New Brunswick NJ Criminal Law Attorneys Explain Sentencing in NJ Criminal Cases
After an individual is convicted of a criminal offense in New Jersey, a judge uses sentencing guidelines to determine the proper term of imprisonment. In certain situations, the prosecutor can request that the court impose an extended sentence and, if the defendant commits certain enumerated offenses, the court may be mandated by law to impose an extended term. There are two types of extended sentences in New Jersey criminal cases: discretionary extended terms and mandatory extended terms. Continue reading for more information about extended terms for certain crimes in NJ. To find out how extended sentencing may apply to your criminal charges, contact the Middlesex County criminal defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law at (732) 659-9600. We can be reached anytime and consultations are always provided free of charge.
Discretionary Extended Terms in NJ
There are circumstances in which the prosecutor may request the court to impose an extended sentence in a criminal case. As a defendant, you must be provided written notice for the basis of the request. You must also be given an opportunity to respond during a hearing.
The prosecutor may request the court to impose an extended sentence if you have been convicted of a first, second, or third degree crime, you were at least 21 years old when you committed the offense, you were previously convicted of two other separate crimes in the past when you were at least 18 years old, and either the latest crime or your release from confinement is within 10 years of the crime you are currently being sentenced for.
The prosecutor may also request an extended sentence be imposed if you have been convicted of a first, second, or third degree crime and the crime was committed as part of an ongoing criminal activity with two or more other people, in circumstances that show you knowingly devoted yourself to that criminal activity as a major source of your livelihood.
If you are convicted of a first, second, or third degree (felony) offense that you were paid to commit, the prosecution may also request an extended sentence. Additional circumstances in which the prosecutor may make the request include if you used a stolen vehicle or were in possession of a stolen vehicle while committing aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, manslaughter, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, resisting arrest and eluding an officer, escape, and manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance.
Generally speaking, the court may not impose multiple extended terms. However, multiple extended sentences may result when the court is required to impose an extended sentence that is mandated by statute.
Mandatory Extended Terms in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, there are certain crimes for which the court must impose an extended term. If a person is convicted of a second or subsequent offense of receiving, viewing, creating, possessing, or having in their control child pornography, the court is required to impose an extended sentence.
The court must also impose an extended term for soliciting or recruiting a minor to join a street gang, distributing drugs to a minor or a pregnant woman, third or subsequent offenses involving sales taxes, committing certain enumerated offenses after a previous firearms conviction, or if the defendant satisfies certain requirements as a repeat drug offender or persistent violent offender.
If while under sex offender parole supervision for life a defendant commits murder, manslaughter, reckless vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, kidnapping, luring a child, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, leader of a child pornography network, second degree burglary, or possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, the court must impose an extended sentence and the offender must serve the entire sentence.
Facing an Extended Sentence for Criminal Charges in New Brunswick NJ?
If you have been charged with a crime in Middlesex County, New Jersey, it is crucial to understand the consequences you are facing and to prevent a conviction at all costs. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm will do everything we can to successfully resolve your case. We understand that years of your freedom are at stake and we are prepared to aggressively defend your innocence. With offices in Edison, we have been defending clients in New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen, East Brunswick, and throughout Middlesex County for years. For a free consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney about your specific criminal charges, contact us today at (732) 659-9600. You can also fill out our online form to arrange a free consultation.