Experienced Violent Crimes Lawyers in New Jersey
Violent offenses are typically characterized by conduct intended to threaten or injure a victim. Often, violent crimes are charged as indictable offenses (felonies) in New Jersey. Thus, individuals accused of violent crimes face the harshest criminal penalties if convicted. Aside from prison or jail time and debilitating fines, having a felony conviction on your criminal record can result in the loss of important personal and professional freedoms, such as the right to vote and bear arms, and the inability to find gainful employment or obtain loans for school or housing.
The thought of a “violent crime” may conjure an unrealistic picture of a stranger randomly attacking a victim on the street, or some other random, unprovoked attack. Although these sort of violent crimes do occur, more often they involve simple disputes that got out of hand; for example, when tempers flare during a domestic argument and threats are made in the heat of the moment. Or during a sporting event, fans may be drinking in the parking lot when they become involved in a physical altercation. Another common example is a bar fight. People can be falsely accused of sexual assault or rape by a spurned ex-spouse. Regardless of your situation, you don’t want your future to become clouded by a violent crime conviction. By hiring a respected criminal defense lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity, you can begin fighting back against unfounded or overly harsh charges.
Common Violent Crimes in New Jersey
Although the State of New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007, if you are convicted of murder you could face life in prison without parole, fines up to $200,000 and an order to pay restitution to the victim’s family. Homicide is defined as “the killing of one human being by another human being.” Murder is when someone commits homicide with malice and a disregard for human life. The seasoned criminal defense attorneys at Shebell & Shebell understand how high the stakes are in murder cases. With over eight decades of experience successfully defending individuals accused of homicide and murder, we have the resources and skills to protect your rights.
New Jersey has adopted the so-called “felony murder rule,” which allows prosecutors to charge anyone who unintentionally causes a death during the commission of a felony with murder.
There are various types of manslaughter in New Jersey, including voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and aggravated manslaughter by eluding. Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a “crime of passion”—where the killing is not premeditated. Involuntary manslaughter involves criminal negligence, where the perpetrator lacked the intent to kill someone.
Vehicular manslaughter/vehicular homicide/death by auto
One can be charged with vehicular homicide if they cause the death of a person through the illegal driving of a vehicle. Illegal driving includes gross negligence, drunk driving, reckless driving or even speeding. You can be charged with vehicular manslaughter even if the person who is killed is a family member riding in your own car.
Aggravated manslaughter by eluding
If you kill someone while eluding a police officer, even if their death is unintentional, you can face 10 to 30 years in prison, a $200,000 fine and an order to pay restitution to the victim’s family.
Simple assault/aggravated assault
An assault occurs when a person injures or attempts to injure another person without legal justification. The different levels of assault depend on various factors, including the seriousness of the victim’s injury, whether a weapon was used in commission of the assault, or whether the victim is provided special protection by New Jersey law (e.g., they are a police officer or other public official). The seasoned criminal defense lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have successfully handled countless assault cases throughout the state.
Sexual assault and rape
A sex offense conviction will be placed on your criminal record and can result in your name being placed on New Jersey’s sex offender registry. Being placed on the registry can mean a lifetime of public scrutiny, and the need to deal with complex registration requirements every time you move or get a new job. Even if the encounter involved mutual interest, if one of the parties is under the age of legal consent you can be charged with statutory rape and put on the state sex offender registry.
Domestic assault/domestic violence
You can be charged with domestic assault even if you do not physically harm the victim. Stalking, harassment and making threats are all grounds to be charged with domestic assault in New Jersey. If a spurned lover or ex-spouse makes a false accusation, they cannot later retract their claim once you have been placed under arrest. The court will be left to determine your fate. Penalties for domestic assault can be as serious as ten to 20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
Other common violent crimes in New Jersey include:
- Criminal mischief
- Terroristic threats
Penalties for Violent Crimes in New Jersey
The legal penalties for a violent crime conviction depend on several factors, including a person’s prior criminal history, the nature of the crime committed, the extent of the victim’s injuries and whether a weapon was used during commission of the crime. Individuals convicted of violent crimes can face:
- Community service
- Court ordered anger management
- Legal fees
- Court ordered counseling
In addition, those convicted of a violent crime will be saddled with a criminal record that in many cases cannot be expunged. New Jersey law prohibits the expungement of many violent crimes.
We Employ Creative, Effective Defense Strategies
Before answering any of the police or prosecutor’s questions, anyone charged with committing a violent crime should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. We can help you craft the best defense from the outset. Some defense strategies that we routinely employ include:
- Challenging the introduction of illegally-obtained evidence
- Self defense
- Defense of other people or property
- Proving consent in the case of alleged sex crimes
- Proving that allegations against our client are based on false witness testimony
- Coerced confessions
- Suggestive photo lineups
Experienced Criminal Defense for Individuals Accused of Violent Crimes
The criminal defense lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have an excellent track record of defending clients in matters involving violent crimes. We represent individuals accused of violent crimes throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Union Beach and Neptune. For a free consultation, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online today.