“Grading Crimes” – Determining The Degree of Crimes in NJ – N.J.S.A. 2C:43-1
In New Jersey we basically have four degrees of crimes. These are determined by the New Jersey statute 2C:43-1 which outlines the amount of prison time for each degree of crime, in addition to the potential fine that a convicted individual might receive. The smallest degree of crime is that of the fourth degree, with the largest being a crime of the first degree.
First degree crimes can be punished by 10 to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000. In some cases, murder for example, a convicted felon might receive a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Second degree crimes can be punished by 5 to 10 years in prison and potential fines of up to $150,000.
Third degree crimes can be punished by 3-5 years in prison with fines of up to $15,000.
Fourth Degree Crimes can be punished by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If a crime is not designated any degree, it is considered to be a fourth degree crime… the only exception to this would be disorderly persons offenses, which are technically lower than a fourth degree crime, and are usually handled in the local Municipal Court.
First and second degree crimes carry with them a “presumption of incarceration”, which simply means that someone convicted of this level of crime is expected to go to prison, even if it’s a first offense and the person previously had no criminal record.
While it’s good to know some details about the grade of your crime, you should be focused on the details of exactly your charge. Our “common charges” menu might contain your case type, and will have a ton of great information, including ways that you can potentially beat your charges. For more information, please call The Tormey Law Firm at (201) 556-1571