New Jersey’s No Early Release Law Used in Atlantic City Man’s Sentencing

Earlier today, an Atlantic City man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his participation in a robbery at a gas station that led to the owner of the station being shot.  Hudson, the defendant, admitted to trying to recover and hide the gun that discharged in an attempt to hide the evidence from police.  The store owner later succumbed to his wound and passed away.  Darrick Hudson, a resident of Atlantic City, NJ, was sentenced to serve 21 of his 25 years in prison under what’s called parole ineligibility.

Parole Ineligibility and the No Early Release Act

Parole ineligible sentences were made legal under the No Early Release Act or N.E.R.A.  N.E.R.A. was designed so that Judges in New Jersey could impose a period of time that does exactly what the name implies.  The act can only be applied to certain types of violent offenses and the Prosecutor in the case must apply for the special designation.  The types of crimes that can have N.E.R.A. applied in the sentencing portion include murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, vehicular manslaughter, sexual assaults, aggravated arson, or a crime against a police officer.  A crime is considered violent when there is the use or threatened use of bodily harm or a weapon.  The degree of crime can be first, second, or third degree.  The number of times you have been previously charged with a crime does not matter either, a prosecutor can request N.E.R.A. on your first violent criminal charge.

A person convicted under a crime where the prosecutor has requested N.E.R.A. consideration has to server 85% of the total sentence before they are eligible for parole.  The only way to be eligible for parole earlier than that in a case where N.E.R.A. is applied is to either accept a plea to a lesser charge or be found guilty of a lesser charge that is not eligible for N.E.R.A.  Obviously, you can also be acquitted of the charges against you and not have any sentence.

If you have been arrested and charged with a violent crime in Atlantic City or anywhere else in New Jersey

You may be facing charges that make you eligible for the No Early Release Act.  Defense against charges that are brought up under N.E.R.A. are complex and require a specialized, unique defense.  It is highly advisable that you seek an experienced Atlantic City criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a violent crime in New Jersey.  Joseph Lombardo formerly served as a Municipal Prosecutor and has defended clients against criminal defense charges of all kinds since 1991.  He has experience defending clients against N.E.R.A. and the specialized proceedings that a N.E.R.A. case involves.  There are defenses available, contact Mr. Lombardo today for a free, initial consultation.

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