NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers - Shebell & Shebell, LLC

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- 655 Shrewsbury Ave. Suite 314 Shrewsbury, NJ 07702 -

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Monmouth County Criminal Defense Attorneys

OFFICE HOURS & LOCATIONS

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Shrewsbury, NJ - Main office

655 Shrewsbury Ave, Suite 314

Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

Monday to Friday - 8:30am -5:30pm

Evening and weekend appointments 

available upon request

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Freehold, NJ

25 Monument  St Freehold, NJ 07728

Monday to Friday - 9:00am -5:00pm

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Linwood, NJ

2020 New Rd Linwood, NJ 08221

Monday to Friday - By appointment only

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Criminal Defense Overview

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CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Our Criminal Law Attorneys

Criminal Defense Overview

Criminal Law Attorneys in Monmouth County

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 reputation are at stake. We will do everything in our power to ease your fears and set things right.

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Handling all 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.

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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.

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We routinely handle all types of criminal cases, including:

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Homicide/Murder

Manslaughter

Assault

Violent crimes

Drug charges

Domestic violence

White collar crime & embezzlement

Fraud

DUI/DWI

Weapons charges

Juvenile offenses

Sex crimes

Theft

Internet crime

Municipal offenses

Traffic offenses

Expungement

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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 

by an 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.

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Contact our criminal defense lawyers

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, contact us today.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

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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 reputation are at stake. We will do everything in our power to ease your fears and set things right.

​

Handling all 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:

​

Homicide/Murder

Manslaughter

Assault

Violent crimes

Drug charges

Domestic violence

White collar crime & embezzlement

Fraud

DUI/DWI

Weapons charges

Juvenile offenses

Sex crimes

Theft

Internet crime

Municipal offenses

Traffic offenses

Expungement

​

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 by an 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.

​

Contact our criminal defense lawyers

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, contact us today.

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HOMICIDE, MURDER 

& MANSLAUGHTER

 

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 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 impact one’s ability to find gainful employment or obtain loans for school or housing.

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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. Whatever your case, 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. 

Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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Common violent crimes in New Jersey

Murder: 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.

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Felony murder: 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.

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Manslaughter: There are various types of manslaughter in New Jersey, including voluntary, involuntary, vehicular, and aggravated manslaughter by eluding. Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a “crime of passion” when the killing is not premeditated. Involuntary manslaughter involves criminal negligence, where the perpetrator lacked the intent to kill someone.

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Vehicular manslaughter/vehicular homicide/death by auto: One can be charged with vehicular homicide if they cause the death of a person by illegally driving 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.

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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.

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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 the commission of an 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.

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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.

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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.

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Other common violent crimes in New Jersey include:

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• Arson

• Carjacking

• Criminal mischief

• Terroristic threats

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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 the commission of the crime. Individuals convicted of violent crimes can face:

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• Incarceration

• Probation

• Fines

• Community service

• Court ordered anger management

• Restitution

• Legal fees

• Court ordered counseling

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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.

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We employ creative, effective defense strategies

Before answering any of the police or prosecutor’s questions, 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:

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• 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. For a free consultation, 

Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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ASSAULT

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Assault is when a person injures or attempts to injure another person without legal justification. Our firm can quickly explain to you the consequences of being charged with assault and can start to put forward a defense to those charges quickly.

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There are two main types of assault in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault. The type of assault you are charged with depends on several factors, including the severity of the victim’s injury, whether a weapon was used, and whether the victim is afforded special protection under New Jersey law (e.g. a police officer, nurse or other public officials).

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In many states, serious crimes punishable by more than one year in prison are referred to as felonies. New Jersey uses different terminology, calling these offenses “crimes” or “indictable offenses”, with punishments that can include a term of imprisonment ranging from 18 months to 10 years or more. An aggravated assault is a very serious crime in the state of New Jersey and a conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, especially if the person has a prior criminal record. Just being charged with aggravated assault could result in a high bail being placed on someone, which would require them to be held if they cannot post bail. Consequences of conviction for aggravated assault also include the loss of certain basic civil rights, including the right to vote, possess a passport, the right to sit on a jury, or own or possess a firearm.

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When police arrive on the scene of a fight, 

it is not unusual for all parties involved to 

be arrested and charged with assault. 

It is important to hire an experienced attorney If you have been arrested on an assault charge in New Jersey, contact our firm. Shebell & Shebell will give you straight answers and effective legal services, using our experience to get you the best possible outcome.

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Simple assault

Pursuant to New Jersey’s simple assault statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a, there are several different scenarios that could give 

rise to a charge of simple assault:

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• Intentionally causing bodily injury another  

  person

• Attempting to cause bodily injury to 

  another person

• Negligently wielding a deadly weapon 

  resulting in injury (even if you didn’t 

  intend to harm anyone). A deadly weapon 

  can be any object with the potential to kill  

  someone, for example, a gun, knife, cinder-

  block, or tire iron.

• Attempting to make someone fear they will 

  suffer imminent serious bodily injury.

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A simple assault is typically classified as a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense. Simple assault cases are most often handled at the municipal court level.

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The penalties for simple assault are:

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• Up to six months in jail (30 days maximum 

  for consensual fighting)

• A requirement to pay restitution to the 

  victim for medical bills and recovery

• Probation as ordered by the Court

• Up to $1,000 in fines

• Victims of Crime Compensation Board 

  (VCCB) Assessment of $50

• Safe Neighborhood Assessment of $75

• Court Costs

• Domestic Violence Surcharge (if 

  applicable) of $100

• Possibility of a civil lawsuit filed against 

  you by the victim

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Aggravated Assault

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), a person commits aggravated assault when they cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury or bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Additionally, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if:

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• The victim is a protected person, acting in 

  the performance of their duties (e.g. a 

  police officer, firemen, DYFS (DCPP) 

  worker, 

  EMS worker, teacher or judge)

• They knowingly displayed or aimed a 

  firearm at a law enforcement official

• They intentionally drove a motor vehicle 

  towards another individual or vehicle, 

  resulting in serious bodily injury

• They committed simple assault against a 

  bus driver

• Bodily injury occurred while fleeing law 

  enforcement officers or resisting arrest

• The harm caused to a victim is considered 

  significant bodily injury or serious bodily 

  injury

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Unlike simple assault charges, aggravated assault charges are handled in Superior Court. Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault can be charged as a second, third or fourth-degree crime.

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If convicted of aggravated assault, you could possibly serve 10 years in prison or more, depending on the nature of the offense and the person’s criminal history. Additionally, the No Early Release Act (NERA) applies to “violent” crimes such as second-degree aggravated assault, meaning that a person convicted must serve a minimum of 85 percent of their prison sentence before they are eligible for parole. Once released, they must serve a minimum of three years on parole.

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Defense strategies

There are several defenses to charges of assault, including:

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• Self defense

• The injury was not bad enough to amount 

  to the specific crime charged

• The injury was not caused by intentional or 

  reckless action

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Our criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly examine all aspects of your case and come up with the most effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to obtain a complete dismissal of all charges against you. If we can not get the charge dismissed, we will try to secure the best possible plea agreement or prepare your matter for trial. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, we are often successful in getting those charges downgraded. We will not rest until we achieve the best possible outcome in your case. We are experienced trial attorneys that will never pressure you to take a plea just to get done with a case quickly.

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DRUG CRIMES

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New Jersey has some of the toughest drug laws in the United States and our courts are known for imposing severe penalties for even the most minor drug crimes. As experienced Monmouth County Drug Lawyers, we can use our collective backgrounds to your advantage to secure the best outcome possible. A drug crime can be any state or federal crime involving a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). This not only includes illegal street drugs like heroin and cocaine but also prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, Percocet, Roxicodone and many others.

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To develop a successful defense strategy against drug charges, you need a qualified, experienced drug lawyer who can thoroughly review the circumstances of your arrest and the investigation against you. Our criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors and public defenders with vast experience in New Jersey criminal law and procedure. We recognize that addiction can be a disease and we believe in providing those accused with drug charges with the quality defense they deserve. We see too often how a doctor will over-prescribe medication to line their own pockets, leaving the patient with a terrible addiction to pain killers and, later, street drugs.

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For quality legal support, 

contact Shebell & Shebell.

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Do not speak to the police without 

your attorney present

If you are under suspicion or have been arrested or charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, it is crucial that you exercise your constitutional right to remain silent until you have an attorney present. Be polite, but firm. Do not answer any questions or give a statement until you have spoken to a qualified criminal defense attorney. If you or someone you know has been arrested, contact us for a free consultation. As experienced Monmouth County Drug Lawyers, we can work with you to determine if cooperating with the Police may be in your best interest or if you have nothing to gain by giving them a statement.

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Types of drug charges

Our lawyers represent clients who have been charged with various drug crimes, including:

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• Possession of a Controlled Dangerous 

  Substance

• Possession with intent to distribute

• Drug distribution

• Drug trafficking

• Drug paraphernalia possession

• Manufacturing and/or cultivation of drugs

• Violation of medical marijuana laws (New 

  Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical 

  Marijuana Act, J.S.A. 24:6I-1 to 24:6I-16).

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Classification of Drug Offenses

New Jersey law classifies drug offenses according to their inherent danger and potential for abuse, which is based on the schedules of Controlled Dangerous Substances issued by the DEA. Most known drugs will fall into one of five categories, or “Schedules,” with Schedule I narcotics carrying the highest degree of penalties, and Schedule V being the least dangerous and carrying the least severe penalties.

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According to the DEA, Schedule I narcotics have a high potential for abuse and no federally accepted use in medical treatment. Common Schedule I narcotics include heroin, many opiates, ecstasy, LSD, and marijuana. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-5 for a complete list. Although New Jersey now permits the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic and unlawful use is still met with harsh penalties.

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Schedule II narcotics have a high potential for abuse but have some currently accepted medicinal value. Common Schedule II substances include Vicodin, Cocaine, Methadone, Dilaudid, Demerol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-6 for a complete list.

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Use of Schedule III substances may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Common Schedule III narcotics include Tylenol with codeine, ketamine (“Special K”), steroids and testosterone. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-7 for a complete list.

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Schedule IV and V substances have a low potential for abuse when compared to the drugs discussed above. Most benzodiazepines 

are Schedule IV drugs, as well as some synthetic opioids. Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, and Tramadol are all Schedule IV narcotics. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-8 and -9 for the complete lists.

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Even though the drugs may have different schedules, the penalties will overlap for many of the drugs mentioned above. It is 

essential to review your charges with an experienced Monmouth County Drug Lawyer to help you through this difficult process.

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New Jersey imposes harsh penalties for drug crimes

Penalties for drug offenses vary depending on the type of drug, the quantity or weight of the drug, the offense you are charged 

with, and whether the alleged offense occurred in a school zone or public park. Some common offenses and their penalties include:

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Marijuana

• Possession is either a disorderly persons 

  offense (misdemeanor) or an indictable 

  offense (felony), depending on the amount 

  allegedly in your possession. Possession of 

  marijuana over 50 grams in weight is 

  punishable by up to 18 months in jail and

  a fine of $500 to $15,000.

• Distribution will be an indictable level  

  offense, possibly punishable by up to 10 

  years in prison and a fine of $750 to 

  $100,000.

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Cocaine and Heroin

• Possession is an indictable crime (felony) 

  punishable by three to five years in prison, 

  and a fine of $1,000 to $35,000.

• Distribution is a felony punishable by three 

  to 20 years in prison, and a fine of $1,000 

  to $300,000.

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Drug trafficking or being accused of being the leader of a drug network are typically considered the most serious types of drug-related criminal activity in New Jersey. The penalty for a conviction could be life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. In addition to the penalties listed above, most drug convictions are punishable by the loss of one’s drivers license for six months to two years.

