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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.

Our Practice Areas

Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.

Areas We Serve

Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities. 

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
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Greg Mick
Greg Mick
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Alan is truly a great attorney and a great man, he helped me with things I didn’t think could be fixable.
Jaisonnah M
Jaisonnah M
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I had a difficult case but Alan was able to get it settled and dismissed at a reasonable price.
Cathy Denis
Cathy Denis
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I would highly recommend Alan. He was very thorough and compassionate.
Greg Denis
Greg Denis
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I hired peyrouton law to represent me in three cases I had recently alen helped me through the hole thing he was there for me every time I called and explained what was going and what he was doing I wouldhighly recommend him he was the best attorney I have ever had
Aaron McCormick
Aaron McCormick
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I want to Personally Thank Alan at Peyrouton Lawfirm, LLC for his Professionalism, and Dedication in representing me. Not being from NJ, I’m So Glad I chose this Lawfirm to represent me in my Criminal Case. He was thorough from Start to Finish and the case was Dismissed. Thanks Again Alan at Peyrouton Lawfirm, LLC!!!
Sergio Herrera
Sergio Herrera
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I was in a dire situation and needed rapid legal aid. Alan managed to help me get my case dismissed and I can move on with my life. He is a great attorney, reasonable prices, ethical, and not afraid to be straightforward with you about your legal manners. I strongly recommend to hire him. I’ve looked up to him since I met him. Alan is fair and understanding and very professional. He’s a really good lawyer !! He has a cool office by the way!
Cynthia Faustin
Cynthia Faustin
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I encountered Alan when my back was against the wall. So many other lawyers were charging me an arm and a leg and I just could not afford it. Then Alan came in and helped me out tremendously. He was the first lawyer that I felt ACTUALLY listened to me and had my best interests in mind. From our very first conversation, I felt at ease. He and I were able to compromise on a payment and I felt very certain that I had found the right lawyer. Alan was able to get my charges dismissed and I will forever be grateful to him for his hard work. Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU! God Bless you Alan!
Svitlana Kosturko
Svitlana Kosturko
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Peyrouton law is a great company to seek a responsible and helpful professional assistance. The results and outcomes were positive on my end due to Peyrouton Law firm. I recommend others to be refered and seek help with this Firm, all the information and feedback based my personal recent experience.
Yang L
Yang L
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I highly recommend Alan to anyone seeking a lawyer who is not only a legal expert but also a compassionate ally in the pursuit of justice. His dedication, professionalism, and extensive experience set him apart as a true advocate for those navigating the challenging waters of domestic violence cases. Thank you, Alan, for your exceptional service and unwavering commitment to justice.
Tim Kosturko
Tim Kosturko
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Allen took care of our legal issue professionally and quickly. Moreover, he is a decent man. Highly recommend him.
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