New Jersey Homicide Lawyer
Few crimes carry a harsher penalty than murder. Being charged with murder can induce fear in even the toughest persons. The circumstances surrounding a case will be the identifying factors on whether a homicide case is elevated to the degree of actual murder or is treated as some form of manslaughter.
If you’ve been charged with any type of homicide offense, you need the help of a skilled New Jersey homicide lawyer on your side. Top-rated criminal defense attorney Adam M. Lustberg has a winning track record with even the toughest homicide cases and may be able to help.
At Lustberg Law Offices, we understand how the New Jersey criminal justice system works and recognize the impact any homicide charge can have on a person’s life. Our experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorneys have dedicated their practice to protecting the rights of individuals charged with crimes in Hackensack, Bergen County, Hudson County, Passaic County, and throughout New Jersey.
Contact us today at (201) 880-5311 to schedule a free consultation with Adam M. Lustberg.
Homicide is the act of causing the death of another person. Although homicide and murder are often used interchangeably in the media, they actually have very distinct legal definitions. There are specific cases wherein an act of homicide would not constitute murder, or even any crime, such as when the homicide is justifiable (e.g. when a person kills an assailant in self-defense). In New Jersey, murder and manslaughter are characterized as unlawful or criminal homicide. This means that all acts of murder are homicides, but not all homicides will support a charge of murder.
The act of manslaughter, wherein there is an element of recklessness involved in killing another person but a lack of specific intent, is another form of homicide that is separate and distinct from murder.
In contrast, murder, as defined under NJ law, typically involves the intentional killing of another person in an unlawful and legally unjustifiable manner. Murder can also include “malice aforethought” which is the “premeditation” of the act of killing. Intentionally causing someone serious bodily harm that leads to death can also form the basis of a murder charge.
It is important to note that the definition of murder in NJ is not derived from common law but, rather, by statute. Specifically, Section 2C:11-3 of the NJ Code of Criminal Justice contains the relevant definition.
Under New Jersey law, there are three types of criminal homicide:
As derived from its name, vehicular homicide is only charged when a vehicle is used to kill another person or causes a death under certain conditions.. Determining the difference between manslaughter and murder requires understanding the nuance of premeditation and intent.
While homicide and murder both involve causing the death of another person, the premeditation and intent elements of the murder statute are critical in making the distinction. Killing, or inflicting serious harm resulting in the death of another person, when done purposely and knowingly constitute the basis for a murder charge.
A homicide is classified as manslaughter, when:
Aggravated manslaughter is a more severe charge that involves recklessly causing death while “exhibiting extreme indifference to human life”. Aggravated manslaughter is also charged in instances where a defendant causes the death of another person while trying to flee from law enforcement.
Aggravated manslaughter remains distinct from murder due to the person’s intent or lack thereof. Proving intent is not a requirement in a manslaughter prosecution, however, and the prosecution only needs to demonstrate essentially that the defendant had no regard for the victim’s life and, as a consequence, death resulted. This is also why killing another person while fleeing from the police may constitute aggravated manslaughter.
New Jersey criminal homicide law differentiates murder into three primary forms:
“Serious bodily injury” is defined under N.J.S.A. § 2C:11-1 as any injury that creates a substantial risk of death, and results in “serious and permanent disfigurement” or long-term “loss or impairment of the function of any bodily limb or organ.”
The third form of a murder charge applies when a person causes death while in the process of committing, attempting to commit, or fleeing from the scene after committing any of the following crimes:
Attempted murder constitutes a separate offense in New Jersey. The basis for an attempted murder charge involves a canceled or failed attempt to murder or intentionally cause the death of another person.
For a person to be convicted of attempted murder, the following conditions must be proven:
Regardless of whether you have been charged with manslaughter or murder, being charged with criminal homicide can have a long-standing impact on a person’s life. You need an experienced New Jersey homicide lawyer with a proven track record. From forensic evidence to investigative techniques to cross-examination, Adam M. Lustberg has the knowledge to fight against what might appear to be a very strong case for a prosecutor.
Contact Lustberg Law Offices, LLC, today at (201) 880-5311 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Criminal offenses in NJ are not characterized as misdemeanors or felonies. Criminal charges are instead categorized as disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses, and indictable offenses with degrees ranging from fourth to first degree. Manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter, and murder are all indictable offenses that are subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA).
NJ law considers both aggravating factors and mitigating factors when determining the length of a prison sentence. Generally, however, manslaughter in NJ carries a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $150,000. Manslaughter is considered a second-degree crime in New Jersey.
