Felony vs. Misdemeanor Charges in New Jersey

When people commit crimes, there are different levels of charges: felonies, disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, and ordinances. Disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses are often called misdemeanors in other states. The type of charge a person receives is dependent upon the crime they committed in addition to the circumstances surrounding it. While each crime has its own set of consequences, they are all treated seriously. If you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, it is crucial to retain the services of an experienced attorney to defend your case.

Felony Laws

The state of New Jersey breaks down felonies by four different degrees. The first degree is for the most serious crimes while the fourth degree is the least serious crimes. The term “indictable” means that the case may be presented to the grand jury for an indictment and then the case can proceed to trial. The grand jury reviews the evidence in the case to determine if there is enough evidence to support the charges. The four degrees of felony charges and the penalties that come along with their convictions are as follows:

  • First-degree crimes: This can include crimes of rape, manslaughter, and murder. These can be punishable by a prison sentence between 10 years to a lifetime sentence as well as a maximum fine of up to $200,000.
  • Second-degree crimes: This can include crimes of aggravated arson, sex crimes, white-collar crimes, gun crimes, and drug crimes. These can be punishable by a prison sentence between five to 10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
  • Third-degree crimes: This can include crimes of possession of a controlled substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, certain assault offenses, and drug crimes. These can be punishable by a prison sentence between three to five years as well as a fine up to $15,000.
  • Fourth-degree crimes: This can include theft offenses, contempt of court, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. These can be punishable by a prison sentence up to 18 months and a fine up to $10,000.

Misdemeanor Laws

A “disorderly person” crime in New Jersey ranges depending on the severity. These are broken down into their own classifications, known as disorderly person offenses and petty disorderly person offenses. These charges can be described as the following:

  • Disorderly Person: The more serious of the two, these crimes can include simple assault, shoplifting, possession of marijuana under 50 grams, and resisting arrest. This can be punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1000.
  • Petty Disorderly Person: The lowest level crime that can include disorderly conduct and harassment. This can be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know was charged with a felony, misdemeanor, disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact REM Katcher Law Group P.C. today.