NJ’s criminal statutes recognize a vast spectrum of conduct considered illegal, like murder and drunk driving made punishable by imprisonment, fines among other sanctions. Criminal laws and penalties in NJ are more or less the same as those of other states; however, it varies in some ways. For example, it was the first state in the US to do away with the death penalty in more than four decades.
In this article, we shall look into NJ criminal laws and also highlight a list of NJ criminal charges.
Although NJ is the 11th most populated state in the US, it’s one of the safest places to live in. In fact, it was ranked number 37 in violent crimes in 2014. But despite this, New Jersey’s 9th most populous city, Camden, is the 2nd most dangerous city in the US.
NJ’s misdemeanors and felonies
Unlike other states, NJ doesn’t categorize crimes as misdemeanors and felonies. But it has three distinct crime cases: petty disorderly person offenses, disorderly person offenses, and indictable offenses. These three classes are further subdivided into different degrees.
Disorderly person offenses
These are less severe crimes but are still serious, like resisting arrest and assault. Disorderly persons may attract penalties such as a fine of up to $1,000 or 6 months in jail. Petty disorderly crimes are the least class of offenses and attract penalties of up to $500 fine and less than 50 days in prison.
These are the most serious offenses under the NJ penal law. Indictable crimes are classified into four degrees, including stalking, forgery, DUI, and specific robbery. Penalties attract up to $200,000 fine or 18 months and life imprisonment ruling.
How NJ laws differ from other states
- DWI laws: NJ laws punish anyone who operates an automobile with BAC at or above 0.08% or who is clearly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Punishment goes hand in hand with the BAC levels, coupled with a range of prior offenses
- Suspension or revocation of license: NJ doesn’t allow anyone with a revoked or suspended a license to drive anywhere.
- Miranda rights: the state doesn’t need a reading of Miranda rights upon arrest, though one will have to read them once they are taken into custody and the police want to bring them in for questioning.
- Searches: NJ doesn’t allow law enforcement to search a suspect, their car or home without consent unless there is probable cause.
List of New Jersey criminal offenses
- Simple assault
- Aggravated assault
- Assault on a Police Officer or Public Employee
- Assault by Auto
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Endangering an injured victim
- Terroristic threats
- Throwing bodily fluid
- Wrongful computer access
- Obtaining, copying, accessing program, software valued at $1,000 or less
- Location of offense
Disorderly conduct offenses
- Underage drinking
Firearms and Weapons
Obstruction to justice