Murder Cases in New Jersey
Murder is the most serious crime in New Jersey’s state law. Murder was punishable by death up until 2007 at which time the New Jersey Legislature abolished the death penalty. The penalty for Murder in New Jersey is up to a sentencing judge and can range from 30 years to Life without Parole.
Under New Jersey state law, a felony murder charge differs significantly from other murder charges. To be charged with felony murder in New Jersey, an accused individual must have been in the process of committing a crime and subsequently killed someone in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit an enumerated crime.
In a felony murder case, it does not need to be proven that the accused individual attempted or intended to murder or harm the victim in question. Similarly, in unique cases where death, even an accidental death, has occurred in the commission of an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit a felony, the defendant will also be charged with felony murder.
Suppose you are a New Jersey resident who is being investigated or who has been arrested on a felony murder charge. In that case, it is crucial that you understand how a felony murder charge differs from a standard murder charge, as both carry serious consequences. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Bianchi Law Group can help and offer a free consultation to anyone facing this challenging situation.
What Felonies, Also Known as Indictable Crimes in New Jersey, Lead To A Felony Murder Charge?
The following indictable crimes can lead to a felony murder charge in New Jersey:
- Sexual assault,
- Contempt in violation N.J.S. 2C:29-9b
If you are arrested under the suspicion of one of the indictable crimes above, the prosecutor must prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, the prosecutor has the burden to prove that the death occurred during the course of the crime or attempt to commit the crime or during an immediate flight from crime.
What Are The Penalties For Felony Murder In New Jersey?
Murder is a crime of the first degree. Still, a person convicted of murder shall be sentenced, except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, by the court to a term of 30 years, during which the person shall not be eligible for parole, or be sentenced to a specific term of years which shall be between 30 years and life imprisonment of which the person shall serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.
Can You Get The Death Penalty For Felony Murder In New Jersey?
No, the state of New Jersey does not serve the death penalty for any crime. In 1965, New Jersey abolished the death penalty as a criminal penalty. Now, the most severe penalty under the state is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
How Can Our Team Of Former Prosecutors Help You With A Felony Murder Charge?
If you or someone you love has been accused of felony murder in New Jersey, you need to act fast to get the help you need. You will undoubtedly be facing severe penalties if found guilty of this charge and, without proper help, could be stuck with the highest penalties possible.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Bianchi Law Group will source and compile all necessary documentation and evidence that are relevant to your Felony Murder case. This may include evidence like security camera footage from the scene of the crime, records from medical staff, or phone records. Our team of former prosecutors may be able to use this evidence to demonstrate that you did not commit the crime or that the crime was not committed in the matter in which you are accused.
I’ve Been Accused of Felony Murder in NJ. What Do I Do Now?
It is important to know that any felony murder case in New Jersey is exceptionally serious and can result in you receiving life-changing penalties. Having the right legal team can provide you with the maximum benefits.
The Bianchi Law Group is comprised of a team of former prosecutors whose experience will provide you with a well-crafted defense. They will aggressively fight for your legal rights, not hesitate to bring your case to trial, and fight on your behalf to get you the best legal outcome possible. Having the proper legal defense in your corner can make all the difference.
The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including Murder.
Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court
Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Criminal Trial Attorneys.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as Certified Trial Attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 98,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Murder Penalties in New Jersey
As it stands, the maximum penalty for a New Jersey Murder is Life without Parole. In order for the Sentencing Judge to sentence a defendant to Life without Parole, the Grand Jury and a Petit Jury must find, beyond a reasonable doubt, an aggravating factor enumerated in the New Jersey Code at 2C:11-3(b)(4) and one of the following circumstances:
- That the defendant killed the person by their own conduct, OR
- The defendant procured the commission of the murder by payment or promise of payment of anything of pecuniary value, OR
- The defendant, as a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 and in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3, commanded or by threat or promise solicited the commission of the murder, OR
- The defendant committed a crime of terrorism and the murder occurred during the commission that terrorism.
Additionally, the Sentencing Judge may sentence the defendant to Life without Parole if the victim was a law enforcement officer or the victim is less than 14 years old and the defendant commits a sexual assault in violation of N.J.S.2C:14-2 or criminal sexual conduct in violation of N.J.S.2C:14-3.
If none of the above circumstances apply, the Judge must balance the aggravating and mitigating factors found in the New Jersey criminal code and sentence the defendant to a term between 30 years and life imprisonment of which the person shall serve 30 years before being eligible for parole. Life is considered 75 years in the State of New Jersey and the defendant must serve 85 % of their murder sentence before being eligible for parole (at least 30 years of parole eligibility).
The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 for all convictions for Murder in New Jersey.
Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers
Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial-tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.
At The Bianchi Law Group, we will take care to provide you Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases.