2C:11-2. Homicide There can be no question that causing the death of another is the most serious charge that can be brought.  There are many reasons and many ways a homicide can occur.  Often the public is quick to condemn and believe people are guilty until they prove their innocence.  This is not what the law requires.  At Roberts & Teeter we understand that every person has a story and every person has a reason for what they do.  Other times the police just plain got it wrong.  Our role as your attorneys and counselors is to investigate the State’s case and to listen to your story to provide the best possible defense and achieve the best possible outcome. In New Jersey, Homicide is broken into three types:

  1. Murder;
  2. Manslaughter; and
  3. Death by auto


2C:11-3. Murder. Criminal homicide is murder when: The defendant purposely or knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury where the person later dies; or a person dies during the commission of certain violent felonies. A conviction for murder carries a sentence of 30 years to life.


2C:11-4. Manslaughter. Manslaughter is a step down from murder.  The New Jersey criminal code explains that manslaughter occurs when the defendant recklessly causes death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life or when the defendant causes the death of another person while fleeing from the police.  Finally, certain kinds of murder are charged as manslaughter.  For example, a murder that is committed in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation is considered manslaughter.  Unlike murder, a conviction for manslaughter carries a range of 10-30 years.  Convincing a prosecutor to accept a plea for manslaughter instead of murder could mean a 10 year sentence opposed to a life sentence.


2C:11-5. Death by Auto is one of the scariest charges because it can happen to any of us.  One bad choice can have permanent and catastrophic consequences.  Death by auto occurs when a person is killed by a defendant’s reckless driving.  This could mean you fell asleep behind the wheel, you were testing out the power of your new sports car and lost control, or you had a few too many drinks and decided to drive.  Death by auto charges are complex with many possible different outcomes.  Only competent representation can steer a death by auto charge into an outcome that doesn’t involve many years behind bars.


There are two kinds of assaults. Simple assault and aggravated assault. The difference between the two may mean you wind up with a fine or probation compared to 10 years in prison.

2C:12-1b Aggravated Assault.
The law identifies no less than 11 different ways a person may commit aggravated assault. The more common examples include:

  • Causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon;
  • Pointing a firearm at a person whether or not it is loaded;
  • Committing a simple assault against certain public officials such as a train conductor or a teacher;
  • Causing bodily injury while fleeing the police; or
  • Causing bodily injury by starting a fire or causing an explosion.

When a person is charged with aggravated assault, competent counsel may be able to convince the police, prosecutors, or judge that the circumstances warrant the crime to be treated as a simple assault.

2C:12-1a Simple Assault. A person commits a simple assault in one of three ways.

  1. Purposely, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another;
  2. Negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
  3. Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight entered into two consenting people in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense. If you are facing a violent crimes charge you should consider hiring a criminal lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome to your case.

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