New Jersey Criminal Lawyer: Do You Need One?
If you have been accused of a crime, you may face repercussions in many areas of your life, even if you are not convicted of the offense. Your personal life and professional life can suffer as a result of the reputational damage that criminal charges can cause. A criminal conviction can have serious consequences for an individual’s future, including potentially losing one’s driver’s license or professional license, depending on the severity and nature of the offense.
When a person is charged with a crime, the ramifications can be devastating, especially if the individual is innocent. If you find yourself in this situation, consulting with a New Jersey criminal attorney can be a good option.
An experienced legal professional can examine the facts of your case and provide you advice on the best way to proceed. They focus their practice on a variety of areas that may be useful to you and your case. It is important to learn as much as you can about what to expect before starting a formal relationship with any attorney, especially with matters relating to criminal charges.
What happens when a person faces criminal charges?
United States courts (federal courts) and state courts generally hear the following types of cases under the purview of the country’s criminal justice system:
- Misdemeanors: A misdemeanor is a crime for which the punishment usually does not include jail time. Individuals who are convicted of misdemeanors usually face less than a year in prison and a fine of $1,000 or less. The most common misdemeanors are petty theft, shoplifting, speeding, driving without a license, vandalism, and disorderly conduct.
- Felonies: A felony is a crime for which the punishment usually includes at least one year in prison, or more than one year in prison if the felony is especially serious. Individuals who are convicted of felonies typically receive a much harsher sentence than people who are convicted of misdemeanors. Some of the most common felonies include murder, manslaughter, robbery, burglary, sexual assault and rape, aggravated assault and battery, drug dealing and drug manufacturing, and embezzlement.
When someone gets accused of a crime, they face a formal allegation, called an indictment, and then they can defend against the charge in court. State crimes are generally prosecuted by a state’s attorney’s office, sometimes known as a district attorney.
The victim of the crime does not have the duty of initiating a criminal case. For example, the government has the responsibility for prosecuting an alleged kidnapper in a kidnapping case, and the victim may only participate as a witness for the government. In some cases, there may not always be a specific victim, such as when a person is charged with driving under the influence and they have not caused anyone to suffer an injury.
When a court convicts the accused individual of a crime, that person then faces sentencing proceedings. The sentence can be a fine, imprisonment, community service, or some combination of these three.
What should you do if you have been charged with a crime?
Being charged with a crime can be a stressful and terrifying situation. In some situations, law enforcement officers may subject you to coercive or intimidation tactics in an attempt to force you to act against your best interests. These critical times help us understand the importance of legal professionals in our lives and society. Here are some valuable tips that may help you if you are accused of committing a crime:
- Say as little to the police as possible
This point is critical. Despite most people knowing that they have the right to remain silent upon facing criminal charges, it can be surprising how many people forget this knowledge when faced with a stressful situation. Rather than remaining silent and waiting to speak with a lawyer, many people try to justify themselves and make excuses when the police ask them questions.
- Seek advice from a seasoned criminal defense attorney
If you have even the slightest suspicion that you are the subject of a police investigation, you should immediately contact a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer. The initial steps that you take can play a vital role, so make sure you get good advice if you find yourself in such a situation.
- Do not give unnecessary consent to anything
The U.S. Constitution strictly limits law enforcement’s authority to search for evidence in private spaces. Police cannot search you, your car, or your home unless they can meet certain legal requirements. Searches with your consent are frequently attempted by police. Do not give your consent to anything.
What should you do if you are detained by law enforcement?
The advice given above would still apply. It can be frightening when the cops show up to make an arrest, but it does not guarantee that they have a compelling case against you. Police investigators will use this threatening procedure to elicit information from you. That is just what they require: more data to support their position. Make use of your legal options.
You have a right to remain silent. If anybody wants to question you, detain you, or search your person or property, consistently exercise your constitutional rights to stay silent and to have an attorney present. Allowing yourself to be intimidated or coerced into waiving your rights is never a good idea. Do not speak to the press unless you and your attorney have considered the situation in detail and determined that it is a viable option.
What are the duties of a criminal attorney in New Jersey?
Criminal charges can result in several consequences. These may include expensive fines; harsh penalties; and significant social, personal, and professional repercussions. And, to reduce the chance that you will experience all of these negative consequences, it can be a good idea to seek the legal advice of a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey who is familiar with the legal system and can assist in reducing or dismissing the accusations.
Many people who face criminal charges do not understand the functions and obligations of an attorney. Criminal defense is a complex field of law, and defending defendants’ rights and interests requires a lawyer to have a high level of competence and knowledge.
Criminal lawyers understand the legal system better.
They need unique knowledge of the law to analyze and advise on plea bargains, comprehend and take advantage of opportunities that the prosecution presents, and be aware of all possible defense strategies and what the prosecutor and judge could expect.
- Information gathering
It is critical for your lawyer to get as much information about the case as possible. It can be a good idea to go to the crime scene to gather evidence or other relevant information that can help the case. If there are any witnesses, the lawyer should speak with them and get information to avoid manipulated information and statistics.
- Detailed analysis
Your counsel should be able to assess and navigate the situation accurately. Their job includes discovering flaws in the prosecution’s case and devising clever tactics to help the defendant have their charges dismissed or reduced.
A New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can play a critical part in the legal system. They must be dedicated to their roles and responsibilities on defendants’ behalf to receive a just verdict for their clients. With us, you can safely rely on the fact that our skilled counsel can represent you. We understand how to best fight for your rights, no matter what charge you face. Get in touch for more details.