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State v. Jones

New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division

Decided: April 30, 1982.


Stern, J.s.c.


[184 NJSuper Page 627] Defendant applies for "jail credits" to reduce custodial time remaining on the sentence imposed as a result of his plea of guilty to aggravated assault as charged in the amended first count of Indictment 150-81. His plea of guilty was the product of a plea agreement whereby the charges embodied in Indictments 774-79 and 1815-80 and complaint WG31637 were dismissed. The dismissed charges resulted from an arrest on October 1, 1979, for which defendant posted cash bail and was released on October 4, 1979. The assault for which defendant

[184 NJSuper Page 628]

entered the plea occurred on March 30, 1980. He posted bail thereon on April 1, 1980.

On April 25, 1980 defendant failed to appear for arraignment on Indictment 774-79, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. On August 12, 1980 defendant was arrested in Los Angeles, California. He was extradited to Hudson County on August 22, 1980. This extradition was based solely on the charges embodied in the warrant issued as a result of defendant's nonappearance of April 25, 1980. On January 21, 1981 a parole detainer was filed against defendant, and on July 8, 1981 he was declared to be in violation of his parole. Defendant was returned to the Youth Correctional Institution Complex at Yardville, and after serving time as a result of the violation, he was returned to the Hudson County Jail on October 29, 1981. The next day, on October 30, 1981, defendant posted new bail on Indictment 774-79, Superceding Indictment 1815-80 and the complaint, and was released thereon.

Defendant seeks credits for time spent awaiting extradition and while in the Hudson County Jail both before and after his parole was revoked. However, as indicated above, defendant pled guilty with respect to count one of Indictment 150-81, which embodied offenses occurring on March 30, 1980, for which defendant posted bail and was released on April 1, 1980. Indictment 150-81 was not returned until November 11, 1981. There were no proceedings as a result of that offense for which defendant failed to appear. In fact, following his release on October 30, 1981 defendant remained out of custody until the time of his sentencing following the plea to Indictment 150-81.

The issue is not whether defendant's bail on the charges embodied in Indictment 150-81 could have been revoked because of his nonappearance and extradition on other charges. There is nothing in the record indicating that defendant was charged with any new offense following his release on bail in April, 1980. The fact is that his bail on the offenses embodied in Indictment 150-81 was never revoked because he never failed to appear with respect to those charges.

[184 NJSuper Page 629]

While R. 3:21-8 speaks in terms of credit for time spent in custody between arrest and sentencing, it is clear that the confinement must be "directly attributable" to the particular offense for which the credits apply. In other words, the credits apply only to the particular offense or offenses for which there was confinement or detention. See, e.g., State v. Allen, 155 N.J. Super. 582, 584-585 (App.Div.1978), certif. den. 77 N.J. 472 (1978); State v. Council, 137 N.J. Super. 306 (App.Div.1975); State v. Beatty, 128 N.J. Super. 488 (App.Div.1974).*fn1 These precedents do not deal with more than one case pending in the same county or with simultaneous disposition of various charges. But cf. State v. Beatty, supra. Nevertheless, defendant is not entitled to credit against the sentence on Indictment 150-81 because his bail was not revoked and no warrant or detainer prevented his release with respect to those charges.*fn2 See also State v. Marnin, 108 N.J. Super. 442 (App.Div.1970).

While credits may be an appropriate consideration at the time of plea negotiations regarding disposition of multiple charges, no issue is raised or projected regarding the knowing and voluntary nature of the guilty plea in this case. Compare State v. Taylor, 80 N.J. 353 (1979); State v. Smith, 109 N.J. Super. 9 (App.Div.1970) dealing with maximum exposure.

The application is denied. However, credit is permitted for the three days defendant spent in custody between March 30, 1980 and April 1, 1980, after defendant's arrest on the charge to which the plea was entered.

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