State v. Federico, 180 Max Jail Time Allowed in Municipal Court

New Jersey Criminal Article

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State v. Federico, 180 Max Jail Time Allowed in Municipal Court

In a decision handed down this morning, July 12, 2010, the Appellate Division ruled in State v. Federico that jail terms imposed as a result of multiple traffic ticket convictions arising out of a single incident may not exceed 180 days in municipal court.

This case involved a defendant who was convicted of a third offense DWI and driving on the revoked list as a result of a prior DWI conviction. The each of these offenses requires a jail term, a mandatory 180 days on the 3rd offense DWI and 10-45 days on the driving while suspended conviction when the suspension is from a prior DWI. Obviously, the combination of the two mandatory terms exceeded 180 days of municipal court jurisdictional limit. However, the Appellate Division ruled that the maximum sentence any defendant could be sentenced was 180 days because federal constitutional law would ONLY permit a sentence exceeding 180 days following the conviction for a variety of petty offenses stemming from the same incident if there were a jury trial. However, as a matter of long-standing policy, in the absence of the offer of a jury trial, 180 days of incarceration is the maximum permitted in our state for convictions of multiple petty offenses arising from the same incident.

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