Third Degree Crimes and Defense in East Brunswick New Jersey
Local East Brunswick Third Degree Crime Defense Lawyer
Have you been arrested and charged with a crime of the third degree in East Brunswick? You’re not alone. In such suburban towns in Middlesex County and across New Jersey, many of the offenses that give rise to criminal charges are classified as third degree indictable felony crimes, as opposed to higher-level violent offenses. In fact, East Brunswick ranks low on the list of the top towns with the most serious violent offenses in the State of New Jersey, coming in at number 231. This is likely because East Brunswick is a suburban town that, according to the last census, has a population of roughly 48,000, most of which are families. Despite the commonality of third degree criminal charges and their being reasonably lesser felony offenses, these crimes carry fines, jail time, and additional consequences if convicted. If you have been charged with a third degree crime in East Brunswick, contact our Middlesex County criminal defense lawyers for immediate assistance. We will go over your case with you, explain available options such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), and discuss the possible defenses that we can use to challenge the state’s case against you. Call (732)-659-9600 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Common Third Degree Crimes in East Brunswick, New Jersey
All complaints for criminal charges must allege that you committed a first, second, third, or fourth degree crime, or a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense. In the overall scheme of indictable crimes under New Jersey law, third degree criminal offenses are not considered as serious as their elevated counterparts of the first and second degree, but they are serious nonetheless.
While many criminal offenses in East Brunswick are not of a violent nature, there are third degree crimes such as aggravated assault that may be treated more seriously than others, such as third degree drug possession. In addition, some third degree offenses involve property, including theft, criminal mischief (causing property damage of $500-$75,000), and burglary. Other common reasons that people find themselves arrested for third degree crimes include possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), credit card fraud, writing bad checks, shoplifting (merchandise valued at $500-$75,000), aggravated assault on law enforcement, and eluding police.
Charged with a 3rd Degree Crime in East Brunswick, What is the Process from Here?
Once a third degree crime is alleged and filed in East Brunswick Township, the defendant will be required to appear in Middlesex County Superior Court to defend the charges. The first proceeding in Middlesex County Court is what is known as a “First Appearance.” During this appearance, you are read the complaint and your rights. At this time, you are also informed of available court programs, as well as the fact that you have the right to an attorney. The court will ask whether you wish to retain your own attorney or whether you wish to apply for a public defender. Prior to your first appearance, you should consider contacting our office, as we may be able to waive your first appearance. If you are detained for a violent third degree crime or domestic violence offense, our lawyers can zealously argue for your release in the event of a detention hearing.
Once your first appearance is waived or you appear in court, you will be given a new court date at which you must appear. In the weeks that follow, you and your lawyer will be able to review the evidence (discovery) that the state has against you. The discovery and allegations are different from case to case, but for third degree crimes, the basic sentencing structure is generally the same.
Punishments for East Brunswick Third Degree Criminal Charges
By law in New Jersey, each indictable crime entails potential penalties. Some punishments must be handed down by the judge, while others are discretionary and do not have to be implemented necessarily. For example, for first or second degree crimes, the court presumes that you should be sentenced to prison upon conviction. This is distinct from a third degree crime, in that the court is not mandated to send you to prison if you have no prior criminal record.
While not all punishments are mandatory, the law does permit certain punishments related to third degree crimes, which include: state prison for 3-5 years; a fine of as much as $15,000 or up to $35,000 for drug cases; collection of your DNA and fingerprints for identification in future crimes; probation for 5 years; mandatory Drug Penalty of $1,000; possible license suspension; lab fees for cases involving drugs; other mandatory penalties totaling $155.
Notably, the court may implement any other conditions of probation that it deems appropriate, such as substance abuse evaluations and treatment, anger management, community service, or restitution payments to the victim. Many factors influence the sentence that you receive (if any). Each outcome depends on the facts of the case, the strategic practices of your attorney, and your criminal record. As such, seeking knowledgeable legal advice for your unique circumstances is strongly encouraged.
Need an Attorney for Third Degree Criminal Case in Middlesex County NJ?
To discuss your case and your defense against third degree criminal charges in Middlesex County Superior Court, contact our highly knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at (732) 659-9600 today. Consultations are free and a member of our team is available immediately to assist you.