Brimage Sentencing Guidelines

The Moriarty Law Firm represents individuals facing any type of drug charge.  If you have been charged with marijuana possession, cocaine distribution, possession of drug paraphernalia, and other drug related offenses throughout New Jersey including in Eatontown, Aberdeen, Neptune, and Long Branch, call us anytime to discuss your pending case for free at (732)842-7773.

Brimage Sentencing Guidelines in NJ: State v. Brimage

The New Jersey Supreme Court, in State v. Brimage, 153 N.J. 1 (1998), instructed the New Jersey Attorney General to promulgate guidelines for use by county prosecutors to ensure statewide uniformity in tendering plea offers pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-12 that waive or reduce an otherwise mandatory term of imprisonment and parole ineligibility imposed for the conviction of certain drug offenses. Typically the Brimage sentencing guidelines apply in certain situations including:

  • A second (or more) drug distribution charge
  • A repeat drug offender
  • Street gang related activity
  • Distribution to a minor or pregnant female
  • School zone drug offenses

Essentially, the Brimage sentencing guidelines significantly limit the prosecutor’s discretion in offering plea agreements. In Brimage cases where the defendant would typically receive a plea offer with limited or no jail time, the defendant now, if charged with a second drug distribution or other Brimage-eligible-offense, is looking at significant mandatory jail time and a period of parole ineligibility. Thus, if you are facing a Brimage charge, it is critical that you engage an experienced attorney who can work around the Brimage implications of a drug case. Our lawyers may be able to challenge the drug charges based on an illegal search or invalid traffic stop. There are also ways to get the “Brimage number” reduced within the Brimage framework.  Other avenues to explore include Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) and Drug Court in order to avoid a prison sentence. to discuss your drug case, call us at (732)842-7773 for a free consultation.

We Handle All Levels of Drug Charges

Whether your case is being handled in the Municipal Court or Superior Court, we can help. More serious cases are handled in Superior Court, where penalties can involve years in prison. Also, drug charges involving inter-state conspiracy or trafficking across state lines may be handled in Federal Court.

The courts generally consider two factors in determining how serious a drug charge is — the type of drug and the amount of the drug. The amount of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) involved will determine whether you are charged with simple possession, intent to distribute, distribution or trafficking. In addition, certain drugs, like meth, heroin and crack, can carry serious penalties, while other drugs such as marijuana may have lighter penalties depending on the quantity.

Call 732-842-7773 to speak with one of the Moriartys 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your charges or you can contact us by e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation.