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Being charged with a fourth degree indictable offense can be intimidating. Not understanding your options as well as the potential ramifications will only add to an already stressful situation. It is important to note here that a fourth degree indictable offense is considered a felony offense. New Jersey does not use the preferable “felony” and “misdemeanor” to describe the degrees of crimes, instead we use “indictable offenses” and “disorderly persons offenses“. As you will see below, indictable offenses are broken down even further into four different degrees: first, second, third and fourth. The specific offense charged will dictate the degree of the crime. If you or a loved one has unfortunately been charged with a fourth degree felony like possession of marijuana over 50 grams, stalking, shoplifting, driving while suspended, assault by auto or resisting arrest in Mercer County, the Law Office of Proetta, Oliver & Fay can hep. Our attorneys defend those accused of serious crimes in courts throughout Mercer County, including in towns like Hightstown, West Windsor, Trenton, Hamilton, Ewing and Robbinsville.
Is a Fourth Degree Indictable Offense Serious?
Although a fourth degree felony might be the least serious indictable offense in New Jersey, the potential penalties can be crippling. Anyone convicted of a fourth degree indictable offense in New Jersey could be facing any of the following penalties:
- 18 Months in State Prison
- $10,000 Fine ($15,000 if CDS Related)
- 5 Years of Probation
- Community Service
- Court Mandated Treatment:
- Anger Management
- Mental Health
- Criminal Record
Depending on the underlying charges and the specific facts surrounding it, an individual charged with a fourth degree indictable offense may be eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). PTI is a diversionary program in New Jersey, whereby if the individual completes the probationary period without violating any of the terms, the underlying charges will be dismissed outright. For more information on the Pretrial Intervention Program in New Jersey, please click the link.
Common Fourth Degree Felony Crimes Charged in Trenton
At Proetta, Oliver and Fay our attorneys have dedicated their careers to defending those accused of serious crimes like fourth degree indictable offenses in courts throughout New Jersey, including courts throughout Mercer County. Some of the most frequent fourth degree felonies that we see being charged in Mercer County are as follows:
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- Possession of Marijuana Over 50 Grams
- Obstruction Administration of Law
- Assault on a Police Officer
- False Imprisonment
How Come I Have to go to Superior Court for 4th Degree?
Unlike all disorderly persons offenses, all indictable offenses must be transferred from the local municipal court to the superior court in the county where the incident occurred for disposition. So, for example, if an individual is charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and assault by auto in Hamilton Township, their entire case, including the traffic offenses (DWI/Reckless) must be transferred to the Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton for disposition as opposed to the Hamilton Municipal Court.
With that being said, depending on the underlying facts surrounding the incident, it is possible for a fourth degree indictable offenses to be downgraded and remanded back to the local municipal court. If that is to occur, the indictable offense(s) would have to be downgraded to a disorderly persons offense. More often than not, a potential downgrade will be negotiated by the attorney at the individual’s Pre-Indictment Conference.
4th Degree Felony Defense Lawyer Near Trenton NJ
Being charged with a criminal offense can be nerve wracking, especially when the crime is a felony. As you can see from reading above, a fourth degree felony is not something to take lightly, if you would like to set up a free initial consultation with one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys, then please contact our Hamilton office at 609-789-0779. Our attorneys serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Princeton, East Windsor, Hopewell, Ewing, Trenton and Hamilton. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.