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Diversionary programs: pre-trial intervention (PTI) and conditional discharge

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to avoid some of these harsh penalties by securing your admission into a diversionary program. Successful completion of one of these programs can help you avoid jail time and keep a conviction off of your criminal record. A clean record is invaluable when searching for employment or promotion.

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Exploring all defenses

Never assume that the prosecution has a strong case against you. Often, police officers make errors while conducting their investigations, including:

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• Lack of probable cause for a traffic stop 

  or search

• Unlawful search and seizure

• Failure to read you your Miranda rights at 

  the appropriate time

• Improperly obtained confessions

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Our skilled drug lawyers will fight to 

ensure that unlawfully obtained evidence 

is excluded at trial and cannot be used against you.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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Many couples fight, but when an argument escalates to the point of physical violence, serious and unfortunate consequences can result for all parties involved. Domestic violence is defined as a repeated and patterned use of controlling and coercive behaviors to direct or limit a domestic partner’s feelings, thoughts, and actions. Examples of behaviors that can constitute domestic violence include stalking, harassment, sexual assault, emotional abuse, isolation and physical violence. Domestic violence can occur between two individuals in any type of domestic relationship – including same-sex partnerships. Contrary 

to stereotypes, women can be domestic violence assailants, and men are increasingly coming forward as victims. At Shebell & Shebell, we represent victims of domestic violence, as well as those who have been unfairly accused. 

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Contact our firm for a consultation.

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Domestic violence defense

There are two sides to every story. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you are a victim and you deserve the very best legal representation. Those who have been charged with domestic violence face a litany of serious, life-changing consequences, including:

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• A temporary or permanent restraining 

  order

• Being forcibly removed from your home

• Deportation, if you are an undocumented 

  immigrant

• A court order preventing you from seeing 

  your children

• A court order requiring you to pay the 

  victim’s medical bills

• A court order preventing you from owning 

  a firearm

• A court order requiring you to pay 

  attorney’s fees

• Court mandated support or housing 

  payments to the victim

• Court mandated drug and alcohol testing

• Court mandated counseling

• Being labeled as a “violent offender”

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Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic violence are common, particularly in situations where custody is at stake or a couple is going through a divorce. In domestic violence cases, even if the victim decides that they no longer want to proceed with charges, the prosecutor may step in and file charges against you based on existing evidence. If you have been falsely accused, the skilled lawyers at Shebell & Shebell will aggressively protect your reputation.

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Protection for victims 

of domestic violence

The experienced lawyers at Shebell & Shebell help victims of domestic violence take all appropriate measures to protect their families. Often, that process begins with a restraining order. Restraining orders, also called Orders of Protection, are used by the courts to protect victims of domestic violence from continued abuse. Victims of stalking, harassment, domestic violence and sexual assault should all apply for a restraining order against alleged abusers. 

In divorce cases, a party may obtain a restraining order to protect not only themselves but also their children, home, and personal property.

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When the court grants a restraining order, local police are placed on notice. Any future harassment, threats, or contact can result in 

the arrest of the alleged assailant. Courts tend to grant restraining orders quickly when an attorney can demonstrate its necessity.

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The process for filing a restraining order begins by filing a complaint at the Superior Court or through the police department in the event the Court is closed. A judge may then grant a Temporary Restraining Order, or TRO, against the accused, usually without their knowledge. The police then serve the accused with the TRO. The TRO usually stays in place until both parties appear in court. If a judge determines that an act of domestic violence occurred and that a Final Restraining Order is warranted, the Court can offer a number of solutions, including issuing a Final Restraining Order to protect children and property, granting sole-custody of children to one party, ordering payment to the victim, and/or ordering anger management and counseling. A Final Restraining Order in New Jersey is permanent and unending unless modified by the court with a superseding order.

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In addition to helping our clients obtain restraining orders, the lawyers at Shebell & Shebell assist our clients with:

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• Enforcing restraining orders

• Obtaining separate maintenance to help 

  victims exit abusive situations

• Modification of child custody arrangements

• Obtaining money damages for assault and 

  battery torts

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WHITE COLLAR CRIME & EMBEZZLEMENT

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Preventing indictment is the best way to fight white collar crime allegations.  If you suspect a criminal investigation is targeting 

you as an offender, consult a New Jersey white collar crime attorney at your first opportunity. Shebell & Shebell has extensive criminal defense experience to protect your rights.

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Federal and New Jersey white collar crime laws

White collar crime refers to nonviolent offenses for unlawful financial gains. White collar crimes are often business crimes or corporate crimes. In fact, many activities that used to be administrative violations have risen to the level of white collar crimes 

in today’s justice system.

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The federal government has vast resources and may investigate for a year or more before convening a grand jury and delivering a white collar crime indictment. You can unwittingly answer questions that prosecutors misconstrue and use to prove you guilty whether or not you are guilty of the alleged crime. If investigated, voice your intent to remain silent and seek legal counsel from the outset.

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Examples of charges that constitute white collar crimes include:

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• Insider trading

• Securities violations

• Tax evasion

• Money laundering

• Bribery

• Conspiracy

• Perjury

• Public corruption

• Blackmail

• Extortion

• Counterfeiting

• Theft

• Larceny

• Identity theft

• Accounting fraud

• Contractor fraud

• Credit card fraud

• Insurance fraud

• Medicare fraud

• Mortgage fraud

• Embezzlement

• Official misconduct

• Broker misconduct

• Internet crimes

• Misrepresentation

• Fiduciary abuse of trust

• Real estate scams

• RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt  

  Organizations Act)

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Three well-known white collar crime charges

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Fraud: Fraud is a type of white collar crime using deceptive practices for financial gain. Medicare fraud often involves billing the government for Medicare services or supplies that were never received. Insurance fraud may involve causing deliberate injury or exaggerating injuries to collect insurance benefits.

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Conspiracy: Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more individuals to engage in illegal activity. Conspiracy charges are separate from the crime committed. Authorities can bring up conspiracy charges even when the commission of the crime is unsuccessful.

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Embezzlement: Embezzlement involves fraudulent appropriation of property by someone entrusted to handle it. For example, employees who make unauthorized money transfers from the company’s bank account to their own personal accounts are committing embezzlement.

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Contact our NJ white 

collar crime attorneys

Shebell & Shebell fights for the future of clients facing a wide range of criminal matters. White collar crimes are serious and come with some of the same penalties as some of the most egregious crimes heard in court. Because these crimes are non-violent, people think that the consequences are lighter. This is not the case. If you are charged and convicted of a white collar crime, your life could be devastated. Do not underestimate the impact of a white collar crime conviction. For a consultation, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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FRAUD

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Unlike other crimes, fraud charges usually do not begin with an arrest. If you are being questioned by corporate lawyers, your employer, or law enforcement officers, you should have an experienced attorney by your side to defend you from the very beginning. Without an attorney’s guidance, you may not be able to foresee how your statements can later be used against you if you are prosecuted for fraud.

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A fraud conviction can result in jail time, costly fines, and a criminal record. In these tough economic times, it can be nearly impossible to get a job with a fraud conviction on your record. There are so many qualified applicants competing for so few positions that a blemish on your record will often immediately disqualify you. At Shebell & Shebell, we strive to help our clients avoid a conviction. Our team of criminal trial lawyers includes former prosecutors and judges. Having worked 

both sides of fraud cases, we have a unique advantage over other law firms. Our insight helps us to develop the optimal legal strategy to get your charges dismissed outright or downgraded to a more favorable charge such as disorderly conduct. We have a successful track record of making deals with municipal prosecutors to get fraud charges downgraded to municipal ordinance violations, which result in no jail time and no criminal record. If you are accused of fraud, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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What is fraud?

Fraud is when someone acts dishonestly in order to gain an advantage (usually a financial advantage). 

To prove that you committed fraud, the prosecution must demonstrate:

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• That you misrepresented a material fact

• That you knew or should have known you 

  were misleading the victim with the intent 

  to defraud the victim

• That the victim reasonably relied on your 

  fraudulent statement

• The victim suffered actual damages

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In order for conduct to constitute legally actionable fraud, the prosecution must establish all five of these elements beyond 

a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if you accidentally mislead someone or are ultimately unsuccessful in your attempt to commit fraud, you may have a viable defense.

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Fraudulent concealment

New Jersey courts have held that withholding the truth when it should 

have been disclosed is the equivalent 

of misrepresentation. For example, if you are selling a home or business, and fail to disclose a known structural defect or liability during the transfer, you may 

be liable for fraudulent concealment.

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Types of fraudulent crimes

There are many types of fraud-related offenses in New Jersey, including:

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• Credit card fraud – This offense often  

  involves credit cards used beyond the 

  authorized limit or for unauthorized 

  purposes. Other scenarios include 

  obtaining a credit card with someone else’s 

  information or fraudulently 

  misrepresenting your financial 

  condition in order to obtain a credit card.

• Check fraud – It is unlawful to pass a bad 

  check or money order when you know that 

  it will not be honored. In certain 

  situations, you will be legally presumed to 

  have known you were committing fraud, 

  for example, if you did not have an account 

  with the bank at the time you issued the 

  check. The severity of the penalty depends 

  on the value of the check. Checks for less 

  than $200 may be charged as disorderly 

  persons offenses. For checks up to $1,000, 

  you may be convicted of a fourth-degree 

  crime. Passing a bad check up to $75,000 

  is a third-degree crime. Larger checks can 

  result in a conviction for a second-degree  

  crime.

• Theft by deception – A person can be 

  charged with this offense if they purposely 

  obtain the property of another by deception. 

  Examples include failure of a contractor to 

  perform work after receiving payment and 

  soliciting money for a charity with the 

  intent of keeping it for oneself. Penalties 

  are determined by the value of the property 

  taken and can include significant state 

  prison sentences.

• Identity theft – Using someone else’s 

  identity to obtain some benefit, including 

  money, goods, and services, is a serious 

  crime in New Jersey. Other common forms 

  of identity theft include using someone 

  else’s identity to obtain a loan or facilitate  

  illegal immigration. Penalties depend on   

  the number of victims and the value of 

  property or money obtained.

• Forgery – One cannot alter or forge 

  another person’s writing without their 

  consent in order to defraud or injure them. 

  The term “writing” is a technical legal term 

  and can include any type of printing, 

  corporate securities (stocks and bonds), 

  retail sales receipts, UPC labels, checks, 

  credit cards, or identification cards.

• Computer and Internet fraud – New 

  Jersey law criminalizes computer hacking, 

  eBay auction fraud, phishing schemes, 

  spamming, money transfer fraud, e-mail 

  spoofing and Craigslist fraud. Some of 

  these offenses are second-degree crimes, 

  punishable by up to ten years in New 

  Jersey State Prison.

• Money laundering – Money laundering is 

  the process of disguising the source of 

  property or money obtained through illegal 

  activity by channeling it through a 

  legitimate business. Penalties depend on 

  the value of the property involved and can 

  carry a sentence of ten to twenty years in 

  prison.

• Healthcare fraud – This includes patients 

  who deceive their insurance companies, as 

  well as doctors who engage in multi-

  million dollar conspiracies to defraud 

  insurance providers by billing for services 

  not rendered or other fraudulent schemes.

​

Other common types of fraud include construction fraud, Medicare fraud, mortgage fraud, motor vehicle fraud, tax fraud, unemployment fraud, and securities fraud.

