Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A NEW JERSEY Legal language Lesson

I've practiced in the Garden State but left for the beauty and tranquility of the Finger Lakes. NJ still has a place in my heart so I deal with a lot of jerseyites (my wife included), they have that jersey twange.

New Jersey language can be confusing. We have all seen Jersey Shore so we know this is true.
Going Fishing = going out to pick up women, fist pumping, GTL (gym, tan, laundry), you get the picture, confusing. So NJ legal language is also a bit, how can I say, "different."

Jersey Lawyers don't use the terms "misdemeanors and felonies." In NYS, we do, but not across the bridge. In Jersey legal speak there are "criminal" offenses based on and named in degrees (1st to 4th).

Jersey "Crimes" have the potential of jail for more than six months.
Jersey  "non-criminal" offenses are less than six months in jail.

The "lesser offenses" in NJ are all the NON criminal offenses: motor vehicle ie. the traffic offenses, disorderly persons offenses, and lastly municipal ordinance violations (ie. noise, dogs).

NJ loitering is a lesser offense, so it is NON criminal.
NJ DUI is a lesser offense as well, so it is not criminal.

DUI is in the category of "Lesser Charges" in NJ.
It is prosecuted in Municipal Court.
You get no jury trial, only a bench trial.
It is listed in the traffic offense section of NJ statutes. 

New Jersey "Traffic" Laws - Title 39
39:4-50. Driving While Intoxicated

Lawrence Newman, D.C., Esq.