The ACLU-NJ submitted a friend-of-the-court brief challenging a probation revocation process that resulted in a sentence longer than that which is authorized by statute. The defendant was sentenced to a five-year probation term after pleading guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance. He was found to have violated his probation after serving one year, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison (i.e., the 5-year maximum for his original crime of selling drugs) without regard for the time already served on probation.
Additionally, the ACLU-NJ generally challenged the probation revocation process because it allows hearsay and denies important due process protections in a hearing that can result in significant prison time.
This case was argued on November 29, 2017. On March 6, 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the defendant’s due process rights had been violated because the State submitted insufficient proof that he had committed the new crime.