Felony vs. Misdemeanor Laws in New Jersey
No matter the type of crime that you have been accused of, it is imperative to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney immediately. The laws that determine whether you’ll be looking at felony or misdemeanor charges depend on the severity of the crime and two general classes outline the different types of categories in New Jersey; these are misdemeanors and felonies. New Jersey felony laws outline that any felony offense is an indictable one. New Jersey is unique from other states in the way they classify less severe and more serious criminal charges.
While every other state uses the term felony, the terms are different in New Jersey. An indictable offense is a felony whereas a disorderly person crime is a misdemeanor. New Jersey categorizes felonies by degrees and there are four primary types of felony charges in New Jersey; the least serious is for fourth-degree allegations and the most serious are first degree allegations.
First-degree crimes in New Jersey include manslaughter, rape, and murder, whereas fourth-degree crimes include DUI offenses and forgery. The penalties are dependent on the degree of classification but you could be facing time in prison and high fines. Misdemeanor crimes are instead referred to as disorderly person crimes in New Jersey, and these can range in severity.
There are two classifications for misdemeanor crimes in New Jersey; petty disorderly person offenses and disorderly person offenses. While it is not as common to spend time in jail for misdemeanor offenses, it is still possible. Disorderly person charges can lead to a fine of up to $1000 and up to 6 months in jail while petty disorderly person charges include maximum jail sentences of 30 days and $500 in maximum fines. All of these are serious situations that should prompt you to hire an experienced attorney.
Experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty handles your case with care and compassion. Reach out to the Law Offices of John Tumelty to learn more about your options at 609-390-4600 or fill out our online contact form to get started today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.