Facing a 2nd Degree Felony in Somerset County NJ
Just how serious are second-degree indictable offenses in New Jersey? For starters, the potential term of incarceration for a second-degree felony is anywhere between five to ten years and the fine can range up to $150,000. Not to mention the fact that there is a presumption of incarceration as well. As you can tell, these types of crimes are not something to underestimate or take lightly. If you have been charged with a crime of the second degree like endangering the welfare of a child, eluding, unlawful possession of a handgun, drug distribution, or sexual assault in Somerset or Hunterdon County, we strongly urge that you speak to an attorney immediately about your options. Understanding not only the potential sentence but what exactly the prosecution must prove in order to obtain a conviction as well as any possible defense is paramount to any successful defense. If you would like to set up an initial consultation today with one of our Somerset County criminal defense attorneys, then please contact our office at 908.533.1064. Our office serves all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including Somerville, Flemington, Clinton, Bernards, Watchung, Franklin, Raritan, Readington, Union and North Plainfield. As always, our initial consultations are free of cost, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What to Expect on a Second-Degree Felony in New Jersey?
It is important to note that New Jersey does not use the traditional “felony” and “misdemeanor” phrase when it comes to labeling its crimes, instead with use “indictable offenses” and “disorderly persons offense“, respectively. To break it down even further, New Jersey has four different degrees of indictable offense: first-degree, second-degree, third-degree and fourth-degree. The lower the degree, the harsher the potential penalties are, thus making a second-degree indictable offense, the second most serious degree. The type of charge and in some cases, the specific facts surrounding the crime will dictate what degree an individual is facing.
Unlike all disorderly person offenses, all indictable offenses, including second degrees, must be transferred from the local municipality where the incident happened to the Superior Court in that particular county. For example, if an individual is arrested and charged in Hillsborough Township with eluding the police, driving while intoxicated, and assault by auto, all the charges will be transferred from the Hillsborough Municipal Court to the Somerset County Superior Courthouse in Somerville for disposition. That includes driving while intoxicated even though it is a traffic offense. For more information on the Somerset County or Hunterdon County Superior Courthouse, including a list of judges, please click the corresponding links.
What is Considered a 2nd Degree Felony in New Jersey
As touched upon earlier, the specific degree of the charge will be dictated by the crime itself as well in some cases the specific allegations surrounding the charge. Some of the most common second-degree felony offenses that we see being issued in New Jersey include the following:
- Unlawful Possession of a Gun
- Heroin Distribution
- Sexual Assault
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Aggravated Assault
- Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute
Since all of these charges are indictable offenses, anyone charged with one of these offenses could be forced to go through a detention hearing just to seek to obtain bail. New Jersey has moved towards mirroring that of the Federal based bail system and when it comes to determining bail, it now is basically conducting a risk assessment. In other words, it could be left up to the judge to determine whether or not an individual is even able to get bail. For more information on detention hearings, including what the judge must balance when determining what if any bail should be imposed, please click the link.
What is the Sentence for a 2nd-degree felony? Can I avoid Jail Time?
There is no understating it, the potential sentence one faces if convicted of a second-degree felony in New Jersey is life-altering. In New Jersey, anyone convicted of or who pleads guilty to a second-degree felony will almost certainly be facing a term of incarceration and that term will be anywhere from five to ten years. That is because all first and second-degree indictable convictions come with a presumption of incarceration. In addition to the term of incarceration, the individual could also be facing a fine ranging up to $150,000, fees and assessments, community service, court-mandated treatment (Alcohol, Drugs, Mental Health, Anger Management, Sex Offender) and be scarred with a felony criminal record. That felony record will remain for at least five years from the date of release from custody and depending on the crime, it may never be expungable.
Need a Local Lawyer for 2nd Degree Felony in Somerville
The attorneys Keith Oliver Criminal Law have dedicated their careers to defending those accused of crimes, including second-degree felony offenses. We fully understand the anxiety and stress that most are under when they are facing the significant consequences that follow a second-degree crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, distribution of child pornography, sexual assault, burglary, robbery, marijuana distribution, or any other crime for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County and you would like to speak to an attorney about your options, please contact our office. We can be reached 24/7 at 908.533.1064 or you can try reaching us online. Please do not underestimate the seriousness of these types of allegations.