Method of Prosecution When Conduct Constitutes More Than One Offense.

  a.  Prosecution for multiple offenses; limitation on convictions. When the same conduct of a defendant may establish the commission of more than one offense, the defendant may be prosecuted for each such offense. He may not, however, be convicted of more than one offense if:

Terms Used In New Jersey Statutes 2C:1-8

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • person: includes corporations, companies, associations, societies, firms, partnerships and joint stock companies as well as individuals, unless restricted by the context to an individual as distinguished from a corporate entity or specifically restricted to one or some of the above enumerated synonyms and, when used to designate the owner of property which may be the subject of an offense, includes this State, the United States, any other State of the United States as defined infra and any foreign country or government lawfully owning or possessing property within this State. See New Jersey Statutes 1:1-2
  • State: extends to and includes any State, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia and the Canal Zone. See New Jersey Statutes 1:1-2
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.

  (1)  One offense is included in the other, as defined in subsection d. of this section;

  (2)  One offense consists only of a conspiracy or other form of preparation to commit the other;

  (3) Inconsistent findings of fact are required to establish the commission of the offenses; or

  (4)  The offenses differ only in that one is defined to prohibit a designated kind of conduct generally and the other to prohibit a specific instance of such conduct.  The provisions of this paragraph (4) of subsection a. of this section or any other provision of law notwithstanding, no State tax offense defined in Title 54 of the Revised Statutes or Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes, as amended and supplemented, shall be construed to preclude a prosecution for any offense defined in this code.

  A determination barring multiple convictions shall be made by the court after verdict or finding of guilt.

  b.  Limitation on separate trials for multiple offenses.  Except as provided in subsection c. of this section, a defendant shall not be subject to separate trials for multiple criminal offenses based on the same conduct or arising from the same episode, if such offenses are known to the appropriate prosecuting officer at the time of the commencement of the first trial and are within the jurisdiction and venue of a single court.

  c.  Authority of court to order separate trials.  When a defendant is charged with two or more criminal offenses based on the same conduct or arising from the same episode, the court may order any such charges to be tried separately in accordance with the Rules of Court.

  d.  Conviction of included offense permitted.  A defendant may be convicted of an offense included in an offense charged whether or not the included offense is an indictable offense.  An offense is so included when:

  (1)  It is established by proof of the same or less than all the facts required to establish the commission of the offense charged; or

  (2)  It consists of an attempt or conspiracy to commit the offense charged or to commit an offense otherwise included therein; or

  (3)  It differs from the offense charged only in the respect that a less serious injury or risk of injury to the same person, property or public interest or a lesser kind of culpability suffices to establish its commission.

  e.  Submission of included offense to jury.  The court shall not charge the jury with respect to an included offense unless there is a rational basis for a verdict convicting the defendant of the included offense.

       L.1978, c.95; amended by L. 1979, c. 178, s. 6; 1981, c. 290, s. 2; 1987, c. 76, s. 30.