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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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When Misdemeanors Become Felony Charges

Prison jail cell through bars.

Any kind of criminal charge should be taken seriously. Whether the infraction was big or small, it’s always important to fight for a proper case. That said, some criminal charges hold a much heavier weight than others.

One of the best examples of this is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. Both charges carry very different penalties and can affect the charged party differently.

The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony

What is Considered a Misdemeanor?

In the state of New Jersey, any of the following can be classified as a misdemeanor or disorderly person’s charge:

  • Simple assault
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Shoplifting
  • And more

Misdemeanor charges generally require a trial by a municipal court and not a grand jury. The penalties for misdemeanors are often much lighter than for a felony. With the right defense, it’s possible to negotiate a plea bargain or reduced penalties.

What is Considered a Felony?

A felony, known as an indictable crime in the state of New Jersey, can carry much higher penalties and extended jail time. Felonies are often classified as:

  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • And more

In some cases, such as shoplifting, there could be a very minor difference between a misdemeanor and felony. Often, the only chance a person stands between one and the other is a strong defense. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference between a misdemeanor or a felony.

Get a Free Consultation With Experienced Attorney John W. Tumelty

If you or a loved one is currently facing charges, talk to a criminal defense lawyer who can help. The experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can contest the charges and help you fight, avoiding the most severe penalties. Contact us immediately to schedule a free initial consultation.

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.

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