Criminal Homicide NJ
The New Jersey Criminal Code distinguishes between three different forms of homicide: murder, manslaughter, and death by auto. In addition, there are three forms of murder: purposeful murder, knowing murder, and murder committed during the commission or attempt to commit certain felonies. In order to prove murder or attempted murder charge, the State must prove that the defendant purposefully or knowingly caused the death of another person, or caused the death of another person while committing another felony. Murder is classified as a first degree felony. However, these crimes entail an extended sentencing range due to the egregiousness of these offenses. As such, a murder conviction can result in a life-long prison sentence.
The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have prosecuted defendants charged with criminal homicide. The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices utilize their experience on both sides of homicide cases to effectively represent their clients charged with murder or attempted murder in New Jersey. Their unparalleled level of expertise in this realm of the law has allowed them to assist clients whose lives truly hinge on a successful outcome.
Homicide Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3
Under the law, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, criminal homicide constitutes murder when the State can prove that the defendant had the intent to kill (which is purposeful murder), or when the defendant was aware that his or her actions would result in death or serious bodily injury (which is knowing murder). Notably, defenses of insanity or intoxication are viable against murder allegations because they undermine the argument that the defendant acted purposefully or knowingly.
Further, criminal homicide constitutes murder when the defendant is engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, or criminal escape, and another individual dies as a result of these actions. A viable defense against this charge is that the defendant was accompanied by others, was not armed with a deadly weapon, and had no knowledge that another person was armed or intended to kill someone else.
Criminal Homicide Jail Time, Sentences & Penalties
As outlined above, murder is a crime of the first degree – the most serious under the New Jersey Criminal Code. However, murder does not have the same sentencing guidelines associated with ordinary first-degree crimes due to the severity of these offenses.
Generally, a crime of the first degree is punishable by a period of between 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, a defendant convicted of murder is subject to a sentence ranging from 30 years to life, with a minimum of 30 years that must be served before he or she becomes eligible for parole. Additionally, in certain cases, a defendant may be sentenced to a life-long term of imprisonment without the possibility of parole, including:
- If the victim was a law enforcement officer and was murdered while acting in his or her official capacity, or was murdered because of his or her status as a law enforcement officer.
- If the victim was under the age of 14 and was murdered during the commission of an act of sexual assault or criminal sexual contact.
Facing an Attempted Murder Charge in NJ? Contact Our NJ Murder & Homicide Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
With your life hanging in the balance, it is essential to find exceptional legal representation. The criminal defense attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have over 45 years of experience defending clients charged with criminal homicide.