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Reducing or Changing a Sentence Imposed in Municipal Court

December 16, 2013

If you are still serving a sentence imposed by a Municipal Court in New Jersey, it may be possible to have that sentenced reduced.  Rule 7:9-4, entitled “Reduction of Change of Sentence,” gives a defendant the opportunity to reduce or change a sentence previously imposed by a Municipal Court.

The law office Randolph H. Wolf, for example, has filed motions for a reduction or change of sentence in a case where a DWI defendant received an excessive sentence, where they subsequently improve their life by attending outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation as well as Alcoholics Anonymous, and where they have since remained sober for almost ten years.  In another case in which the law office of Randolph H. Wolf filed such a motion, the defendant was convicted of numerous motor vehicle violations for driving while suspended, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-40.  As a result of the numerous orders of suspension imposed by the courts, none of which were run concurrently (or together), the defendant’s license was suspended for well over a decade.  These defendants stand an excellent change of having their sentence reduced due to their circumstances.   

Pursuant to Rule 7:9-4, the court, in its discretion, may reduce or change a sentence previously imposed.  In order to do so, however, the court must retain jurisdiction over the matter.  If you have not appealed the municipal court’s ruling and you are still serving the term of suspension imposed, the court will have jurisdiction over your case.  Changes of a sentence must be made in open court upon notice to the prosecutor.  An appropriate order setting forth he revised sentence and specifying the reasons for the change or reduction must be entered on the record.

This useful rule allows the defendant an opportunity to reduce any driver’s license suspension or revocation time.  For example, if you have been involved in an accident as a result of driving while intoxicated and were sentenced to a one year loss of license as a first-time offender, Rule 7:9-4 allows you the opportunity to file a motion to reduce your sentence.  If you have since completed alcohol rehabilitation and paid restitution, then you could have an excellent chance at getting your sentence reduced.

Some offenses carry minimum terms of suspension, if convicted.  In these cases, the municipal court will not have the authority to change or reduce your suspension time.  If, however, the offense you were convicted of does not carry a minimum sentence or if you were sentenced over and above the minimum sentence, you may be able to have your sentence reduced.

If you are interested in determining whether or not such a motion is possible, contact the law office of Randolph H. Wolf today for a free consultation.  We will review the facts of your case to determine whether or not such a motion could be successful.

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