Aggravated manslaughter is a first-degree crime, however, it carries distinct penalties from that of murder. A conviction of aggravated manslaughter carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $200,000.
In New Jersey, murder carries a penalty of a minimum of 30 years in prison without parole to life imprisonment. If the victim was an on-duty law enforcement officer or a minor under the age of 14 years old, or the murder was committed in the interest of financial gain, the penalty is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Criminal homicide in the third form automatically constitutes a murder charge.
Attempted murder is a first-degree charge.
New Jersey no longer applies the death penalty to those convicted of violent crimes. Capital punishment was abolished in 2007 in favor of commuting sentences to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.
A tenacious litigator who won’t back down. Prepared to challenge the evidence against you and will fight to protect your rights.
Facing the full might of the New Jersey criminal justice system is daunting if you have been charged with a criminal homicide case. However, the circumstances of your charges are an important thing to investigate and then establish. A skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney should conduct a careful investigation and analysis of the available evidence to build a strong legal defense before going to trial or otherwise attempting to resolve your case.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, a murder charge can be amended to a lesser manslaughter charge by way of a plea bargain. NJ law differentiates between homicide and criminal homicide and also specifies instances where homicide can be justifiable such as self-defense.
There are also specific circumstances wherein a person cannot be considered capable of intentionally killing a person such as the following:
An alibi defense may also be used to help establish the fact that the defendant had no way of committing the crime because they could not have been at the scene.
When defending against charges of criminal homicide, you need an attorney who is able to exercise nuance and who will diligently scrutinize the elements of your case to acheive the best possible outcome. New Jersey homicide lawyer Adam M. Lustberg, along with our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lustberg Law Offices, LLC, may be able to help. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to build the strongest possible defense strategy and to aggressively defend our client’s rights.
Contact our office today at (201) 880-5311 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled NJ homicide defense attorneys.
Learn More About
A murder charge can induce fear in even the strongest person. No matter the circumstances, this charge can mean some very serious jail time. Depending upon those circumstances, you could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. That is why you need to have a murder defense lawyer who is experienced and who has a proven track record. Adam M. Lustberg is that criminal defense attorney.
We understand how the judicial system works and we know that your trial will likely dictate the rest of your life. Adam M. Lustberg goes out of his way to explain the process to his clients and to guide them in making the decisions that are best for them and their future. In addition, he goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that he offers you as strong a defense as possible. Our experts will analyze and investigate the evidence to ensure that we know everything possible before we go to trial or attempt to otherwise resolve your case. This allows us to fight aggressively for you from your initial appearance through to your verdict.
New Jersey law separates murder into three separate types. The first is when death is purposely caused or when serious bodily injury results in death. The second is when death is knowingly caused or serious bodily injury resulting in death is caused. The third type is called “felony murder” and is when someone causes the death of another during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, sexual assault, burglary, arson, carjacking, kidnapping, terrorism, or criminal escape.
While you are not facing the death penalty in New Jersey, you are exposed to significant time in state prison. A minimum of 30 years of prison is mandated for murder before you are eligible for parole. The maximum sentence is life. If the offense is against a law enforcement officer or against a child under the age of 14 who was killed during the commission of a sexual crime, the sentence can be increased to life without parole.
Only a small percentage of lawyers have the experience necessary to fight a murder charge. That is why you want to make your choice carefully. You trust an attorney with your life, which is why you want to be sure that the one you choose can measure up to that trust and fight for you. You have the right to a strong and aggressive defense – Adam M. Lustberg stands ready to provide that.
From forensic evidence to investigation techniques to cross-examination, Adam M. Lustberg has the knowledge to fight against what might appear to be a slam-dunk for the prosecutor. If you are facing a murder charge and want a lawyer that will aggressively fight for you and your future, contact Adam M. Lustberg immediately.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal homicide offense like manslaughter or murder, your legal strategy should only be entrusted to an attorney with a strong grasp of NJ criminal defense law.
Our team of criminal defense professionals at Lustberg Law Offices, LLC, have dedicated their careers to providing quality legal services and representation. We can help you navigate the complexities of facing a criminal homicide charge and aggressively protect your rights in a court of law. We understand the significant impact a criminal homicide charge can have on a person’s personal and professional life and we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients.
Contact our office today at (201) 880-5311 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced New Jersey homicide lawyers. We also serve the areas of Hackensack, Bergen County, Hudson County, Passaic County, and throughout New Jersey.