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New Jersey Parole, Probation, Halfway House, Community Service, etc. All information & questions relating to parole, probation, halfway house, community service, electronic monitoring, etc. in New Jersey should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2006, 09:00 PM
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Unhappy Max Date Moved from 2010 to 2018 ...

I posted earlier about a mandatory minimum/gap time question but didn't get a response. I know it is probably a not-so-commonly encountered situation (gap time). Here the story ...

My fiance was convicted of a crime that happened years and years ago. In between he has served several bids for which he gets credit (gap time credit) toward this new 30-year sentence he is currently serving. His gap time credits are 25 years, so at first his max date was 2010 (30 years - 25 years' gap time), with a 2008 parole date.

They have recently changed his max date, and haven't told him yet - I saw it online - to 2018 with a parole date of 2018. He had a mandatory 15 years with 2 years' jail time credit, which they apparently didn't consider initially because of the 25 year's gap time.

We got a letter from the NJ DOC dated 12/23/05 stating his max date was still 2010 ... but online says 2018 (recently changed last week). Who changes these dates?

Here's the problem ... since he initially thought his max date was 2010 he didn't appeal his sentence, as he figured he might not have a good chance (although he passed a lie detector a week after the crime occurred years ago - which isn't admissible, of course). Now he has missed the 45 days he has to appeal after the sentencing date.

Has anyone ever been through anything similar with max dates being changed so drastically, not being told that a max date was changed or why, and options available if an appeal window is missed?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:36 PM
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Oh boy, I have a feeling this may have something to do with the fact that your boyfriend got a 30 year flat sentence where there is no good time, work credits and maybe no gap time, either. Am I right that the sentence is a 30 yr. flat sentence? In the meantime I'll do some checking!
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:57 PM
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Thanks for answering ... he was sentenced to 30 years with a 15 year mandatory. I'm not sure what flat means to be honest. During the sentencing the judge spelled out his gap time credit (which was 13 years) and jail credit (2 years). Later, after sentencing and not mentioned in sentencing, we found out he also had 9 years' commutation credit.

It's so confusing because when he was at CRAF it appeared that the mandatory didn't even play into the calculations with a max date of 2010 and parole of 2008. Online his dates reflected 2010 max, 2008 parole. Now he's at NSP and his dates have been changed to reflect the mandatory 15 years plus 2 years' jail credit, no gap/commutation credit apparently given.

We had issues with his dates earlier on, even with the 2010 date, so we contacted Classification and the DOC in Trenton. DOC in Trenton sent him a letter dated 12/23/05 stating his max date was still 2010. A week or 2 later his dates online changed to 2018. Who changes the dates, Classification at NSP or DOC?

He hasn't been told any of this yet (at least as of Thursday night). Anyway, I am so upset I can hardly think straight, so if you need more info please let me know ... and thanks again for your help.
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:06 PM
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I am pretty sure that the only credit he can use on a 15-30(with a 15 mandatory) is the 2 year jail credit. So he would still have to serve 13 years before parole.
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:26 PM
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While I was looking for something else today I found this Parole Board Reference Guide Book on their website. If you go to: http://www.state.nj.us/parole/ and click on "documents". When you get to the documents page click on "Reference Guide". You will need to have the free program, Adobe Reader, installed on your computer in order to read this file [and most other files from this website]. The PB website will link you to Adobe if you don't already have this program.

Anyway, this 40 page manual provides all the various ways a PED is calculated with the use of explanations, charts and case examples. It also includes a helpful glossary. Of note [page 40] the glossary defines gap time as:
Gap time credit is credit awarded pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-5(b)2. It is the time served from the first date of sentence to the date one day before the subsequent date of sentence. The sentence imposed on the subsequent date of sentence must constitute the disposition on an offense which was committed prior to the first date of sentence.

Here is some basic info. about gap time that I believe impact's your boyfriend's PED [page 17]; I think the fourth paragraph may clarify your boyfriend's current situation!

