What Is Aggravated Manslaughter in New Jersey?
The law that applies to the offense of Aggravated Manslaughter is set forth at N.J.S. 2C:11-4(a) and says:
a. Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated manslaughter when: (1) The actor recklessly causes death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life; or (2) The actor causes the death of another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2. Notwithstanding the provision of any other law to the contrary, the actor shall be strictly liable for a violation of this paragraph upon proof of a violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 which resulted in the death of another person. As used in this paragraph, “actor” shall not include a passenger in a motor vehicle.
The crux of proving an aggravated manslaughter charge is establishing that the death was the result of extreme indifference to human life. What this means is that the accused engaged in the conduct when there was probability that death would result. The only exception where this is not required is where the death results from fleeing or eluding a police officer in a motor vehicle. The prosecutor need not demonstrate extreme indifference when this occurs but must prove that there was a violation of the eluding statute, N.J.S. 2C:29-2(b), and that the victim was killed as a result thereof.
Penalties for Aggravated Manslaughter
Both varieties of aggravated manslaughter are first degree crimes although the jail sentences are different. The potential term of imprisonment is 10-30 years where the conviction is based on extreme indifference to the value of human life. The standard first degree prison range of 10-20 years applies when aggravated manslaughter is based on eluding. The No Early Release Act (“NERA”) requires that a defendant serve at least 85% of any jail sentence imposed under 2C:11-4(a). The maximum fine for either variety of aggravated manslaughter is $200,000.
Essex county Aggravated Manslaughter Defense Lawyers
As you can see, an indictment for aggravated manslaughter can result in devastation if the charge is not properly handled. The attorneys at our firm are highly experienced in the defense of homicide charges and are prepared to put their one-hundred plus years of collective experience to work to achieve the best result possible. Call us today for immediate assistance at 973-710-1520.