A homicide that is committed during the course of certain major crimes, is referred to as felony murder under the NJ Criminal Code. The related offense, which is set forth at N.J.S. 2C:11-3(a)(3), allows for the charge of murder notwithstanding a lack of specific intent to kill on the part of the defendant where the death results during the commission of a qualifying crime. The Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver has the experience and toughness you need if you or your loved is facing a felony murder charge. As a team with over 100 years of collective experience defending charges, including decades of time prosecuting cases, we are capable of effectively battling through the most serious of criminal offenses like felony murder. Call us 24/7 for an immediate consultation at 973-710-1520. We have extensive experience representing clients charged with criminal offenses in Essex County, in towns like Newark, East Orange, South Orange, Bloomfield, Fairfield, Belleville and West Caldwell.
When Can Someone Be Charged With Felony Murder?
As stated, N.J.S. 2C:11-3(a)(3) embodies New Jersey’s felony murder law. In this regard, an individual may be charged and eventually indicted for felony murder under the following circumstances:
a. Except as provided in N.J.S.2C:11-4, criminal homicide constitutes murder when:
(3) It is committed when the actor, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, is engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal escape or terrorism pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2002, c. 26 (C.2C:38-2), and in the course of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, any person causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subsection, in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant: (a) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof; and (b) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury and of a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons; and (c) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article or substance; and (d) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.
It is important to clarify that conspiracy to commit a robbery or another qualifying crime does not provide a basis for felony murder. The violation must involve the commission of the underlying offense rather than conspiracy to commit the infraction. In addition, in order to convict an accused, it must be established not only that the death was caused during the course of the crime but also that it was the probable consequence of the conduct.
How Long Can I Go To Jail If I Am Convicted Of Felony Murder?
Although felony murder is a first degree crime, the standard prison term of 10-20 years does not apply. N.J.S. 2C:11-3 allows the court to sentence an individual, in most cases, to a jail term of between 30 years to life, with a period of parole ineligibility of at least 30 years.
Newark NJ Murder Defense Attorneys
A felony murder charge certainly is not something to be defended by the inexperienced. This offense is frequently complex with stakes that are just about as high as they get. You should definitely take advantage of every opportunity to consult with a Newark Homicide Defense Lawyer that has handled felony murder charges. Call us for a free consultation with an experienced murder attorney any time at 973-710-1520.