New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers
After being arrested, you are likely experiencing a great deal of fear and anxiety. Our criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to providing our clients with a vigorous defense and securing the best possible outcome in every case. If you are facing criminal charges, your freedom and your reputation are at stake. We will do everything in our power to ease your fears and set things right.
We Handle All Types of Criminal Defense Cases
With several former prosecutors working in our firm, we are intimately familiar with what you are up against. We represent clients facing charges at the municipal, state and federal levels.
In many states, crimes are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. New Jersey classifies crimes differently. The more serious offenses, analogous to felonies in other states, are called “crimes” or “indictable offenses” in New Jersey. The less severe offenses are called “disorderly persons offenses.” The difference between a crime and a disorderly persons offense is that if you are convicted of a crime, you can be sentenced to serve time in a New Jersey state prison. Potential sentences for disorderly persons offenses can also be significant, including jail time, steep fines, and community service.
We routinely handle all types of criminal cases, including:
- Violent crimes
- Drug charges
- Domestic violence
- White collar crime & embezzlement
- Weapons charges
- Juvenile offenses
- Sex crimes
- Internet crime
- Traffic offenses
What to Do If You Have Been Arrested
If you have been arrested, comply with the arresting officers and booking officers. Respond truthfully to requests for personal information (name, address, date of birth, etc.) If the officers ask you any other questions, ask for a lawyer immediately. Firmly, but politely, let the questioning officers know that you are exercising your constitutional right to remain silent and be represented attorney. Call an attorney (or a family member who can get you an attorney) as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you contact the victim in the incident you were arrested for.
The Legal Process – What to Expect
Our lawyers believe in explaining as much as possible to our clients about their legal situation in order to alleviate fear of the unknown. In New Jersey, your criminal case begins when you are arrested, charged with a crime, or indicted by a grand jury. If none of this has happened, yet the police are questioning you, do not answer any questions without your attorney present. You may be under investigation and anything you say can be subsequently used against you.
After being charged, you will be required to go before a judge and enter your plea (guilty, not guilty, etc.). Depending on your situation, the prosecution may request that the judge sets bail for you. Bail is a sum of money that can be posted to secure your release. If you violate the conditions of your bail, you forfeit this money. If you cannot afford to pay bail, you may opt to use the services of a bail bondsman. There may be negative financial consequences to having a bondsman put up your bail instead of paying it directly. The prosecution is likely to request bail if you are a flight risk or pose a threat to the public. Factors such as the seriousness of your offense, and whether you have a history of failing to appear in court can influence the amount of your bail.
While your case is preparing to go to trial, you will likely appear in court for a series of status conferences. We will attend these conferences with you, and handle any discovery demands and pretrial motions. We will prepare our own forensic investigation into your case to pave the way for a successful defense.
During this phase, the prosecutor will probably offer a plea bargain. A plea bargain is when a defendant accepts a reduced sentence or charge in exchange for a guilty plea. Although we can recommend whether you should accept the plea or not, the decision rests with you.
Next, you will face a pretrial conference where the judge will:
- Determine whether your decision regarding any plea offer is voluntary
- Make sure that you understand the consequences if you are found guilty at trial
- Address any outstanding evidentiary issues
- Schedule the appearance of experts and other witnesses
- Schedule pre-trial motions
- Set a date for your trial
If you do not accept a plea offer, and your case has not been dismissed, then we proceed to trial before a judge or a jury.
The Monmouth County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Always Have Your Interest at Heart
Whether fighting for acquittal, the dismissal of your case, or negotiating a favorable plea bargain, we listen to our clients’ concerns and offer guidance every step of the way. We understand that you are facing potentially life-changing consequences, and we are committed to getting the best possible outcome for your case. For a free consultation with one of our top rated criminal defense lawyers, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online today.