Will I Go to Jail for a Felony Charge in NJ?

Being convicted of a crime is an incredibly stressful experience — especially if you’ll have to spend time in prison. However, what kinds of indictable crimes result in jail time, and how long will you be incarcerated if convicted? To learn whether or not an individual will have a jail sentence, let’s review what is considered a felony in NJ and the varying degrees of charges.

What Is Considered a Felony in NJ?

What is considered a felony in NJ is more complicated than you may realize. The state of New Jersey does not actually use the term felony and instead refers to crimes as indictable offenses, disorderly person offenses, and petty disorderly offenses. Disorderly offenses are commonly misdemeanors, whereas indictable offenses are more serious, comparable to a felony, and can result in jail time.

The reason why they are called indictable offenses is that an individual has to be indicted by a grand jury in order to be charged. Prosecutors must bring the case to the grand jury along with supporting evidence, and they have to determine whether it is enough for a formal charge. The grand jury will issue an indictment if the majority of them find the evidence is enough, and the individual will face criminal charges for their crime.

List of Felonies in NJ

Although they are referred to as indictable offenses, New Jersey law does categorize crimes by different degrees, as other states do for felony offenses. To learn more, here’s a list of felonies in NJ organized by their severity:

Fourth-Degree Crimes

  • Stalking
  • Cyber Harassment
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Restraining Order Violations
  • Harassment
  • Theft and shoplifting between $200 to $500

Third-Degree Crimes

  • Arson
  • Illegal possession of a rifle or shotgun
  • Certain DUI Offenses
  • Theft of a Motor Vehicle
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Possession of Cocaine or Heroin

Second-Degree Crimes

  • Sex Offenses
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Armed Burglary
  • Illegal Possession of a Handgun
  • Financially-Motivated White-Collar Crimes

First-Degree Crimes

  • Murder and Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Human Trafficking
  • Money Laundering
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Armed Robbery

Criminal Charges for Felonies in NJ: Do They Lead to Jail Time?

Now that you know what is considered a felony in NJ, you can determine the sentencing. The punishment for indictable offenses varies greatly depending on which degree they were, with first-degree crimes having the most severe and fourth-degree having the least. Here’s a look at the consequences for each indictable offense by their respective jail time:

  • 4th — 18 Months
  • 3rd — 3 to 5 Years
  • 2nd — 5 to 10 Years
  • 1st — 10 to 20 years and over, or for life

It’s worth noting that having a presumption of non-incarceration is possible for some third and fourth-degree crimes. This means that a conviction will not result in a jail sentence if it’s your first offense, a less serious crime, or if you personally meet other strict criteria.

Defending Against Indictable Offense Charges

Now that you know what is considered a felony in NJ, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to lower the charges. While the Grand Jury is responsible for convicting the defendant, the judge is the one who has the final say in handing down sentences. In these circumstances, a skilled defense attorney can help lower charges. Although they may not be able to eliminate the prison sentence outright, a lawyer can increase your odds of reducing the duration of your jail time, help you pursue plea options, and offer comprehensive legal advice.

If you’re searching for a criminal defense lawyer in Freehold, NJ, to assist you in court, then reach out to the Shugar Law Office today. We’re also one of the best NJ traffic attorney firms around and specialize in many fields. Call us to learn more about our services and to schedule your consultation.

Contact Our Experienced Traffic & Criminal Defense Team for a Free Consultation Today!