Degrees of Crime in New Jersey

In the State of New Jersey, crimes are either categorized as indictable offenses, disorderly persons offenses, or petty disorderly persons offenses. The commonly known terms of felony and misdemeanor are not used for classification purposes. However, indictable offenses are commonly compared to felonies while the remaining classifications are commonly compared to misdemeanors.

Indictable crimes are the most serious of criminal charges in New Jersey. These crimes are classified by degrees. The most serious indictable offenses are first-degree crimes while the least serious are fourth-degree crimes.

Some examples of the crimes included in the four different degrees include the following:

  • First-degree crimes: murder and rape
  • Second-degree crimes: kidnapping, drug crimes, white collar crimes, and sex crimes
  • Third-degree crimes: possession of controlled substances and arson
  • Fourth-degree crimes: stalking, forgery, and robbery cases

Range of Punishments

The State of New Jersey has developed a range of punishments to be applied to indictable crimes. The range of punishment is codified in New Jersey’s sentencing statute. Moreover, the ranges of punishment differ between degrees. While a judge in a criminal case will determine the appropriate punishment, he or she will impose the punishment based on the range of punishment found in the New Jersey sentencing statute.

Punishments for crimes of different degrees include the following:

  • First-Degree Crimes can result in lengthy sentences including life in prison such as in murder cases. The court can also impose fines up to $200,000.
  • Second-Degree Crimes may result in a sentence of 5 to 10 years. The court may assess fines up to $150,000.
  • Third-Degree Crimes convictions may result in a prison sentence between 3 and 5 years. Convictions may result in fines of up to $15,000.
  • Fourth-Degree Crimes under New Jersey sentencing statutes, can result in imprisonment for up to 18 months. Fines can be as high as $10,000.

Being charged with an indictable offense can be life-changing. Convictions can lead to difficulties in obtaining employment, renting an apartment, or even exercise basic rights. It is important for criminal defendants to understand the impact that charges of indictable offenses. Quality legal counsel can make a difference in an individual’s opportunity to develop a sound legal strategy, to avoid a conviction, or possibly to reach a plea agreement for lesser charges.

Call 856-795-9688 today for a free consultation.

You have the right to legal counsel if you are charged with a crime. Consulting a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can be instrumental in a defendant’s case. Robert E. DePersia, II’s experience in criminal defense can help you develop a strong legal strategy if you are charged with a crime in the State of New Jersey. A strong legal strategy can allow for the most positive outcome in a defendant’s case. If you are charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Robert E. DePersia, II by calling (856) 795-9688 and schedule your consultation today.