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By James Sverapa IV | November 19th, 2012 - 12:02pm
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Assembly Democrats News Release

Coughlin Bill Allowing Judges to Award Community Service Only Penalties in Lieu of Fines for Certain Crimes Advances

Measure Would Grant Courts Additional Discretion in Sentencing Individuals

(TRENTON) - Legislation Assemblyman Craig J. Coughlin sponsored to allow New Jersey courts to assign community service penalties for certain crimes in lieu of monetary fines was unanimously released Monday from the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

"Giving judges the extra flexibility to take into account an offender's financial standing before handing down a sentence that includes fines that realistically will never be repaid will save our local legal systems time and money in the long run," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "After all, time is a currency everyone values."

Under current law, a municipal judge can only order an offender to perform community service after they have failed to pay a penalty or defaulted on a payment plan. Coughlin's bill (A-3254) would allow municipal judges the discretion to award a community service penalty in lieu of a fine as an initial penalty.

To read more, please visit the New Jersey General Assembly Democratic Office Web site.

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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