Sentencing reform – criminal law

Attorney General of New Jersey Directive regarding mandatory minimums and non violent offenders pursuant to NJSA 2C:35-12

You may have heard that the New Jersey Attorney General Directive 2021-4 was issued on April 19, 2021.  This directive has drastically changed the way that plea bargaining in criminal cases are handled in the State of New Jersey.  After a report issued by the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission (“CSDC”), which unanimously recommended that the State, among other things, eliminate mandatory minimum sentencers for non-violent drug crimes.  The recommendation was based upon the effect will be widespread and attempts to mitigate against the system of “mass incarceration” and social injustice.  This directive applies retroactively and will become effective on May 19, 2021, which means that even if you or a loved one has been sentenced already, you may be eligible to reduce your prison sentence immediately.  This is a long overdue and wonderful change in the law that should help ensure the equal application of the law to criminal cases and sentencing in New Jersey.

Directive Revising Statewide Guidelines Concerning the Waiver of Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Non-Violent Drug Cases Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12