On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Morris County
Conley and Peskoe. Peskoe, J.s.c. (Temporarily assigned).
In two separate proceedings in 1990 T.B. faced a variety of charges. Three complaints (FJ-14-1614-90, FJ-14-1953-90, FJ-14-1954-90) stemmed from conduct he engaged in at a party on March 3, 1990, while he was a juvenile. On September 13, 1990, after a two-day trial on those charges T.B. was adjudicated a delinquent. He was found guilty of conduct that constituted violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), aggravated assault perpetrated purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to life, a second degree offense, and of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, burglary of a telephone, a third degree offense. He was found not guilty of violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, conspiracy to commit burglary. Other charges were dismissed (N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, attempted theft) or merged into the burglary conviction (N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, criminal mischief involving pecuniary loss of less than $500, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3, criminal mischief).
The second proceeding on October 31, 1990 involved two drug-related incidents that occurred while T.B. was still a juvenile and other charges resulting from misconduct during his confinement in the Morris County Youth Center when he was already eighteen. Two complaints encompassed the drug-related charges, FJ-14-1949-90 based on a May 25, 1990 apprehension and FJ-14-1058-90 based on that of June 2, 1990. Each complaint charged T.B. with conduct that constituted violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(1), possession of a controlled substance, and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a third degree offense. The June 2 charges also included alleged violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2, resisting arrest, a fourth degree offense, and N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), simple assault, a disorderly persons offense. At what was essentially a waiver hearing, T.B. pleaded guilty to various charges including those that arose from the altercation in the Youth Center and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
Dispositions as to all charges were ordered by Judge Ahto on January 7, 1991. For the aggravated assault T.B. was sentenced to sixty days incarceration with full credit for time served; a $100 fine; restitution of $1,452.93 and a $15 Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB) penalty. For the drug-related incidents he was sentenced to concurrent indeterminate detention sentences of no more than 18 months; a Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction (D.E.D.R.) assessment of $1000; laboratory penalties of $25 for each offense; a $15 VCCB penalty for each offense; and two consecutive one-year suspensions of driving privileges. For resisting arrest he was sentenced to a $50 fine and a $15 VCCB penalty. With respect to the incident at the Youth Center he was sentenced to six days imprisonment for harassment and fifteen days for assault with full credit for time served; a $100 fine on each charge; a $15 VCCB penalty for each; and costs of $30.
Defendant filed a notice of appeal on May 21, 1991. Thereafter, on July 12, 1991 he applied for an emergency order of limited remand to reconsider the Disposition. The order was granted July 15, 1991 and a hearing was held July 17, 1991. Judge Ahto then terminated the remand order and placed defendant on probation for one year; ordered him to undergo random urinalysis and to complete his GED; and directed him to pay $100 per week toward the fines and restitution. If T.B. returned to school the payment would be reduced to $50 per week. He appeared before the Judge again on March 2, 1992 because a urinalysis showed marijuana in defendant's urine. He was then sentenced to 90 days in the Sheriff's Labor Assistance Program (SLAP), subject to conversion to jail time should he miss school, be expelled from school or fail to attend SLAP.
Defendant seeks a reversal of the conviction for aggravated assault and, with respect to the drug offenses, modification of the restitution award and elimination of consecutive driving privilege suspensions on the following grounds:
I. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE JUVENILE HAD CAUSED SERIOUS BODILY INJURY OR PURPOSELY ATTEMPTED TO CAUSE IT, THE ADJUDICATION OF DELINQUENCY OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT VIOLATED HIS RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
II. SINCE THE RESTITUTION ORDER DID NOT REFLECT THE JUVENILE'S CULPABILITY, HIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE VICTIM'S LOSSES, AND HIS ABILITY TO PAY RESTITUTION, IT VIOLATED HIS RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AND FUNDAMENTAL FAIRNESS.
III. THE IMPOSITION OF CONSECUTIVE SUSPENSIONS OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES VIOLATED N.J.S.A. 2C:35-16.
Of these grounds, only the first two were raised below. We have, however, carefully considered all three contentions and the arguments advanced by defendant in support of them and find that they are clearly without merit. R. 2:11-3(e)(2). However, further comment as to the ...