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What is the difference between first criminal offense and second criminal offense?

Union, NJ |

My friend was convicted of disorderly persons offense(criminal mischief) which it was his or her first offense and it was downgraded to ordinance violation and he had to pay a fine. My friend was charged with harassment for making threats or unwanted phone calls to his former friend because he was very angry at her. Basically I want to know what is the difference between first offense and second offense(harassment)

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Simply put, my first offense there is a presumption against incarceration and the courts are more likely to be more lenient as is the state. When a second offense there is no longer a presumption against incarceration and you're what we've call a repeat offender. Hire an attorney as soon as possible.

    CALL US AT 855-578-0449 TO ARRANGE FOR A CONSULTATION IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER PLEASE INDICATE YOUR APPRECIATION BY SELECTING IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Law Offices of Benjamin G. Kelsen, Esq. LLC 1415 Queen Anne Road, Suite 206, Teaneck, NJ 07666 Phone: 201-692-0073/ Fax: 201-692-0151 Web Site: www.kelsenlaw.com / Email: bgkelsen@kelsenlaw.com NOT LEGAL ADVICE: The above information may contain an opinion which does not constitute legal advice. Unless a retainer agreement has been signed, we are not your legal representatives, and you should not rely on any opinions contained in this message.


  2. I agree with Mr. Kelsen.


  3. If this a PDP the second offense will be treated a little more seriously. There could be a higher fine, maybe some jail (unlikely) or probation. But an ordinance may not be considered a prior.


  4. The second offense renders one a repeated offender for a potentially steeper sentencing range upon conviction.

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  5. In layman's terms, the difference is the philosophy that every can make one mistake and deserves a second chance. Not everyone believes people are entitled to two mistakes and third chances. So, the penalties become more serious and any benefit of the doubt is lost.

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