Camden County NJ Homicide Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorney with Offices in Collingswood, New Jersey
Homicide, or murder, is the most serious crime in New Jersey’s criminal code and therefore carries the harshest penalties if convicted. If you are charged with and found guilty of murder, you will be subject to 30 years to life in prison without parole eligibility until at least 30 years have been served. If you have been charged with homicide, it is absolutely necessary that you speak to an experienced and skilled attorney that may be able to help you minimize these severe consequences.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison have had tremendous success handling threat and assault related offenses for years in Camden County including Gloucester, Camden, Cherry Hill, and Clementon In fact, one of the members of our criminal defense team is a former county prosecutor in New Jersey who used to prosecute various charges for the State. This gives us great insight into the types of arguments the prosecution might make. This sort of knowledge can be invaluable to you in your case. If you have been charged with murder, having an attorney who knows what it takes to potentially beat the charges against you is imperative. Call the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison at 866-721-9510 anytime for a free initial consultation.
New Jersey Homicide Statute: N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3
Homicide in New Jersey is covered under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3 which provides:
a. Criminal homicide constitutes murder when
(1) The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
(2) The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or
(3) Felony murder – 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, 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,
Note: It is a defense to this subsection if the defendant
- Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof, and
- Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury and or a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons; and
- Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon,instrument, article or substance; and
- Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.
Penalties for Murder in New Jersey
Being convicted of murder can subject a person to more severe penalties than other first degree crimes which generally carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. Homicide can result in 30 years without parole or a specific number of years between 30 and life imprisonment of which you are not eligible parole until after serving 30 years.
Under certain circumstances, being convicted of murder can result in life imprisonment without the opportunity for parole. These include:
(1) If the victim was a law enforcement officer and was murdered while performing his official duties or was murdered because of his status as a law enforcement officer.
(2) The victim is less than 14 years old and the act is committed in the course of the commission, whether alone or with one or more persons, of a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2 or N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3 (Sexual assault and criminal sexual contact, respectively).
(3) Any person convicted under subsection a.(1) or (2) who committed the homicidal act by his own conduct; or who as an accomplice procured the commission of the offense by payment or promise of payment of anything of pecuniary value; or who, as a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 and in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3, commanded or by threat or promise solicited the commission of the offense, or, if the murder occurred during the commission of the crime of terrorism, any person who committed the crime of terrorism shall be sentenced by the court to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole in a maximum security prison, if a jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that any of the following aggravating factors exist:
- The defendant has been convicted, at any time, of another murder. For purposes of this section, a conviction shall be deemed final when sentence is imposed and may be used as an aggravating factor regardless of whether it is on appeal;
- In the commission of the murder, the defendant purposely or knowingly created a grave risk of death to another person in addition to the victim;
- The murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated assault to the victim;
- The defendant committed the murder as consideration for the receipt, or in expectation of the receipt of anything of pecuniary value;
- The defendant procured the commission of the murder by payment or promise of payment of anything of pecuniary value;
- The murder was committed for the purpose of escaping detection, apprehension, trial, punishment or confinement for another offense committed by the defendant or another;
- The murder was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking or the crime of contempt in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9;
- The defendant murdered a public servant, as defined in N.J.S.2C:27-1, while the victim was engaged in the performance of his official duties, or because of the victim’s status as a public servant;
- The defendant, as a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 and in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3, committed, commanded or by threat or promise solicited the commission of the murder or (ii) committed the murder at the direction of a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3;
- The homicidal act that the defendant committed or procured was in violation of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:17-2;
- The victim was less than 14 years old; or
- The murder was committed during the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit, terrorism pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2).
Note: There may be defenses available in your case if you have been charged with murder which is why you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. For example, the killing might be justified if it was done in self defense. Also, if the killing was not premeditated, you can avoid a first degree conviction and therefore receive lighter penalties.
Note: Homicide is included under New Jersey’s “No Early Release Act” meaning that 85 percent of the sentence must be served before parole eligibility.
Contact a Gloucester NJ Homicide Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leonard Biddison are always available to speak with you about your case and begin to formulate an aggressive strategy to defend you against a homicide charge. Our criminal defense team understands the details of homicide law in New Jersey and we will use this knowledge to help you best defend against these charges. Call us today at 866-721-9510 for a free initial consultation about your case.