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The state of New Jersey does not take violent crimes lightly. With this offense, you are more than likely facing jail or prison time, with the option for parole off the table. Read on to discover what the No Early Release Act is and how a seasoned Morristown criminal defense lawyer at Graves Andrews, LLC can help you navigate your situation.

What is the No Early Release Act in the state of New Jersey?

Unique to most states, New Jersey abides by the No Early Release Act. This act holds that an individual who has been charged and convicted of a violent crime must serve a minimum of 85 percent of their prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole. For example, if an individual is charged with a 10-year prison sentence after a violent crime, then they cannot be granted an opportunity for parole until they serve 8.5 years in prison.

Its purpose is to promote “truth in sentencing.” That is, it is meant to change the practices of New Jersey criminal judges when setting sentences and to change the practices of parole officials in granting parole. What’s more, it prevents victims from feeling cheated or frightened upon discovering that an offender was granted a release far earlier than the sentence a judge imposed.

What violent crimes do not qualify for early release?

Notably, New Jersey’s No Early Release Act applies to a subset of first-degree and second-degree violent crimes, and not any third-degree or fourth-degree crimes. Examples of such include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Murder.
  • Manslaughter.
  • Aggravated manslaughter.
  • Aggravated assault.
  • Aggravated sexual assault.
  • Aggravated arson.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Roberry.
  • Burglary.
  • Carjacking.
  • Extortion.
  • Terrorism.
  • Disarming a law enforcement officer.

In addition, it must be said that even any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above crimes will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act. In addition, this act usually supersedes any mandatory minimum sentence that applies to any of the above crimes.

What should I do if I do not qualify for early release?

If you are facing a violent crime charge or conviction with no opportunity for early release, you must immediately retain legal representation from a competent Morristown criminal defense lawyer. Or, if you believe that you are eligible for early release but it is not being offered to you, you must similarly retain our legal services.

The legal team at Graves Andrews, LLC is ready and willing to explore all avenues on your behalf. We will do everything in our power to fight for your parole. So, at your earliest possible convenience, pick up the phone and call to schedule your initial consultation with us. We look forward to hearing from you.