State v. Harris

In State v. Harris, the New Jersey Appellate Division was asked to determine which “track” a drug-court applicant fell into. Track One applicants are those who are facing the presumption of imprisonment set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1(d) or a mandatory term of parole ineligibility. Those applicants must meet all the prerequisites for special probation outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14. Track Two applicants do not base their eligibility on satisfying the nine specified prerequisites for drug court enumerated in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14. Rather, eligibility via Track Two is governed by the Drug Court Manual. The Appellate Division ruled that an applicant is amenable to Track One if they are facing the presumption of imprisonment or a mandatory term of parole ineligibility for the present conviction for which they are to be sentenced. A defendant is not a Track One applicant if they have previously been convicted of a crime that carries a presumption of imprisonment or parole ineligibility or have actually previously served such a sentence.