Under existing law, if a person is sentenced by a municipal court to pay a monetary penalty and that person defaults on the payment, the court may order the person to perform community service pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A.2B:12-23.
This new law as amended would supplement that provision of the law by allowing a municipal court to permit a person to pay in installments; grant a credit for jail time against the penalty; have the penalty suspended or revoked or order the performance of community service in lieu of payment of the penalty; or impose any other alternative authorized by law.
Under the provisions of the new law, if a person does not have the ability to pay on the day of the hearing, the court may order payment by installments. If the person defaults on an installment, the court may: (1) reduce or suspend the penalty or modify the installment plan, (2) order that credit be given against the amount owed for each day of confinement, if the court finds that the person has served jail time for the default; (3) revoke or suspend any unpaid portion of the penalty, if the court finds that the circumstances that warranted it have changed or that it would be unjust to require payment; (4) order the person to perform community service in lieu of payment of the penalty; or (5) impose any other alternative permitted by law in lieu paying the penalty. Restitution, surcharges for unsafe driving pursuant to subsection f. of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2), and assessments that are not statutorily mandated are excluded from the definition of penalty.