The crime of murder is the most serious of those offenses falling under the heading of criminal homicide. It is a first degree crime, the highest grade provided under New Jersey Law. The penalties that apply in the event of conviction are exceptional and probably for good reason. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder, you clearly need the best representation that you can afford. For assistance from one of the largest and most experienced criminal defense teams in the state, call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. Our former prosecutors and highly skilled defense lawyers are ready in assist you by contacting our Toms River Criminal Firm to assist you. We are available 24/7 at (732) 286-6500 to discuss the defense of your Ocean County murder charge.The Crime of Murder in New Jersey
To be convicted of murder, the prosecutor must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant knowingly or purposely, caused death or serious bodily injury leading to death, of another person. It is not enough for the defendant to have acted “recklessly or negligently” such as in a manslaughter case, it must be established that there was an intent or virtual certainty that death would result from the conduct. This is what must happen in order for you to be convicted of a murder offense arising in Lacey Township, Pt. Pleasant, Stafford, Manchester, Lakewood, Toms River or another town in the county.
There is an affirmative defense that applies to murder but it only applies where the accused is not the individual who committed the act that caused the death. There are four (4) requirements in order for this defense to apply:
- The defendant did not commit the actual homicide, nor did they solicit, request, command or aid in the commission of the murder;
- Were not armed with a weapon;
- Were not aware that another party intended to commit the homicidal acts; AND
- Were not aware that another party possessed a weapon.
The penalties upon conviction for murder are, as previously stated, extreme. They can, however, get even worse if the offense occurs under circumstances triggering felony murder under NJ Law. A criminal homicide constitutes felony murder where any of the following circumstances exist:
- The victim was a police officer;
- The victim was under 14 years old;
- The murder occurred during the commission of a crime for sexual assault or sexual criminal contact;
- Defendant was convicted of a previous murder;
- During the murder the defendant created a grave risk of death to someone other than the victim;
- The murder was particularly vile or inhuman and involved torture, depravity, or aggravated assault;
- Defendant committed the murder in return for payment of some sort;
- The murder occurred during a flight from law enforcement; or
- The victim was a public servant acting in their official capacity or was killed because of their role as a public servant.
The law governing murder charges is complicated and certainly is not for attorneys lacking significant experience handling these cases, preferably at the Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River.Penalties That Apply If You Are Convicted of Murder
As stated, murder is a first degree crime in the state of New Jersey, but the crime sets forth greater penalties than most other first degree offenses. Persons convicted of murder will face a mandatory minimum of thirty (30) years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Further, if the jury finds that aggravating factors are present with regard to the murder (i.e. felony murder applies), then the defendant will likely receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. New Jersey is serious about deterring commission of this offense and has taken drastic measures to ensure persons convicted of the offense are punished accordingly.Manchester Murder Offense Lawyers
The likelihood is that your loved one is presently in custody and has yet to be released on bail. Our Toms River Criminal Attorneys can help you secure a more reasonable bail or with any other issues you may be having concerning a murder offense that was filed in Ocean Township, Little Egg Harbor, Jackson, Brick Township, Berkeley or another jurisdiction. We will conduct a complete review of the facts surrounding your case, secure appropriate investigation, and undertake whatever other efforts are necessary to reach a favorable outcome of your case. For immediate assistance, contact us now at (732) 286-6500.