Hamilton Township Murder Defense Attorney

The most serious crime a person can be charged with in Hamilton Township is murder. While this crime can carry serious penalties, it does not mean that all hope is lost. The experienced attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Zarych are prepared to defend your rights and freedoms. Depending on your case there are numerous defenses and legal loopholes that our attorneys can utilize in your case to have your charges lowered or even dismissed. Each case and charge are different, however, the consequences are severe nevertheless.

At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our highly knowledgeable homicide attorneys bring over 45 years of combined experience to every case we handle.  We are well-versed in New Jersey’s homicide laws and have an in-depth understanding of the possible defenses against murder charges.  We will challenge the evidence against you, coach and counsel you throughout every step of the legal process, and fight aggressively to have the charges reduced or dismissed.  We represent clients throughout Atlantic County, Cape May County, Ocean County, Camden County, Burlington County, and the surrounding areas, with offices in Atlantic City, Northfield, and Wildwood.

Murder and manslaughter charges can change your life forever.  Don’t wait another day to take legal action.  To schedule a free, completely private legal consultation, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych right away at (609) 625-3006.  Our phone lines are always open.  Se habla español.

Murder Charges in Hamilton New Jersey

Murder is one of the most severe crimes you can be charged with. In New Jersey a person can be convicted of murder as defined in the New Jersey criminal code N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(l) and 3a(2):

A person is guilty of murder if he/she:

(1)    caused the victim’s death or serious bodily injury that then resulted in the victim’s death; and

(2)    the defendant did so purposely or knowingly.

However, before you can be convicted of murder the state will have to prove several different elements. The State is required to prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

One element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant acted purposely or knowingly. As per the statute, a person acts purposely when it is the person’s conscious object to cause death or serious bodily injury resulting in death. As to the knowing element, a person acts knowingly when the person is aware that it is practically certain that his/her conduct will cause death or serious bodily injury resulting in death.

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Although the State must prove that the defendant acted either purposely or knowingly in order to convict a person for murder, the State is not required to prove that the accused had a motive. If the State has proved the essential elements of murder as noted above beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge will instruct the jury that the defendant must be found guilty of murder regardless of the defendant’s motive or lack of a motive.

Murder Penalties in New Jersey

The penalties for any criminal act can be severe and Judges in New Jersey have the authority to impose various sanctions other than just strictly jail time. However, while many penalties may be strict, the penalties for murder are some of the most severe. While New Jersey outlawed the death penalty and can no longer impose it as a punishment, a sentencing judge is still free to sentence a person convicted of murder to life behind bars without the possibility of parole. With stakes this high, make sure you have an attorney you can trust to do everything possible to help you. In New Jersey, a sentencing judge may sentence a defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole if one of the following circumstances is present in a case:

  1. That defendant killed the person by their own conduct, OR
  1. The Defendant procured the commission of the murder by payment or promise of payment of anything of pecuniary value, OR
  1. 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, commanded or by threat or promise solicited the commission of the murder, OR
  1. The Defendant committed a crime of terrorism and the murder occurred during the commission that terrorism.

Additionally, the Sentencing Judge may sentence the defendant to life without parole if the victim was a law enforcement officer or the victim is less than 14 years old and the defendant commits a sexual assault in violation of N.J.S.2C:14-2 or criminal sexual conduct in violation of N.J.S.2C:14-3.

The result of a jury and judge using any one of these factors in the trial and sentencing is that there will be no possibility that the accused will even be eligible to be released from prison. However, even if none of these factors apply to a case a sentencing judge must still balance the aggravating and mitigating factors found in the New Jersey criminal code and sentence the defendant to a term of 30 years and life imprisonment of which the person shall serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.

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Manslaughter Charges in Hamilton Township

Manslaughter is another type of crime in New Jersey that is often a considered a lesser crime than murder. Because the charges for murder are so severe and fact based, the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of John. J Zarych have engaged in aggressive negotiations with prosecutors to have murder charges lowered. Manslaughter typically does not arise out of a person’s intent to cause death, but rather reckless conduct. For this reason, manslaughter is a second-degree crime as compared to murder, which is a first-degree crime.

In New Jersey, there are four (4) types of manslaughter charges-

1) Aggravated;

2) Aggravated by causing death while attempting to evade the police;

3) Reckless manslaughter;

4) Heat of passion death as a result of reasonable provocation.

Contact a Hamilton Township Murder Defense Lawyer Today

While these charges are still severe the penalties for manslaughter are somewhat less than those for murder. Aggravated Manslaughter is still a crime of the first degree in New Jersey, however, unlike murder, a conviction for aggravated manslaughter will result in a penalty of 10 to 30 years in prison as opposed to an excess of 30 years as prescribed for murder. For those charged with reckless manslaughter or heat of passion manslaughter, a judge may impose a prison sentence between five (5) to ten (10) years in state prison.

When the consequences are this serious, it is absolutely critical to work with a highly experienced homicide lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. For a free and private consultation, call us at (609) 625-3006 any time of day or night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.