Indictable Offense: A Terrifying Synonym For Felony

Indictable Offense

An indictable offense is just a big fancy word

Indictable offenses are felony crimes.

If you are charged with an indictable offense, you will face prison time.

New Jersey has four categories of indictable offenses.

These categories are organized by degree.

For example, First-Degree, Second-Degree, Third-Degree & Fourth-Degree crimes.

Here’s an easy rhyme to remember which degree is the most severe.

First is the worst! See how it rhymes?

First-degree indictable offenses start with a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years in prison.

Check out this New Jersey Indictable Offense Chart

Indictable offenses and the grand jury

Before your indictable offense can move to trial, the government has to show the evidence they have against you to a grand jury.

The grand jury is made up of a group of “regular” people who will examine the evidence for your arrest and decide whether the government has “enough” of a basis (evidence) to bring “formal charges”.

A grand jury does not decide guilt or innocence.

Their role is to make sure that the government isn’t harassing citizens & making arrests willy nilly.

The grand jury is simply asked to answer the following question:
Does the government have enough evidence to make the arrest?

This standard is called “Probable Cause”.

In other words, the grand jury must determine if enough probable cause exists to charge you with the crime(s) that the government believes that you committed.

Once the grand jury votes in the government’s favor, your felony charges become official.

When the grand jury approves the indictment, this is called a “True Bill”.

When the grand jury rejects the indictment, this is called a “No Bill”.

If the grand jury No Bills the indictment in your case, the government can try again.

Show me an example of an Indictment

If the grand jury “True Bills” your indictable offense, it will return a document called an “Indictment”.

An indictment is the formal charging document in your case.

It will contain the following:

  1. Jurisdictional information about where you committed the alleged crime;
  2. Your first and last name;
  3. The date(s) when you allegedly committed the crime;
  4. The complaint number, prosecutor file number, and indictment number;
  5. The elements of the crime that you are alleged to have committed;
  6. The section of the criminal code where the crime can be found;
  7. The number of crimes you are being charged with referred to as counts.


Sample New Jersey Indictment

important Fact:

Grand jury proceedings are closed proceedings.
You cannot participate and tell your side of the story.
Under New Jersey law, the government needs to
provide “exculpatory” evidence for the grand jury to consider.
This means that good evidence about you or weak government evidence 
must be presented for the grand jury to consider.

See State v Hogan 144 NJ 216 (1996)

How long does the government have
to charge me with an Indictable Offense?

In the legal world, the time limit is called a criminal statute of limitations.

Under New Jersey law (NJSA – 2C:1-6), prosecutions must start within a certain period of time.

Below please find the time limits as they apply to each crime:

  • murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, terrorism, widespread injury or damage
    No statute of limitations
  • Bribery of government official, official misconduct, other related offenses:
    7 years
  • Every other indictable offense:
    5 years
  • Disorderly offense or petty disorderly offense:
    1 year
  • Criminal sexual contact or endangering the welfare of a child with the victim under 18:
    within 5 years after victim turns 18 or 2 years of discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later

Non-Indictable Offenses

In New Jersey, indictable offenses are crimes.

Non-indictable offenses are called Disorderly Person (DP) offenses, & Petty Disorderly Person (PDP) offenses.

An indictable offense is referred to as a felony in other jurisdictions & usually involves a prison sentence.

A disorderly persons offense is called a misdemeanor in other jurisdictions and the maximum jail time is 6 months and a fine up to $1,000.

Examples include:

Petty disorderly person offenses are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500.

Read more:
Disorderly Persons Offenses & Municipal Ordinances: What’s The Difference?

Meet with us to discuss your case, we offer FREE consultations.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

Our Practice Areas

Below you will find some but not all of our practice areas. Of course, if you do not see your criminal charges listed, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We will meet with you to discuss your case & to answer all of your legal concerns. Se habla español tambien!

Areas We Serve

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent criminal lawyers in the Hackensack area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

Peyrouton Law
Based on 175 reviews
jemsley canela
jemsley canela
23:10 22 Mar 23
Lauren Serrano
Lauren Serrano
19:45 04 Mar 23
Extremely professional, on time, and responds immediately with any questions or concerns I had. Exceptional lawyer!
John B.
John B.
01:36 10 Feb 23
I met Alan and right off the bat I knew he was a straight shooter........I was facing alot of time and he didn't sugar coat my worst outcome and best outcome for hiring him to defend me.He was very reasonable priced and answered all my questions even if I repeated myself.All the way upto my court date he was responsive to all my calls and concerns. Other lawyers wanted outrageous fees and would tell me what i wanted to hear. Alan isn't like that at all. Not only was my case dismissed but he gave me great life advice. He is a true definition of a scholar and a gentleman!!!!!
Geselle Linares
Geselle Linares
21:31 22 Jan 23
I just wanted to get on here and say how amazing Alan is. He is very friendly and professional. He took care of everything and thankfully I did not stress one bit. Every time I had a question he was sure to answer within a reasonable time. If anyone is thinking about hiring him do not hesitate to contact him or his team!
Rosales Karen
Rosales Karen
03:24 18 Dec 22
Exelente abogado merece más de 5 estrellas una persona seria humilde el abogado alan es bien educado habla español trata de lo mejor A sus clientes exelente persona 😄 ✌
Drew C
Drew C
22:39 15 Dec 22
Just want to express my gratitude for Alan and how he handled the case in a professional, transparent and timely manner. I was pulled over on a bs stop and was hit with multiple fines on top of a criminal offense and it was handled as smoothly as I could possibly ask for. Thank you again Alan.
21:21 13 Dec 22
This guy is down to earth friendly, easily works with you and is the best of the best when it comes to law. Alan really helped me out on a tough case and I couldn’t recommend anyone better.
Jonathan Rodriguez
Jonathan Rodriguez
15:16 05 Dec 22
Best lawyer in town very happy with the results, communication and pricing, Alan will fight for you to get the best results. After one year he never stop working in my case until he got what he wanted for me. 100% I will back if I ever need his help again.
Quashawn Ross
Quashawn Ross
16:15 25 Oct 22
I wanted to wholeheartedly thank you for your expertise and wisdom regarding my matter. You fount hope for me when I thought there wasn’t any. Thank you for your exceptional service and professionalism you displayed throughout my case and afterwards. I had to make sure I left you a thoughtful review, as it was well needed. Once again thanks from the heart. I’d recommend you a thousand times. No fabricated representation, just real results.
20:51 19 Sep 22
Absolutely Amazing Law Firm !! Very Thorough And And Doesn't Play Any Games .Thank You Again For all your help and Hard work Also Keeping my record Spotless !!!