New Jersey Murder

NJ murder charges are all first-degree charges. These charges carry mandatory minimum prison terms. All murder charges involve death. Death may result from an intentional or unintentional act. When you get charged with murder, it means that you caused someone’s death. NJ murder law is broad and needs to be broken down to be understood.

Since you will go to prison for a very long time if you are convicted, nothing could be more important than understanding how NJ murder charges are classified. If you or a loved one are in this situation, get prepared for the biggest fight of your life.

Murder

In NJ, murder or homicide cases fall into three categories.

  1. You purposefully caused the death or serious bodily injury that resulted in death; or
  2. You knowingly caused death or serious bodily injury that resulted in death; or
  3. You caused someone to die during the commission of another crime (felony murder).

Purposefully Causing Someone's Death

“Purposefully” means that you intended to kill someone. You will face NJ murder charges if your goal or objective was to take someone’s life.

This is where the prosecutor will emphasize how you planned to be successful in achieving your goal. This is combined with premeditation or the amount of time you took to think about your actions.

Planning & premeditation are not limited to the act of taking a life but are also applied to the steps you took to get away with an NJ murder charge.

Knowingly Causing Someone's Death

Knowingly means that you were fully aware of your actions but your goal was not to take a life. In other words, you knew that lighting an explosive would cause horrific damage, but you never intended to kill a stranger located a block away from the explosion. 

For NJ murder purposes, it does not matter. 

Felony Murder - Death During Commission of a Felony

This is known as the “felony murder” rule. NJ murder charges will apply to you even if your actions did not kill anyone. Confusing right?

It goes like this. If you were involved in any way in committing a felony and someone dies during the commission of the felony, you will face murder charges.

As an example, let’s say that you and 2 other guys decide to rob a bank. This is called a conspiracy. The 3 of you plan the bank robbery & you’re the getaway driver. Your 2 friends rob the bank and accidentally shoot & kill someone during their escape. Even though you’re in the getaway car a block away, you will face murder charges along with your 2 friends.

Manslaughter

You caused someone’s death but you lacked the clarity of mind to appreciate your actions.

Remember, NJ murder charges are all first-degree indictable offenses and you face 30 years to life.

However, with manslaughter charges, we start to see a decrease in mandatory prison terms. 

For example, a voluntary manslaughter charge & criminal manslaughter charge are second-degree crimes.

Voluntary Manslaughter

This violent crime is best known as a “heat of passion” killing. You’ve seen “heat of passion” killings in countless movies. For example, the husband returns home early from work to find his wife in bed with his best friend. The husband loses all self-control & in a blind fury kills them both.

Voluntary manslaughter takes into consideration two important concepts:

  1. You acted without thinking about it (w/out premeditation); and
  2. You acted without advance planning

The law says that you would have to show or prove that there was “adequate provocation” & that you did not really have time to think about what you were doing.

Prison Term & Fines

A provoked, heat-of-passion manslaughter is graded as a crime of the second degree, punishable by five to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is another violent crime. The government will charge you with this crime even if you did not intend to cause anyone’s death. 

These charges involve situations where you acted with “extreme indifference to human life”.

To act with extreme indifference to human life means that you had absolutely no consideration for how your actions could injure another person. Eluding cases serve as the perfect example.

Let’s say that you get involved in a high-speed car chase with a police officer. You hate getting speeding tickets so you try to escape the patrol car. Your speed exceeds 100 mph and you lose control of your car. As a result, you crash head-on with another driver and instantly kill him.

When you set out on your chase, the last thing on your mind was killing anyone. But your actions were so extreme, that you showed that you did not care about the safety & welfare of other people.

This is a first-degree crime with a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Vehicular Homicide Or Death By Auto

This is a situation where you committed a homicide caused by the reckless operation of your car (or boat).

For example, if you killed someone while driving drunk, you will be charged with this crime.

This is a second-degree crime.

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 complex as well as nearby cities. The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

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.

