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(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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"When you're asked to cast a vote on a bill and it seems innocuous, and it's got a hidden land mine that perhaps only an expert would see, it would sort of behoove those experts to tell us in advance rather than make us look, shall we say, a little bit indecisive later on." - Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25).- NJTV
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