Charged with an Indictable Offense in Somerset County, NJ?

What is an Indictable Offense?

An indictable offense is New Jersey’s version of a felony. They are broken down into four different degrees: first, second, third and fourth. As you will see below, the degree of the felony will dictate the potential punishment someone faces if convicted. As one would imagine, regardless of the facts surrounding the charges, indictable offenses are not something to take lightly. The potential punishment can range anywhere from probation all the way up to life in prison.

What Court has Jurisdiction over Indictable Offenses in NJ?

All indictable offenses must be litigated in the Superior Court in the county where the incident occurred. For example, if an individual is arrested and charged with a third degree indictable offenses like eluding in Bridgewater Township, the charges will be sent to the Somerset County Superior Court, which is located in Somerville for disposition. In addition, if the individual is also charged with offenses that are traditionally litigated in the local municipal court (i.e. disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or traffic offenses) those charges as well must be transferred up to the Superior Court for disposition. In other words, the charges will not be bifurcated and the more serious offense(s) will control where the charges are litigated.

What is the Sentence for an Indictable Offense in NJ?

As touched upon above, indictable offenses are broken down in four different degrees. The degree of the underlying charge will dictate what the potential sentence an individual receives. Here is a breakdown of the potential penalties for each degree:

  • First Degree Felony:
    • 10 – 20 Years in Prison
    • $200,000 Fine
    • Presumption of Incarceration
  • Third Degree Felony:
    • 3 – 5 Years in Prison
    • $150,000 Fine
    • Presumption Against Incarceration (first time offender’s)
  • Second Degree Felony:
    • 5 – 10 Years in Prison
    • $150,000 Fine
    • Presumption of Incarceration
  • Fourth Degree Felony:
    • 18 Months in Prison
    • $10,000 Fine
    • Presumption Against Incarceration (first time offender’s)

It is important to note here that the “presumption against incarceration” mentioned above can be overcome and the presumption only applies to a prison sentence and not a county jail sentence. Also, New Jersey does have some potential programs that certain individual’s might be able to take advantage of that which would allow for them to avoid incarceration and in some instances, a felony criminal record: Pretrial Intervention Program and Drug Court.

Lastly, if an individual is in fact convicted of an indictable offense and the offense is not one of the enumerate un-expungable offenses, the individual must wait six years before they can seek to petition the court for an expungement.

Common Indictable Offenses Charged in Hunterdon and Somerset County

Some of the most common indictable offenses that are litigated in the Somerset and Hunterdon County Superior Court include but are not limited too:

Need an Attorney for an Indictable Offense in Somerville

If you or a loved one has unfortunately been charged with an indictable offenses like heroin distribution, criminal sexual contact, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of cocaine, robbery or any other offense for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County we strongly urge that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Understanding your options, which includes potential defenses is absolutely crucial when it comes to mounting a successful defense. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with one of the attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law about your options then please contact our Bridgewater office at 908-533-1064. We serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including towns like Readington, Raritan, Hillsborough, Manville, Bound Brook, Franklin, Clinton and Plainfield.

Author: Keith G. Oliver

Founding partner Keith G. Oliver has a passion for helping people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He believes that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent, and that one mistake shouldn’t define a person forever. This passion drives Mr. Oliver to tirelessly fight for his clients and pursue the best possible outcome in every case.