Types of Criminal Offenses in New Jersey
There are basically two types of criminal offenses in New Jersey:
1. Disorderly Persons Offenses; and
2. Indictable Crimes.
The language we use for criminal offenses here in New Jersey can be pretty confusing, because we don't typically use the words like felonies and misdemeanors, that you see in other states or on TV.
Instead, a "misdemeanor" is what we call a disorderly persons offense in NJ. This can either be a regular disorderly persons offense ("DP") or a petty disorderly persons offense ("PDP"). These offenses are considered less serious and they are generally handled at the Municipal Court Level. Rather than going to your county courthouse, you will go to your local courthouse. In other posts, I will discuss the penalties for these offenses, and some of the alternatives you have for dealing with them.
What would generally be called a "felony" in another state is actually called an indictable crime here in NJ. These range from 4th to 1st degree, and "first is the worst". These are more serious offenses, and go all the way up to the most serious offenses (for example, murder). They are handled at your county courthouse. In other posts, I will discuss the penalties for these offenses, and some of the alternatives you have for dealing with them as well.
This is just some basic information that can hopefully help you understand what you or a friend or family member has actually been charged with. Please contact my office to discuss your case in greater detail so that even more information can be provided.