New JerseyNew Jersey



Competency/ Insanity 


The court decides competency to proceed; if the parties have already filed reports on the issue, it may base it’s decision on those; if not it must order a hearing; there is a presumption that charges against a defendant who is not competent to proceed shall be held in abeyance until competence is restored. The presumption can be overcome only if the court determines, using a variety of factors, that continuing the prosecution under the circumstances of the case would constitute a constitutionally significant injury to the defendant attributable to undue delay in being brought to trial. N.J.S.A. 2C:4-6. 


Special Rules

Law enforcement training: all police officers must undergo training on the risks associated with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and appropriate recognition and response techniques.  N.J.S.A. 52:17B-71.9


Juveniles: in determining appropriate disposition, the court must consder the developmental and intellectual needs of the child. N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43


Juveniles: developmentally disabled juveniles should not be incarcerated. N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-44

Harsher sentence if the defendant knew or should have known about the victim’s disability; a sentence can be lowered “in the interest of justice.”  N.J.S.A. 2C:44-1

Death Penalty 

New Jersey does not have the death penalty.