Charged with a Third Degree Crime in Hoboken NJ
According to New Jersey State Records, there were approximately 12,824 crimes reported in Hudson County in the most recent year totaled. Included in this report are third degree crimes that encompass both violent and non-violent offenses. As a major city, Hoboken, located in Hudson County, is the site of many third degree crimes that span the criminal spectrum from aggravated assault to theft by deception. The following provides a general overview of third degree crimes, common examples thereof, how they fit into the larger classification of crimes in New Jersey, and potential consequences that you may face if convicted. Nevertheless, seeking individualized help regarding your specific case involving third degree criminal charges in Hoboken is highly advisable if you want to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your case in Hudson County Superior Court. With local offices in Hudson County, Proetta & Oliver is a team of highly skilled criminal defense attorneys who have assisted clients with successfully resolving third degree crime cases ranging from burglary to terroristic threats. To discuss your case with a criminal lawyer who can advise and answer your questions free of charge, call (201) 793-8018 or contact us online today.
Third Degree Crimes in Hoboken, New Jersey
Before we get into the details of third degree crimes, it is important to understand how crimes in New Jersey are classified. Under New Jersey law, you can be charged with a first, second, third, or fourth degree crime. Each crime has a potential term in state prison attached to it if convicted. The state prison terms vary in length depending on the degree of the crime. The prison term rises as the degree of the crime increases, as do the potential fines. Crimes of the first and second degree are more serious crimes for which more severe penalties are imposed. Additionally, in many of these cases, jail time is mandatory and the judge cannot exercise leniency in sentencing. Third degree crimes are different, in that jail sentences may be imposed but they are not mandatory. Specifically, the possible state prison term for third degree crimes in New Jersey is 3 to 5 years of incarceration in State Prison.
Third degree crimes are lower-level indictable offenses than first and second degree crimes, but they are nonetheless crimes punishable by state prison. Unlike first and second degree offenses, state prison is not required for first offenders. In fact, there is a presumption against incarceration in state prison for anyone who has never committed an offense before. Please note however, that this does not mean that you cannot serve time in jail if convicted or you plead guilty to a crime of third degree. For instance, the court can sentence you to as much as 364 days in the county jail and require you to be placed on a term of probation for as much as 5 years. Moreover, the judge can order you to pay as much as $15,000 in fines, forfeit your driver’s license (in drug cases for between 6 and 24 months), pay a mandatory Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction penalty of $1,000 for drug offenses, pay a monthly probation supervision fee up to $25 as well as a $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $50 Victims of Crime Agency Assessment Fee, a $30 Law Enforcement Training and Equipment Fund Penalty, and the cost of DNA testing and placement into the New Jersey State Police Criminal registry. Because of the conviction and registry in the state database, your conviction will show up on any background check conducted by potential employers.
Hoboken 3rd Degree Criminal Charges
There are thousands of crimes committed in Hudson County every year and Hoboken is a highly-populated and largely visited city that undoubtedly contributes to this number. There are many crimes that qualify as third degree crimes, but some are more common than others. For example, many of the offenses that lead to arrests and charges in Hoboken are third degree crimes involving drugs. There are numerous reasons why drug offenses are common, one of which may be the fact that in Hoboken, partying or partaking in substances on the weekends is perceived as an acceptable way to relax and recreate. Many of the drugs utilized toward that end result in third degree charges for defendants with no criminal history. For instance, let us say that you have worked a long week and are excited to meet your friends at a local bar along Washington Street. You meet with your friends, kick back and relax, eat, have a few drinks, and your buddy offers you a little bump of cocaine. You take the cocaine with you to the car and place it in the console while you get situated. For some unknown reason, an officer approaches the car and shines a flashlight right on the cocaine. He has you step out of the vehicle, after which he arrests you. Before you know it, you are charged with a third degree crime and are required to attend Hudson County Superior Court located at 595 Newark Ave, Jersey City.
Shortly after your arrest for a third degree crime in Hoboken, you will attend court for a first appearance and then potentially numerous times over the next several months. Eventually, if convicted, you can be sentenced to prison for up to 5 years and the court can also impose more severe penalties in certain cases as well. In fact, the fine ordered in drug cases can be as much as $35,000. Similarly, if placed on probation, you could be required to obtain a substance abuse evaluation and follow up with drug treatment. Of course, not all third degree crimes in Hoboken are drug crimes like drug possession. Other commonly charged third degree crimes include:
- Theft of movable property
- Receiving stolen property
- Credit card fraud
- Eluding police
- Burglary (including car thefts)
- Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Mischief
- Terroristic threats
Will I go to Jail for a Crime of the Third Degree in Hoboken?
In many of the cases involving third degree criminal charges, there are alternatives available that are preferable to trial and that which may assist in resolving your case at an early stage. Not every person charged with or convicted of a third degree crime will go to jail. This is because the court has diversionary programs in place to assist defendants. One such program is Pre-trial Intervention (PTI). PTI permits a court to place your case on hold until you complete certain conditions. If all conditions are met, your charges will be dismissed at the end of the probationary term. In most cases, a guilty plea is not required to enter and complete PTI. Notably, this program is usually only available to first time offenders.
For individuals who are not eligible for PTI, Drug Court may be available. This program requires legal and clinical acceptance, which is determined after an application is submitted. As an incentive to gain participants, New Jersey funds all drug treatment deemed necessary by an experienced evaluator. Further, any mandatory jail time will be suspended pending successful completion of the program. Even more importantly, your records will be expunged upon graduation no matter how many offenses you have on your criminal record prior to completing Drug Court. Of course, not all people charged with third degree offenses will be eligible for, or want to gain entrance into, the above programs. Our attorneys know and understand this and can direct you in pursuing all available possibilities toward a successful resolution.
Contact Third Degree Crime Defense Lawyers in Hoboken NJ
If you have been arrested in Hoboken for a third degree crime, putting yourself in the best position to increase your chances of negotiating or achieving a favorable result at trial is of critical importance. With our help, you can resolve your case for a third degree offense and move on with your life. Contact us today at (201) 793-8018 if you are looking for a talented Hoboken criminal defense lawyer who knows how to place you on a positive track in advance of court. We are available anytime to provide you with a free consultation.