Morristown Criminal Attorney
If you have recently been charged with a criminal offense, you are probably concerned about the impact that the charge could have on your future. Your fears may be heightened if this is your first experience dealing with such a charge. You are likely concerned about the possibility of prison, but other consequences of a criminal conviction – such as fines, driver’s license suspension, and having a criminal impact – can be the source of a great deal of anxiety.
Terms of imprisonment
Under New Jersey law, criminal offenses are broken down as first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree crimes, with the first-degree being the most serious offenses. These crimes are commonly referred to as “felonies” in other states. In general, first-degree crimes are punishable by terms of incarceration of between ten and twenty years. Second-degree crimes carry terms of incarceration of five to ten years. The range of terms of incarceration for third-degree crimes is between three and five years. Finally, fourth degree crimes may result in up to eighteen months in State Prison.
Not every conviction results in a term of incarceration that is consistent with these ranges. Your attorney may be able to convince a sentencing judge that a reduced term of imprisonment or no imprisonment at all is appropriate given the particular circumstances of your case.
The potential fines associated with crimes can range from the substantial to the astronomical. In general, the maximum fines for various crimes are as follows: $200,000 for a first-degree crime, $150,000 for a second-degree crime, $15,000 for a third-degree crime, and $10,000 for a fourth-degree crime. These fines are in addition to other mandatory assessments such as mandatory payments to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board and the Safe Neighborhoods Services Fund. Also, if your crime involves one or more victims, you may be required to pay compensation for the victims’ financial loss that was related to the crime.
Additional penalties for drug crimes
Even if your crime has nothing to do with ever being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance and even if your crime does not, in any way, involve a motor vehicle, a conviction of a drug crime carries a loss of driving privileges for a period of six months to two years. Fortunately, the Legislature permits a judge to waive the loss of driving privileges when the judge believes that there are compelling circumstances that justify such a waiver.
For many people, the loss of driving privileges alone can have a crippling effect on their ability to provide for their families. And losing a job can make paying the financial portions of a criminal sentence seem almost impossible. To have the best chance at an outcome that will allow you to reduce these burdensome penalties or to avoid a conviction altogether, call a skilled Morristown criminal attorney right away.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, call an experienced Morristown criminal attorney today to begin the process of defending you without delay to reduce or eliminate the substantial penalties that accompany any criminal conviction.