85% Rule applies in May’s Landing Sexual Assault Conviction

When a person is convicted of a sex crime in New Jersey, they may be subjected to the No Early Release Act (NERA) or 85% Rule.  Under this rule, any person convicted of a sex crime must serve 85% of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.  It does not matter whether the sex crime involved a child or an adult.  As long as the individual has been convicted of a sex crime, he may be subjected to this rule.  For an example of how the rule works, consider a recent sexual assault case in New Jersey in which a man was sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual assaulting a 6-year-old boy in an Atlantic City arcade.  Sexual Assault is a second-degree crime which means it carries a 5 to 10 year prison sentence.  The man was sentenced to 8 years in prison.  85% of 8 years is 6.8 years.  Therefore, the man must serve 6.8 years of his 8 year sentence before becoming eligible for parole.  Eligibility does not mean parole will be granted, it only means that the person may request parole at the parole hearing.