duration of the postponement, suspension, or revocation, the court shall consider the severity of the crime or offense and the potential effect of the loss of driving privileges on the persons ability to be rehabilitated. Any postponement, suspension, or revocation shall be imposed consecutively with any custodial sentence.

d. This chapter does not deprive the court of any authority conferred by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license, remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. Such a judgment or order may be included in the sentence.

e. The court shall state on the record the reasons for imposing the sentence, including its findings pursuant to the criteria for withholding or imposing imprisonment or fines under sections 2C:44-1 to 2C:44-3, where imprisonment is imposed, consideration of the defendants eligibility for release under the law governing parole and the factual basis supporting its findings of particular aggravating or mitigating factors affecting sentence.

f. The court shall explain the parole laws as they apply to the sentence and shall state:

(1) the approximate period of time in years and months the defendant will serve in custody before parole eligibility;

(2) the jail credits or the amount of time the defendant has already served;

(3) that the defendant may be entitled to good time and work credits; and

(4) that the defendant may be eligible for participation in the Intensive Supervision Program.

Amended 197,c.178,s.82; 1981,c.269,s.2; 1983,c.124,s.1; 1987,c.106,s.9; 1994,c.155; 1997,c.253,s.1.

2C:43-2.1. Motor vehicle theft or unlawful taking; restitution A person who is convicted of an offense involving the theft or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, in addition to any other fine, penalty, or restitution which may be imposed by law, is liable to the owner of the motor vehicle for any reasonable and necessary expense incurred by the owner in recovering the motor vehicle and for any damage to the motor vehicle prior to its recovery by the owner. In the sentencing proceedings on the offense, the owner may submit evidence of expenses incurred and damages sustained. The court shall make a finding of the amount of expenses incurred and damages sustained, and if the record does not contain sufficient evidence to support such a finding, the court may conduct a hearing upon the issue. The court shall order the person convicted of the offense to make restitution to the owner in the amount of the expenses and damages found by the court. The court shall file a copy of the order with the clerk of the Superior Court who shall enter upon his record of docketed judgments the name of the convicted person as judgment debtor, and of the owner as judgment creditor, a statement that the restitution is ordered under this section, the amount of the restitution, and the date of the order. This entry shall have the same force as a judgment docketed in the Superior Court.

L.1983, c. 411, s. 1, eff. Jan. 4, 1984. 2C:43-3 Fines and restitutions 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

e. Any higher amount equal to double the pecuniary gain to the offender or loss to the victim caused by the conduct constituting the offense by the offender. In such case the court shall make a finding as to the amount of the gain or loss, and if the record does not contain sufficient evidence to support such a finding the court may conduct a hearing upon the issue. For purposes of this section the term "gain" means the amount of money or the value of property derived by the offender and "loss" means the amount of value separated from the victim or the amount of any payment owed to the victim and avoided or evaded and includes any reasonable and necessary expense incurred by the owner in recovering or replacing lost, stolen or damaged property, or recovering any payment avoided or evaded, and, with respect to property of a research facility, includes the cost of repeating an interrupted or invalidated experiment or loss of profits. The term "victim" shall mean a person who suffers a personal physical or psychological injury or death or incurs loss of or injury to personal or real property as a result of a crime committed against that person, or in the case of a homicide, the nearest relative of the victim. The terms "gain" and "loss" shall also mean, where appropriate, the amount of any tax, fee, penalty and interest avoided, evaded, or otherwise unpaid or improperly retained or disposed of;

f. Any higher amount specifically authorized by another section of this code or any other statute;

g. Up to twice the amounts authorized in subsection a., b., c. or d. of this section, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction of any tax offense defined in Title 54 of the Revised Statutes or Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes, as amended and supplemented, or of any offense defined in chapter 20 or 21 of this code;

h. In the case of violations of chapter 35, any higher amount equal to three times the street value of the controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog. The street value for purposes of this section shall be determined pursuant to subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:44-2.

The restitution ordered paid to the victim shall not exceed the victims loss, except that in any case involving the failure to pay any State tax, the amount of restitution to the State shall be the full amount of the tax avoided or evaded, including full civil penalties and interest as provided by law. In any case where the victim of the offense is any department or division of State government, the court shall order restitution to the victim. Any restitution imposed on a person shall be in addition to any fine which may be imposed pursuant to this section.

