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State v. Garland

Decided: July 12, 1988.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
JANNELL GARLAND, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County.

Michels and A.m. Stein. The opinion of the court was delivered by Michels, P.J.A.D.

Michels

Defendant Jannell Garland challenges the sentences imposed as a result of her convictions for bail jumping and violation of probation entered on guilty pleas.

A brief synopsis of the procedural history giving rise to this appeal is helpful to an understanding of the decision we reach today. On November 22, 1985, following plea negotiations, defendant pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of controlled

dangerous substances, to wit, heroin, with intent to distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 24:21-19a(1). The State, for its part of the plea agreement, agreed to dismiss other criminal charges set forth in Indictment No. 85-08-1240-B. On December 22, 1985, while awaiting sentencing on the aforementioned drug charges, defendant was arrested and charged with armed robbery. Defendant was then incarcerated from December 23, 1985, until January 5, 1986. On January 6, 1986, defendant was sentenced on the drug charges contained in Indictment No. 85-08-1240-B to an 18-month probationary term, with 210 days to be served in the county jail as a condition of probation. Defendant was incarcerated on the drug charges from January 6, 1986, until April 11, 1986. However, defendant remained incarcerated on the pending armed robbery charges from April 11, 1986, until June 25, 1986, when she was released on bail.

On October 14, 1986, defendant failed to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. On November 23, 1986, defendant was incarcerated on the pending robbery charges. (Indictment No. 86-01-0044-B).

Pursuant to a plea agreement entered into on January 6, 1987, the State agreed to dismiss the charges listed in the robbery indictment (No. 86-01-0044-B) if defendant would plead guilty to bail jumping, the charge cited in an accusation (No. 87-01-0014-B) which was filed the same day. At the plea hearing, defendant admitted that she had failed to appear in court on October 14, 1986. Defendant then pleaded guilty to bail jumping, a third degree offense, and pursuant to the plea agreement, Indictment No. 86-01-0044-B was dismissed. The State also agreed at the time of the plea that defendant would have the right to argue that she was entitled to jail credit on the bail jumping sentence for time served in custody on the robbery indictment.

On February 6, 1987, defendant was sentenced on the bail jumping charge to a five-year term of imprisonment, with a one-year period of parole ineligibility. Defendant was also sentenced to a consecutive five-year term of imprisonment for

the violation of probation. Further, on other unrelated drug charges to which defendant had previously been sentenced, (Indictment No. 85-08-1312-B), the trial court vacated probation and sentenced defendant to a concurrent five-year term of imprisonment. In addition, the trial court found initially that defendant was entitled to 166 days of jail credit for time spent in custody from December 23, 1985, to January 5, 1986, and April 11, 1986, to June 25, 1986, and from November 23, 1986, to February 6, 1987. However, the trial court subsequently determined that it had erroneously awarded jail credit in the amount of 166 days. Since the bail jumping charge came into existence on January 6, 1987, the trial court concluded that defendant would receive jail credit only from January 6, 1987, until February 6, 1987, a total of 32 days. Defendant appealed.

Defendant contends that her sentences should be reduced and additional jail credits awarded or, alternatively, her sentences vacated and the matter remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the principles set forth in State v. Kovack, 91 N.J. 476, 483-484 (1982).

I.

Defendant first contends that the trial court erred in its computation of jail credits. Specifically, defendant argues that she should be awarded 166 days of jail credit consistent with the pre-sentence report, which indicates that defendant was incarcerated from December 23, 1985, to January 5, 1986, from April 11, 1986, to June 25, 1986, and from November 23, 1986, to February ...


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