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Experienced NJ fraud defense attorneys

Our trial lawyers use our extensive criminal defense experience to achieve a positive outcome in every case, every time. We know how to challenge the admissibility of evidence and elicit favorable testimony from witnesses. Our savvy lawyers stay on the cutting edge of technology. We will locate and use any electronic data trails to your advantage. When possible, we work with prosecutors to arrange for sentencing alternatives (such as Pre-Trial Intervention, or PTI) to help you avoid jail time and a criminal record. We have successfully represented numerous clients charged with fraud across New Jersey. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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DUI/DWI

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New Jersey DUI laws do not discriminate. 

If you get pulled over and the police officer has a reason to suspect you are under the influence, you may very well be charged with drunk driving. Don’t panic. With a knowledgeable traffic lawyer on your side, 

you may be able to beat the charges or possibly get them reduced, saving you money, points, and possibly your license.

​

The skilled criminal defense and DUI attorneys at Shebell & Shebell can assist you with your DUI charges. We know how a DUI conviction can deeply affect your life. If your license is suspended, commuting to work can be difficult and insurance premium surcharges may be cost-prohibitive. Don’t try to fight these charges alone. Our firm has been helping NJ residents since 1927. We will work hard for you in an effort to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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New Jersey DUI Laws

In New Jersey, DUI violations are governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 and variant subsequent statutes. If you are stopped for DUI, the officer may want to administer a breath test to determine whether you truly are driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol content) in New Jersey is 0.08 percent. If your BAC exceeds that limit or if the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, you could be charged with DUI. Further, if your BAC is above 0.10 percent, you face enhanced penalties.

​

You are required to take a breath test. Failure to do so will likely result in a DUI charge as well as the additional charge of refusal. The refusal charge carries its own penalties that may run consecutively to the DUI penalties. In the absence of a breath test, the officer’s observations will be admissible in court as evidence that you were driving under the influence. Field sobriety tests and breath tests are sometimes unreliable and we can challenge the results to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

​

New Jersey DUI offense penalties

In New Jersey, a DUI is a traffic violation, not a criminal offense. However, a drunk driving charge carries penalties far more severe than other traffic violations. Depending on how many prior convictions for DWI you’ve received, you could be facing jail time, loss of license, stiff fines and more.

​

• First offense DUI – In addition to jail 

  time, heavy fines, and loss of your driving 

  privileges, you may be ordered by the court 

  to install an ignition interlock device on 

  your car and attend alcohol education 

  classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource 

  Center (IDRC). Collateral consequences of 

  a DUI conviction include higher insurance 

  rates and Motor Vehicle Commission   

  (MVC) surcharges.

• Second offense DUI – A conviction for a 

  second DUI offense can result in enhanced 

  penalties, including a jail sentence of 90   

  days, driver’s license suspension for two 

  years, a $1,000 fine, $3,000 in automobile 

  surcharges, up to 48 hours of mandatory 

  attendance at alcohol education classes, 30 

  days of mandatory community service, and 

  a requirement to install an ignition 

  interlock device on their vehicle.

• Third offense DUI – A third DUI 

  conviction within a 10-year period can lead 

  to a sentence of 180 days in jail, loss of   

  your driving privileges for 10 years, a 

  $1,000 fine, $4,500 in automobile 

  surcharges, up to 48 hours of mandatory 

  attendance at alcohol education classes, 

  and required installation of an ignition 

  interlock device on your car if you are 

  fortunate enough to regain your 

  driving privileges.

​

Other related charges that can result in enhanced penalties include:

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• Refusal to submit to breath testing

• Driving while intoxicated near a school

• DUI with a minor in the vehicle

• Driving with a license suspended due to a 

  DUI

• DUI drug charges

​

New Jersey DUI defenses

The criminal and DUI defense team at Shebell & Shebell, LLC includes a former public defender with the Essex County Public Defender’s Office, a deputy public defender in Hudson and Monmouth counties, a former presiding judge in the Appellate Division of the Monmouth County Superior Court, and a longtime assistant prosecutor in Monmouth County. Our unique set of credentials gives us insight into how the other side will handle your case. This allows us to raise a number of advanced defenses on your behalf, including:

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• Invalid traffic stop – The police must 

  always have a legitimate reason for pulling 

  you over. For example, a police officer is 

  not supposed to be able to pull you over for 

  simply weaving inside your lanes. You 

  must actually have crossed the lanes in 

  order to give the officer probable cause to 

  stop you.

No probable cause for arrest – We will 

  also look over the details of your case to 

  determine whether the officer had   

  sufficient cause to arrest you.

• Failure to Mirandize – The arresting 

  officer must issue Miranda warnings prior 

  to taking you into custody. If the officer   

  failed to notify you of your constitutional 

  right not to make self-incriminating 

  statements, we may be able to contest the  

  admission of those statements.

• Procedural error – If the police 

  committed a procedural error during or 

  after your arrest, we may be able to get the 

  evidence against you suppressed.

• Challenge evidence – We know how to 

  recognize internal errors in the testing 

  devices. We will highlight for the court any 

  potential errors in the testing equipment.

• Challenge witnesses – Since the   

  credibility of the arresting officer is crucial  

  to the prosecution, we will attempt to 

  undermine the officer’s testimony.

• Poor weather conditions – We may be 

  able to present compelling evidence that 

  poor weather or roadside conditions were 

  responsible for your erratic driving or 

  inability to properly perform field sobriety 

  tests.

​

Contact a Monmouth County DUI Defense Law Firm

In New Jersey, drunk driving cases are heard before a judge, not a jury. An experienced drunk driving lawyer can take advantage

of the NJ DUI trial procedure to help you beat your drunk driving charges. Even if you’ve already been convicted of a DUI, the 

good news is that you still have a chance to appeal your conviction. However, you have just 20 days to appeal your conviction, so there is no time to waste in contacting an attorney.

​

When you contact Shebell & Shebell, you will speak directly with a knowledgeable DWI attorney who understands the finer points of  New Jersey DWI law. Our experienced DWI lawyers will look over your file and help you set goals for your case. We know that people occasionally make mistakes, which is why we will fight to keep your record clean and help you resolve this issue. 

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​

WEAPONS CHARGE

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New Jersey’s weapon laws are notoriously complex. Violating these laws can result in incarceration, mandatory forfeiture of your firearms, the loss of your Second Amendment right to bear arms, significant monetary penalties, a criminal record, and, in some instances, the loss of one’s job. Merely possessing certain weapons (such as a stun gun) may result in a felony conviction, even if you only possess it for self defense. If you have been charged with a weapons-related offense, you need an experienced New Jersey gun lawyer who will defend your Second Amendment rights. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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Common weapons offenses in New Jersey

Often, individuals are charged with weapons offenses because they failed to go through the proper channels to acquire a permit or license. We have a successful track record of handling all types of weapon charges, including:

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• Unlawful possession of a weapon (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5): Individuals cannot knowingly possess machine guns, handguns, rifles or assault rifles (automatic weapons) without first having obtained the appropriate license or permit. Individuals also cannot possess “other weapons” for inappropriate use. Any individual who knowingly possesses firearms in an educational institution without written authorization of the school’s governing officer is guilty of a third-degree crime, even if they have a valid permit to carry the weapon. Possession of “other weapons” and imitation firearms in schools is also prohibited by law.

• Possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1): In order for a person to be convicted of this offense, the 

government must prove that they possessed a weapon for the purpose of using it unlawfully against a person or property. An 

example of this crime would be the use of a knife to commit theft. A conviction for this crime can result in a minimum of five 

years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

• Possession by a convicted felon or another person ineligible to possess a weapon (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7): If an individual has been convicted of a felony, possession of a firearm is a second-degree crime punishable by between five and ten years in prison. Individuals who have been committed to a mental institution and individuals with a prior domestic violence conviction are also ineligible to carry weapons.

• Possession of a defaced firearm (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d)): It is unlawful to 

  possess a firearm that has had its serial 

  number, manufacturer’s name, or model 

  number removed, covered, altered or 

  destroyed.

• Possession of a stun gun (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(h)): Possession of a stun gun is a 

  fourth-degree crime in New Jersey. 

  If convicted you can face up to 18 months 

  in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

• Possession of prohibited ammunition: It 

  is unlawful to possess hollow point, hollow 

  nose, dum-dum, or armor piercing bullets   

  in New Jersey unless you are a law 

  enforcement officer authorized to use this 

  ammunition. You can be convicted of a 

  fourth-degree crime and face up to 18 

  months in prison and a fine of up to 

  $10,000 for possessing prohibited 

  ammunition even if you don’t own a gun.

​

What is a weapon under New Jersey law?

The term “weapon” is broadly defined in New Jersey and includes any object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 gives a non-exhaustive list, including:

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• Components that can be assembled into a weapon

• Gravity knives

• Switchblade knives

• Daggers

• Dirks

• Stilettos

• Billies

• Blackjacks

• Bludgeons

• Brass knuckles

• Sandclubs

• Slingshots

• Cesti or similar leather bands studded with metal filings

• Razor blades imbedded in wood

• Stun guns

​

As this statute makes clear, almost anything can be considered a weapon in New Jersey. Law enforcement will look to the intent 

of the person possessing the item. Your intent can also be ascertained from your surroundings. For example, if you are carrying a baseball bat on the way to a baseball field, you are unlikely to be arrested for possession of a weapon. But, if you are carrying that same baseball bat late at night in a bar parking lot, law enforcement is more likely to consider the bat a weapon.

​

Penalties for weapons offenses

New Jersey has some of the harshest penalties for weapons offenses in the United States. Legislation such as the Graves Act and the No Early Release Act subjects individuals convicted of weapons offenses to mandatory minimum prison sentences. If a person is charged with possessing a weapon in conjunction with an act of violence, they will be ineligible for parole until they have served their minimum prison term. Many weapon offenses carry a five-year minimum sentence. A minimum sentence of five years carriesa three-year minimum term of imprisonment.

​

If you are charged with an underlying crime, being in possession of a firearm during the commission of that offense will result in a more serious sentence even if you did not intend to harm anyone with the weapon.

​

Weapon charges bring other serious consequences, such as having your gun collection permanently confiscated or loss of 

your job if carrying a weapon is necessary to fulfilling your duties (for example if you are a security guard, police officer or armored truck driver).

​

Defenses to weapons charges

We will investigate how law enforcement acquired your weapon and whether their search was legal. We can file a motion 

to suppress the evidence if your constitutional rights were violated. In New Jersey, law enforcement can conduct a search with probable cause or if you give valid consent to the search.

​

There are many exemptions to the complex laws restricting an individual’s ability to carry a weapon. For example, N.J.S.A. 39-6(e) authorizes individuals to possess “other weapons” (as statutorily defined) in their home or place of business. Also, unloaded weapons may be transported in 

the trunk of one’s car under certain circumstances. However, the law is nuanced. These exemptions do not apply to convicted felons or individuals charged with possession for an unlawful purpose.

​

Contact our New Jersey 

weapons charge attorneys

At Shebell & Shebell, we always strive to get your charges dismissed or downgraded. We consider all options and work closely with our clients to achieve a positive outcome. We represent individuals charged with gun crimes and weapons offenses throughout New Jersey. 

Contact Shebell & Shebell today.

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​

JUVENILE CRIME

​

As a parent or guardian, there is nothing more unsettling than getting a phone call that your child has been arrested. If you are in this situation, our team of lawyers has provided the following information on how juvenile crimes are handled in the state of New Jersey. We believe that by explaining as much as possible about the situation, we can help quell some of your fears.

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New Jersey’s juvenile court system is designed to rehabilitate offending youth, not punish them. However, the court also seeks to hold responsible parties accountable for criminal conduct. Our team of juvenile crime lawyers can help your child fulfill their potential in life by fighting to keep their criminal record clean. Shebell & Shebell has successfully represented clients in family courts throughout New Jersey. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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The juvenile justice process

In New Jersey, those charged with committing a crime while under the age of 18 are usually subject to the juvenile justice system, which is separate and distinct from the adult criminal justice system. Juvenile delinquency cases usually begin when a child is taken into custody on “suspicion of juvenile delinquency.” This means that they are suspected of committing an offense that would be classified as a crime or municipal ordinance violation if an adult had committed it.

