As many New Jersey criminal defense lawyers will tell you, individuals accused of nonviolent drug crimes would benefit more from treatment for their addiction than prison time. Gov. Chris Christie seems to agree. The governor this month announced proposals under which most persons convicted of nonviolent drug crimes in New Jersey would complete a treatment program and avoid a jail sentence.
The governor's intentions in ordering treatment for nonviolent drug offenders is to free up prison space for persons convicted of more serious crimes. Most importantly, New Jersey criminal defense lawyers believe that requiring treatment rather than jail time will help drug offenders break the vicious cycle of addiction and help reduce recidivism rates.
Under the governor’s proposal, persons charged with nonviolent drug crimes will be required to undergo an assessment to help identify if they have a dependence problem and need treatment. Currently, New Jersey offers voluntary treatment programs for nonviolent drug offenders who plead guilty. However, if New Jersey does institute mandatory treatment programs, it would be the first state in the country to force drug offenders to do so.
The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI, drug crimes, sex crimes, assault, murder and other crimes across New Jersey.