New Jersey Sentencing Procedures

After a defendant either pleads guilty too or is found guilty of a criminal offense in New Jersey the Judge must impose a sentence. If the criminal charge which the defendant needs to be sentenced on is a felony offense, the Judge must order what is known as a Pre-Sentence Report. This report helps the Judge understand who the defendant is and this will allow for him to impose a sentence which he sees fit. On the other hand, if the defendant is being sentenced to a disorderly persons offense, the defendant will be sentenced on the spot without the benefit of a pre-sentence report. At this point the Judge will be imposing a sentence based on the underline facts of the case and the argument your defense attorney puts-forth on your behalf. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Bergen County Criminal Defense Firm with a long track record of success. We have eight criminal defense attorneys on staff, including four former prosecutors. If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense in towns like Hackensack, Paramus, Fort Lee, Elmwood Park, Teaneck, Lodi, Garfield, Ridgefield or Palisades Interstate Park we can help. Here is some important information with regards to the sentencing procedures in New Jersey.

Sentencing Overview:

The number one goal of the Criminal Justice System when it comes to sentencing is to assure that their is some form of uniformity and fairness when a sentence is imposed. The sentencing aspect of the New Jersey Criminal Code was designed to channel the discretion of the sentencing Judges. This was achieved by creating certain presumptions, specifically with regards to the decision to imprison or not to imprison, the length of sentences imposed; and the ranges in which a limited amount of sentencing discretion may be exercised.
The Judge must first determine what sentencing options available to the defendant, such as State Prison, County Jail, Drug Court, Pre Trial Intervention, Conditional Discharge, Suspended Sentence, Probation. Next the Judge has to decide  whether or not to sentence the defendant to some form of custodial sentence. If the Judge concludes that the defendant should be sentenced to a custodial sentence, the Judge must then set the length of sentence.
In addition, if the defendant has been convicted of a first or second degree offense, the Judge must consider whether sentencing the defendant as if he committed an offense one degree lower is appropriate. They must also determine if a period of parole ineligibility must be imposed or in the alternative, using their discretion, should a period of parole ineligibility be imposed. Further, they must also decide whether an extended term is required or whether in their discretion, one should  impose an extended term and lastly, if the defendant is facing multiple sentences or is already serving a custodial sentence, should the Judge require that the sentences  be run concurrent or consecutive.

Potential Sentences & Factors used in Determining an Appropriate Sentence:

  1. State Prison
  2. County Jail
  3. Parole
  4. Drug Court
  5. Pre Trial Intervention
  6. Conditional Discharge
  7. Probation
  8. Intensive Supervision Program
  9. Flat vs. 85% Sentences
  10.  No Early Release Act
  11.  Extended Term
  12.  Brimage
  13.  Aggravating and Mitigating Factors
  14.  Fines & Restitution

Powerful Bergen County Criminal Defense Firm

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. We have the experience and skill set required to successfully protect your rights. If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal or traffic offense in Bergen County New Jersey we can help. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation.