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Being placed under arrest and formally charged with a criminal offense can be absolutely terrifying. Those thoughts will only be exacerbated if the individual has been charged with a first degree felony. A first degree charge is the highest degree of a felony under the New Jersey criminal code. The minimum term of incarceration that an individual can receive is ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison. It should go with out saying, that if you or a loved one has been charged with a first degree crime like aggravated sexual assault, armed robbery, drug distribution, murder or leader of a drug trafficking network in Mercer County or elsewhere in New Jersey, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney immediately about your options. As you will see below, even obtaining bail, which will allow for the individual to be released from jail pending trial, can be complicated and more likely than not, will required a formal hearing. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today with one of the Mercer County criminal defense attorneys at Proetta, Oliver & Fay, then please contact our office at 609-789-0779. Our attorneys serve all of Mercer County, including Trenton, Hightstown, Robbinsville, West Windsor, Ewing and Princeton. Now here is some information on First Degree Felony in New Jersey.
How Serious is a First Degree Felony in New Jersey?
It is important to point out that New Jersey does not use the traditional “felony” and “misdemeanor” terminology, instead with use the phrase “indictable offenses” and “disorderly persons offenses“, respectively. The New Jersey criminal code breaks down indictable offenses into four categories: first, second, third and fourth degree. As previously stated, a first degree felony is the highest degree of a crime an individual can be charged with. The underlying crime in question, and in some circumstances, the specifics surrounding the charge will dictate what degree an individual is facing. Anyone convicted of a first degree felony will be facing a term of incarceration ranging anywhere from ten to twenty years. With that being said, the maximum sentence certain first degree crimes is life in prison. In addition to that, the individual will be facing a fine up to $200,000 They will also be barred from certain programs, including the Pretrial Intervention Program and the Intensive Supervision Program. To make matters worse, most first degree felony cases will be subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), which requires that an individual serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole.
What is the Bail on a First Degree Charge in NJ?
In 2017 the New Jersey Bail Reform Act was enacted. It basically abolished cash bails. Our system now mirrors that of the Federal system, where by we use a risk assessment scale. Once an individual is charged with a first degree felony they will also certainly be taken into custody and detained in the Mercer County Jail so that pretrial service can conduct their risk assessment. Based on that risk assessment, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office will need to make a determination by the individual Central Judicial Processing Hearing (CJP) about whether they will be seeking to detain the individual in jail, without bail, pending trial. If they seek to detain the individual, a formal motion for detention will be filled. That hearing will be conducted approximately five days after the individual’s arrest. During this hearing the judge will hear from both sides and it will ultimately be up to the judge to determine whether the individual will be released on bail, pending trial or detained without bail. For more information on bail hearings in New Jersey, please click the link.
Where do I go to Court for a First Degree Felony in Mercer County?
All indictable offenses, including first degree’s will be transferred from the local municipal court to the Superior Court in the county where the incident happened for trial. For example, if an individual is charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault in Robbinsville, the charges will be transferred to the Mercer County Superior Court, Criminal Division which is located at 400 South Warren Street in Trenton for disposition.
Need Attorney for 1st Degree Felony in Trenton NJ
The Mercer County criminal defense attorneys at Proetta, Oliver & Fay have been defending those accused of serious first degree crimes like aggravated sexual assault, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and drug distribution in New Jersey for a decade now. Our attorneys fully comprehend the severity and the potential ramifications that come along with a first degree felony charge in New Jersey. If you or a loved one has unfortunately found yourself being charged with or investigated for a first degree felony in Mercer County, we can help. To schedule a free initial consultation today, please contact our office directly at 609-789-0779 or you can try contacting us online. As you can see from reading above, these types of charges are not something to take lightly.