NJ Attorney Generals Guidelines for Asset Forfeiture
NJ Attorney Generals Guidelines for Asset Forfeiture
(1) Seizure of Residences
When a prosecuting agency seeks to forfeit real property in residential use, the least intrusive means that will preserve the property for forfeiture shall be employed. A notice of lis pendens or an order restraining alienation should suffice to preserve the governments interest in forfeiture pending final judicial determination of the forfeiture action. This policy recognizes that immediate dispossession from a residence may affect innocent individuals, that dispossession is not always required to preserve the property for forfeiture, and that the home is afforded special significance in American jurisprudence. In cases in which public health, safety or welfare is at risk, full seizure may be accomplished upon obtaining judicial sanction.
(2) Court Approval Required for Forfeiture of Certain Property
In all cases in which real property or in which property having a value of $10,000 or more is the subject of a forfeiture, such forfeiture action shall proceed by a complaint filed in Superior Court as authorized by N.J.S.A. 2C:64-3. This policy will ensure that a public record is established for property having significant value, when that property is subject to a forfeiture. Further, a Superior Court Judge, as a neutral judicial officer, can adjudicate claims by parties asserting an interest in the property and must sanction any final disposition of the forfeiture complaint.
(3) Forfeiture and The Underlying Criminal Offense
Forfeiture is a remedy that seeks to take unlawfully obtained proceeds of criminal activity and to take instrumentalities used to aid in criminal activities. In the case of proceeds, the limit of the forfeiture remedy is defined by the prosecuting agencys ability to prove the nexus between instrumentalities, the degree to which the instrumentality is employed in any criminal transaction or enterprise, the importance of the instrumentality to accomplishing the illegal end and the nature and seriousness of the illegal activities should all be evaluated in determining whether the forfeiture remedy should be employed to its full limit.
(4) Disposition of Forfeiture and Criminal Charges Not Dependent
It is legitimate to negotiate a forfeiture settlement when negotiating a criminal disposition. However, a reasonable disposition of possible or pending criminal charges should not be comprised to obtain a greater forfeiture of property.
|Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea|
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your drivers license for 6 months - 2 years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;
If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500