Amended 1979, c.178, s.83; 1981, c.290, s.37; 1987, c.76, s.34; 1987, c.106, s.10; 1991, c.329, s.2; 1995, c.20, s.6; 1995, c.417, s.2; 1997, c.181, s.12.

2C:43-3.1. Victim, witness, criminal disposition, and collection funds

2. a. (1) In addition to any disposition made pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-2, any person convicted of a crime of violence, theft of an automobile pursuant to N.J.S.2C:20-2, eluding a law enforcement officer pursuant to subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection b., c. or d. of N.J.S.2C:20-10 shall be assessed at least $100.00, but not to exceed $10,000.00 for each such crime for which he was convicted which resulted in the injury or death of another person. In imposing this assessment, the court shall consider factors such as the severity of the crime, the defendants criminal record, defendants ability to pay and the economic impact of the assessment on the defendants dependents.

(2) (a) In addition to any other disposition made pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-2 or any other statute imposing sentences for crimes, any person convicted of any disorderly persons offense, any petty disorderly persons offense, or any crime not resulting in the injury or death of any other person shall be assessed $50.00 for each such offense or crime for which he was convicted.

(b) In addition to any other disposition made pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43) or any other statute indicating the dispositions that can be ordered for adjudications of delinquency, any juvenile adjudicated delinquent, according to the definition of "delinquency" established in section 4 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-23), shall be assessed at least $30.00 for each such adjudication, but not to exceed the amount which could be assessed pursuant to paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) (a) of subsection a. of this section if the offense was committed by an adult.

(c) In addition to any other assessment imposed pursuant to the provisions of R.S.39:4-50, the provisions of section 12 of P.L.1990, c.103 (C.39:3-10.20) relating to a violation of section 5 of P.L.1990, c.103 (C.39:3-10.13), the provisions of section 19 of P.L.1954, c.236 (C.12:7-34.19) or the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46), any person convicted of operating a motor vehicle, commercial motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of liquor or drugs shall be assessed $50.00.

(d) In addition to any term or condition that may be included in an agreement for supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-13 or imposed as a term or condition of conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A-1, a participant in either program shall be required to pay an assessment of $50.00.

(3) All assessments provided for in this section shall be collected as provided in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) and the court shall so order at the time of sentencing. When a defendant who is sentenced to incarceration in a State correctional facility has not, at the time of sentencing, paid an assessment for the crime for which he is being sentenced or an assessment imposed for a previous crime, the court shall specifically order the Department of Corrections to collect the assessment during the period of incarceration and to deduct the assessment from any income the inmate receives as a result of labor performed at the institution or on any work release program or from any personal account established in the institution for the benefit of the inmate. All moneys collected, whether in part or in full payment of any assessment imposed pursuant to this section, shall be forwarded monthly by the parties responsible for collection, together with a monthly accounting on forms prescribed by the Victims of Crime Compensation Board pursuant to section 19 of P.L.1991, c.329 (C.52:4B-8.1), to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board.

(4) The Victims of Crime Compensation Board shall forward monthly all moneys received from assessments collected pursuant to this section to the State Treasury for deposit as follows:

(a) Of moneys collected on assessments imposed pursuant to paragraph a. (1):

(i) the first $72.00 collected for deposit in the Victims of Crime Compensation Board Account,

(ii) the next $3.00 collected for deposit in the Criminal Disposition and Revenue Collection Fund,

(iii) the next $25.00 collected for deposit in the Victim Witness Advocacy Fund, and

(iv) moneys collected in excess of $100.00 for deposit in the Victims of Crime Compensation Board Account;

(b) Of moneys collected on assessments imposed pursuant to paragraph a. (2) (a), (c) or (d):

(i) the first $39.00 collected for deposit in the Victims of Crime Compensation Board Account,

(ii) the next $3.00 collected for deposit in the Criminal Disposition and Revenue Collection Fund, and

(iii) the next $8.00 collected for deposit in the Victim and Witness Advocacy Fund;

(c) Of moneys collected on assessments imposed pursuant to paragraph a. (2) (b):

(i) the first $17.00 for deposit in the Victims of Crime Compensation Board Account, and

(ii) the next $3.00 collected for deposit in the Criminal Disposition and Revenue Collection Fund, and

(iii) the next $10.00 for deposit in the Victim and Witness Advocacy Fund, and

(iv) moneys collected in excess of $30.00 for deposit in the Victims of Crime Compensation Board Account.

