As explained in our previous posts, the most serious offenses are categorized as “felonies” and less serious as “misdemeanors.” While this is true in nearly every state, there is an exception (of course) and that exception is New Jersey.
In New Jersey, crimes are not categorized as felonies and misdemeanors but as “indictable crimes,” “disorderly person offenses,” and “petty disorderly person offenses.”
According to New Jersey law, indictable offenses are the equivalent of felonies in other states. Courts classify charges into first, second, third, and fourth-degree charges. A first-degree offense is the most serious of all charges. “Indictable” means that a grand jury has found enough evidence against the defendant to make them face trial.
“Disorderly person offenses” and “petty disorderly person offenses” (sometimes referred to as “DP offenses”) are the equivalent of misdemeanors in other states because they are less serious offenses and are punishable by less than one year in jail.