In New Jersey, crimes may be categorized as petty disorderly person offenses, disorderly person offenses, and indictable crimes. These can also be referred to as infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. The charges that the accused will face depend on which category the crime falls under. Infractions include incidences like traffic stops when the police officer gives the offender a ticket and are considered the least serious. If the ticket is either paid or resolved in court, there is usually no associated jail time. Minor drug charges may also be considered infractions.
Misdemeanors are more complicated and serious, and can result in higher fines and jail time. The most severe offenses are considered as crimes with harsher penalties. Felonies normally lead to prison sentences of one year or more and include violent crimes such as aggravated assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, murder, and rape. Punishment varies and depends upon the severity of the crime committed. The consequences can also be more severe for individuals that are on probation and repeat offenders.
Misdemeanors include non-violent crimes such as mild domestic disputes, certain traffic offenses, and petty crimes. Sentences vary depending on the circumstances and can range from fines with no jail time to a sentence of imprisonment up to six months. Incarceration can be served in a county jail rather than a high security prison. Probation is also an option. These may or may not be classified as crimes in New Jersey, and trial by jury is not required. These cases are held in municipal courts and are less serious than felonies.
When an individual is charged with a felony, a grand jury reviews the case to seek evidence for a formal charge that will require the defendant to stand trial. There are four degrees for felonies, or indictable crimes, and they are categorized by degree of severity and penalties, which run from first through fourth. Murder, manslaughter, and rape are all crimes of the first degree. Robbery is considered second degree but can be classified as first degree if an attempted murder was committed during the act. Other second degree felonies include arson, burglary, drug crimes, kidnapping, and sex crimes.
Crimes of the third degree include arson, certain DUI offenses, possession of controlled substances, and less serious robbery charges. Some of these may fall into the fourth degree category, which also includes forgery and stalking. These cases are held in Superior Court and may incur imprisonment that lasts longer than six months.
Being charged with a crime is frightening, especially for someone who has never been arrested before. Depending on the crime, your record and reputation can be damaged, and you may have a hard time finding a job or securing other opportunities. If you have been charged with a violent or non-violent crime, contact a highly skilled Cherry Hill criminal defense lawyer at Gigliotti Law Group for a free consultation today. Our experienced defense lawyers will fight for your rights. Call us at 844-742-7591 or contact us online. With an office located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly represent clients from the surrounding areas.