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
Based on 148 reviews
Chase Parchment
Chase Parchment
16:16 01 Apr 21
I was in a terrible bind. Police officer trumped up charges, lied and frankly tried to ruin me. I was facing six charges but I knew I was not guilty of anything. Samera was very professional and knowledgeable and helped guide me along. Alan was sharp from day one and in the end, all charges were dismissed. I couldn't be any happier. Not only will I use them if I need to (Though I hope it not), I will recommend Alan to anyone I know in need of counsel. Thank you again.
Alessandra Sawick
Alessandra Sawick
17:14 29 Mar 21
We had a smooth process dealing with the courts thanks to Peyrouton Law office. They are very professional and knowledge and helped us in every step of the way. They really care for the clients and for resolving their cases. I highly recommend their services.
sugoi desune
sugoi desune
18:25 24 Mar 21
I went to this law office when I was in a dire situation and from an affordable cost and an incredibly hardworking law firm my situation was handled with care and saved me a lot of trouble.
Joao limao
Joao limao
18:21 24 Mar 21
Amazing lawyer! He took care of everything while I was able to relax and kept me informed the entire process throughout.
Bruce Lieblich
Bruce Lieblich
17:35 19 Mar 21
Personal attention to detail anytime you callRates are reasonable and his effort is second to noneAlways professional and solid legal guidanceCan help you day or night no stone left unturned
Maria Castillo
Maria Castillo
20:24 15 Mar 21
Thank you Alan and Samera for your wonderful work! This was my first time facing a criminal conviction and you guys were able to help me and support me throughout this process. Alan was able to get the best outcome in this situation and for that I will always be grateful for. I will definitely recommend this law office to anyone facing a hard time with the law. Thank you again!
Jason C
Jason C
04:28 11 Mar 21
I never thought I would need legal assistance for my family, but Alan was awesome. Highly recommend to everyone and would have no problem using his services again. Samera is just a flawless addition to his team. I can't say enough good things about them.
Schumacher Photographs
Schumacher Photographs
18:10 10 Mar 21
This law firm and Samera in particular helped me out of a big jam that was actually a mistake NDMV made. NJ thought my car insurance lapsed when I moved out of state so they suspended my license which meant I could not get my car registered in my new state AND couldn't get my license updated nor could I go to dmv since I moved cross country. I answered every letter NJDMV sent me registered receipt mail with ALL the proof my vehicle NEVER had a lapse but they ignored all my correspondence. The office manager at Peyrouton Law, Samera handled everything. ONLY through her tenacity and persistence did this issue get resolved. NJDMV lifted the suspension so I could move forward where I currently live. This girl is dead on it! Thank you soo much Samera and Alan! Harry S.
B J
B J
17:00 17 Feb 21
Crashnburn973
Crashnburn973
23:01 15 Feb 21
So far so good....no complaints here...Very good people
yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7