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Non-violent drug offenders facing mandatory minimum sentences who are presently incarcerated in New Jersey may have a way home. In November 2019, the New Jersey Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission unanimously recommended eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes. In addition to this, they suggested modifying the sentences of those currently incarcerated on account of mandatory minimum terms. As of April 2021, this recommendation has been partially implemented. Read on to learn more.

What to Know About  AG Directive 2021-4

Last month, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal passed AG Directive 2021-4. This directive ordered all New Jersey state, county, and municipal prosecutors to waive mandatory minimum prison terms for six non-violent drug crimes. According to the directive, these six crimes are as follows:

  • Leader of narcotics trafficking network
  • Maintaining or operating a facility producing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS)
  • Manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a CDS
  • Employing a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme
  • Distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to distribute CDS within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Distribution of CDS to persons under 18-years-old

What Does This Mean for Individuals Facing Charges or Currently Incarcerated?

The directive states, “This Directive therefore establishes statewide rules that require prosecutors to seek the waiver of mandatory parole disqualifiers for non-violent drug crimes during plea negotiations, following a probation violation, and after conviction at trial. Where the defendant makes a request, prosecutors will also be required to file a joint application to modify the sentences of inmates currently incarcerated.” For more information, reach out to our firm today.

If you are facing charges for a drug crime in New Jersey, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact our firm today to speak with a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney.


Here at McNerney & McAuliffe, we understand how confusing certain legal matters can be, which is why we are here to provide clients from all walks of life with the experienced, compassionate legal guidance they need. If you require the legal assistance of an attorney to help you through a criminal law matter, personal injury matter, family law matter, or otherwise, you can turn to us. Contact McNerney & McAuliffe today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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