​

After being taken into custody, juveniles are usually released to their parents without any conditions. However, in some cases, the child will be released under certain conditions, such as a requirement to go to a drug rehabilitation program. When the alleged offense is particularly serious, the child may be detained pending a detention review hearing.

​

Regardless of whether the child is detained or released to their parents’ custody, New Jersey Family Court Intake Services will evaluate the case. They may make a determination that the case does not need to go to court, in which case the child is granted admission to a diversionary program such as an Intake Service Conference or a Juvenile Conference Committee. Offenses that are usually diverted include minor offenses such as shoplifting, disorderly conduct, trespassing or criminal mischief.

​

More serious offenses such as assault and possession of a controlled dangerous substance are generally sent to Family Court. For particularly egregious offenses, such as armed robbery, the prosecutor may seek to have the case moved to the Superior Court’s Criminal Division. In the adult criminal justice system, your child would be treated as an adult during sentencing. Convictions may result in a term of imprisonment. In very rare cases, there are advantages to having a juvenile’s case transferred to the Criminal Division. For example, because there is no option for a jury trial in juvenile cases resolved in family court, certain cases might fare better in the criminal court where a jury can see your child and hear their side of the story. 

In making these decisions, you need a competent juvenile defense attorney in your corner.

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What happens in court?

Juvenile delinquency cases are heard in the county where the child resides. Adult criminal matters, on the other hand, are heard in the county where the alleged offense occurred. We are able to file a motion to have your child’s case transferred to the county where the offense took place if doing so would be beneficial.

​

Juvenile cases are not open to the public. Only those involved in the case are allowed to attend. All records associated with the proceeding are confidential unless your child is convicted, in which case the conviction is placed on their permanent criminal record.

​

If the family court judge determines that your child committed the offense, there will be an adjudication of delinquency. The juvenile will be sentenced, which may result in incarceration at a youth house, detention center, or other juvenile justice institution. Our respected juvenile defense lawyers will make every effort to ensure that this does not happen to your child.

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Diversionary programs and other alternatives to juvenile court

An experienced juvenile crime lawyer at Shebell & Shebell can try to work out a deal with the intake officer to divert your child’s 

case to a probation officer before it ever gets to court. Having competent legal representation at the Intake Services Conference is essential so that a plea deal can potentially be negotiated.

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Successful completion of a diversionary program can result in a dismissal of the charges pending against your child. This will not only keep your child out of a juvenile detention center but also will ensure that they do not have an adjudication of delinquency placed on their permanent criminal record.

​

We may also be able to negotiate other alternatives to incarceration, including community service, counseling, and restitution. For example, if your child has been accused of shoplifting, we may be able to persuade the arresting officer to dismiss the charges if you pay restitution to the store.

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Consequences unique to juvenile offenses

Certain crimes commonly committed by juveniles can result in “escalated” consequences. For example, if your child assaults a public official (for example, a teacher or a police officer), what would ordinarily be a simple assault charge is automatically escalated to aggravated assault.

​

Additionally, convictions for certain offenses (for example, possession of marijuana) may result in the loss of a juvenile’s driver’s license.

​

Expungement of your 

child’s criminal record

If your child is convicted, the conviction will persist on their criminal record into adulthood. Our goal is always to avoid a conviction. However, if that is not possible or if your child has already been convicted of a crime, we can file a motion to seal or expunge the record of your child’s juvenile arrest and conviction.

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Contact our juvenile 

delinquency attorneys

The experienced juvenile crime lawyers at Shebell & Shebell will stand with you every step of the way to ensure that your child’s careless mistake does not impact his or her life forever. Our reputable lawyers have developed good working relationships with law enforcement officers, intake services officers, prosecutors and family court judges across the state of New Jersey. We represent juveniles throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell today.

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MUNICIPAL OFFENSES

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In New Jersey, municipal courts have jurisdiction over disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses that have taken place within their jurisdiction. More serious criminal matters such as robbery, auto theft, and aggravated assault are often initially filed in the Municipal Court but are later transferred to the Superior Court located at the county courthouse. Even though municipal courts only hear relatively minor criminal matters, pleading guilty can still result in consequences that could have been avoided by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer, including jail time and a permanent criminal record.

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The experienced municipal offense lawyers at Shebell & Shebell fight vigorously for every one of our clients because we understand the damaging consequences of a criminal conviction. We are often able to achieve a partial victory for our clients, keeping more serious indictable offenses in municipal court by getting the charges downgraded. We have successfully represented clients in municipal courts throughout New Jersey. For a consultation, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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The municipal court process

The municipal court system in New Jersey is governed by its own set of legal procedures. Municipal court cases proceed much more quickly than cases heard in Superior Court. A defendant can be arrested, appear in court, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty all on the same day. The prosecutor may offer a plea bargain. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer before accepting. Even if it seems like a good offer, there may be unforeseen consequences and an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed entirely. For any municipal court matter, you have the right to a hearing and representation.

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In certain situations, our lawyers may be able to keep an indictable offense (felony) in municipal court by having the charge downgraded to a disorderly persons offense. This decision comes with advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, a municipal court judge determines whether you are guilty or not (as opposed to a jury, which fulfills these roles in Superior Court). On the other hand, the maximum sentence in municipal court is limited to six months in county jail, plus fines, surcharges, restitution and other sanctions. If the case is heard in Superior Court you could face much more serious penalties including greater fines and prison time.

​

What types of crimes are adjudicated 

in municipal court?

Common examples of disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses include:

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• Simple assault

• Disorderly conduct

• Resisting arrest

• Possession of small amounts of marijuana

• Possession of drug paraphernalia

• Shoplifting (under $200)

• Writing bad checks (fraud)

• Harassment

• Lewdness

• Certain juvenile offenses, such as 

  possession of a fake I.D. or underage 

  possession of alcohol

• Disturbing the peace

• Excessive noise

• Littering

• Loitering

• Public intoxication

• Motor vehicle offenses and parking tickets

• Fish and game violations

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Penalties

Penalties for violations of municipal ordinances can include up to 90 days in county jail, fines of up to $2,000, and up to 90 days of community service (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5). Although there is a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders, being sentenced to jail is a very real possibility if you have any prior convictions. Multiple convictions for certain criminal offenses, such as shoplifting, can result in mandatory jail time.

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If you are convicted of a motor vehicle offense, you may get points on your driving record and/or insurance points, resulting 

in higher premiums that you will have to pay for years. For certain offenses, you could potentially lose your driver’s license.

​

Arrests and convictions for disorderly persons offenses will appear on your criminal record. This can result in the loss of your job, and prevent you from obtaining gainful employment in the future. Convictions for municipal ordinance violations generally do not appear on one’s criminal record. Our lawyers may be able to get your charges downgraded to a municipal ordinance violation so that your good name remains clear.

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Contact our municipal offense attorneys

Our contacts throughout the municipal court system and skill in negotiating favorable outcomes can help put your case on track 

for dismissal or eventual expungement through placement in a conditional discharge program. We have helped countless clients get indictable offenses (felonies) downgraded to disorderly persons offenses, and disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) downgraded to municipal ordinance violations (which do not get placed on your criminal record).

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TRAFFIC OFFENSE

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Traffic violations are an exceedingly common offense that can affect anyone. 

If you have been cited for multiple violations, the consequences can be devastating. In addition to facing fines and possible jail time, points can accumulate on your driving record with each citation. This results in soaring insurance premiums, and in some cases, suspension of one’s license. If you are issued a traffic ticket in New Jersey, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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New Jersey’s Point System

When making a traffic stop, police officers tend to cite drivers for as many violations 

as possible. In New Jersey, drivers accumulate points for each violation with 

a guilty verdict. These points are essentially demerits applied to your driving record. Once you accumulate six points in three years, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) can put you on probation and 

fine you with additional surcharges. The surcharges may continue for up to three years. Once a driver accumulates 12 points, the MVC will move to suspend your license. It only takes a few tickets to accumulate 12 points.

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At Shebell & Shebell, We Fight 

All Types of Traffic Citations

If you have been issued a moving violation, by paying the fine, you are pleading guilty to an offense that could prove to be extremely costly. We defend against all types of moving violations, including:

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Speeding tickets: A New Jersey speeding ticket carries one of the highest fine rates in the country. If you choose to plead not guilty, you will need to go to court. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer. Our firm will investigate your case to determine whether radar was used, or whether your rate of speed was recorded on camera. Traffic school may be an option for keeping costly points off your license.

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Commercial trucking tickets: If you are a commercial trucker and have been issued a citation, know that the repercussions are much more severe than those faced by ordinary drivers. A truck driver will receive 1.5 points on their driver’s license for offenses that would land an ordinary driver only 1 point. Also, truck drivers cannot attend traffic school to keep points off their license. Truck drivers who are caught speeding more than 15 mph over the limit can be charged with a misdemeanor.

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Red light violations: As with speeding tickets, New Jersey drivers pay the highest rates for failing to stop at a red light. If you received a ticket in the mail after allegedly running a red light on camera, the ticket can be difficult to fight. However, these cameras are not always reliable. Clerical errors, computer programming issues, and computer glitches can result in erroneously issued tickets.

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Stop sign violations: If you are caught running a stop sign in New Jersey, you could have three points added to your driver’s license. When added to other offenses on your record such as prior speeding tickets or other moving offenses, you may face license suspension and increased surcharges.

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Other traffic offenses

Shebell & Shebell also defends against citations for:

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• Passing a school bus

• Improper turns

• Careless or reckless driving

• Leaving the scene of an accident

• Tailgating

• Failure to yield

• Driving with a suspended or revoked license

• Uninsured driver violations

• Cell phone violations

• Provisional license violations (learner’s permit violations)

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Contact our Monmouth County traffic offense attorneys

Hiring a trusted traffic violation defense attorney can save you a lot of money. The insurance surcharges from accumulated points are only a small fraction of the price you may pay for pleading guilty. With each point added to your driving record, your insurance premiums are likely to rise. In addition, if your license is suspended you may not be able to get to work, resulting in lost wages, and potentially unemployment. If you were issued a traffic ticket, Shebell & Shebell can provide you will skilled legal representation.

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EXPUNGEMENT

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A criminal record can affect your life in ways that you never anticipated. You may be disqualified from receiving financial aid for college, voting, carrying a firearm, and it could impact your ability to find a decent job. These days, anyone can potentially access your criminal record online. You have options. You can control the situation. If you are eligible, you can wipe the slate clean, in a way, avoiding the stigma of having a mark on your record. The experienced New Jersey expungement lawyers at Shebell & Shebell can help you clear your name. Contact our firm today.

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What is an expungement?

An expungement is the “extraction and isolation” of all records relating to your arrest, detention, trial and/or conviction. When a New Jersey court grants a Petition for Expungement, an order of Expungement is issued and the case file and all copies of case-related documents are secured. This means that your criminal records will no longer be accessible by the public. When asked if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, you will lawfully be entitled to answer “no” if the incident has been expunged.

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Are you eligible for an expungement?

In determining whether you are eligible, the court will consider the nature of your offense (was it a felony or a misdemeanor) and whether you have any prior convictions. Prior convictions will not necessarily disqualify you from getting an expungement. It used to be that convictions for distribution of narcotics could never be expunged. However, that rule has recently changed. Now, in certain cases, these records can be sealed.

