The ACLU-NJ filed a friend of the court brief at the trial court contending that New Jersey’s probation revocation process results in defendants receiving sentences beyond the statutory minimum permitted by the jury's verdict, thereby violating the Sixth Amendment. In this case, Hawkins plead to an offense that authorized a maximum 10-year sentence. Hawkins received drug court probation. After serving almost 5 years on probation, the judge made findings of fact (based on a preponderance of the evidence standard) and found that Hawkins violated probation. The judge then sentenced Hawkins to 8 years in prison. Therefore, based on a finding of fact by a judge rather than a jury, the court imposed what now amounts in aggregate to a 13-year sentence.
The trial court ruled against Mosley and the case is currently pending before the Appellate Division.