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Sentencing & Penalties

New Jersey Law provides for a wide variety of penalties that may apply to a particular criminal offense at the time of sentencing. The penalties that apply to one crime versus another are different although there are standard fines, jail and other consequences for particular grades of offense. Our attorneys have compiled a helpful discussion on sentencing which follows and includes the main subtopics that arise at the time of sentencing. For further guidance, you are encourage to call us at 973-710-1520 to speak to a highly knowledgeable defense attorney, including former prosecutors.

What Penalties May A Court Impose In New Jersey At The Time Of Sentencing?

Chapter 43 of the NJ Criminal Code is titled “Authorized Disposition of Offenders” and sets forth all those penalties that may be imposed by a court at the time of sentencing. The severity of the penalties to which an individual may be sentenced hinges, to a large degree, the grade of offense involved. Indictable crimes, those charges that are the equivalent of a felony under New Jersey law, are graded from most serious at first degree, second degree, third degree and fourth degree. Disorderly persons offenses are the code’s version of misdemeanors, including Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses. Unless the statute applying to a specific offense provides otherwise, individuals must be sentenced in accordance with the standard schedule for maximum fines and range of imprisonment set forth under the NJ Criminal Code including:

First Degree Crime. $200,000 fine and 10-20 years in prison.
Second Degree Crime. $150,000 fine and 5-10 years in prison.
Third Degree Crime. $15,000 fine and 0-5 years in prison.
Fourth Degree Crime.  $10,000 and 0-18 months in prison.
Disorderly Persons Offense. $1,000 and 0-6 months in the county jail.
Petty Disorderly Persons Offense. $500 and up to 90 days in the county jail.

Since the law only provides for maximum fine amounts and ranges of jail time, the court must employee its discretion and judgment, after weighing the aggravating and mitigating facts of the case, in order to arrive at the appropriate fine and/or period of imprisonment. In addition to the standard fines and period of incarceration set forth under Chapter 43, the law provides for other sentencing options available to a Judge.

Types of Penalties That May Be Imposed

N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2 lists the sentences (e.g. penalties) that a New Jersey Court may impose. The sentencing options include:

Fines, Restitution & Other Monetary Consequences

Incarceration, including an Ordinary Term of Imprisonment (a.k.a. Straight Time), a Period of Parole Ineligibility, an Extended Term, or Night/Weekend Imprisonment (e.g. SLAP)

Commitment to a Treatment Facility (e.g. Drug, Alcohol, or Psychiatric), Half-way House or other Residential Facility.

Drivers License Suspension. May offenses contained in the criminal code allow a court to suspend a defendant’s license to operate a motor vehicle (e.g. Title 35 CDS Offenses). In imposing this punishment, the court is typically required to consider the impact of suspension on the rehabilitation of the defendant (e.g would it present a hardship which would undermine the goal of rehabilitation).

Conditions of Parole

Other Civil Sanctions. This may include forfeiture of property, suspension or revocation of a professional license, removal from public office, reimburse costs of extradition, etc.

Suspended Sentence. The court may impose any of the penalties listed and then suspend enforcement of the sentence. What this means is that the punishment is stayed and has no effect until such time as the court orders otherwise. Typically, the course of action is only taken when the court imposes some condition to suspension of the sentence, for example, successful complete treatment or probation, refrain from unlawful conduct, pay support, etc.  A court cannot, however, suspend a sentence where the related offense involves certain mandatory minimum period of incarceration, for example, those required under the Graves Act.

Our Newark NJ Criminal Attorneys Know How To Fight For The Very Best Sentence

As you may have already read on this website, our firm is one of the largest criminal defense firms in the state, has over 100 years of collective experience defending all sorts of charges, and also happens to be comprised of several former prosecutors. We know what it takes to effectively argue at the time of sentencing so that our clients achieve the best outcome in a given case. Our team is prepared to assist you the very same way and is available 24/7 to assist you in a free consultation. Call us at 973-710-1520.