In New Jersey, crimes are either categorized as indictables, disorderly person offenses, and petty disorderly offenses, whereas other states only have two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. An indictable crime in the Garden State is the same as a felony in most other places and can be classified from first through fourth degree. First degree infractions are much more serious than those of fourth degree, but all indictable offenses are punishable with a prison sentence of at least one year.
Indictables are an umbrella term that includes a number of different violations that range in severity. A judge determines sentences and punishment for these transgressions. For each indictable crime, the penalties range depending on the degree of the incident. As previously stated, first degree crimes are much more serious than the others and carry significantly higher penalties. Acts of this nature include murder, rape, and manslaughter, which the jail term ranges between 10 and 20 years, or life if the accused is convicted of murder in addition to a fine of up to $200,000. Second degree indictables are other sex crimes, burglary, kidnapping, and drug and white collar crimes which can lead to a prison sentence of 5 to10 years with fines of up to $150,000.
Violations of the third degree include acts of arson, varied robbery offenses, possession of controlled substances, and certain DUI offenses. Conviction of a third degree is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $15,000 fine. Finally, fourth degree offenses, which have the least penalties comprise of stalking, other robbery offenses, forgery, and some DUI offenses. A fourth degree conviction earns up to 18 months in prison with a fine of up to $10,000. Depending on any previous convictions, the degree can be increased to the next level. This would be the case for someone receiving a second charge for forgery, for example. If the person is caught a second time committing the same offense (in this case, forgery) it then becomes a third degree crime instead of a fourth.
Criminal Statutes of Limitations
New Jersey law states that the prosecution must begin soon after the infraction is committed, or when the person is suspected of committing the act. Criminal statutes of limitations vary in time that the state can wait before pressing charges, depending on the specific offense. First degree indictables such as murder have no time limit on when the court can charge a person because of the severity of such transgressions.
Being convicted of an indictable crime is something that will haunt you forever. You stand nearly no chance of getting a job or gaining college acceptance if you have a felony conviction. In short, it will ruin your life if you do not seek proper legal guidance. If this is the situation you’re in, you need the help of a veteran defense attorney who’s well-versed in criminal law. With over 23 years of experience, I’m the guy for the job. Call me, Mark A. Schneider, Esq. at (609) 242- 9337 today for a free consultation of your case.