(5) The Victims of Crime Compensation Board shall provide the Attorney General with a monthly accounting of moneys received, deposited and identified as receivable, on forms prescribed pursuant to section 19 of P.L.1991, c.329 (C.52:4B-8.1).

(6) (a) The Victims of Crime Compensation Board Account shall be a separate, nonlapsing, revolving account that shall be administered by the Victims of Crime Compensation Board. All moneys deposited in that Account shall be used in satisfying claims pursuant to the provisions of the "Criminal Injuries Compensation Act of 1971," P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-1 et seq.) and for related administrative costs.

(b) The Criminal Disposition and Revenue Collection Fund shall be a separate, nonlapsing, revolving account that shall be administered by the Victims of Crime Compensation Board. All moneys deposited in that Fund shall be used as provided in section 19 of P.L.1991, c.329 (C.52:4B-8.1).

(c) The Victim and Witness Advocacy Fund shall be a separate, nonlapsing, revolving fund and shall be administered by the Division of Criminal Justice, Department of Law and Public Safety and all moneys deposited in that Fund pursuant to this section shall be used for the benefit of victims and witnesses of crime as provided in section 20 of P.L.1991, c.329 (C.52:4B-43.1) and for related administrative costs.

b. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1991, c.329).

c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1991, c.329).

d. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1991, c.329).

L.1979,c.396,s.2; amended 1982,c.164,s.1; 1985,c.251,s.1; 1985,c.406; 1987,c.106,s.11; 1990,c.64,s.1; 1991,c.329,s.3; 1995,c.135,s.1.

2C:43-3.2. Assessments for Safe Neighborhoods Services 11. a. (1) In addition to any other fine, fee or assessment imposed, any person convicted of a crime, disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense or violation of R.S.39:4-50 shall be assessed $75 for each conviction.

(2) In addition to any term or condition that may be included in an agreement for supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-13 or imposed as a term or condition of conditional discharge pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1987, c.106 (C.2C:36A-1), a participant in either program shall be required to pay an assessment of $75.

b. All assessments provided for in this section shall be collected as provided for collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) and shall be forwarded to the Department of the Treasury as provided in subsection c. of this section.

c. All money collected pursuant to this section shall be forwarded to the Department of the Treasury to be deposited into the Safe Neighborhoods Services Fund created by section 5 of this act.

L.1993,c.220,s.11.

2C:43-3.3.Additional penalties for persons convicted of crime deposited in "Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund" 9. a. In addition to any disposition made pursuant to the provisions of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, any person convicted of a crime shall be assessed a penalty of $30.

b. In addition to any other disposition made pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43) or any other statute indicating the dispositions that may be ordered for adjudications of delinquency, a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would be a crime shall be assessed a penalty of $15.

c. The penalties assessed under subsections a. and b. of this section shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitution in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) and forwarded to the State Treasury for deposit in a separate account to be known as the "Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund." The penalty assessed in this section shall be collected only after a penalty assessed in section 2 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:43-3.1) and any restitution ordered is collected.

The fund shall be used to support the development and provision of basic and in-service training courses for law enforcement officers by police training schools approved pursuant to P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-66 et seq.). In addition, the fund shall also be used to enable police training schools to purchase equipment needed for the training of law enforcement officers. Distributions from the fund shall only be made directly to such approved schools.

d. The Police Training Commission in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall be responsible for the administration and distribution of the fund pursuant to its authority under section 6 of P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-71).

e. An adult prisoner of a State correctional institution who does not pay the penalty imposed pursuant to this section shall have the penalty deducted from any income the inmate receives as a result of labor performed at the institution or any type of work release program. If any person, including an inmate, fails to pay the penalty imposed pursuant to this section, the court may order the suspension of the persons drivers license or nonresident reciprocity privilege, or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining a license until the assessment is paid. The court shall notify the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles of such an action. Prior to any action being taken pursuant to this subsection, the person shall be given notice and a hearing before the court to contest the charge of the failure to pay the assessment.

L.1996,c.115,s.9.

2C:43-3.4 Restitution for extradition costs.

4. In addition to any fine or restitution authorized by N.J.S.2C:43-3, the court may sentence a defendant to make restitution for costs incurred by any law enforcement entity in extraditing the defendant from another jurisdiction if the court finds that, at the time of the extradition, the defendant was located in the other jurisdiction in order to avoid prosecution for a crime committed in this State or service of a criminal sentence imposed by a court of this State.

L.1997,c.253,s.4. 2C:43-3.5 Additional penalty for certain offenses.

1. a. In addition to any term or condition that may be included in an agreement for supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-13 or imposed as a term or condition of conditional discharge pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A-1 for a violation of any offense defined in chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, each participant shall be assessed a penalty of $50 for each adjudication or conviction.

b.All penalties provided by this section shall be collected as provided for collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) and shall be forwarded to the Department of the Treasury as provided in subsection c. of this section.

c.All monies collected pursuant to this section shall be forwarded to the Department of the Treasury to be deposited in the " Drug Abuse Education Fund" established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1999, c.12 (C.54A:9-25.12).

d.Monies in the fund shall be appropriated by the Legislature on an annual basis in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by section 2 of P.L.1999, c.12 (C.54A:9-25.13).

L.1999,c.295,s.1.

2C:43-3.6 Additional penalty for sex offense for deposit in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Fund.

11. a. In addition to any fine, fee, assessment or penalty authorized under the provisions of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, a person convicted of a sex offense, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1994, c. 133 (C.2C:7-2), shall be assessed a penalty of $800 for each such offense.

b.All penalties provided for in this section, collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4), shall be forwarded to the Department of the Treasury to be deposited in the "Statewide Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Fund" established pursuant to section 12 of P.L.2001, c.81 (C.52:4B-59).

L.2001,c.81,s.11.

2C:43-4. Penalties Against Corporations; Forfeiture of Corporate Charter or Revocation of Certificate Authorizing Foreign Corporation to do Business in the State a. The court may suspend the imposition of sentence of a corporation which has been convicted of an offense or may sentence it to pay a fine of up to three times the fine provided for in N.J.S.2C:43-3 in addition to any restitution required by N.J.S.2C:44-2.

b. When a corporation is convicted of an offense or a high managerial agent of a corporation, as defined in N.J.S.2C:2-7 is convicted of an offense committed in conducting the affairs of the corporation, the court may request the Attorney General to institute appropriate proceedings to dissolve the corporation, forfeit its charter, revoke any franchises held by it, or to revoke the certificate authorizing the corporation to conduct business in this State.

Amended 1991,c.329,s.4.

2C:43-5. Young adult offenders Any person who, at the time of sentencing, is less than 26 years of age and who has been convicted of a crime may be sentenced to an indeterminate term at the Youth Correctional Institution Complex, in accordance with R.S. 30:4-146 et seq., in the case of men, and to the Correctional Institution for Women, in accordance with R.S. 30:4-153 et seq., in the case of women, instead of the sentences otherwise authorized by the code. This section shall not apply to any person less than 26 years of age at the time of sentencing who qualifies for a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment without eligibility for parole, pursuant to subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:43-6; however, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:43-6, the mandatory minimum term may be served at the Youth Correctional Institution Complex or the Correctional Institution for Women.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:43-5, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 84, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; L.1983, c. 92, s. 1, eff. March 11, 1983.

2C:43-6. Sentence of imprisonment for crime; ordinary terms; mandatory terms 2C:43-6. Sentence of Imprisonment for Crime; Ordinary Terms; Mandatory Terms. a. Except as otherwise provided, a person who has been convicted of a crime may be sentenced to imprisonment, as follows:

(1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

b. As part of a sentence for any crime, where the court is clearly convinced that the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors, as set forth in subsections a. and b. of 2C:44-1, the court may fix a minimum term not to exceed one-half of the term set pursuant to subsection a., or one-half of the term set pursuant to a maximum period of incarceration for a crime set forth in any statute other than this code, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole; provided that no defendant shall be eligible for parole at a date earlier than otherwise provided by the law governing parole.

c. A person who has been convicted under 2C:39-4a. of possession of a firearm with intent to use it against the person of another, or of a crime under any of the following sections: 2C:11-3, 2C:11-4, 2C:12-1b., 2C:13-1, 2C:14-2a., 2C:14-3a., 2C:15-1, 2C:18-2, 2C:29-5, who, while in the course of committing or attempting to commit the crime, including the immediate flight therefrom, used or was in possession of a firearm as defined in 2C:39-1f., shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater, or 18 months in the case of a fourth degree crime, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.

