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There are few crimes in New Jersey or the United States more serious than criminal homicide. Individuals charged with criminal homicide in New Jersey face the prospect of the rest of their life in prison with no possibility of parole.
If you need to defend a criminal homicide charge in New Jersey, contact Team Law today so we can help with your case.
Being Charged With Homicide And Have Questions? We Can Help, Tell Us What Happened.
New Jersey criminal homicide statute
N.J.S.A 2C:11-2, most recently amended in 1979, governs criminal homicide in New Jersey.
a. A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he purposely, knowingly, recklessly or, under the circumstances set forth in section 2C:11-5, causes the death of another human being.
b. Criminal homicide is murder, manslaughter or death by auto.
Criminal homicide can be classified as murder
NJSA 2C:11-3 defines murder, a form of criminal homicide, in New Jersey.
The relevant excerpts from this lengthy statute are as follows:
(1) The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
(2) The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
(3) It is committed when the actor, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, 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, criminal escape or terrorism….
Degrees of murder and penalties in New Jersey
In New Jersey, murder is classified as either a second degree crime or a first degree crime.
In a second degree murder case a judge has a possible a range in the sentence given. In New Jersey, this range is from fifteen years to life in prison.
In a first degree murder case in New Jersey, the penalty is much more severe. Judges will impose a first degree murder sentence of thirty years to life in prison. If the first degree murder involves taking the life of someone under age 14 or police officer in the act of duty, the penalty in New Jersey will be life in prison with no possibility of parole.
A skilled criminal homicide lawyer will often use defenses to a criminal homicide charge to lessen the degree of the charge.
If it can be proven in a New Jersey court that the homicide was justifiable, this may be a complete defense to the charge. If the homicide was committed while protecting yourself from death or bodily injury, this is one of several types of justifiable criminal homicide defenses.
There may also be situations where a person is incapable of intentionally killing another person. Reasons for being incapable of intentionally killing another person include insanity, diminished mental capacity, and severe intoxication.
An alibi defense, wherein the defendant can prove that he was elsewhere at the time the homicide took place.
Because possible defense to criminal homicide in New Jersey can be complicated and nuanced, it is critically important that any person charged with criminal homicide immediately contact an experienced legal team such as Team Law.
If you have been charged with criminal homicide in New Jersey you need to act quickly to allow yourself as much time as possible to build a viable defense to these very serious charges. Contact Team Law today and we will use our years of criminal defense experience to help you.
Yes. Judges in New Jersey may look at the defendant’s absence of criminal history as well as any possible mitigating factors in deciding whether to lessen a second degree murder charge.
In New Jersey, manslaughter is when a person recklessly causes death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, while murder is when a person purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death.
Yes. In New Jersey, if you kill someone while driving a car, this is vehicular homicide, which is a form of criminal homicide.
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Criminal Defense Information Center