Penalties for Criminal Convictions in Hudson County
Instead of felonies or misdemeanors, New Jersey classifies crimes as either indictable crimes or disorderly persons offenses. New Jersey’s indictable crimes are roughly equivalent to felonies in other states, while disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses are roughly equivalent to misdemeanors in other states.
When it comes to penalizing indictable crimes or disorderly persons offenses, New Jersey courts consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances to determine whether punishments should be harsher or less severe. An aggravating circumstance is a factor that increases the severity of a crime and supports a harsher penalty. A mitigating circumstance is a factor that lessens the severity of a crime and supports a lesser penalty.
Typical penalties for disorderly persons offenses in Hudson County include:
- Petty disorderly persons offenses – Up to 30 days’ jail time and $500 in fines
- Disorderly persons offenses – Up to six months’ jail time and $1,000 in fines
For indictable crimes, judges are required to order mandatory minimum or “presumptive” sentences, unless mitigating or aggravating circumstances apply. Typical penalties for indictable crimes in New Jersey include:
- Fourth-degree indictable crimes – Up to 18 months’ imprisonment, with a nine-month presumptive sentence, and up to $10,000 in fines
- Third-degree indictable crimes – Up to five years’ imprisonment, with a four-year presumptive sentence, and up to $15,000 in fines
- Second-degree indictable crimes – Up to 10 years’ imprisonment, with a seven-year presumptive sentence, and up to $150,000 in fines
- First-degree indictable crimes – Up to 20 years’ imprisonment, with a 15-year presumptive sentence, and up to $200,000 in fines
In some cases, individuals who are classified as repeat offenders, professional criminals, or hired criminals can face extended prison sentences. The length of a prison sentence for a repeat offender is based on the severity of the crime and any aggravating factors the court considers relevant.
Criminal Records Can Haunt a Person Beyond the Sentence Itself
If you are convicted of a crime in Hudson County, the conviction will be included in your criminal record. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to get in touch with William Proetta Criminal Law to learn about your options after being charged with an offense in Hudson County. In addition to fines and possible jail time, a conviction on your criminal record can have several long-term consequences, which may impact your:
- Future sentencing – If you are convicted of another indictable crime in the future, having a criminal record could result in harsher penalties than usual.
- Employment – Having a criminal record could harm your chances of being selected for interviews or even exclude you from certain professions entirely.
- Housing – Landlords may refuse to rent to prospective tenants with criminal records, and a conviction may interfere with your ability to get a mortgage.
- Finances – Many lenders consider borrowers with criminal records to be credit risks, so you could have difficulty qualifying for certain types of loans.
- Legal privileges – Certain convictions can result in loss of voting rights, driving privileges, firearm privileges, or the ability to hold public office.
- Travel – Any type of conviction on a criminal record could limit your ability to travel abroad.
- Security clearance – If you need a certain level of security clearance to do your job, your clearance may be revoked or denied in light of a criminal conviction.
- Child custody – A criminal record could cause a family law judge to question your ability to look out for a child’s best interests in a custody dispute.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Rights During and After an Arrest in Hudson County?
If you have been arrested or detained by Hudson County law enforcement, you can defend your legal rights by:
- Remaining calm and not resisting – Never attempt to run, resist, or obstruct police officers. Keep your hands visible at all times, and never lie to the police or provide them with fake documents.
- Refusing to consent to search requests – If the police ask to search you, chances are they don’t have a warrant. Even if they insist on searching you anyway, you can politely make it clear that you do not consent to the search. Any evidence obtained through illegal searches will likely be inadmissible in court.
- Expressing your wish to remain silent – Let the police know that you wish to remain silent. Do not provide explanations, excuses, or “harmless” details that could jeopardize your case.
- Asking for a lawyer immediately – In addition to exercising your Fifth Amendment rights, tell the police that you want to speak with a lawyer immediately. If the police continue to try to get you to talk, simply repeat your intention to remain silent and your request to speak to a lawyer.
- Remembering the details of the arrest – If you believe your rights were violated at any point, focus on remembering as many details as you can. This includes things like officers’ names, badge numbers, and patrol car numbers.
Talk to a Hudson County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
When you need a dependable criminal defense attorney in south Jersey, trust your case to the hometown lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law. We can answer your questions and discuss clear, realistic solutions when you contact us for a free initial case review. Get in touch with us today.