​

Still, some crimes (generally violent crimes) may never be expunged. These include criminal homicide, kidnapping, human trafficking, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault (if the victim is a minor), criminal sexual contact (if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim), robbery, arson, selling or manufacturing child pornography and perjury. New Jersey judges do not have jurisdiction to expunge records from other states or jurisdictions. Motor vehicle records, including DWI convictions and civil orders, are also not eligible for expungement.

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How long will it take to clear my name?

In January of 2016, the Governor of New Jersey signed into law a new measure designed to ease the path toward expungement of criminal records. If you were not previously eligible for an expungement, you may now be eligible under this new law effective April 18, 2016.

​

If charges against you were dismissed, you are eligible to have your arrest record cleared immediately. However, if you were convicted of a crime, you must wait a certain amount of time before becoming eligible to have the offense removed from your record. The length of the waiting period depends on the offense.

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For disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors), the waiting period has been reduced from five years to three years.

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For indictable crimes (felony offenses) the waiting period has been reduced from ten years to five years from the date of your conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever was later.

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Why do I need an expungement if 

my charges were dismissed?

Even if your charges have been dismissed, you can still benefit from having your arrest record expunged. Under the new law, if 

you have successfully completed a diversionary program, such as conditional discharge, you are eligible to expunge your record immediately. The unfortunate truth is that even though you have not been convicted of a crime, people view you in a different light once they know you have been arrested.

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Monmouth County expungement lawyers at Shebell & Shebell assist immigrants with criminal records

If you have been convicted of a crime, it can have serious repercussions for your future or continued legal status in the United States. Before proceeding with a citizenship application, speak with one of our experienced bi-lingual expungement lawyers. One of our experienced, multidisciplinary lawyers can advise you how to proceed.

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Contact our experienced 

expungement attorneys

Beware of websites offering “expungement assistance” services. These companies merely provide you with forms, leaving you to handle all the work with no personalized assistance. New Jersey expungement laws are nuanced and prosecutors will often object to your eligibility if you fail to meet even a single requirement. Often, these online services charge you for the forms and once you have paid for these forms that you are unable to fill out, they will charge you unreasonably high rates for consultations and advice. Unlike these faceless online services, the trusted lawyers at Shebell & Shebell provide a cost-effective, personalized solution for expungement. 

We represent clients throughout New Jersey. 

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For a free consultation, 

Contact Shebell & Shebell today.

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HOMICIDE/MURDER/MANSLAUGHTER/ASSAULT

CRIMINAL DEFENSE  ATTORNEYS

Violent Crime Defense Attorneys in Monmouth County

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 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 impact one’s ability to find gainful employment or obtain loans for school or housing.

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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. Whatever your case, 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. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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Common violent crimes in New Jersey

Murder: 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.

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Felony murder: 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.

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Manslaughter: There are various types of manslaughter in New Jersey, including voluntary, involuntary, vehicular, and aggravated manslaughter by eluding. Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a “crime of passion” when the killing is not premeditated. Involuntary manslaughter involves criminal negligence, where the perpetrator lacked the intent to kill someone.

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Vehicular manslaughter/vehicular homicide/death by auto: One can be charged with vehicular homicide if they cause the death of a person by illegally driving 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.

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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.

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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 the commission of an 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.

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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.

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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.

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Other common violent crimes in New Jersey include:

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• Arson

• Carjacking

• Criminal mischief

• Terroristic threats

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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 the commission of the crime. Individuals convicted of violent crimes can face:

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• Incarceration

• Probation

• Fines

• Community service

• Court ordered anger management

• Restitution

• Legal fees

• Court ordered counseling

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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.

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We employ creative, effective defense strategies

Before answering any of the police or prosecutor’s questions, 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:

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• 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. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell.

ASSAULT

Assault Charges Attorneys in New Jersey

Assault is when a person injures or attempts to injure another person without legal justification. Our firm can quickly explain to you the consequences of being charged with assault and can start to put forward a defense to those charges quickly.

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There are two main types of assault in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault. The type of assault you are charged with depends on several factors, including the severity of the victim’s injury, whether a weapon was used, and whether the victim is afforded special protection under New Jersey law (e.g. a police officer, nurse or other public officials).

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In many states, serious crimes punishable by more than one year in prison are referred to as felonies. New Jersey uses different terminology, calling these offenses “crimes” or “indictable offenses”, with punishments that can include a term of imprisonment ranging from 18 months to 10 years or more. An aggravated assault is a very serious crime in the state of New Jersey and a conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, especially if the person has a prior criminal record. Just being charged with aggravated assault could result in a high bail being placed on someone, which would require them to be held if they cannot post bail. Consequences of conviction for aggravated assault also include the loss of certain basic civil rights, including the right to vote, possess a passport, the right to sit on a jury, or own or possess a firearm.

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When police arrive on the scene of a fight, it is not unusual for all parties involved to be arrested and charged with assault. It is important to hire an experienced attorney If you have been arrested on an assault charge in New Jersey, contact our firm. Shebell & Shebell will give you straight answers and effective legal services, using our experience to get you the best possible outcome.

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Simple assault

Pursuant to New Jersey’s simple assault statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a, there are several different scenarios that could give 

rise to a charge of simple assault:

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• Intentionally causing bodily injury another person

• Attempting to cause bodily injury to another person

• Negligently wielding a deadly weapon resulting in injury (even if you didn’t intend to harm anyone). A deadly weapon can be 

  any object with the potential to kill someone, for example, a gun, knife, cinder-block, or tire iron.

• Attempting to make someone fear they will suffer imminent serious bodily injury.

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A simple assault is typically classified as a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense. Simple assault cases are most often handled at the municipal court level.

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The penalties for simple assault are:

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• Up to six months in jail (30 days maximum for consensual fighting)

• A requirement to pay restitution to the victim for medical bills and recovery

• Probation as ordered by the Court

• Up to $1,000 in fines

• Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB) Assessment of $50

• Safe Neighborhood Assessment of $75

• Court Costs

• Domestic Violence Surcharge (if applicable) of $100

• Possibility of a civil lawsuit filed against you by the victim

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Aggravated Assault

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), a person commits aggravated assault when they cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury or bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Additionally, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if:

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• The victim is a protected person, acting in the performance of their duties (e.g. a police officer, firemen, DYFS (DCPP) worker, 

  EMS worker, teacher or judge)

• They knowingly displayed or aimed a firearm at a law enforcement official

• They intentionally drove a motor vehicle towards another individual or vehicle, resulting in serious bodily injury

• They committed simple assault against a bus driver

• Bodily injury occurred while fleeing law enforcement officers or resisting arrest

• The harm caused to a victim is considered significant bodily injury or serious bodily injury

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Unlike simple assault charges, aggravated assault charges are handled in Superior Court. Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault can be charged as a second, third or fourth-degree crime.

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If convicted of aggravated assault, you could possibly serve 10 years in prison or more, depending on the nature of the offense and the person’s criminal history. Additionally, the No Early Release Act (NERA) applies to “violent” crimes such as second-degree aggravated assault, meaning that a person convicted must serve a minimum of 85 percent of their prison sentence before they are eligible for parole. Once released, they must serve a minimum of three years on parole.

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Defense strategies

There are several defenses to charges of assault, including:

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• Self defense

• The injury was not bad enough to amount to the specific crime charged

• The injury was not caused by intentional or reckless action

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Our criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly examine all aspects of your case and come up with the most effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to obtain a complete dismissal of all charges against you. If we can not get the charge dismissed, we will try to secure the best possible plea agreement or prepare your matter for trial. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, we are often successful in getting those charges downgraded. We will not rest until we achieve the best possible outcome in your case. We are experienced trial attorneys that will never pressure you to take a plea just to get done with a case quickly.

DRUG CRIMES

Drug Offense Attorneys in New Jersey

New Jersey has some of the toughest drug laws in the United States and our courts are known for imposing severe penalties for even the most minor drug crimes. As experienced Monmouth County Drug Lawyers, we can use our collective backgrounds to your advantage to secure the best outcome possible. A drug crime can be any state or federal crime involving a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). This not only includes illegal street drugs like heroin and cocaine but also prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, Percocet, Roxicodone and many others.

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To develop a successful defense strategy against drug charges, you need a qualified, experienced drug lawyer who can thoroughly review the circumstances of your arrest and the investigation against you. Our criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors and public defenders with vast experience in New Jersey criminal law and procedure. We recognize that addiction can be a disease and 

we believe in providing those accused with drug charges with the quality defense they deserve. We see too often how a doctor will over-prescribe medication to line their own pockets, leaving the patient with a terrible addiction to pain killers and, later, street drugs.

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For quality legal support, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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Do not speak to the police without your attorney present

If you are under suspicion or have been arrested or charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, it is crucial that you exercise your constitutional right to remain silent until you have an attorney present. Be polite, but firm. Do not answer any questions or give a statement until you have spoken to a qualified criminal defense attorney. If you or someone you know has been arrested, contact us for a free consultation. As experienced Monmouth County Drug Lawyers, we can work with you to determine if cooperating with the Police may be in your best interest or if you have nothing to gain by giving them a statement.

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Types of drug charges

Our lawyers represent clients who have been charged with various drug crimes, including:

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• Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance

• Possession with intent to distribute

• Drug distribution

• Drug trafficking

• Drug paraphernalia possession

• Manufacturing and/or cultivation of drugs

• Violation of medical marijuana laws (New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, J.S.A. 24:6I-1 to 24:6I-16).

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Classification of Drug Offenses

New Jersey law classifies drug offenses according to their inherent danger and potential for abuse, which is based on the schedules 

of Controlled Dangerous Substances issued by the DEA. Most known drugs will fall into one of five categories, or “Schedules,” with Schedule I narcotics carrying the highest degree of penalties, and Schedule V being the least dangerous and carrying the least severe penalties.

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According to the DEA, Schedule I narcotics have a high potential for abuse and no federally accepted use in medical treatment. Common Schedule I narcotics include heroin, many opiates, ecstasy, LSD, and marijuana. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-5 for a complete list. Although New Jersey now permits the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic and unlawful use is still met with harsh penalties.

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Schedule II narcotics have a high potential for abuse but have some currently accepted medicinal value. Common Schedule II substances include Vicodin, Cocaine, Methadone, Dilaudid, Demerol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-6 for a complete list.

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Use of Schedule III substances may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Common Schedule III narcotics include Tylenol with codeine, ketamine (“Special K”), steroids and testosterone. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-7 for a complete list.

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Schedule IV and V substances have a low potential for abuse when compared to the drugs discussed above. Most benzodiazepines 

are Schedule IV drugs, as well as some synthetic opioids. Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, and Tramadol are all Schedule IV narcotics. See N.J.S.A. 24:21-8 and -9 for the complete lists.

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Even though the drugs may have different schedules, the penalties will overlap for many of the drugs mentioned above. It is 

essential to review your charges with an experienced Monmouth County Drug Lawyer to help you through this difficult process.

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New Jersey imposes harsh penalties for drug crimes

Penalties for drug offenses vary depending on the type of drug, the quantity or weight of the drug, the offense you are charged 

with, and whether the alleged offense occurred in a school zone or public park. Some common offenses and their penalties include:

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Marijuana

• Possession is either a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or an indictable offense (felony), depending on the amount 

  allegedly in your possession. Possession of marijuana over 50 grams in weight is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a 

  fine of $500 to $15,000.

• Distribution will be an indictable level offense, possibly punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $750 to $100,000.

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Cocaine and Heroin

• Possession is an indictable crime (felony) punishable by three to five years in prison, and a fine of $1,000 to $35,000.

• Distribution is a felony punishable by three to 20 years in prison, and a fine of $1,000 to $300,000.

