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No Early Release Act
Edison New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall represents individuals charged with violent crimes including aggravated assault, robbery, murder, aggravated sexual assault, and kidnapping in New Jersey which are subject to the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2. This sentencing provision is often referred to as “NERA”. This statute requires that defendants convicted of certain enumerated offenses serve 85% of their prison term before they may be considered for parole. The term of parole ineligibility is as called a mandatory minimum term. All charges falling under NERA are indictable offenses that are handled at Superior Court in New Brunswick. Please do not hesitate to contact our criminal defense attorneys for immediate assistance at 732-246-7126.
No Early Release Act: N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2
The No Early Release Act is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2 and provides that:
§ 2C:43-7.2. Mandatory service of 85% of sentence for certain offenses
a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.
b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.
c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions of section 3 of P.L.1997, c.117.
d. The court shall impose sentence pursuant to subsection a. of this section upon conviction of the following crimes or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these crimes:
(1) N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, murder;
(2) N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, aggravated manslaughter or manslaughter;
(3) N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5, vehicular homicide;
(4) subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, aggravated assault;
(5) subsection b. of section 1 of P.L.1996, c.14, disarming a law enforcement officer;
(6) N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1, kidnapping;
(7) subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, aggravated sexual assault;
(8) subsection b. of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2 and paragraph (1) of subsection c. of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, sexual assault;
(9) N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, robbery;
(10) section 1 of P.L.1993, c.221, carjacking;
(11) paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, aggravated arson;
(12) N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, burglary;
(13) subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5, extortion;
(14) subsection b. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.185, booby traps in manufacturing or distribution facilities;
(15) N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9, strict liability for drug induced deaths;
(16) section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26, terrorism;
(17) section 3 of P.L.2002, c.26, producing or possessing chemical weapons, biological agents or nuclear or radiological devices; or
(18) N.J.S.A. 2C:41-2, racketeering, when it is a crime of the first degree.
Explanation of the No Early Release Act. When a charge falls under NERA, the parole ineligibility and mandatory minimum sentence that is triggered cannot be waived. In addition, a defendant is unable to apply or secure a change in custody, for example, entering a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center, until 85% of his or her sentence has been completed. And even after release, the No Early Release Act requires that there be a five year period of parole supervision for a first degree crime and three years for a second degree crime.
The No Early Release Act is one of the toughest sentencing provisions set forth in the New Jersey Criminal Code. If you have been charged with a NERA eligible offense, you definitely need representation by the very best lawyer you can afford. The attorneys at the New Brunswick Office of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are available to serve you in this capacity. Call us for immediate assistance at 732-246-7126.