Terry Law Group, LLC provides zealous defense to individuals eligible for an extended term as a repeat drug offender. Call us today!!!
Individuals convicted of certain CDS offenses are subject to an extended term if previously convicted of a designated CDS offense. An extended term enhances the penalty for a specific crime. So for instance, a third-degree crime is treated as a second-degree for sentencing purposes and a second-degree crime is treated as a first-degree.
N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-6(f) deals with extended terms for repeat drug offenders. N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-6(f) provides:
A person convicted of manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute any dangerous substance or controlled substance analog under N.J.S.2C:35-5, of maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility under N.J.S.2C:35-4, of employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme under N.J.S.2C:35-6, leader of a narcotics trafficking network under N.J.S.2C:35-3, or of distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute on or near school property or buses under section 1 of P.L.1987, c. 101 (C.2C:35-7), who has been previously convicted of manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, shall upon application of the prosecuting attorney be sentenced by the court to an extended term as authorized by subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:43-7, notwithstanding that extended terms are ordinarily discretionary with the court.
N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(f) permits a prosecutor to seek an extended term for repeat drug offenders. State v. Lagares, 127 N.J. 20, 23 (1992). However, a prosecutor does not have “unilateral discretion to select, without being subject to judicial review and without standards, which defendants will be subject to an extended term.” State v. Fowlkes, 169 N.J. 387, 392 (2001); See also State v. Vasquez, 129 N.J. 189 (1992); State v. Shaw, 132 N.J. 1 (1993); State v. Brimage, 153 N.J. 1 (1998). According to State v. Dunbar, 108 N.J. 80, 89 (1987), “Practical application of the Code’s extended sentencing scheme . . . involves a multi-step process.” The Court in State v. Dunbar, 108 N.J. 80, 89 (1987) went on to state:
First, the sentencing court must determine whether the minimum statutory predicates for subjecting the defendant to an extended term have been met. Second, the court must determine whether to impose an extended sentence. Third, it must weigh the aggravating and mitigating circumstances to determine the base term of the extended sentence. Finally, it must determine whether to impose a period of parole ineligibility.
“The standard for determining whether to impose an extended sentence upon an eligible defendant is whether it is necessary for the protection of the public from future offenses by defendant through deterrence.” State v. Pennington, 154 N.J. 344, 354 (1998) (citing State v. Dunbar, supra, 108 N.J. at 90-91; State v. Cook, 330 N.J. Super. 395, 421 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 165 N.J. 486, (2000). According to State v. Pierce, 188 N.J. 155, 167 (2006), “[T]he specific judicial finding of ‘necessity to protect the public’ . . . involves an evaluation of the “’entire person of the defendant before the sentencing court.’” Id. (quoting State v. Dunbar, supra, 108 N.J. at 91. The trial court should consider the seriousness of a defendant’s past criminal involvement. State v. Pennington, supra, 154 N.J. at 355. In fact, according to State v. Dunbar, 108 N.J. at 91, “‘Serious, harmful and calculated offenses typically call for deterrence.’” Id. (quoting State in the Interest of C.A.H. and B.A.R., 89 N.J. 326, 337 n. 2 (1982)).