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our 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
5.0
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Dan kim
Dan kim
20:00 02 Jul 20
Initially, I thought our case was very minor. Come to find out that our situation was actually more complicated and would have had serious consequences had Peyrouton Law not taken our case. From beginning to end, we had peace of mind working with Samera and that we were in good hands and we were taken care of every step of the way. I cannot recommend this firm highly enough. Their professionalism, competency, responsiveness and integrity clearly set them apart from other firms. If you need legal counsel, you must contact Peyrouten Law first!
Junior Garcia
Junior Garcia
17:03 29 Jun 20
The greatest law firm I ever went to!! They handle my situation fast and easy!! Would recommend to anyone!
lea johnson
lea johnson
15:24 25 Jun 20
I can’t say enough great things about Alan and his team at Peyrouton Law. Hiring him was the best decision I could have made in terms of representation in court. His years of experience practicing criminal law in New Jersey make him such a valuable asset to any client. He’s well aquatinted with individuals that work in the court system and he genuinely cared about my case. He took the time to get to know me and advocated on my behalf to the prosecutor and judge. If you are lucky enough to hire Alan, rest assured there are no hidden fees or additional charges for phone calls and emails. Alan and his were always available to answer any questions I had. He was upfront about the expectations of my case and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. To anyone reading this review, I strongly encourage you to hire Alan. 🙂
Edie Nolan
Edie Nolan
21:52 18 Apr 20
The office of Peyrouton Law Helped my family so much, I can't put it into words how much. The day we walked into the office we explained our situation to Alan and his associates and they took on our situation like we were family.
Edward Estupinan
Edward Estupinan
18:04 09 Mar 20
The Peyrouton Law firm is the place to go to if you need great representation. Extremely knowledgeable, honest and prompt. Alan and Kevin got our family through a very difficult and emotional matter quickly and with ease. The office was highly professional, responsive and compassionate. They kept us informed and advised us wisely throughout the entire process. I highly recommend this firm. Karen & Ed E.
traviscp longendyke
traviscp longendyke
15:41 04 Feb 20
Hey, this is Travis. Hope all is well with you guys. I just wanted to reach out and truly thank you guys for everything you did for me and my family and also believing in me at a point when I barely believed in myself. I am off the "conditional probation", and everything is over with. We have our three little beautiful girls (which The youngest just turned one a few days ago), we both have amazing jobs where we are very blessed to be making what we are making for our family, and we are in the process and about to go into contract with buying our first home (a BEAUTIFUL 400,000 dollar home).... Lizzy and myself just wanted to truly thank you guys for believing in me and doing everything you could so I can be in this amazing spot in life that my family is in. I owe a lot of this to you guys and I hope you know what you do does not go unappreciated and you guys are making a huge impact and you guys are a huge help on certain people's lives. This above was a text message that I just sent to Alan and Kevin. For anyone who is looking for AMAZING people to represent you, that will literally do anything and everything they can for you to receive the best outcome, then these are the people you want, I PROMISE you that. They literally made miracles happen on my multiple cases. Alan from day one made me promise him that I would do everything I could to better my life. I did that and in return I received the most amazing lawyers who went above and beyond for me and my family. I couldn’t of created a better pair of lawyers to represent me. If anyone is looking for great results on your case please give Alan and Kevin a shot and I promise you (because I owe a lot of my success right now to these men) that you will not be disappointed and they will do everything they can for you.
Jose Nose
Jose Nose
22:17 03 Feb 20
Alan and Kevin helped me avoid prison on huge drug charges. Then, they beat my DUI case. They’re the perfect combination of aggressive and humble lawyers. Fees are very reasonable and they really cared about me. I totally recommend. My lawyers for life.
Geraldino Fils
Geraldino Fils
00:32 01 Feb 20
Omar Newell
Omar Newell
18:07 23 Jan 20
MY LAWYERS FOR LIFE!!!!!Alan and Kevin are the Best!!!!!!Most genuine lawyers I’ve ever met...they were very detailed and kept me informed about the process every step of the way... These guys have a genuine passion for law and will work endlessly to ensure a favorable outcome... they treat you like family which is what everyone needs when faced with a situation...
Erico Pilates
Erico Pilates
03:18 16 Jan 20
Thank you Dr Peyrouton for your professional advice on my closing issue and for helping me with my litigation case. I am super grateful for a speedy successful outcome on this process.
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