Certain serious criminal offenses, especially those involving violence, trigger parole restriction under the No Early Release Act (“NERA”). The No Early Release Act, NERA, is created under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. This law requires that the Court impose a period of parole ineligibility (i.e. a minimum sentence) set at 85% of the sentence imposed. During this period, a defendant is ineligible for parole. If you or a loved one is facing a NERA eligible charge or any other criminal violation in Essex County or elsewhere in NJ, give our firm a call. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we possess a team of highly seasoned former prosecutors and attorneys who have over 100 years of collective experience. Our Newark Office can be reached 24/7 for a free consultation at 973-710-1520.

What Criminal Offenses Fall Under The No Early Release Act?

A comprehensive list of the crimes that are eligible for mandatory parole ineligibility under NERA is contained at N.J.S. 2C:43-7.2(d). In this regard, the Court must apply the No Early Release Act in sentencing a person for an attempt, conspiracy or the actual commission for the following crimes:

• Homicide, including Murder, Manslaughter & Death by Auto
Aggravated Assault
Disarming a law enforcement officer
• Kidnapping
• Sexual Assault, including Aggravated Sexual Assault
• Aggravated Arson
• Extortion
• Booby traps in a manufacturing or distribution facility
• Strict liability for drug induced deaths
• Terrorism
• Producing or possessing chemical weapons, biological agents, or nuclear or radiological devices
Racketeering, when it is a crime of the first degree

Does NERA Apply If The Criminal Charge Falls Under Another Minimum Sentence Requirement?

The 85% parole ineligible provided under the No Early Release Act almost always trumps any other mandatory minimum sentence that applies to a particular crime. The reason is because the required prison termt under NERA typically exceeds whatever other parole ineligibility requirements apply under the New Jersey Criminal Code. Accordingly, if the criminal offense falls under the No Early Release Act, the defendant will have to serve at least 85% of the sentence imposed whether or not the crime carries other mandatory sentence requirements.

Is There A Period Of Parole Supervision That Applies Under NERA?

In accordance with the No Early Release Act, there is a mandatory period of parole supervision that must be satisfied upon release from prison. The period is five (5) years for a first degree crime and three (3) years for a second degree crime. It should also be kept in mind that if a defendant was sentenced to consecutive sentences under NERA, he/she must also serve consecutive periods of parole supervision up being paroled.

Can A Defendant Serve Parole Ineligibility Time In A Drug or Alcohol Rehabilitation Center?

Unfortunately, time spent in a rehabilitation center is not afforded credit under NERA nor may a defendant apply to have his/her mandatory minimum time served in a rehab. A motion for a change in custody cannot even be considered by the Court until 85% of the sentence has been satisfied.

Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyers in Newark NJ

Offense that fall under NERA are usually some of the more serious crimes set forth under New Jersey Law. We have a legal team with the know how and skill you need to fight a serious criminal charge like the one you and/or your loved one is up against. Call our Newark NJ Criminal Defense Firm for immediate assistance at 973-710-1520.