Assemblywoman BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN
District 15 (Mercer)
Requires procedures for plea bargaining by mail for certain motor vehicle violations.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning plea bargains for certain violations and amending P.L.2000, c.75.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.2000, c. 75 (C.2B:25-11) is amended to read as follows:
2. a. In accordance with the Rules of Court adopted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, a municipal prosecutor may recommend to the court to accept a plea to a lesser or other offense.
b. A municipal prosecutor shall adopt and implement procedures to facilitate plea bargaining by mail with defendants in cases involving violation of motor vehicle and traffic laws. The procedures adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be applicable when a defendant who is permitted to plead guilty by mail indicates in writing that he does not intend to plead guilty. Such written indication of the defendant’s intent shall be received by the municipal prosecutor within a specified period to be determined in accordance with the Rules of Court adopted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
(cf: P.L.2000, c.75, s.2)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would require municipal prosecutors to adopt procedures that would facilitate plea bargaining by mail in cases involving violations of motor vehicle and traffic laws. The procedures adopted by the municipal prosecutor would apply in cases where a defendant who is permitted to plead guilty by mail, indicates within a certain period that he does not intend to plead guilty. Under current law, the motor vehicle offenses for which a defendant may plead guilty by mail do not include offenses involving driving while intoxicated, reckless driving or offenses which result in personal injury.
The bill would promote efficiency by allowing prosecutors and defendants to enter into plea agreements without requiring defendants to appear in person for time consuming negotiations with prosecutors.