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Understanding the Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in New Jersey

February 12, 2021 | Posted In Criminal Law

A criminal conviction can impact all aspects of your life. Under New Jersey law, all criminal offenses carry the potential for fines and jail time, and, in many ways, serving your sentence is just the beginning. Your criminal record will make many things in your life more difficult (if not impossible), and, depending on the crime of which you are convicted, you could face other long-term consequences as well.

Fines and Penalties for Crimes in New Jersey

In New Jersey, all criminal offenses fall into one of two broad categories: (i) disorderly persons offenses and (ii) indictable offenses. However, within each of these categories, there are multiple “classes” of crimes, each with its own unique range of penalties.

Disorderly Persons Offenses

The possible fines and jail sentences for disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey are:

  • Disorderly Persons Offense – Up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
  • Petty Disorderly Persons Offense – Up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine

Indictable Offenses

The possible fines and jail sentences for indictable offenses in New Jersey are:

  • First-Degree Indictable Offenses – 10 to 20 years in prison and up to a $200,000 fine in most cases (the most-severe crimes can carry between 20 years and life behind bars)
  • Second-Degree Indictable Offenses – Five to 10 years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine
  • Third-Degree Indictable Offenses – Three to five years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine
  • Fourth-Degree Indictable Offenses – Up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine

Additional Penalties for Crimes in New Jersey

In New Jersey, certain crimes carry additional statutory penalties as well. For example, individuals convicted of certain sex crimes must register as sex offenders, and those convicted of drug-related offenses can face mandatory counseling and other penalties. Domestic violence is another category of criminal offenses that carries special penalties under New Jersey law.

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions in New Jersey

In addition to statutory penalties, individuals convicted of crimes in New Jersey can face various collateral consequences. For example, a criminal conviction can also lead to:

  • Loss of Rights and Privileges – Various types of convictions can lead to a loss of gun rights, loss of voting rights and loss of driving privileges.
  • Loss of Child Custody or Visitation – For parents who have custody or visitation rights, a conviction can potentially result in loss of the ability to spend time with their children.
  • Loss of a License or Certification – For licensed and certified professionals, criminal convictions can often trigger disciplinary action—up to and including loss of your license or certification.
  • Difficulty Finding Work – Many companies prefer not to hire individuals who have criminal records, and certain convictions may disqualify you from job opportunities entirely.
  • Difficulty Finding Housing or Financing – Landlords, banks and other lenders will often consider applicants’ criminal records as well.

Get Help with Your New Jersey Criminal Case

Are you awaiting trial in New Jersey? If so, it is extremely important that you speak with an attorney about your defense. To schedule a confidential consultation with a New Jersey defense attorney at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., call 877-435-6371 or tell us about your case online now.

Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive criminal defense experience as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our website, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.

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