Mandatory Jail Means Mandatory Jail under New Driving While Suspended Statute
As noted in an earlier post on this blog, New Jersey recently enacted a statute that made driving with a suspended license an indictable offense in certain circumstances, requiring a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of at least 180 days in the county jail upon conviction.
As might be expected, attorneys representing defendants charged with this new offense have attempted to find ways for their clients to escape the mandatory six month jail sentence. One attorney successfully convinced the trial court to permit his client to serve 90 days in jail, followed by 90 days in an inpatient rehabilitation program, as is permitted for repeat DWI offenders who receive 180 days in the county jail as a result of a third DWI conviction. Unfortunately for the defendant, our Appellate Division held in an opinion released on August 25, 2014, that the mandatory 180 day sentence upon conviction for the indictable driving while suspended statute requires that all 180 days be served in the county jail, and the jail time cannot be substituted by time spent in an inpatient rehabilitation program:
no discretion exists . . . to replace half of the mandatory 180 days of incarceration with a non-jail rehabilitation program.
Attorneys defending these cases will continue to attempt to find ways for their clients to escape the harsh consequences of this statute.
The postings on this blog were created for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a solicitation to provide legal services. Although we attempt to ensure that the postings are complete, accurate, and current as of the time of publication, we assume no responsibility for their completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.
This blog may contain links to independent third party websites and services, including social media. We provide these links for your convenience, and you access them at your own risk. We have no control over and do not monitor the content or policies (including privacy policies) of these third-party websites and have no responsibility for, and no liability with respect to, their content, accuracy, or reliability. Unless expressly stated, we do not endorse any of the linked websites or any product, service, or publication referenced herein or therein. We will remove a link to any site from this blog upon request of the linked entity.
We grant permission to readers to link to this blog so long as this blog is not misrepresented. This site is not sponsored or associated with any other site unless so identified.
If you wish for Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., to consider representing you, please obtain contact information from the Contact Us area of this blog or go to the firm’s website at www.wilentz.com. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. However, the authors of Wilentz blogs are licensed only in New Jersey and/or New York and do not wish to represent anyone who viewed this site in a state where the site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.