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Are you under investigation for an "indictable offense" in New Jersey? Do you have a friend or family member who has been arrested or detained under suspicion of committing an "indictable offense"? Are you uncertain what that means and how it affects your rights? This blog post provides an overview of what makes a criminal charge an indictable offense, and helps you understand what that means.

At the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger, we offer full-service counsel to people facing almost any type of criminal charge. For a free initial consultation to discuss your rights in a criminal matter, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333.


The terms "misdemeanor" and "felony" are not used in the New Jersey Criminal Code. Instead, offenses are designated as either:

  • Indictable offenses
  • Disorderly persons offenses
  • Petty disorderly persons offenses

Those crimes that are identified as "indictable offenses" are comparable to criminal acts described as felonies in other jurisdictions. They are considered more serious crimes, and typically carry harsher sentences. An indictable offense may result in a sentence in excess of six months of incarceration, whereas disorderly and petty disorderly offenses typically lead to less than six months in jail. An indictable offense may be in the first, second, third or fourth degree.

One of the principal differences between an indictable offense and a disorderly persons offense is that, with an indictable offense, you have the right to have the facts of your case presented to a grand jury, so that the grand jury can make a determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence to take your case to trial. The grand jury is comprised of members of your community, randomly chosen. In a grand jury proceeding, the state gets to make its best case, without defense counsel present. If the grand jury finds sufficient evidence, an indictment will be issued, and the state can try you on the charge.

Some of the crimes that are generally charged as indictable offenses include:

  • Robbery or Burglary
  • Violent crimes, including homicide, aggravated assault and domestic violence
  • Weapons violations
  • Certain drug offenses
  • White collar crimes
  • Sexual assault


We offer a free initial consultation to people in New Jersey who have been charged with a crime. For a private meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.

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