Top 4 Criminal Law Issues in South New Jersey
New Jersey has one of the lowest crime rates of the New England states despite a slight uptick during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many local cities and states have responded to the increased crime by funding more police departments. However, every American has a Constitutional right to an attorney if they are accused of a crime. Below are some common criminal charges in South New Jersey:
Drug Crimes in New Jersey
Drug offenses make up many arrests in South New Jersey. Different drugs may carry greater penalties if a defendant is convicted of possessing, distributing, selling, or controlling the following: cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, or controlled prescription drugs.
New Jersey drug laws are governed by both federal and state laws. New Jersey also has several state drug laws which may not be applicable in other states. A drug offense can carry severe penalties that typically include a fine or a lengthy prison sentence.
Statutory Rape in New Jersey
The age of consent in New Jersey is 16 years of age. The state of New Jersey prohibits sex between individuals younger than 16 years of age and individuals who are at least four years older. New Jersey has a “Romero and Juliet” exception that permits a consensual relationship between two minors who dated while in school but one minor turns 18 years of age before the other. Statutory rape in New Jersey may carry a sentence between 10 and 20 years in state prison, depending on the charge. It may be in your best interest to discuss with an attorney if you are accused of statutory rape in New Jersey.
Violent Assault in New Jersey
An aggravated assault in New Jersey is typically a second degree felony with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. An aggravated assault can be charged if the victim sustained serious bodily injury, if the suspect used a deadly weapon, or committed an additional felony during the assault. Additionally, a simple assault charge can be upgraded to an aggravated assault if the victim was a police officer, teacher, fireman, elderly person, or other protected class. Be sure to speak with an attorney if you are accused of a violent assault.
Property Crimes in New Jersey
Property crimes encompass all crimes related to the theft or destruction of property, including robbery, vandalism, and arson. Potential sentences for property crimes are typically in proportion with the severity of the crime. Criminal fines may be imposed and prison time may range from a few days to a couple of decades. Defenses to a property crime charge include ownership of the mistakenly stolen item or if the defendant had permission to take the item. Consider speaking with an attorney in New Jersey if you are accused of a property crime.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Criminal Law Issue in New Jersey?
If you have been the victim of a drug, property, or violent crime, you should call the police immediately. A criminal prosecutor may be able to assist in arresting and indicting any suspects. You should also consider contacting a civil attorney to assist you in filing a lawsuit against the accused.
If you are a criminal defendant or suspect, you should contact a local criminal defense attorney in New Jersey. An attorney can defend your rights and represent you in court. You have the right to a criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a crime.