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Drug trafficking or being accused of being the leader of a drug network are typically considered the most serious types of drug-related criminal activity in New Jersey. The penalty for a conviction could be life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. In addition to the penalties listed above, most drug convictions are punishable by the loss of one’s drivers license for six months to two years.

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Diversionary programs: pre-trial intervention (PTI) and conditional discharge

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to avoid some of these harsh penalties by securing your admission into a diversionary program. Successful completion of one of these programs can help you avoid jail time and keep a conviction off of your criminal record. A clean record is invaluable when searching for employment or promotion.

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Exploring all defenses

Never assume that the prosecution has a strong case against you. Often, police officers make errors while conducting their investigations, including:

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• Lack of probable cause for a traffic stop or search

• Unlawful search and seizure

• Failure to read you your Miranda rights at the appropriate time

• Improperly obtained confessions

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Our skilled drug lawyers will fight to ensure that unlawfully obtained evidence is excluded at trial and cannot be used against you.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 

Domestic Violence Attorneys in New Jersey

Many couples fight, but when an argument escalates to the point of physical violence, serious and unfortunate consequences can result for all parties involved. Domestic violence is defined as a repeated and patterned use of controlling and coercive behaviors to direct or limit a domestic partner’s feelings, thoughts, and actions. Examples of behaviors that can constitute domestic violence include stalking, harassment, sexual assault, emotional abuse, isolation and physical violence. Domestic violence can occur between two individuals in any type of domestic relationship – including same-sex partnerships.  Contrary to stereotypes, women can be domestic violence assailants, and men are increasingly coming forward as victims. At Shebell & Shebell, we represent victims of domestic violence, as well as those who have been unfairly accused. Contact our firm for a consultation.

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Domestic violence defense

There are two sides to every story. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you are a victim and you deserve the very best legal representation. Those who have been charged with domestic violence face a litany of serious, life-changing consequences, including:

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• A temporary or permanent restraining order

• Being forcibly removed from your home

• Deportation, if you are an undocumented immigrant

• A court order preventing you from seeing your children

• A court order requiring you to pay the victim’s medical bills

• A court order preventing you from owning a firearm

• A court order requiring you to pay attorney’s fees

• Court mandated support or housing payments to the victim

• Court mandated drug and alcohol testing

• Court mandated counseling

• Being labeled as a “violent offender”

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Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic violence are common, particularly in situations where custody is at stake or a couple is going through a divorce. In domestic violence cases, even if the victim decides that they no longer want to proceed with charges, the prosecutor may step in and file charges against you based on existing evidence. If you have been falsely accused, the skilled lawyers at Shebell & Shebell will aggressively protect your reputation.

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Protection for victims of domestic violence

The experienced lawyers at Shebell & Shebell help victims of domestic violence take all appropriate measures to protect their families. Often, that process begins with a restraining order. Restraining orders, also called Orders of Protection, are used by the courts to protect victims of domestic violence from continued abuse. Victims of stalking, harassment, domestic violence and sexual assault should all apply for a restraining order against alleged abusers. In divorce cases, a party may obtain a restraining order to protect not only themselves but also their children, home, and personal property.

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When the court grants a restraining order, local police are placed on notice. Any future harassment, threats, or contact can result in 

the arrest of the alleged assailant. Courts tend to grant restraining orders quickly when an attorney can demonstrate its necessity.

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The process for filing a restraining order begins by filing a complaint at the Superior Court or through the police department in the event the Court is closed. A judge may then grant a Temporary Restraining Order, or TRO, against the accused, usually without their knowledge. The police then serve the accused with the TRO. The TRO usually stays in place until both parties appear in court. If a judge determines that an act of domestic violence occurred and that a Final Restraining Order is warranted, the Court can offer a number of solutions, including issuing a Final Restraining Order to protect children and property, granting sole-custody of children to one party, ordering payment to the victim, and/or ordering anger management and counseling. A Final Restraining Order in New Jersey is permanent and unending unless modified by the court with a superseding order.

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In addition to helping our clients obtain restraining orders, the lawyers at Shebell & Shebell assist our clients with:

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• Enforcing restraining orders

• Obtaining separate maintenance to help victims exit abusive situations

• Modification of child custody arrangements

• Obtaining money damages for assault and battery torts

WHITE COLLAR CRIME & EMBEZZLEMENT

Monmouth County White Collar Crime Defense Attorneys

Preventing indictment is the best way to fight white collar crime allegations.  If you suspect a criminal investigation is targeting 

you as an offender, consult a New Jersey white collar crime attorney at your first opportunity. Shebell & Shebell has extensive criminal defense experience to protect your rights.

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Federal and New Jersey white collar crime laws

White collar crime refers to nonviolent offenses for unlawful financial gains. White collar crimes are often business crimes or corporate crimes. In fact, many activities that used to be administrative violations have risen to the level of white collar crimes 

in today’s justice system.

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The federal government has vast resources and may investigate for a year or more before convening a grand jury and delivering a white collar crime indictment. You can unwittingly answer questions that prosecutors misconstrue and use to prove you guilty whether or not you are guilty of the alleged crime. If investigated, voice your intent to remain silent and seek legal counsel from the outset.

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Examples of charges that constitute white collar crimes include:

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• Insider trading

• Securities violations

• Tax evasion

• Money laundering

• Bribery

• Conspiracy

• Perjury

• Public corruption

• Blackmail

• Extortion

• Counterfeiting

• Theft

• Larceny

• Identity theft

• Accounting fraud

• Contractor fraud

• Credit card fraud

• Insurance fraud

• Medicare fraud

• Mortgage fraud

• Embezzlement

• Official misconduct

• Broker misconduct

• Internet crimes

• Misrepresentation

• Fiduciary abuse of trust

• Real estate scams

• RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)

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Three well-known white collar crime charges

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Fraud: Fraud is a type of white collar crime using deceptive practices for financial gain. Medicare fraud often involves billing the government for Medicare services or supplies that were never received. Insurance fraud may involve causing deliberate injury or exaggerating injuries to collect insurance benefits.

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Conspiracy: Conspiracy is an agreement between two or more individuals to engage in illegal activity. Conspiracy charges are separate from the crime committed. Authorities can bring up conspiracy charges even when the commission of the crime is unsuccessful.

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Embezzlement: Embezzlement involves fraudulent appropriation of property by someone entrusted to handle it. For example, employees who make unauthorized money transfers from the company’s bank account to their own personal accounts are committing embezzlement.

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Contact our NJ white collar crime attorneys

Shebell & Shebell fights for the future of clients facing a wide range of criminal matters. White collar crimes are serious and come with some of the same penalties as some of the most egregious crimes heard in court. Because these crimes are non-violent, people think that the consequences are lighter. This is not the case. If you are charged and convicted of a white collar crime, your life could 

be devastated. Do not underestimate the impact of a white collar crime conviction. For a consultation, contact Shebell & Shebell.

FRAUD

Fraud defense attorneys in New Jersey

Unlike other crimes, fraud charges usually do not begin with an arrest. If you are being questioned by corporate lawyers, your employer, or law enforcement officers, you should have an experienced attorney by your side to defend you from the very beginning. Without an attorney’s guidance, you may not be able to foresee how your statements can later be used against you if you are prosecuted for fraud.

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A fraud conviction can result in jail time, costly fines, and a criminal record. In these tough economic times, it can be nearly impossible to get a job with a fraud conviction on your record. There are so many qualified applicants competing for so few 

positions that a blemish on your record will often immediately disqualify you. At Shebell & Shebell, we strive to help our clients 

avoid a conviction. Our team of criminal trial lawyers includes former prosecutors and judges. Having worked both sides of fraud cases, we have a unique advantage over other law firms. Our insight helps us to develop the optimal legal strategy to get your charges dismissed outright or downgraded to a more favorable charge such as disorderly conduct. We have a successful track record of making deals with municipal prosecutors to get fraud charges downgraded to municipal ordinance violations, which result in no jail time and no criminal record. If you are accused of fraud, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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What is fraud?

Fraud is when someone acts dishonestly in order to gain an advantage (usually a financial advantage). 

To prove that you committed fraud, the prosecution must demonstrate:

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• That you misrepresented a material fact

• That you knew or should have known you were misleading the victim with the intent to defraud the victim

• That the victim reasonably relied on your fraudulent statement

• The victim suffered actual damages

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In order for conduct to constitute legally actionable fraud, the prosecution must establish all five of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if you accidentally mislead someone or are ultimately unsuccessful in your attempt to commit fraud, 

you may have a viable defense.

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Fraudulent concealment

New Jersey courts have held that withholding the truth when it should have been disclosed is the equivalent of misrepresentation. 

For example, if you are selling a home or business, and fail to disclose a known structural defect or liability during the transfer, you may be liable for fraudulent concealment.

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Types of fraudulent crimes

There are many types of fraud-related offenses in New Jersey, including:

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• Credit card fraud – This offense often involves credit cards used beyond the authorized limit or for unauthorized purposes.  

  Other scenarios include obtaining a credit card with someone else’s information or fraudulently misrepresenting your financial 

  condition in order to obtain a credit card.

• Check fraud – It is unlawful to pass a bad check or money order when you know that it will not be honored. In certain situations,  

  you will be legally presumed to have known you were committing fraud, for example, if you did not have an account with the bank 

  at the time you issued the check. The severity of the penalty depends on the value of the check. Checks for less than $200 may be   

  charged as disorderly persons offenses. For checks up to $1,000, you may be convicted of a fourth-degree crime. Passing a bad check   

  up to $75,000 is a third-degree crime. Larger checks can result in a conviction for a second-degree crime.

• Theft by deception – A person can be charged with this offense if they purposely obtain the property of another by deception. 

  Examples include failure of a contractor to perform work after receiving payment and soliciting money for a charity with the 

  intent of keeping it for oneself. Penalties are determined by the value of the property taken and can include significant state 

  prison sentences.

• Identity theft – Using someone else’s identity to obtain some benefit, including money, goods, and services, is a serious crime 

  in New Jersey. Other common forms of identity theft include using someone else’s identity to obtain a loan or facilitate illegal 

  immigration. Penalties depend on the number of victims and the value of property or money obtained.

• Forgery – One cannot alter or forge another person’s writing without their consent in order to defraud or injure them. The term  

  “writing” is a technical legal term and can include any type of printing, corporate securities (stocks and bonds), retail sales 

  receipts, UPC labels, checks, credit cards, or identification cards.

• Computer and Internet fraud – New Jersey law criminalizes computer hacking, eBay auction fraud, phishing schemes, 

  spamming, money transfer fraud, e-mail spoofing and Craigslist fraud. Some of these offenses are second-degree crimes, 

  punishable by up to ten years in New Jersey State Prison.

• Money laundering – Money laundering is the process of disguising the source of property or money obtained through illegal 

  activity by channeling it through a legitimate business. Penalties depend on the value of the property involved and can carry a 

  sentence of ten to twenty years in prison.

• Healthcare fraud – This includes patients who deceive their insurance companies, as well as doctors who engage in multi-

  million dollar conspiracies to defraud insurance providers by billing for services not rendered or other fraudulent schemes.

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Other common types of fraud include construction fraud, Medicare fraud, mortgage fraud, motor vehicle fraud, tax fraud, unemployment fraud, and securities fraud.

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Contact our experienced NJ fraud defense attorneys

Our trial lawyers use our extensive criminal defense experience to achieve a positive outcome in every case, every time. We know 

how to challenge the admissibility of evidence and elicit favorable testimony from witnesses. Our savvy lawyers stay on the cutting edge of technology. We will locate and use any electronic data trails to your advantage. When possible, we work with prosecutors to arrange for sentencing alternatives (such as Pre-Trial Intervention, or PTI) to help you avoid jail time and a criminal record. We have successfully represented numerous clients charged with fraud across New Jersey. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell.

