Unlike states such as New York that divide crimes into misdemeanors and felonies, New Jersey classifies crimes as disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes. If you have been charged with an indictable (felony) offense, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your corner.
Rosenblatt Law PC provides innovative criminal defense strategies to clients throughout Hackensack and northern New Jersey. Being charged with an indictable offense is a serious matter and a conviction may result in the loss of your freedom and lasting harm to your reputation. The best way to protect your rights and your future is to have the powerful representation we provide.
When you consult with us, we will evaluate the charges you are facing, weigh the evidence against you, and explore all your options. Above all, we will provide you with trustworthy advice and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact our office today for a consultation.
What exactly is an indictable offense in New Jersey?
In short, an indictable offense is a serious crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of one year or more. Indictable crimes are classified by four degrees, based on the severity of the offense:
- First-degree crimes include murder (homicide), aggravated sexual assault, armed robbery, manslaughter, kidnapping, aggravated arson, drug trafficking, and money laundering. A conviction for a first-degree indictable offense is punishable by a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years and fines up to $200,000. There are also offenses that are considered “first-degree plus crimes” and carry a prison sentence of 20 years to life.
- Second-degree crimes include aggravated assault, sexual assault (rape), robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, certain white-collar and drug-related crimes. A second-degree indictable offense carries a prison sentence between 5 and 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000.
First and second-degree crimes often have a presumption of incarceration, meaning that a conviction for these offenses will almost always lead to a lengthy prison sentence.
- Third-degree crimes include possession of a dangerous controlled substance (e.g heroin, cocaine), burglary, arson, criminal restraint, and some DUI charges. Third-degree crimes are punishable by 3 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Fourth-degree crimes include forgery, criminal trespassing, stalking, criminal mischief, harassment, and contempt. If you are convicted of a fourth-degree crime, you face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to jail time and fines, a conviction for an indictable offense comes with collateral consequences, such as forfeiting your right to vote, to own or possess a gun, or to obtain or keep subsidized housing. The lasting damage to your reputation may limit your employment and housing opportunities.
Why Choose Rosenblatt Law to Handle Your Felony Defense
Being charged with an indictable offense is a serious matter; being convicted will be life-altering. While judges in New Jersey have some discretion in sentencing and may order probation in lieu of a prison sentence, serious indictable offenses typically carry mandatory minimums. In any event, a conviction will result in your having a permanent criminal record. This is why it is crucial to work with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.
At Rosenblatt Law, we adhere to the presumption of innocence and will never judge you. We are committed to protecting your rights and preserving your freedom, but there are no guarantees in any criminal case. Our objective is to gain an acquittal, however, we may seek to have the charges and penalties reduced, depending on the circumstances. But an effective criminal defense strategy starts with preparation.
When you become our client, our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation, which includes obtaining and reviewing the police report to determine if any of your civil rights were violated. Did the police fail to read you your Miranda rights? Did law enforcement seize evidence without a valid search warrant? Were you interrogated without having an attorney present?
Our legal team will also identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and choose the best line of defense:
- Alibi — You were not at the crime scene when the alleged incident occurred. We will work to identify reliable witnesses and present other irrefutable evidence (e.g surveillance video from another location).
- Mistaken identity — Because eyewitnesses can be unreliable, you may have wrongly been identified as the offender if you look like the actual perpetrator or you were profiled by law enforcement.
- Self-Defense — If you have been charged with a violent crime (e.g. assault) it may be possible to show that you acted in self-defense or to prevent imminent harm to yourself or another.
- Lack of Intent -– In many felony cases, the prosecution must be able to prove that you had criminal intent and it may be possible to show that your actions were unintentional.
Ultimately, our job is not to prove your innocence. Rather, the prosecution must be able to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and it is our job to challenge the prosecutor’s ability to do so. If you are convicted, we will determine if there are grounds for an appeal and continue fighting for your rights.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Felony Defense Attorneys
If you have been accused of an indictable crime, you face an uphill battle. When your freedom and future are on the line, that’s the time to contact Rosenblatt Law. Contact our office today so we can start working on your felony defense.
Rosenblatt Law PC is located in Hackensack, NJ and represents clients throughout Northern New Jersey and the New York metro area, including the five boroughs of NYC, Rockland and Westchester counties, as well as Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Union counties.