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

Asked 11 months ago - 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. Benjamin G Kelsen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

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  2. Mark M Cheser

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  3. Raymond Andrew Grimes

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Kelsen.

  4. Eric M. Mark

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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.

  5. Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

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

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general... more

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