DUI/DWI

DUI Law Firm in New Jersey

New Jersey DUI laws do not discriminate. If you get pulled over and the police officer has a reason to suspect you are under the influence, you may very well be charged with drunk driving. Don’t panic. With a knowledgeable traffic lawyer on your side, 

you may be able to beat the charges or possibly get them reduced, saving you money, points, and possibly your license.

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The skilled criminal defense and DUI attorneys at Shebell & Shebell can assist you with your DUI charges. We know how a DUI conviction can deeply affect your life. If your license is suspended, commuting to work can be difficult and insurance premium surcharges may be cost-prohibitive. Don’t try to fight these charges alone. Our firm has been helping NJ residents since 1927. 

We will work hard for you in an effort to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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New Jersey DUI Laws

In New Jersey, DUI violations are governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 and variant subsequent statutes. If you are stopped for DUI, the officer may want to administer a breath test to determine whether you truly are driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol content) in New Jersey is 0.08 percent. If your BAC exceeds that limit or if the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, you could be charged with DUI. Further, if your BAC is above 0.10 percent, you face enhanced penalties.

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You are required to take a breath test. Failure to do so will likely result in a DUI charge as well as the additional charge of refusal. 

The refusal charge carries its own penalties that may run consecutively to the DUI penalties. In the absence of a breath test, the officer’s observations will be admissible in court as evidence that you were driving under the influence. Field sobriety tests and 

breath tests are sometimes unreliable and we can challenge the results to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

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New Jersey DUI offense penalties

In New Jersey, a DUI is a traffic violation, not a criminal offense. However, a drunk driving charge carries penalties far more severe than other traffic violations. Depending on how many prior convictions for DWI you’ve received, you could be facing jail time, loss of license, stiff fines and more.

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• First offense DUI – In addition to jail time, heavy fines, and loss of your driving privileges, you may be ordered by the court to 

  install an ignition interlock device on your car and attend alcohol education classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center 

  (IDRC). Collateral consequences of a DUI conviction include higher insurance rates and Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) 

  surcharges.

• Second offense DUI – A conviction for a second DUI offense can result in enhanced penalties, including a jail sentence of 90   

  days, driver’s license suspension for two years, a $1,000 fine, $3,000 in automobile surcharges, up to 48 hours of mandatory 

  attendance at alcohol education classes, 30 days of mandatory community service, and a requirement to install an ignition 

  interlock device on their vehicle.

• Third offense DUI – A third DUI conviction within a 10-year period can lead to a sentence of 180 days in jail, loss of your 

  driving privileges for 10 years, a $1,000 fine, $4,500 in automobile surcharges, up to 48 hours of mandatory attendance at alcohol 

  education classes, and required installation of an ignition interlock device on your car if you are fortunate enough to regain your 

  driving privileges.

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Other related charges that can result in enhanced penalties include:

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• Refusal to submit to breath testing

• Driving while intoxicated near a school

• DUI with a minor in the vehicle

• Driving with a license suspended due to a DUI

• DUI drug charges

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New Jersey DUI defenses

The criminal and DUI defense team at Shebell & Shebell, LLC includes a former public defender with the Essex County Public Defender’s Office, a deputy public defender in Hudson and Monmouth counties, a former presiding judge in the Appellate Division of the Monmouth County Superior Court, and a longtime assistant prosecutor in Monmouth County. Our unique set of credentials gives us insight into how the other side will handle your case. This allows us to raise a number of advanced defenses on your behalf, including:

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• Invalid traffic stop – The police must always have a legitimate reason for pulling you over. For example, a police officer is not 

  supposed to be able to pull you over for simply weaving inside your lanes. You must actually have crossed the lanes in order to 

  give the officer probable cause to stop you.

No probable cause for arrest – We will also look over the details of your case to determine whether the officer had sufficient 

  cause to arrest you.

• Failure to Mirandize – The arresting officer must issue Miranda warnings prior to taking you into custody. If the officer failed 

  to notify you of your constitutional right not to make self-incriminating statements, we may be able to contest the admission of 

  those statements.

• Procedural error – If the police committed a procedural error during or after your arrest, we may be able to get the evidence 

  against you suppressed.

• Challenge evidence – We know how to recognize internal errors in the testing devices. We will highlight for the court any 

  potential errors in the testing equipment.

• Challenge witnesses – Since the credibility of the arresting officer is crucial to the prosecution, we will attempt to undermine the 

  officer’s testimony.

• Poor weather conditions – We may be able to present compelling evidence that poor weather or roadside conditions were 

  responsible for your erratic driving or inability to properly perform field sobriety tests.

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Contact a Monmouth County DUI Defense Law Firm

In New Jersey, drunk driving cases are heard before a judge, not a jury. An experienced drunk driving lawyer can take advantage

of the NJ DUI trial procedure to help you beat your drunk driving charges. Even if you’ve already been convicted of a DUI, the 

good news is that you still have a chance to appeal your conviction. However, you have just 20 days to appeal your conviction, 

so there is no time to waste in contacting an attorney.

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When you contact Shebell & Shebell, you will speak directly with a knowledgeable DWI attorney who understands the finer points of  New Jersey DWI law. Our experienced DWI lawyers will look over your file and help you set goals for your case. We know that people occasionally make mistakes, which is why we will fight to keep your record clean and help you resolve this issue.

WEAPONS CHARGES

Illegal Weapons Charge Defense Attorneys in Monmouth County

New Jersey’s weapon laws are notoriously complex. Violating these laws can result in incarceration, mandatory forfeiture of your firearms, the loss of your Second Amendment right to bear arms, significant monetary penalties, a criminal record, and, in some instances, the loss of one’s job. Merely possessing certain weapons (such as a stun gun) may result in a felony conviction, even if you only possess it for self defense. If you have been charged with a weapons-related offense, you need an experienced New Jersey gun lawyer who will defend your Second Amendment rights. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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Common weapons offenses in New Jersey

Often, individuals are charged with weapons offenses because they failed to go through the proper channels to acquire a permit or license. We have a successful track record of handling all types of weapon charges, including:

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has been convicted of a felony, possession of a firearm is a second-degree crime punishable by between five and ten years in 

prison. Individuals who have been committed to a mental institution and individuals with a prior domestic violence conviction 

are also ineligible to carry weapons.

If convicted you can face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

bullets in New Jersey unless you are a law enforcement officer authorized to use this ammunition. You can be convicted of a 

fourth-degree crime and face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for possessing prohibited ammunition even 

if you don’t own a gun.

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What is a weapon under New Jersey law?

The term “weapon” is broadly defined in New Jersey and includes any object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1 gives a non-exhaustive list, including:

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As this statute makes clear, almost anything can be considered a weapon in New Jersey. Law enforcement will look to the intent 

of the person possessing the item. Your intent can also be ascertained from your surroundings. For example, if you are carrying a baseball bat on the way to a baseball field, you are unlikely to be arrested for possession of a weapon. But, if you are carrying that same baseball bat late at night in a bar parking lot, law enforcement is more likely to consider the bat a weapon.

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Penalties for weapons offenses

New Jersey has some of the harshest penalties for weapons offenses in the United States. Legislation such as the Graves Act and 

the No Early Release Act subjects individuals convicted of weapons offenses to mandatory minimum prison sentences. If a person 

is charged with possessing a weapon in conjunction with an act of violence, they will be ineligible for parole until they have served 

their minimum prison term. Many weapon offenses carry a five-year minimum sentence. A minimum sentence of five years carries

a three-year minimum term of imprisonment.

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If you are charged with an underlying crime, being in possession of a firearm during the commission of that offense will 

result in a more serious sentence even if you did not intend to harm anyone with the weapon.

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Weapon charges bring other serious consequences, such as having your gun collection permanently confiscated or loss of 

your job if carrying a weapon is necessary to fulfilling your duties (for example if you are a security guard, police officer 

or armored truck driver).

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Defenses to weapons charges

We will investigate how law enforcement acquired your weapon and whether their search was legal. We can file a motion 

to suppress the evidence if your constitutional rights were violated. In New Jersey, law enforcement can conduct a search 

with probable cause or if you give valid consent to the search.

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There are many exemptions to the complex laws restricting an individual’s ability to carry a weapon. For example, N.J.S.A. 39-6(e) authorizes individuals to possess “other weapons” (as statutorily defined) in their home or place of business. Also, unloaded weapons may be transported in the trunk of one’s car under certain circumstances. However, the law is nuanced. These exemptions do not apply to convicted felons or individuals charged with possession for an unlawful purpose.

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Contact our New Jersey weapons charge attorneys

At Shebell & Shebell, we always strive to get your charges dismissed or downgraded. We consider all options and work closely with our clients to achieve a positive outcome. We represent individuals charged with gun crimes and weapons offenses throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell today.

JUVENILE OFFENSES

Juvenile Crime Attorneys in Monmouth County

As a parent or guardian, there is nothing more unsettling than getting a phone call that your child has been arrested. If you are in this situation, our team of lawyers has provided the following information on how juvenile crimes are handled in the state of New Jersey. We believe that by explaining as much as possible about the situation, we can help quell some of your fears.

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New Jersey’s juvenile court system is designed to rehabilitate offending youth, not punish them. However, the court also seeks to hold responsible parties accountable for criminal conduct. Our team of juvenile crime lawyers can help your child fulfill their potential in life by fighting to keep their criminal record clean. Shebell & Shebell has successfully represented clients in family courts throughout New Jersey. Contact Shebell & Shebell.

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The juvenile justice process

In New Jersey, those charged with committing a crime while under the age of 18 are usually subject to the juvenile justice system, which is separate and distinct from the adult criminal justice system. Juvenile delinquency cases usually begin when a child is taken into custody on “suspicion of juvenile delinquency.” This means that they are suspected of committing an offense that would be classified as a crime or municipal ordinance violation if an adult had committed it.

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After being taken into custody, juveniles are usually released to their parents without any conditions. However, in some cases, the child will be released under certain conditions, such as a requirement to go to a drug rehabilitation program. When the alleged 

offense is particularly serious, the child may be detained pending a detention review hearing.

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Regardless of whether the child is detained or released to their parents’ custody, New Jersey Family Court Intake Services will evaluate the case. They may make a determination that the case does not need to go to court, in which case the child is granted admission to a diversionary program such as an Intake Service Conference or a Juvenile Conference Committee. Offenses that 

are usually diverted include minor offenses such as shoplifting, disorderly conduct, trespassing or criminal mischief.

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More serious offenses such as assault and possession of a controlled dangerous substance are generally sent to Family Court. For particularly egregious offenses, such as armed robbery, the prosecutor may seek to have the case moved to the Superior Court’s Criminal Division. In the adult criminal justice system, your child would be treated as an adult during sentencing. Convictions may result in a term of imprisonment. In very rare cases, there are advantages to having a juvenile’s case transferred to the Criminal Division. For example, because there is no option for a jury trial in juvenile cases resolved in family court, certain cases might fare better in the criminal court where a jury can see your child and hear their side of the story. In making these decisions, you need a competent juvenile defense attorney in your corner.

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What happens in court?

Juvenile delinquency cases are heard in the county where the child resides. Adult criminal matters, on the other hand, are heard in the county where the alleged offense occurred. We are able to file a motion to have your child’s case transferred to the county where the offense took place if doing so would be beneficial.

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Juvenile cases are not open to the public. Only those involved in the case are allowed to attend. All records associated with the proceeding are confidential unless your child is convicted, in which case the conviction is placed on their permanent criminal record.

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If the family court judge determines that your child committed the offense, there will be an adjudication of delinquency. The juvenile will be sentenced, which may result in incarceration at a youth house, detention center, or other juvenile justice institution. Our respected juvenile defense lawyers will make every effort to ensure that this does not happen to your child.

