Law Offices of Christopher T. Campbell
The Law Offices of Christopher T. Campbell

Degrees of Crime in NJ

Degrees of Crime in NJ

Degrees of crime in NJ

There are no such things as felonies and misdemeanors in NJ.  They are instead called crimes and offenses, but they are essentially the same thing.  A sentence of over one year incarceration is a crime, and under one year is an offense.  An offense is commonly handled in your local municipal court, where there is no jury, and where there is exposure to a penalty of no more than six months in jail as a potential sentence.  A disorderly persons offense can result in a sentence of up to six months in jail and up to a $1000 fine.  These include simple trespassing, assault, and possession of small amounts of marijuana or paraphernalia.  A petty disorderly persons offense can result in a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.  This includes disorderly conduct and harassment.  Local ordinances are laws that towns, cities, and municipalities keep on the books that are only applicable in that town.  These types of offenses include violations such as failing to clean up after your dog, or growing your lawn too high, or playing music too loud.  Crimes, on the other hand are more serious violations of law that result in referral to the county superior court. 

These range from fourth to first degree crimes

First degree crime: 10-20 years (i.e., armed robbery)

Second degree crime: 5-10 years (i.e., assault with a serious bodily injury)

Third degree crime: 3-5 years (i.e., burglary; possession of drugs)

Fourth degree crime: 0-18 months (i.e., possession of over 50g of marijuana)

Disorderly persons offense: 0-6 months     

Petty disorderly persons offense: 0-30 days