De Miniimis Infractions

NJ Criminal Lawyer

burden of proof

There is a seldom used NJ criminal defense referred to as the De Minimis Infraction. The basic principal behind this defense is that some situations involve conduct that is so limited in its impact and circumstance, that any violation under the law should be disregarded. This is clearly a very complicated concept and any chance of invocation will require an experienced NJ criminal lawyer like those at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall.

The first thing that must be pointed out is that only the Assignment Judge may dismiss a charge as being de minimis. In order for the Judge to make such a ruling, he must generally find that: (1) the conduct was within a customary license; (2) there was no actual harm as contemplated by the subject criminal statute (e.g. no real victim); or (3) the conduct represents such an usual circumstance that it could not have been reasonably contemplated by the draftsman of the criminal statute. The basic tenet of the defense is that the infraction is simply “too trivial” to constitute a violation of NJ criminal law.

If you think you may have a viable defense of de minimis infraction, please do not hesitate to contact a NJ criminal lawyer from our office at 1-877-450-8301.