New sentencing obligations for prosecutors

Yesterday, the governor signed S1504 into law. This statute amends the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2B:25-5.1. The amendment adds driving on the revoked list and leaving the scene of an accident to those offenses for which a municipal prosecutor must order and review a certified abstract prior to sentence imposition. The previous version of the statute only required such a review when the defendant is charged with DWI or Refusal.

Note that the amended statute contains no sanctions for prosecutors who fail to make the proper review. In addition, there is no requirement under this statute that the defendant’s record be provided to defense counsel as discovery.

Finally, please note that the obligation to review abstracts imposed upon municipal court judges under Administrative Directive 10-4 is much more thorough and requires a review whenever any traffic offense may result in statutorily required enhanced punishment. (See muni-mail archive for complete text of Directive 10-4…

The text of the amended N.J.S.A. 2B:25-5.1 is as follows:

11. Section 1 of P.L.2004, c.95 (C.2B:25-5.1) is amended to read as follows:

1. Whenever a person is charged with a violation of R.S.39:3-40, R.S.39:4-50 [or], section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a) or R.S.39:4-129, a municipal prosecutor shall contact the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission by electronic or other means, for the purpose of obtaining an abstract of the person’s driving record. In every such case, the prosecutor shall:

a. Determine, on the basis of the record, if the person shall be charged with enhanced penalties as a repeat offender; and

b. Transmit the abstract to the appropriate municipal court judge prior to the imposition of sentence.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.95, s.1)

Category: Muni-Mail Archive