Examples of Crime Degrees and Penalties in New Jersey

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What are the possible penalties, fines, jail time / prison terms for different crime degree convictions in New Jersey?

1st Degree Crimes

Penalties in New Jersey 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine up up to $200,000. Some crimes, for example, first-degree murder may carry a sentence of 30 years in prison (NJSA 2C:11-3 Murder).

Examples of First-Degree Crimes:

2nd Degree Crimes

5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Examples of Second-Degree crimes:

  • Aggravated assault (may be charged as 4th, 3rd, or 2nd degree crime)
  • Certain types of sexual assaults
  • Drug distribution in smaller quantities
  • Manslaughter (aggravated manslaughter is a crime of the 1st degree)
  • Robbery (without a weapon; armed robbery is a more serious offense)
  • Property theft crimes (if property value is $75,000 or more)
  • Second-degree criminal homicide
  • Second-degree murder (murder may also be charged as a 1st degree crime)
  • Shoplifting (if full retail value is $75,000 or more)
  • Vehicular homicide/vehicular manslaughter (may also be charged as a 1st degree crime)
  • Any other criminal conviction of the 2nd degree

3rd Degree Crimes

You can be sentenced to 3-5 years in prison, and can be fined up to $15,000.

Examples of Third-Degree Crimes:

  • Aggravated assault (may be charged as 4th, 3rd, or 2nd degree crime)
  • Certain theft crimes (based on the value of merchandise or property that was stolen or shoplifted)
  • Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (i.e.:
  • Possession of a handgun
  • Property theft crimes (if property value is over $500 but less than $75,000)
  • Shoplifting (if full retail value is over $500 but less than $75,000)
  • Any other criminal conviction of the 3rd degree

4th Degree Crimes

Up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you are a first offender charged with a 4th Degree crime, you may be entitled to pretrial intervention (aka, first offender treatment.) If you are eligible from pretrial intervention, the charges against you can be dismissed if you successfully complete a period of probation.

Examples of Fourth-Degree crimes:

  • Aggravated assault (may be charged as 4th, 3rd, or 2nd degree crime)
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Drug possession (in smaller quantities)
  • Joy riding
  • Certain types of assaults including threat crimes
  • Property theft crimes (if property value is between $200 $and $500)
  • Shoplifting (items with full retail value between $200 and $500)
  • Any other criminal conviction of the 4th degree

New Jersey Municipal Offenses

Municipal/Disorderly Persons (DP) Offenses: Up to 6 months in jail and fine of up to $1,000 for a disorderly persons offense, and a fine of up to $500 for a petty disorderly persons offense.

In New Jersey charges of lesser offenses are heard by the Municipal Court in the municipality, city, or township where the offense allegedly took place. If you are convicted of a petty disorderly offense, disorderly persons offense, or other disorderly conduct you can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail, required to perform community services, and be subject to fines, restitution, and probation.

Examples of disorderly persons offenses:

  • Property theft and criminal mischief crimes (if property value is over less than $200)
  • Shoplifting (items with retail value of less than $200)
  • Simple assault (which can also be charged as petty disorderly persons offense, for example, if both parties mutually consent to a fight)

Possible Penalties for Criminal Convictions

  • Fines and court costs
  • Jail time
  • Loss of the right to own or possess a firearm or weapon
  • Mandatory anger management classes
  • Parole
  • Probation and electronic monitoring
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender

Attorneys at our NJ criminal defense law firm have handled hundred of trials and more than 100 felony jury trials and have experience defending individuals against serious criminal cases involving municipal, state and federal crimes.

We operate on a “trial first, negotiations second,” premise.

The stakes in every criminal case are high. No matter how the evidence seems to stack up, we believe there is ALWAYS a defense worth pursuing.

You owe it to yourself to contact our firm today for a free consultation by filling out the form on this page or giving us a call at 844-204-2426 . Our clients can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our office.