1. A judge sentencing a defendant to imprisonment must: (1) determine whether the defendant had previously been sentenced to imprisonment for any other offense; if so, (2) determine whether the offense for which defendant is now being sentenced predates the imposition of the previous custodial sentence(s); if so, (3) state whether the term of imprisonment now being imposed for that offense is to run concurrently with or consecutive to the previous term; (4) aggregate the present sentence with the previous sentence; and (5) credit the defendant with time served in imprisonment under the previous sentence. State v. Lawlor, 222 N.J. Super. 241 (App. Div. 1988).

2. Gap time credit does not apply if the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced was committed while in custody serving a sentence. N.J.S.A. 2C:44-5(b).

3. Whether sentences are imposed concurrently or consecutively, gap time credit is applied to reduce the total aggregate sentence prior to calculating a primary parole eligibility date. Booker v. New Jersey State Parole Board, 136 N.J. 257 (1994); Mitnaul v. New Jersey State Parole Board, 280 N.J. Super. 164 (App. Div. 1995) (indeterminate terms).

4. Gap time credit is deducted from the aggregate sentence, not from the front end of the sentence (parole eligibility term), and, therefore, gap time will not reduce a parole ineligibility term. Richardson v. Nickolopoulos, 110 N.J. 241 (1988); Booker v. New Jersey State Parole Board, 136 N.J. 257 (1994).

These are some important and landmark cases that are cited in the above statements. I believe you can get most of these online.

The manual also provides some contact names and phone numbers:
Parole Eligibility/Credit Matters:
Douglas D. Chiesa, Esquire-Executive Assistant- 609-633-7718

However, DOC Classification is typically the dept. that calculates time--you may have to start there. Call the prison where your boyfriend is located, ask for Classification and then ask for the person who is handling your boyfriend's classification [there may be a name on his classification form].

This situation sounds pretty messy and complicated to me--someone screwed up, either on the front end [judge and his staff] or the backend [classification]. You and/or your boyfriend may need to get back to his lawyer if it looks like the judge messed up. You will also need to get [if it's not in hand already] his judgement of conviction and any other court documents he signed; if he or his lawyer [or you] don't have them, you will need to call the county [of conviction] courthouse to find out the steps to get the judgement [it's public record but some counties make you jump all kinds of hoops to get the document].

Feel free to PM me if I can be of further help!
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Old 01-22-2006, 03:41 PM
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So if I'm reading this right, in NJ gap time is credited to the back end of the sentence which in this case would be after the 15th year (between 16-30) . So he would have to do his 15 (- his 2 year jail credit)than he will become eligble for parole and his gap time will be credited than???

Either way he has a 15 mandatory, he has to serve that first. No credit will be awarded on a mandatory sentence.

I could be very wrong but that is how I read it to mean. I went to the site that egs posted.
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Old 01-24-2006, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riri
So if I'm reading this right, in NJ gap time is credited to the back end of the sentence which in this case would be after the 15th year (between 16-30) . So he would have to do his 15 (- his 2 year jail credit)than he will become eligble for parole and his gap time will be credited than???

Either way he has a 15 mandatory, he has to serve that first. No credit will be awarded on a mandatory sentence.

I could be very wrong but that is how I read it to mean. I went to the site that egs posted.
Riri--You didn't read it wrong--that is correct. No credit is awarded on a mandatory sentence. It is a very touchy issue in NJ.
It also is either a 30 flat or a 30 with a mandatory minimum of 15 years--it can't be both. If he is doing a 30 flat, then he is doing 30 years. If he has a 15 year mandatory minimum, then he'd do the 15 years and then be considered for parole.
As for the JOC, all he needs to do is ask for a copy of it from the judge's clerk who sentenced him. They will mail it to him. He should be able to get it from NSP if he requests it. You can call the judge's clerk and ask her to mail you a copy as long as you have the docket number. Depending on the county, they mail it out that day.
If you need help acquiring it, please PM me and I will obtain it for you.
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:25 PM
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Thanks for all the help, it's very much appreciated. Although the DOC website is showing a max date of 2018, he just sent me a Classifications calculation sheet (per his request) dated 1/11/06 showing a max date of 2010, so I don't know what is going on. I guess they could have delved further and changed it between then and now, but haven't let him know yet. I'll just prepare for the worst ...
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