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Diversionary programs and other alternatives to juvenile court

An experienced juvenile crime lawyer at Shebell & Shebell can try to work out a deal with the intake officer to divert your child’s 

case to a probation officer before it ever gets to court. Having competent legal representation at the Intake Services Conference is essential so that a plea deal can potentially be negotiated.

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Successful completion of a diversionary program can result in a dismissal of the charges pending against your child. This will not 

only keep your child out of a juvenile detention center but also will ensure that they do not have an adjudication of delinquency 

placed on their permanent criminal record.

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We may also be able to negotiate other alternatives to incarceration, including community service, counseling, and restitution. 

For example, if your child has been accused of shoplifting, we may be able to persuade the arresting officer to dismiss the charges 

if you pay restitution to the store.

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Consequences unique to juvenile offenses

Certain crimes commonly committed by juveniles can result in “escalated” consequences. For example, if your child assaults a public official (for example, a teacher or a police officer), what would ordinarily be a simple assault charge is automatically escalated to aggravated assault.

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Additionally, convictions for certain offenses (for example, possession of marijuana) may result in the loss of a juvenile’s driver’s license.

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Expungement of your child’s criminal record

If your child is convicted, the conviction will persist on their criminal record into adulthood. Our goal is always to avoid a conviction. However, if that is not possible or if your child has already been convicted of a crime, we can file a motion to seal or expunge the record of your child’s juvenile arrest and conviction.

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Contact our juvenile delinquency attorneys

The experienced juvenile crime lawyers at Shebell & Shebell will stand with you every step of the way to ensure that your child’s careless mistake does not impact his or her life forever. Our reputable lawyers have developed good working relationships with law enforcement officers, intake services officers, prosecutors and family court judges across the state of New Jersey. We represent juveniles throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell today.

MUNICIPAL OFFENSES

Municipal Defense Attorneys in Monmouth County

In New Jersey, municipal courts have jurisdiction over disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses that have taken place within their jurisdiction. More serious criminal matters such as robbery, auto theft, and aggravated assault are often initially filed in the Municipal Court but are later transferred to the Superior Court located at the county courthouse. Even though municipal courts only hear relatively minor criminal matters, pleading guilty can still result in consequences that could have been avoided by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer, including jail time and a permanent criminal record.

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The experienced municipal offense lawyers at Shebell & Shebell fight vigorously for every one of our clients because we understand the damaging consequences of a criminal conviction. We are often able to achieve a partial victory for our clients, keeping more serious indictable offenses in municipal court by getting the charges downgraded. We have successfully represented clients in municipal courts throughout New Jersey. For a consultation, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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The municipal court process

The municipal court system in New Jersey is governed by its own set of legal procedures. Municipal court cases proceed much more quickly than cases heard in Superior Court. A defendant can be arrested, appear in court, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty all on the same day. The prosecutor may offer a plea bargain. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer before accepting. Even if it seems like a good offer, there may be unforeseen consequences and an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed entirely. For any municipal court matter, you have the right to a hearing and representation.

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In certain situations, our lawyers may be able to keep an indictable offense (felony) in municipal court by having the charge downgraded to a disorderly persons offense. This decision comes with advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, a municipal court judge determines whether you are guilty or not (as opposed to a jury, which fulfills these roles in Superior Court). On the other hand, the maximum sentence in municipal court is limited to six months in county jail, plus fines, surcharges, restitution and other sanctions. If the case is heard in Superior Court you could face much more serious penalties including greater fines and prison time.

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What types of crimes are adjudicated in municipal court?

Common examples of disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses include:

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Penalties

Penalties for violations of municipal ordinances can include up to 90 days in county jail, fines of up to $2,000, and up to 90 days of community service (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5). Although there is a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders, being sentenced to jail is a very real possibility if you have any prior convictions. Multiple convictions for certain criminal offenses, such as shoplifting, can result in mandatory jail time.

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If you are convicted of a motor vehicle offense, you may get points on your driving record and/or insurance points, resulting 

in higher premiums that you will have to pay for years. For certain offenses, you could potentially lose your driver’s license.

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Arrests and convictions for disorderly persons offenses will appear on your criminal record. This can result in the loss of your job, and prevent you from obtaining gainful employment in the future. Convictions for municipal ordinance violations generally do not appear on one’s criminal record. Our lawyers may be able to get your charges downgraded to a municipal ordinance violation so that your good name remains clear.

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Contact our municipal offense attorneys

Our contacts throughout the municipal court system and skill in negotiating favorable outcomes can help put your case on track 

for dismissal or eventual expungement through placement in a conditional discharge program. We have helped countless clients get indictable offenses (felonies) downgraded to disorderly persons offenses, and disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) downgraded to municipal ordinance violations (which do not get placed on your criminal record).

TRAFFIC OFFENSES

Traffic Offense Attorneys in New Jersey

Traffic violations are an exceedingly common offense that can affect anyone. If you have been cited for multiple violations, the consequences can be devastating. In addition to facing fines and possible jail time, points can accumulate on your driving record with each citation. This results in soaring insurance premiums, and in some cases, suspension of one’s license. If you are issued a traffic ticket in New Jersey, contact Shebell & Shebell.

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New Jersey’s Point System

When making a traffic stop, police officers tend to cite drivers for as many violations as possible. In New Jersey, drivers accumulate points for each violation with a guilty verdict. These points are essentially demerits applied to your driving record. Once you accumulate six points in three years, the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) can put you on probation and fine you with additional surcharges. The surcharges may continue for up to three years. Once a driver accumulates 12 points, the MVC will move to suspend your license. It only takes a few tickets to accumulate 12 points.

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At Shebell & Shebell, We Fight All Types of Traffic Citations

If you have been issued a moving violation, by paying the fine, you are pleading guilty to an offense that could prove to be extremely costly. We defend against all types of moving violations, including:

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Speeding tickets: A New Jersey speeding ticket carries one of the highest fine rates in the country. If you choose to plead not guilty, you will need to go to court. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer. Our firm will investigate your case to determine whether radar was used, or whether your rate of speed was recorded on camera. Traffic school may be an option for keeping costly points off your license.

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Commercial trucking tickets: If you are a commercial trucker and have been issued a citation, know that the repercussions are much more severe than those faced by ordinary drivers. A truck driver will receive 1.5 points on their driver’s license for offenses that would land an ordinary driver only 1 point. Also, truck drivers cannot attend traffic school to keep points off their license. Truck drivers who are caught speeding more than 15 mph over the limit can be charged with a misdemeanor.

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Red light violations: As with speeding tickets, New Jersey drivers pay the highest rates for failing to stop at a red light. If you received a ticket in the mail after allegedly running a red light on camera, the ticket can be difficult to fight. However, these cameras are not always reliable. Clerical errors, computer programming issues, and computer glitches can result in erroneously issued tickets.

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Stop sign violations: If you are caught running a stop sign in New Jersey, you could have three points added to your driver’s license. When added to other offenses on your record such as prior speeding tickets or other moving offenses, you may face license suspension and increased surcharges.

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Other traffic offenses

Shebell & Shebell also defends against citations for:

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Contact our Monmouth County traffic offense attorneys

Hiring a trusted traffic violation defense attorney can save you a lot of money. The insurance surcharges from accumulated points are only a small fraction of the price you may pay for pleading guilty. With each point added to your driving record, your insurance premiums are likely to rise. In addition, if your license is suspended you may not be able to get to work, resulting in lost wages, and potentially unemployment. If you were issued a traffic ticket, Shebell & Shebell can provide you will skilled legal representation.

EXPUNGENMENT

Expungement Attorneys in New Jersey

A criminal record can affect your life in ways that you never anticipated. You may be disqualified from receiving financial aid for college, voting, carrying a firearm, and it could impact your ability to find a decent job. These days, anyone can potentially access your criminal record online. You have options. You can control the situation. If you are eligible, you can wipe the slate clean, in a way, avoiding the stigma of having a mark on your record. The experienced New Jersey expungement lawyers at Shebell & Shebell can help you clear your name. Contact our firm today.

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What is an expungement?

An expungement is the “extraction and isolation” of all records relating to your arrest, detention, trial and/or conviction. When a New Jersey court grants a Petition for Expungement, an order of Expungement is issued and the case file and all copies of case-related documents are secured. This means that your criminal records will no longer be accessible by the public. When asked if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, you will lawfully be entitled to answer “no” if the incident has been expunged.

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Are you eligible for an expungement?

In determining whether you are eligible, the court will consider the nature of your offense (was it a felony or a misdemeanor) and whether you have any prior convictions. Prior convictions will not necessarily disqualify you from getting an expungement. It used to be that convictions for distribution of narcotics could never be expunged. However, that rule has recently changed. Now, in certain cases, these records can be sealed.

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Still, some crimes (generally violent crimes) may never be expunged. These include criminal homicide, kidnapping, human trafficking, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault (if the victim is a minor), criminal sexual contact (if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim), robbery, arson, selling or manufacturing child pornography and perjury. New Jersey judges do not have jurisdiction to expunge records from other states or jurisdictions. Motor vehicle records, including DWI convictions and civil orders, are also not eligible for expungement.

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How long will it take to clear my name?

In January of 2016, the Governor of New Jersey signed into law a new measure designed to ease the path toward expungement of criminal records. If you were not previously eligible for an expungement, you may now be eligible under this new law effective April 18, 2016.

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If charges against you were dismissed, you are eligible to have your arrest record cleared immediately. However, if you were convicted of a crime, you must wait a certain amount of time before becoming eligible to have the offense removed from your record. The length of the waiting period depends on the offense.

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For disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors), the waiting period has been reduced from five years to three years.

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For indictable crimes (felony offenses) the waiting period has been reduced from ten years to five years from the date of your conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever was later.

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Why do I need an expungement if my charges were dismissed?

Even if your charges have been dismissed, you can still benefit from having your arrest record expunged. Under the new law, if 

you have successfully completed a diversionary program, such as conditional discharge, you are eligible to expunge your record immediately. The unfortunate truth is that even though you have not been convicted of a crime, people view you in a different light once they know you have been arrested.

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Monmouth County expungement lawyers at Shebell & Shebell assist immigrants with criminal records

If you have been convicted of a crime, it can have serious repercussions for your future or continued legal status in the United States. Before proceeding with a citizenship application, speak with one of our experienced bi-lingual expungement lawyers. One of our experienced, multidisciplinary lawyers can advise you how to proceed.

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Contact our experienced expungement attorneys

Beware of websites offering “expungement assistance” services. These companies merely provide you with forms, leaving you to handle all the work with no personalized assistance. New Jersey expungement laws are nuanced and prosecutors will often object to your eligibility if you fail to meet even a single requirement. Often, these online services charge you for the forms and once you have paid for these forms that you are unable to fill out, they will charge you unreasonably high rates for consultations and advice. Unlike these faceless online services, the trusted lawyers at Shebell & Shebell provide a cost-effective, personalized solution for expungement. We represent clients throughout New Jersey. For a free consultation, Contact Shebell & Shebell today.

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CONTACT US TODAY

OFFICE HOURS & LOCATIONS

Phone : (732) 663-1122

Fax : (732) 663-1144

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Shrewsbury, NJ - Main office

655 Shrewsbury Ave, Suite 314

Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

Monday to Friday - 8:30am -5:30pm

Evening and weekend appointments available upon request

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Freehold, NJ

25 Monument St

Freehold, NJ 07728

Monday to Friday - 9:00am -5:00pm

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Linwood, NJ

2020 New Rd

Linwood, NJ 08221

By appointment only

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