Here in New Jersey, one type of charge that is commonly found is felony murder. Felony murder is often a misunderstood term. Felony murder is treated in New Jersey exactly the same as a premeditated or a first-degree murder, meaning that the person charged with felony murder is facing life in prison, if convicted. However, if he or she is charged with felony murder, oftentimes it is a case that is easier for the State to prove. The reason for that is simple and easily explained by an example. If a criminal defendant is charged with felony murder in a case where the underlying “felony” is robbery, all the State needs to prove is that a robbery was committed and a person died as a result of that robbery.
Obviously, this is an easier charge to prove than it is to prove that someone went out and purposely killed someone. Despite this and the fact that felony murder can be more easily proved by the state, there may be a number of defenses available to defendants charged with felony murder.
An immediate consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney when your loved one is charged with felony murder is a must. There are loopholes in a number of cases; there are defenses in a number of cases, not to get into the individual facts and circumstances of your case as each is different. However, I can’t emphasize enough that an individual or loved one charged with felony murder is facing a very significant penalties and you, on their behalf, should consult with a defense attorney who has experience with murder cases. They will have to look into the facts and circumstances of you or your loved one’s case and hopefully, in your individual case, can provide you with an avenue of some relief from this serious charge.
Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding the merits, facts or circumstances of your case, call the law office to set up a free initial consultation.