Charged with a 4th Degree Felony in Somerset County?
Have you been placed under arrest and charged with a fourth degree indictable offense in Somerset or Hunterdon County? Was it for the Possession of Marijuana over 50 grams? Aggravated Assault? Resisting Arrest? Shoplifting? Criminal Sexual Contact? Assault by Auto? If so, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your options. When it comes to mounting a successful defense to any criminal charge, it is imperative that the client fully understand not only the consequences of the charges but any potential defenses as well. As you will see in greater detail below, New Jersey does not use the phrases “felony” and “misdemeanor” instead they use “indictable offenses” and “disorderly persons offenses”. Furthermore, New Jersey breaks indictable offenses down into four different degrees. The specific offense charged will dictate the degree of the felony the individual faces.
What to Expect on a 4th Degree Felony Charge in Somerset County?
In New Jersey, all indictable offense, including fourth degree felonies will need to be ligated in the county courthouse in the county where the incident occurred. For example, if an individual is charged with assault by auto, driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana in Hillsborough, all of the charges would need to be transferred to the Somerset County Superior Courthouse, which is located in Somerville for disposition. This includes the driving while intoxicated charge as well, even though that charge is typically handled in the Hillsborough Municipal Court.
Anyone charged with a fourth degree indictable offense will receive what is known as a Central Judicial Processing Hearing date. This is the individual’s first appearance on the charges. If the charges were issued on what is known as a “Complaint-Warrant” then the individual will have their Central Judicial Processing Hearing from the Somerset County Jail. At that hearing the individual will be notified whether or not the prosecution has filed for a Detention Hearing. If the prosecutor’s office has in fact filed for a detention hearing, the individual will not be released from the county jail at their central judicial processing hearing but instead it will be up to the judge whether or not they are released on bail pending trial. For more information on detention hearings in Somerset County, including procedural how these hearings play out, please click the link. Once these hearing occur, the individual’s next hearing will be their Pre-Indictment Conference (PIC). If the charges can not be workout through PIC the case will then proceed through traditional court proceedings (Indictment, Arraignment, Status Conferences, Motion Practice, Trial).
Is there Jail Time on a 4th Degree Felony in New Jersey?
As touched upon earlier, New Jersey breaks indictable offenses down into four separate degrees: First, Second, Third and Fourth degree. Although the fourth degree felony is the lowest level indictable offense in New Jersey, the potential penalties can be crippling. Anyone found guilty of or who pleads guilty to a fourth degree indictable offense in New Jersey will be facing the following potential penalties:
- Up to 18 Months in State Prison
- Up to 5 Years of Probation
- With a Condition being up to 364 Days in the Somerset County Jail
- Up to a $10,000 Fine ($15,000 if Drug Related)
- Community Service
- Court Mandated Treatment (Drugs / Alcohol, Anger Management, Mental Health)
- Felony Criminal Record
With all that being said, depending on the individual’s criminal history as well as the underlying facts of the case, they may be eligible for either Drug Court or Pretrial Intervention. Both of these programs provide an alternative to incarceration.
Frequent 4th Degree Felony Charges Issued in Hunterdon County
There are numerous fourth degree indictable offenses under the New Jersey criminal code but some of the most common fourth degree felony offenses that we see litigated in the Somerset and Hunterdon County Superior Court are the following:
- Possession of Marijuana Over 50 Grams
- Resisting Arrest
- Obstruction of Justice
- Assault by Auto
Hunterdon County Felony Defense Lawyers
Being charged with a criminal offense can be nerve wracking, especially when the crime is classified as a felony. As you can see from reading above, the potential penalties for a fourth degree felony in New Jersey can be unforgiving. If you or a loved one has been charged with a fourth degree felony in Somerville, Flemington, Clinton, Franklin, Hillsborough, Bridgewater, Watchung, Bernards, Raritan, Readington or elsewhere in Somerset or Hunterdon County, Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our attorneys have been defending those accused of serious felony offenses throughout New Jersey their entire careers. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today, please contact our office directly at 908-533-1064. One of our attorneys would be glad to go over the specifics of your case and give you our honest feedback on how we can be of assistance.