Final Vote Expected on NJ Bill That Would Eliminate Mandatory Prison Sentences for 29 Crimes
If you have been following New Jersey’s criminal justice reform news, you are likely awaiting the final ruling of Bill S-3456, which is set to occur soon. This bill aims to end mandatory sentences for a variety of crimes. Continue reading to learn more.
What Is Bill S-3456?
Bill S-3456 will eliminate mandatory prison sentences for 29 crimes. This bill is designed as a part of a criminal justice reform. Lawmakers have been actively working toward criminal reform due to a large number of non-violent offenders in jail.
In addition to higher jail populations, a criminal record leads to long-term consequences. Offenders may have a hard time getting a job, leading to financial difficulties. Additionally, officials noticed that the rate of arrests for certain crimes, like marijuana possession and use, is racially disproportionate. In fact, New Jersey has one of the highest disparity rates in the U.S.
Read more: What Is A Simple Assault Charge?
Updates to the Bill
Bill S-3456 easily made its way through the state Senate with no objections or discussions. It then made its way through the Assembly committee. But that doesn’t mean that it is without controversy. Some lawmakers believe that the bill will allow politicians to commit certain illegal acts, without consequences.
What Does the Bill Mean?
If the bill makes its way into law, it would mean that judges have more control and power over their sentencing. They could look at the full case, without having to follow minimum sentencing requirements. The bill would cover a long list of criminal acts, including robbery and burglary of the second-degree. It would also cover official misconduct, which is the part that has some lawmakers unsure. Official misconduct is the charge used to cover public corruption.
This part of the bill could make a big difference. According to NorthJersey.com, at least 60 people have been charged with this crime in the last two years. The offenders are public officials, including police officers and teachers, who would not have to serve mandatory sentencing, if the bill makes its way into law.
Bills S-3456 would also cover crimes like leading a drug trafficking ring, selling drugs to someone who is pregnant, tampering with public records, and money laundering. These are just a few of the full list of 29 crimes that the bill would include.
Overcoming Racial Disparities
While some parts of the bill are controversial, other parts are a necessary part in reducing the racial disparity among inmates in New Jersey. More African Americans are charged heavier for crimes, affecting their financial and educational opportunities. They are also more likely to spend time in jail.
Dealing With Criminal Charges in New Jersey?
A criminal charge can significantly affect your life. While New Jersey is in the process of reforming the criminal justice system, you could still be met with jail time. If you are dealing with potential criminal charges, it is important that you discuss your options with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Otherwise, you could be met with expensive fines and jail time. Jail time comes with a criminal record and ongoing probation. Find out your defense options today.
Contact an Experienced Camden County Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with criminal charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Gelman Law, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with criminal charges in Camden County, Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Gloucester County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 474-1450 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 850 Rt 70 West Cherry Hill, NJ 08002.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.