The minimum terms established by this section shall not prevent the court from imposing presumptive terms of imprisonment pursuant to 2C:44-1f. (1) except in cases of crimes of the fourth degree.

A person who has been convicted of an offense enumerated by this subsection and who used or possessed a firearm during its commission, attempted commission or flight therefrom and who has been previously convicted of an offense involving the use or possession of a firearm as defined in 2C:44-3d., shall be sentenced by the court to an extended term as authorized by 2C:43-7c., notwithstanding that extended terms are ordinarily discretionary with the court.

d. The court shall not impose a mandatory sentence pursuant to subsection c. of this section, 2C:43-7c. or 2C:44-3d., unless the ground therefor has been established at a hearing. At the hearing, which may occur at the time of sentencing, the prosecutor shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the weapon used or possessed was a firearm. In making its finding, the court shall take judicial notice of any evidence, testimony or information adduced at the trial, plea hearing, or other court proceedings and shall also consider the presentence report and any other relevant information.

e. A person convicted of a third or subsequent offense involving State taxes under N.J.S.2C:20-9, N.J.S.2C:21-15, any other provision of this code, or under any of the provisions of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes, or Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes, as amended and supplemented, shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. This shall not preclude an application for and imposition of an extended term of imprisonment under N.J.S.2C:44-3 if the provisions of that section are applicable to the offender.

f. A person convicted of manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute any dangerous substance or controlled substance analog under N.J.S.2C:35-5, of maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility under N.J.S.2C:35-4, of employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme under N.J.S.2C:35-6, leader of a narcotics trafficking network under N.J.S.2C:35-3, or of distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute on or near school property or buses under section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7), who has been previously convicted of manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, shall upon application of the prosecuting attorney be sentenced by the court to an extended term as authorized by subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:43-7, notwithstanding that extended terms are ordinarily discretionary with the court. The term of imprisonment shall, except as may be provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater, not less than seven years if the person is convicted of a violation of N.J.S.2C:35-6, or 18 months in the case of a fourth degree crime, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.

The court shall not impose an extended term pursuant to this subsection unless the ground therefor has been established at a hearing. At the hearing, which may occur at the time of sentencing, the prosecutor shall establish the ground therefor by a preponderance of the evidence. In making its finding, the court shall take judicial notice of any evidence, testimony or information adduced at the trial, plea hearing, or other court proceedings and shall also consider the presentence report and any other relevant information.

For the purpose of this subsection, a previous conviction exists where the actor has at any time been convicted under chapter 35 of this title or Title 24 of the Revised Statutes or under any similar statute of the United States, this State, or any other state for an offense that is substantially equivalent to N.J.S.2C:35-3, N.J.S.2C:35-4, N.J.S.2C:35-5, N.J.S.2C:35-6 or section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7).

g. Any person who has been convicted under subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:39-4 of possessing a machine gun or assault firearm with intent to use it against the person of another, or of a crime under any of the following sections: N.J.S.2C:11-3, N.J.S.2C:11-4, N.J.S.2C:12-1b., N.J.S.2C:13-1, N.J.S.2C:14-2a., N.J.S.2C:14-3a., N.J.S.2C:15-1, N.J.S.2C:18-2, N.J.S.2C:29-5, N.J.S.2C:35-5, who, while in the course of committing or attempting to commit the crime, including the immediate flight therefrom, used or was in possession of a machine gun or assault firearm shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at 10 years for a crime of the first or second degree, five years for a crime of the third degree, or 18 months in the case of a fourth degree crime, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.

The minimum terms established by this section shall not prevent the court from imposing presumptive terms of imprisonment pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:44-1 for crimes of the first degree.

