Woodbridge NJ Third Degree Crime Defense Attorney
Woodbridge, New Jersey, located in Middlesex County, has been ranked among the fifty safest towns in America. Some say it has one of the greatest police forces in the New Jersey, which is partially responsible for the low violent crime rate and sex offender rate. That being said, even a town as safe as Woodbridge sees felony criminal arrests, some of the most common of which involve charges for third degree crimes. In fact, it could be said that the aggressive enforcement tactics in the area play a role in creating this situation. If you have been charged with a third degree crime in Woodbridge, it is critical to seek important information about how these charges can affect you in terms of penalties if convicted, where your case will be handled, and other crucial aspects of the legal process for your case. To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable Woodbridge criminal defense lawyers about your third degree charges, contact us now at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation. We have local offices in your area and have successfully defended countless clients arrested for third degree felonies in Middlesex County.
Charged with a Third Degree Crime in Woodbridge, New Jersey
The term “third degree crime” generally refers to a third-degree indictable offense, a serious felony-type charge, and one of the more serious crimes for which your can be arrested in Woodbridge, New Jersey. New Jersey does not classify crimes according to the common “misdemeanor” and “felony” scale that you often hear referenced but the terms felony and indictable offense are often used interchangeably. New Jersey defines misdemeanor crimes as disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses, and felony crimes as indictable offenses for statutory purposes. There are four levels of indictable crimes and a third-degree crime is the third-most serious of those levels, after first and second degree crimes.
There are numerous third degree crimes with which you can be charged in New Jersey, but some of the most common are controlled dangerous substances offenses. Possession of cocaine, MDMA, LSD, or heroin possession can quickly result in a serious third degree criminal charge against you. Another common example is aggravated assault, a crime of the third degree under certain circumstances. Even shoplifting can be a third degree indictable offense, provided that the merchandise was worth more than $500. Further examples of third degree crimes abound, including burglary, some prescription drug charges, shoplifting items valued over $500 but less than $75,000, and terroristic threats.
What am I Facing for a Third Degree Crime in Woodbridge?
The penalties applicable to a conviction for a third degree indictable offense fall into a standard range, although certain exceptions exist for certain particularly serious or unique crimes. The standard penalty for a third degree crime in New Jersey, including in Woodbridge, is a sentence of 3 to 5 years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. You will also have an indictable offense (aka felony) conviction on your permanent criminal record. Among other serious secondary consequences associated with your conviction for a third degree crime, you may be forced to perform community service, undergo mandatory drug testing, and/or be subject to a period of probation.
Notably, the law applies a default presumption that you should not be incarcerated for a garden-variety third degree crime if you have no prior criminal record in NJ. This is true unless a judge determines that you are a danger to the public and thus, must be placed in prison to ensure that you do no re-offend. The presumption of non-incarceration applies for first time offenders charged with third degree crimes in general. It can be rebutted, however, if you have other serious crimes on your record or if your alleged conduct was particularly dangerous, blameworthy, or reprehensible. If you are a first time offender, a third degree crime may be dismissed through effective defense strategies or after completing a program called Pre-Trial Intervention. This can be a great option if you want to maintain a clean criminal record.
Where will my Woodbridge 3rd Degree Criminal Case be Heard?
Third degree crimes are tried in superior courts, along with all other indictable offenses. If you are arrested and charged with a third degree crime in Woodbridge, your case will be adjudicated in Middlesex County Superior Court, which is responsible for handling felony charges in all of Middlesex County. Lesser offenses including traffic and disorderly persons offenses are tried in lower municipal court.
Woodbridge Third Degree Crime Lawyers
If you have been arrested for a third degree crime in Woodbridge, we can help. Our attorneys provide dedicated defense to clients facing charges including theft, burglary, assault, heroin possession, and a broad range of others in Woodbridge and throughout Middlesex County, New Jersey. For a free consultation, call (732) 659-9600 to discuss how our skilled lawyers can challenge the charges against you.