We discussed numerous offenses classified as criminal law in our previous blog post, New Jersey Criminal Law Overview- Part I. Below, we’ve provided a brief outline of each of the remaining charges that exist under criminal law, which serves as a regulator of social conduct and serves a different purpose than civil law. While criminal law focuses on punishment for violating the law, civil law is more about victim compensation and the settlement of disputes.
Misdemeanor/Disorderly Person: These crimes are considered less serious in nature than felonies. If the defendant is sentenced to jail, it is usually only for a maximum of one year. Other penalties, which may be referred to as alternative sentencing measures, include probation, community service, or fines.
Sex Offenses: Highly specific factors differentiate one type of sex-related offense from another, including the age of the victim, use of force or weapon and the relationship between the parties. Sex offenses include inappropriate touching, sexual battery and rape, all of which carry severe penalties and stigmatization. These cases are usually extremely sensitive in nature and the alleged victim and defendant are the only available witnesses a majority of the time, making it even more crucial for the defendant to seek experienced and compassionate counsel.
Theft: Although many people think a theft charge is the same thing as being charged with robbery or burglary, the three have very different meanings. All three are property crimes, but a theft charge strictly means a person is accused of stealing property, whereas robbery and burglary usually incur more serious consequences and adhere to more complex terms. The classification of the theft charge, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, depends on the value of the property taken.
Traffic Violations: Court appearances, fines and forms are only part of the equation. Traffic violations carry expensive penalties- whether in the form of a hefty fine(s) or significant increase in your insurance premiums- this crime is certainly an ordeal. Finances aren’t the only aspect of your life that may be negatively affected by traffic violations, you also risk having your driving privileges taken away.
Violent Crimes: Crimes which are considered violent in nature include, but are not limited to, assault, battery, homicide, illegal weapon possession, terroristic threats, domestic violence, kidnapping and carjacking.
Weapons Offenses: New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Charges include possession of prohibited weapons and devices, such as silencers, defaced firearms or sawed off shotguns, for example.
White Collar Crimes: These charges include securities, tax, mortgage or insurance fraud, as well as embezzlement and money laundering, among others. Criminal prosecution, negative publicity and financial devastation- those are just some of the possible consequences an individual accused of a white collar crime can face. Penalties for those found guilty of a white collar crime range from probation or fines to lengthy prison sentences.
Contact the law office of Sitzler & Sitzler if you have been accused of a criminal offense. We’ll discuss your specific situation with you- at no cost. Schedule a free consultation by calling (609) 267-1101 today.