A person who has been convicted of an offense enumerated in this subsection and who used or possessed a machine gun or assault firearm during its commission, attempted commission or flight therefrom and who has been previously convicted of an offense involving the use or possession of any firearm as defined in subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:44-3, shall be sentenced by the court to an extended term as authorized by subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:43-7, notwithstanding that extended terms are ordinarily discretionary with the court.

h. The court shall not impose a mandatory sentence pursuant to subsection g. of this section, subsections d. of N.J.S.2C:43-7 or N.J.S.2C:44-3, unless the ground therefor has been established at a hearing. At the hearing, which may occur at the time of sentencing, the prosecutor shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the weapon used or possessed was a machine gun or assault firearm. In making its finding, the court shall take judicial notice of any evidence, testimony or information adduced at the trial, plea hearing, or other court proceedings and shall also consider the presentence report and any other relevant information.

i. A person who has been convicted under paragraph (6) of subsection b. of 2C:12-1 of causing bodily injury while eluding shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court. The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term. The minimum term shall be fixed at, or between one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court. The minimum term established by this subsection shall not prevent the court from imposing a presumptive term of imprisonment pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection f. of 2C:44-1.

Amended 1979,c.178,s.85; 1981,c.31,s.1; 1981,c.290,s.38; 1981,c.569,s.1; 1982,c.119,s.1; 1987,c.76,s.35; 1987,c.106,s.12; 1988,c.44,s.13; 1990,c.32,s.6; 1993,c.219,s.6.

2C:43-6.1. Person under minimum mandatory sentence for possession of firearm with intent to use against property of another; review of sentence; imposition of other sentence Any person who, on the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act, is serving a minimum mandatory sentence as provided for by N.J.S. 2C:43-6c. solely as a result of his conviction under subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:39-4 for the possession of a firearm with intent to use it against the property of another, and has not had his sentence suspended or been paroled or discharged, may move to have his sentence reviewed by the sentencing court. For good cause shown, the court may impose any sentence which would have otherwise been available for such person.

L.1982, c. 119, s. 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1982.

2C:43-6.2. Probation; reduction of mandatory minimum term 1. On a motion by the prosecutor made to the assignment judge that the imposition of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment under (a) subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:43-6 for a defendant who has not previously been convicted of an offense under that subsection, or (b) subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:39-10 for a defendant who has not previously been convicted of an offense under chapter 39 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, does not serve the interests of justice, the assignment judge shall place the defendant on probation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-2 or reduce to one year the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment during which the defendant will be ineligible for parole. The sentencing court may also refer a case of a defendant who has not previously been convicted of an offense under that subsection to the assignment judge, with the approval of the prosecutor, if the sentencing court believes that the interests of justice would not be served by the imposition of a mandatory minimum term.

L.1989,c.53,s.1; amended 1993,c.49,s.2.

2C:43-6.3. Review of sentence Any person who, on the effective date of this act, is serving a mandatory minimum sentence as provided for by subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:43-6, who has not been previously convicted under that subsection, and has not had his sentence suspended or been paroled or discharged, may move to have his sentence reviewed by the assignment judge for the sentencing court. If the prosecutor agrees that the sentence under review does not serve the interests of justice, the judge shall reduce the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment without parole eligibility to one year or place the person on probation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-2.

L.1989, c.53, s.2. 2C:43-7 Sentence of imprisonment for crime; extended terms.

2C:43-7. Sentence of Imprisonment for Crime; Extended Terms.

a.In the cases designated in section 2C:44-3, a person who has been convicted of a crime may be sentenced, and in the cases designated in subsection e. of section 2 of P.L.1994, c.130 (C.2C:43-6.4), in subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.1995, c.126 (C.2C:43-7.1) and in the cases designated in section 1 of P.L.1997, c.410 (C.2C:44-5.1), a person who has been convicted of a crime shall be sentenced, to an extended term of imprisonment, as follows:

(1)In case of aggravated manslaughter sentenced under subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:11-4; or kidnapping when sentenced as a crime of the first degree under paragraph (1) of subsection c. of 2C:13-1; or aggravated sexual assault if the person is eligible for an extended term pursuant to the provisions of subsection g. of N.J.S.2C:44-3 for a specific term of years which shall be between 30 years and life imprisonment;

(2)Except for the crime of murder and except as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection, in the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 20 years and life imprisonment;

(3)In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a term which shall be fixed by the court between 10 and 20 years;

(4)In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a term which shall be fixed by the court between five and 10 years;

(5)In the case of a crime of the fourth degree pursuant to 2C:43-6c.and 2C:44-3d.for a term of five years, and in the case of a crime of the fourth degree pursuant to 2C:43-6f. and 2C:43-6g. for a term which shall be fixed by the court between three and five years;

