New Jersey Brimage Guidelines
BRIMAGE GUIDELINES – MANDATORY PRISON SENTENCING
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious drug charge in New Jersey, such as drug distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or have a prior drug related record then you may fall under the Brimage Guidelines. These guidelines will set forth mandatory periods of incarceration and a length of time where you will not be eligible for parole. A “brimage” case can be very complicated and requires the attention of an experienced drug criminal lawyer. The Law Offices of William Proetta Criminal Law is dedicated to the exclusive defense of criminal and municipal court charges including drug cases that involved Brimage sentencing. If you would like to speak with an experienced drug attorney then contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 for a free initial consultation.
INELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE UNDER BRIMAGE
The “Brimage Guidelines” govern mandatory prison sentences and parole ineligibility for certain defendants charged with repeated drug possession charges, drug distribution, or Possession with Intent to Distribute in a School Zone or Drug Distribution within 500 ft of a Public Park or Public Housing. The New Jersey Supreme Court established these guidelines in State v. Brimage 153 N.J. 1 (1998), which set a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for certain drug related offenses. The State Attorney General has now published the Brimage Guidelines to ensure statewide uniformity in plea offers.
Generally, Brimage sentencing guidelines typically will typically apply in situations including:
- Repeat drug offender; or
- School zone drug offenses; or
- Drug distribution to a minor or pregnant female; or
- Second drug distribution charge; or
- Street gang related activity.
The County Prosecutor’s are required to use the worksheet in these cases to calculate an acceptable plea offer for the facts surrounding each defendant’s charges. A Brimage Worksheet can be found on the New Jersey Attorney General’s Website.
BRIMAGE GUIDELINES: DRUG COURT IN LIEU OF A LONG PRISON SENTENCE
Brimage sentencing can be devastating to a defendant especially if they have never done time behind bars. However, an experienced lawyer can often work with the County Prosecutor’s Office to negotiate a defendant’s acceptance into the Drug Court program to avoid incarceration altogether. Drug Court is a unique program offered in some jurisdictions which allows defendants to complete drug counseling, testing, and maintain employment under strict supervision in lieu of prison. If you would like to learn more about how our firm may be able to help you, please contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018.