If you or your loved one was arrested and charged with criminal homicide, you undoubtedly understand just how serious a situation confronts you. Whether the variety of homicide is murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, drug induced death or even death by auto, the penalties are extreme if there is a conviction. Bail can also be challenging when you consider that the absolute bottom of the NJ bail range for most homicide charges is $250,000 and that it is not uncommon for the bail to reach $1,000,000. Call our Newark defense firm, the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver for the knowledgeable and experienced representation you require. We are one of the largest criminal defense teams in the state and also happen to employ several ex-prosecutors. We have been representing clients charged with criminal offenses in Essex County, in towns like East Orange, South Orange, Newark, Bloomfield, Irvington, Orange and West Orange for over a decade. Attorneys are available 24/7 to assist you at 973-710-1520.
New Jersey Criminal Homicide Law: N.J.S. 2C:11-2
N.J.S. 2C:11-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code sets forth the umbrella known as “criminal homicide”. This state provides that:
a. A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he/she purposely, knowingly, recklessly or, under the circumstances set forth in section 2C:11-5 (“Death by Vehicular Homicide”), causes the death of another human being.
b. Criminal homicide is murder, manslaughter or death by auto.
As you read this statute, you will note that there are essentially four (4) requirements under N.J.S. 2C:11-2 for someone to be found guilty of criminal homicide. First, the accused must engage in some form of prohibited conduct. Second, the defendant’s conduct must be purposeful, knowing or reckless. Third, the conduct must have caused injury to the victim. Fourth, the injuries must result in death. Where a murder is committed under certain narrow circumstances of immediate passion, aggravated manslaughter, a less severe crime, may apply.
Categories of Homicide Under New Jersey Law
As previously stated, there are several varieties of criminal homicide set forth under New Jersey Law. N.J.S. 2C:11-3 outlines the charge known as Murder. In general terms, this violation arises where an individual is accused of intentionally causing someone’s death. Felony murder is a subspecies of this offense and is triggered where death occurs during the course of a robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal escape, or terrorism. When death results unintentionally from reckless conduct, the offense known as manslaughter arises in accordance with N.J.S. 2C:11-4. When a manslaughter is committed with a motor vehicle or vessel (a.k.a. boat), death by auto is the charge that arises pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:11-5. New Jersey has also established a strict liability offense where someone causes the drug induced death of another.
Grading of Homicide Offenses
Although New Jersey no longer has the death penalty, the consequences of a homicide conviction are severe since most forms of this charge involve a first degree crime. In this regard, Murder and Aggravated Manslaughter are first degree crimes. Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide are second degree crimes, except where the death was the result of Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”), in which case it is a first degree crime.
Newark NJ Homicide Defense Lawyers
Homicides hit a seven year high in New Jersey 2013, and the statistics were led by Essex County’s largest municipality, the City of Newark. The incidents of homicide are, unfortunately, abnormally high in Essex County as compared to others in the state and, as one of the largest criminal defense firms in the state, we witness the consequences of these charges all the time. Call us any time of day or night for assistance as initial consultations are always free of charge. Our attorneys are ready to help you at 973-710-1520.