(6)In the case of the crime of murder, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court between 35 years and life imprisonment, of which the defendant shall serve 35 years before being eligible for parole;

(7)In the case of kidnapping under paragraph (2) of subsection c. of 2C:13-1, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court between 30 years and life imprisonment, of which the defendant shall serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.

b.As part of a sentence for an extended term and notwithstanding the provisions of 2C:43-9, the court may fix a minimum term not to exceed one-half of the term set pursuant to subsection a. during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole or a term of 25 years during which time the defendant shall not be eligible for parole where the sentence imposed was life imprisonment; provided that no defendant shall be eligible for parole at a date earlier than otherwise provided by the law governing parole.

c.In the case of a person sentenced to an extended term pursuant to 2C:43-6c., 2C:43-6f. and 2C:44-3d., the court shall impose a sentence within the ranges permitted by 2C:43-7a.(2), (3), (4) or (5) according to the degree or nature of the crime for which the defendant is being sentenced, which sentence shall include a minimum term which shall, except as may be specifically provided by N.J.S.2C:43-6f., be fixed at or between one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or five years, whichever is greater, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole. Where the sentence imposed is life imprisonment, the court shall impose a minimum term of 25 years during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole, except that where the term of life imprisonment is imposed on a person convicted for a violation of N.J.S.2C:35-3, the term of parole ineligibility shall be 30 years.

d.In the case of a person sentenced to an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6g., the court shall impose a sentence within the ranges permitted by N.J.S.2C:43-7a(2), (3), (4) or (5) according to the degree or nature of the crime for which the defendant is being sentenced, which sentence shall include a minimum term which shall be fixed at 15 years for a crime of the first or second degree, eight years for a crime of the third degree, or five years for a crime of the fourth degree during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole. Where the sentence imposed is life imprisonment, the court shall impose a minimum term of 25 years during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole, except that where the term of life imprisonment is imposed on a person convicted of a violation of N.J.S.2C:35-3, the term of parole eligibility shall be 30 years.

Amended 1979, c.178, s.86; 1981, c.31, s.2; 1982, c.111, s.2; 1986, c.172, s.3; 1987, c.106, s.13; 1988, c.44, s.14; 1990, c.32, s.7; 1990, c.87, s.3; 1994, c.127, s.1; 1994, c.130, s.3; 1995, c.126, s.3; 1997, c.410, s.2; 2001, c.443, s.6.

2C:43-7.1. Life imprisonment without parole; extended term for repeat violent offenders 2. a. Life Imprisonment Without Parole. A person convicted of a crime under any of the following: N.J.S.2C:11-3; subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:11-4; a crime of the first degree under N.J.S.2C:13-1, paragraphs (3) through (6) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-2; N.J.S.2C:15-1; or section 1 of P.L.1993, c.221 (C.2C:15-2), who has on two or more prior and separate occasions been convicted of a crime under any of the foregoing sections or under any similar statute of the United States, this State, or any other state for a crime that is substantially equivalent to a crime under any of the foregoing sections, shall be sentenced to a term of life imprisonment by the court, with no eligibility for parole.

b. Extended Term for Repeat Violent Offenders. A person shall be sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7 if:

(1) The person is convicted of any of the following crimes: a crime of the second degree under N.J.S.2C:11-4; a crime of the second or third degree under subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:12-1; a crime of the second degree under N.J.S.2C:13-1; a crime under N.J.S.2C:14-3 for aggravated criminal sexual contact under any of the circumstances set forth in paragraphs (3) through (6) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-2; a crime of the second degree under N.J.S.2C:15-1; a crime of the second degree under N.J.S.2C:18-2; or a crime of the second degree under N.J.S.2C:39-4 for possession of a weapon with the purpose of using it unlawfully against the person of another, and the person has on two or more prior and separate occasions been convicted of any of the foregoing crimes or any of the crimes enumerated in subsection a. of this section or under any similar statute of the United States, this State, or any other state for a crime that is substantially equivalent to a crime enumerated in this subsection or in subsection a. of this section; or

(2) The person is convicted of a crime enumerated in subsection a. of this section, does not have two or more prior convictions that require sentencing under subsection a. and has two or more prior convictions that would require sentencing under paragraph (1) of this subsection if the person had been convicted of a crime enumerated in paragraph (1).

