State Laws

New Jersey Felony

     

Each states has different systems for categorizing felonies within its state borders. Some do this alphabetically. Others do this numerically. While some have no true systems at all. The state of New Jersey chose to break its felonies into different degrees. A felony in the first degree is the most severe crime in New Jersey. Crimes under this category include murder, rape, and manslaughter. While some top categories in other states institute short prison terms, New Jersey felonies in the first degree have the penalties of life in prison.

Felonies in the second degree are punishable by up to ten years in prison. Many crimes in this category include drug crimes, extortion, white-collar crimes, kidnapping, theft, sex crimes, burglary, and many others.

Felonies in the third degree often include embezzlement, theft, driving under the influence, robbery, possession of a controlled substance, and many others. Punishments for this category include up to five years in prison.

The final degree category in New Jersey is that of felonies in the fourth degree. Fourth-degree felonies are punishable by no more than eighteen months of incarceration. Crimes under this category usually include advanced driving offenses, theft, driving under the influence, robbery, and many others.

Dual Crimes
It is possible for an individual to be convicted of more than one felony degree and more than one offense for a single incident. For instance an individual can be sentenced for assault and battery in one degree category and robbery in another category. In these cases the incarceration times will be added together.

Crimes
Each state often has the same kind of offense in different categories. This is possible because each crime is different with different factors. For instance an individual may be convicted of driving under the influence and be sentenced to a fourth-degree felony. A few years later that same individual may be arrested and convicted of a third-degree felony for driving under the influence.

The more prior offenses an individual has on his or her record, the more severe current penalties can become. Any aggravating factors around a crime can also increase a first offense of any crime. These can include drunken behavior and violent behavior.

Expungement
Unlike most other states, New Jersey allows some felony offenses to be expunged from criminal history. However there are several kinds of felony crimes that are not eligible for expungement. These include arson, murder, sex crimes, robbery, manslaughter, the selling of controlled substances, crimes against minors and children, and crimes of public office.

In order to have a felony conviction expunged an individual must first fulfill all the necessary requirements. New Jersey requirements include no prior expunged charges in the state or any other state, no other current charges pending expungement, no other criminal offenses in New Jersey or other state, and the completion of incarceration and probation as well as the payment of any fines.

New Jersey also has no statute of limitation in regards to rape and murder. All other crimes committed in New Jersey have statute of limitations of five years. Some exceptions may apply.

See also:
New Jersey Gun Laws
New Jersey Divorce
New Jersey Bankruptcy Laws
New Jersey Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
New Jersey Expungement External link (opens in new window)