How Serious is a First Degree Charge in NJ?
New Jersey breaks down criminal offenses into two main categories: indictable offenses (felony) and disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanor). They further breakdown indictable offenses into four different degrees: first, second, third and fourth degree. The type of charge alleged and in some instances, the facts underlying the allegations, will dictate what degree of a felony the individual will be facing. As you would imagine, the potential sentence one faces varies drastically depending on the degree of the offense which they are charged with. A first degree felony is the most serious charge one could face in New Jersey. As you will see below, the potential exposure is life changing. If you have unfortunately found yourself facing a first degree indictable offense in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. To set up a free initial consultation today, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 908-533-1064 or you can try contacting us online. Here is some important information on first degree felony offenses in New Jersey.
What Should I Expect on a First Degree Felony Offense in NJ?
What Court Has Jurisdiction over First Degree Crimes in Somerset County?
As previously stated, a first degree felony is the highest level crime in New Jersey. All felony offenses, regardless of the degree will be transferred from the local Municipal Court to the Superior Court in the County where the incident occurred for disposition. Unlike lower level felony offenses, it would be highly unlikely for a first degree charge to be downgraded and remanded back to municipal court. That means that the case will be litigated in the Superior Court in the County where the incident happened. For more information on the differences between Superior Court and Municipal Court in New Jersey, please click the link.
What is the Bail for a First Degree Crime in NJ?
The vast majority of first degree crimes will be issued on what is known as a Complaint-Warrant. That means that the individual must be transferred from the local police station to the County Jail for at least 24 to 48 hours until they can have their Central Judicial Processing Hearing. At that hearing they will be advised of whether or not the prosecutor’s office will be filing for detention and in essence seeking to convince a Judge that he must be detained without bail, pending trial. If the prosecutor office files for detention then a formal hearing will be conducted, normally within five days. At that hearing it will be up to the Judge to determine whether or not the individual should be released on bail pending trial. For more information on detention hearings in New Jersey, please click the link.
What are Some Common First Degree Felony Offenses issued in Somerset and Hunterdon County?
Since first degree felony offenses are the most serious, they typically tend to be the least common degree charged over all. Some of the most common first degree felony crimes we see being charged in Somerset and Hunterdon County include: aggravated sexual assault, murder, drug distribution, kidnapping and robbery. These are all very serious charges and should not be underestimated or taken lightly.
What is the Potential Sentence for a First Degree Crime?
A conviction for a first degree crime in New Jersey will certainly lead to life changing consequences. Anyone convicted of a first degree crime will be facing anywhere from 10 to 20 years in a New Jersey State Prison and a fine up to $200,000. To make matters worse, first degree crimes will be subject to parole ineligibility terms like the No Early Release Act, Brimage or Graves Act. Furthermore, murder and aggravated sexual assault will be subject to the potential of Life in Prison sentences as well.
Looking for a Criminal Defense Attorney in Somerset County NJ
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a criminal defense firm, comprised of attorneys who have dedicated their careers to defending those accused of crimes, including first degree felony offenses in Courts throughout New Jersey. As you can see from reading above, these types of charges are not something to underestimate, the potential exposer is absolutely devastating. If you or a loved one has unfortunately found yourself facing a first degree crime in Somerset or Hunterdon County and would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys, then please contact us at 908.533.1064.