Appellate Court Of New Jersey Affirmed the Trial Court’s Ruling That Denied the Defendant’s Motion to Reduce His Sentence

State of New Jersey v. William Dunbar

Docket No. A-1555-20                                                                                                                Decided September 19, 2022

Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Court of New Jersey affirmed the trial court’s ruling that denied the defendant’s motion to reduce his sentence.

In this case, the defendant went to a concert and drank alcohol there. He got a ride home from the concert but later got in his car, drove and struck the victim’s car. The force of the impact pushed the victim’s vehicle into a utility pole and the victim was killed as a result. The defendant’s blood alcohol was .118 percent and the electronic data recorder in his car showed he was going 100 mph five seconds before the collision.

The defendant entered an “open plea” to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and the State recommended the court impose a ten-year sentence. The defendant told the probation officer completing the pre-sentence report that at the time of the accident he was upset over the ending of a long-term relationship, and did not want to live but did not intend to harm anyone else. The trial court found the aggravating factors and mitigating factors were in equipoise. Therefore, the Judge denied defendant’s request to be sentenced as if it were a second-degree offense and imposed a ten year prison sentence.

The defendant subsequently appealed and argued that the plea bargain lacked “fairness” because he reasonably expected to be sentenced to less than ten years, the finding of aggravating factor one was double counting and court should apply the youth mitigating factor. As stated previously, the Appellate Court did not agree with the defendant’s position, and ultimately affirmed the trial court’s ruling for the reasons expressed by trial judge at sentencing.

At Hark & Hark, we are experienced attorneys who represent clients for appeals in Superior Court for issues like the previously discussed case pertaining to the reduction of a sentence based on a trial court’s misapplication of the relevant law. Although that was not the case in this specific scenario, the issue remains the same. We work hard to ensure that our clients receive exceptional representation in order for them to receive the most favorable outcome in their case as a result.

We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing a similar situation to that of either party in this case, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County and any town including Audubon, Gloucester City, Oaklyn, Audubon Park, Gloucester Township, Pennsauken, Barrington, Haddon Heights, Pine Hill, Bellmawr, Haddon Township, Pine Valley, Berlin Borough, Haddonfield, Runnemede, Berlin Township, Hi-Nella, Somerdale, Brooklawn, Laurel Springs, Stratford, Camden, Lawnside, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Lindenwold, Waterford, Chesilhurst, Magnolia, Winslow, Clementon, Merchantville, Woodlynne, Collingswood, Mt. Ephraim, and Gibbsboro.



Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

Leave a Comment