Second Degree Crimes in Elizabeth New Jersey
February 19, 2020
Elizabeth NJ Second Degree Crime Defense Lawyers
You’ve been charged with a second degree crime in Elizabeth, New Jersey and want to know what you’re facing since this is your first time in the criminal justice system or you have never been accused of a second degree indictable felony offense before. While you’re hoping for some leniency in the Elizabeth and Union County court system, the consequences of a conviction are severe in these cases. In fact, being accused of a crime of the second degree means you are now facing a mandatory term of imprisonment if convicted, the minimum sentence for which is 5 years. Before you attend court for 2nd degree criminal charges in Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth, it is highly advisable to seek knowledgeable legal counsel from an experienced Elizabeth criminal defense lawyer who handles cases like these and can aid in your defense. Regardless of whether you have been arrested for aggravated assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful possession of a weapon, robbery, or another second degree crime in Elizabeth, contact the local defense lawyers at our Union County criminal defense firm for answers and assistance. You can reach us anytime at (908) 838-0150 or contact us online for a free consultation.
2nd Degree Crime Charges in Elizabeth, New Jersey
New Jersey criminal statutes classify crimes by degree, specifically first, second, third, and fourth. Lower criminal offenses are deemed disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses. Second degree crimes, such as human trafficking, aggravated arson, sex crimes, armed burglary, aggravated assault, certain drug charges involving distribution, and some white collar crimes, are the equivalent of felonies in other states. This means that a second degree criminal case is reviewed by a grand jury to see if enough evidence exists to formally charge a defendant with a crime for which they must stand trial.
Some third or fourth degree crimes may be classified as a higher grade second degree if the crime is a second or subsequent offense. Some grades of crimes are contingent upon certain acts, like burglary, which is a third degree crime unless the burglar uses a weapon while committing a burglary or intentionally physically injures another during the burglary, in which case it becomes a second degree crime. Conspiracy to commit a first degree crime, or the attempt to conspire to commit a first degree crime, is also a second degree crime. And some crime grades are based on dollar amounts, such as shoplifting, which is a second degree crime if the amount allegedly stolen is over $75,000.00. In some cases, it is a combination of behaviors and dollar amounts, such as theft, which is a second degree crime if the amount stolen is over $75,000.00, or property is stolen by extortion, a controlled dangerous substance, someone’s federal or state benefits, human remains, or property held by a breaching fiduciary.
Other second degree crimes include: knowingly leaving a fatal accident scene, aiding suicide, vehicular homicide, luring a child by various means, sexual assault, using a minor to commit auto theft, illegal possession of a firearm, robbery, and computer criminal activity, which is a second degree crime if a person knowingly destroys data, databases or software, or disrupts internet use. Certain crimes like shoplifting and using access devices to aid theft, come with presumptions that a crime was committed. If a person is concealing merchandise on their person inside or outside a retail store, the person is presumed to have committed the crime of shoplifting. Likewise, if someone alters an access device to a computer or an anti-theft device to assist theft, it is presumed to be for commission of a crime.
What is the Punishment for a Second Degree Crime in Elizabeth NJ?
Second degree crime sentences, as determined by the judge in each case, range from a prison term of 5 to 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000. In addition, all second degree crimes carry a presumption of prison time, even if it’s a person’s first offense, thus generally disqualifying a defendant from the Pretrial Intervention Program and probation options that allow first-time offenders to avoid prison time and a felony conviction. There are some special circumstances in which your attorney may be able to get you into PTI if you have been charged with a second degree crime and it is your first brush with the law, but this requires deft negotiation and permission from the prosecutor. Some crimes have minimum mandatory prison sentences, such as luring a child, which is a mandatory one-half to one-third of the given sentence, or three years minimally, for a first offense, and a mandatory minimum of five years in prison without parole for a subsequent violation.
About Crimes and Arrests in Elizabeth, New Jersey
With a rich past steeped in the origins of our nation, the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is the fourth largest city in the state, home to more than 125,000 residents. A tourist destination, Elizabeth features a vibrant diversity of shops, entertainment and people. Millions seek its unique history, major retail offerings like the largest mall on the coast, Jersey Gardens Mall, and portside eateries from around the world. Intersected by the Elizabeth River and connected to Staten Island, New York by the Goethals Bridge, the world by the 2,000-acre Port Newark, and the rest of the state by the New Jersey Turnpike, this notably large metropolitan city is a thriving hub for the coastal eastern U.S. It became the capital of New Jersey in 1665 and is currently Union County’s distinct historic city for notables who roamed the streets from the country’s inception, like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, celebrated by the various memorials and statutes that punctuate the city.
But like any major city with a constant influx of residents, commuters and visitors, Elizabeth has its share of crime. Though crime has decreased by 6% over the last few years, Elizabeth’s crime rate ranks high nationally, safer than only 7% of U.S. cities. Basically, there is a 1 in 27 chance of being a crime victim in Elizabeth, primarily property crime and theft, followed by violent crimes, which are largely first, second, third or fourth degree indictable crimes. Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth handles a wide variety of indictable criminal cases, including second degree crimes. Thus, if you have a criminal case involving 2nd degree charges in Elizabeth, your case will be heard and decided in the Union County Superior Court located at 2 Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ 07201.
Consult Second Degree Crime Attorneys in Elizabeth NJ
If you have been charged with a second degree crime in Elizabeth, New Jersey, do not delay in contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer for advisement and personalized guidance about your case. Risking the chances of a felony conviction and state prison sentence is simply not worth it when you are facing serious charges in Union County, as these crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To discuss your case, explore the possible outcomes and options you may have to achieve a successful resolution, contact a local Elizabeth criminal defense lawyer at our firm today. A Free consultation is available to you anytime by calling (908) 838-0150.