The traditional definition of a felony is a crime that is punishable by a year or more in jail. A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment of less than one year. Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors. In New Jersey there are different degrees of Felonies:
First degree criminal offenses:
If found guilty of a 1st-degree offense such as murder, aggravated sexual assault, or drug distribution (large quantities) you will be sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
Second degree criminal offenses:
If convicted of robbery without a weapon, certain sexual assaults, aggravated assault, distribution of smaller quantities of drugs, or another 2nd-degree crime you will be sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison.
Third degree criminal offenses:
If found guilty of possession of cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin, possession of a handgun, certain thefts, aggravated assault, or another third-degree crime you may be sentenced to serve up to 5 years in prison.
Fourth degree criminal offenses:
Unauthorized use of a vehicle, some charges involving assault and threat crimes or possession of marijuana, criminal sexual contact, or another 4th-degree crime you may be sentenced to serve up to 18 months in prison.
Municipal/Disorderly Persons Offenses:
In New Jersey lesser offenses are heard by the Municipal Court in the township, city, or municipality where the offense allegedly took place. If convicted of possession of marijuana, shoplifting, simple assault, harassment, or disorderly conduct you may be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail.