Accused of a Second Degree Crime in Middlesex County NJ
If you have been charged with robbery, armed burglary, luring, aggravated assault, or another second degree felony offense in New Jersey, a conviction could cost you a decade of your life. In fact, if convicted of a second degree crime in New Jersey, it is almost certain that you will be sentenced to state prison. By law, 2nd degree crimes carry a “presumption” of imprisonment, which makes prison time an imminent reality for those found guilty. For this reason, it is best to get out in front of your charges and deftly invalidate the state’s case. At Proetta & Oliver, our experienced Middlesex County criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly to make a significant difference in the potential outcome of your case. With years fighting on behalf of our clients’ freedoms in the criminal justice system, we can assist with your defense anywhere in Middlesex County, whether it be Edison, Woodbridge, New Brunswick, Middlesex, South Brunswick, Carteret, or another town in which you were arrested. We encourage you to contact our office now at (732) 659-9600 if you would like a free consultation about second degree charges or an active investigation involving such serious allegations.
What is a Second Degree Crime in NJ?
Felonies, also called indictable crimes, are graded as first, second, third, and fourth degree. The singularly worst level of crime that you can be charged with is a first degree. A second degree is, as you might have guessed, the second most serious criminal offense. In New Jersey, common second degree crimes resulting in criminal charges include:
- Burglary with a weapon
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated assault
- Unlawful possession of a firearm
- Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose
- Theft by deception
- Drug distribution/possession of CDS with intent to distribute
- Official misconduct
Crimes have varying degrees of severity. The degree of the crime is set forth by the governing statute and correlates to the flagrant nature of the conduct and potential impacts upon others. For example, if you slap someone, you may face charges for a disorderly persons offense in the form of simple assault. That is not an indictable crime. However, if you crack someone in the head with a bat causing permanent vision loss or disfigurement, you will likely be charged with a second degree crime for aggravated assault. Both the conduct and the injuries are severe and thus, the punishment will match the severity of the conduct and the harm done.
An additional example involves charges for marijuana. Possessing less than 50 grams is a relatively minor disorderly persons offense. But what if you had between 5 and 25 pounds of marijuana? In that case, the charge becomes a second degree crime for marijuana possession with intent to distribute. The sentence will therefore match the crime.
What Penalties am I Facing for a 2nd Degree Crime in Middlesex County NJ?
Like first degrees, second degree charges require prison terms set forth by the legislature. Specifically, for a 2nd degree crime, the potential imprisonment sentence is 5-10 years. You can also be fined as much as $150,000. Sometimes, the charge has a stipulation of parole ineligibility, namely 85% of your sentence to be served before you can be considered for parole.
Is Jail Mandatory for Second Degree Criminal Charges in New Jersey?
With the presumption of incarceration attached, there is little that you can do to change the potential jail term unless the state agrees to sentence you to one degree lower or the judge is convinced that sentencing one degree lower is appropriate. Sentencing someone to one degree lower may be accomplished with the prosecutor’s consent. That is where we can help. Our criminal attorneys can attempt to minimize the overall prison exposure by negotiating with the prosecutor handling your case. We understand that spending the next 5-10 years in prison is an abysmal thought. As such, we strive to get the crime out of the second degree range to “untie” the judge’s hands with regard to the sentence that he must hand down.
In our experience, our lawyers have had cases plead down to a lower degree to avoid mandatory incarceration for our clients. In other situations, an agreement can be made between the prosecutor allowing the client to plead to a second degree crime and be sentenced for a third degree crime. The benefit of a third degree felony offense or less is that there is no mandatory jail time and the judge can opt to put you on probation instead. This has been done on many occasions and is often considered a great result. In still other cases, we are able to get the client admitted into the PTI program to have the charges dismissed, like in this case where: Employing a Minor & Burglary Resulted in PTI Acceptance After Denial by Probation.
Now, it is important to note that by uncovering the facts of the case, there may be ways to keep the charges from leading to any sentence at all. In fact, there may be mitigating circumstances or nuances that we can find and exploit on your behalf to achieve a dismissal.
Need a Lawyer for 2nd Degree Felony Offense in New Brunswick NJ
Our dedicated criminal defenses lawyers at Proetta & Oliver are ready, willing, and able to help if you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a second degree crime anywhere in Middlesex County or New Jersey. Call now to get dedicated counsel. You can reach us 24/7 at (732) 659-9600 for a consultation free of charge.