c. The provisions of this section shall not apply unless the prior convictions are for crimes committed on separate occasions and unless the crime for which the defendant is being sentenced was committed either within 10 years of the date of the defendants last release from confinement for commission of any crime or within 10 years of the date of the commission of the most recent of the crimes for which the defendant has a prior conviction.

d. The court shall not impose a sentence of imprisonment pursuant to this section, unless the ground therefor has been established at a hearing after the conviction of the defendant and on written notice to the defendant of the ground proposed. The defendant shall have the right to hear and controvert the evidence against him and to offer evidence upon the issue. Prior convictions shall be defined and proven in accordance with N.J.S.2C:44-4.

e. For purposes of this section, a term of life shall mean the natural life of a person sentenced pursuant to this section. Except that a defendant who is at least 70 years of age and who has served at least 35 years in prison pursuant to a sentence imposed under this section shall be released on parole if the full Parole Board determines that the defendant is not a danger to the safety of any other person or the community.

L.1995,c.126,s.2. 2C:43-8. Sentence of imprisonment for disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses A person who has been convicted of a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense may be sentenced to imprisonment for a definite term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 6 months in the case of a disorderly persons offense or 30 days in the case of a petty disorderly persons offense.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:43-8, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. 2C:43-9. Release of all offenders; length of recommitment and reparole after revocation of parole Release of offenders on parole, recommitment and reparole after revocation shall be governed by the "Parole Act of 1979," P.L.1979, c. 441 (C. 30:4-123.45 et seq.).

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:43-9, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 86A, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; L.1981, c. 290, s. 39, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

2C:43-10. Place of imprisonment; beginning sentences; transfers a. Sentences for terms of 1 year or longer. Except as provided in section 2C:43-5 and in subsection b. of this section, when a person is sentenced to imprisonment for any term of 1 year or greater, the court shall commit him to the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections for the term of his sentence and until released in accordance with law.

b. County institution. In any county in which a county penitentiary or a county workhouse is located, a person sentenced to imprisonment for a return not exceeding 18 months may be committed to the penitentiary or workhouse of such county.

c. Sentences for terms of less than 1 year. When a person is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of less than 1 year, the court shall commit him either to the common jail of the county, the county workhouse or the county penitentiary for the term of his sentence and until released in accordance with law. In counties of the first class having a workhouse or penitentiary, however, no sentence exceeding 6 months shall be to the common jail of the county.

d. Aggregation of sentences when a person is sentenced to more than one term of imprisonment, and the sentences are to be consecutive, the terms shall be aggregated for the purpose of determining the place of imprisonment under subsections a., b. or c. of this section.

e. Duties of sheriff and keeper on sentence to State Prison. In all cases where the defendant, upon conviction, is sentenced by the court to imprisonment, for any term of 1 year or greater, the sheriff of the county or his lawful deputy shall, within 15 days transport him to the State Prison and there deliver him into the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections together with a copy of the sentence of the court ordering such imprisonment certified by the clerk of the court where the conviction was had, a copy of the courts statement of reasons for the sentence, and a copy of the presentence report or any presentence information used by the judge in determining sentence.

In every case at least 48 hours, exclusive of Sundays and legal holidays, shall elapse between the time of sentence and removal to the State Prison.

f. Beginning sentences in county institutions. Every person sentenced to the county workhouse or penitentiary shall be transferred to and confined therein within 10 days after the sentence.

g. Transfer of persons sentenced to county jail, penitentiary or workhouse from one to another thereof. Every person sentenced to imprisonment in a county jail, penitentiary or workhouse may upon the application of the board of chosen freeholders of such county and by order of the Superior Court, be transferred from any one of such county penal institutions to any other thereof. No such transfer or retransfer shall in any way affect the term of the original sentence of the person so transferred or retransferred.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:43-10, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 87, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea

1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)

2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:

a. You will have a criminal record

b. You may go to Jail or Prison.

c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.

3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.

4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.

5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.

6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.

7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.

8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3

9. You could be put on Probation.

10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your drivers license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.

11. You may be required to do Community Service.

12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.

13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.

14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.

15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1

16. You may lose your right to vote.

The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:

If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.

NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

 

   
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