Our commitment to N.J. criminal law is no secret, and we’re repeatedly recognized for it. In 2017 alone, our team earned two coveted spots amongst SJ Magazine’s Top Attorneys 2017, were honored by Super Lawyers Magazine as “Rising Stars,” and two of our attorneys became certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as criminal trial attorneys — a distinction only 300 out of 40,000 lawyers statewide have earned.
Our competitive advantage comes from hands-on experience working for the other side. As former county prosecutors, we strategically consider the prosecutor’s perspective when preparing your case to develop the most comprehensive defense possible. Our expertise in New Jersey criminal law is expansive and includes:
In New Jersey, people younger than 18 years old who commit crimes are considered juveniles and are tried in the family part of superior court. Although the law is designed to protect children rather than punish them, it’s not uncommon for prosecutors to argue children should be tried as adults — especially if they are repeat offenders. When that happens, children are “waived” to adult court and face the same punishments as an adult would. Having a criminal record can be detrimental for your child and could prevent them from going to college or getting a job. As your criminal lawyer, it’s our job to protect your son or daughter and ensure they are treated fairly and in a way that will help them become productive, law-abiding adults.
- Juvenile Case Process
- Juvenile Tried as an Adult (“waiver” cases)
- Juvenile Diversionary Matters (such as Intake Services Conference or
- Juvenile Conference Committee)
Crimes of a sexual nature are taken very seriously in New Jersey, especially when involving children, family members and domestic partners. In N.J., sex crimes include sexual harassment, criminal sexual contact and sexual assault. Sex crime charges vary from petty disorderly persons to first degree. Without a proper defense, a person accused of any of these crimes could spend 30 days – 20 years in jail and be required to register on the sex offender list under Megan’s law. Some convictions are also subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), meaning that if convicted a defendant must serve 85 percent of their sentence before they become eligible for parole.
As the “war” on drugs continues to rage nationwide and the opioid epidemic grows, New Jersey maintains its stance against the possession, use and distribution of illegal drugs including narcotics/opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine and more. While medical marijuana is legal, New Jersey residents are still using pot illegally, sometimes being arrested despite the privacy that should be afforded by the Plain Smell Doctrine. Conviction for drug crimes can result in jail time and participation in drug treatment programs.
Stalking involves engaging in multiple behaviors involving another person that cause them to fear for their safety. Stalking charges involve jail time and fines, but also a powerful stigma of what it means to be a “stalker.” It’s crucial to obtain qualified legal help in a stalking case because many nuanced factors such as your relationship with the plaintiff could help an attorney reduce charges to harassment.
In New Jersey, arson is defined as recklessly or intentionally causing a fire or explosion of land, a structure or a vehicle. The law allows for harsher punishment if the target is a religious building. In many cases, arson charges accompany insurance fraud charges. Charges can vary from fourth to first degree, with punishment including jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. Some convictions are also subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA), meaning that if convicted a defendant must serve 85 percent of their sentence before they become eligible for parole. Also, arson charges cannot be expunged from a criminal record, meaning a wrongful conviction could prevent you from getting employment, loans or military work for the rest of your life.
The New Jersey bail system — which allows for those charged with a crime to be released from jail between their arrest and trial date — has undergone massive changes since early 2017. Traditional bail involves paying thousands to the state; under bail reform, however, the conditions of your release are no longer dependent on your bank account. Under the new law, a judge will evaluate your case and extend bail options based on the likelihood that you’ll miss your court date, commit another crime and commit another violent crime. Having a top criminal lawyer in N.J. on your side is critical to ensuring you are given the opportunity to make bail and resume your job or caring for your family while awaiting trial.
- Pre-Trial Detention
- Detention Hearing
- First Appearance and Central Judicial Processing
Every New Jersey resident has the opportunity to remove or expunge a criminal charge from their record. For many, expungement is an opportunity to remove barriers to employment, education, military service or bank loans. Expungement is not automatic in N.J., however, and you must petition the court for it to expunge your record. While this is something you can do on your own, the process can involve court appearances and other nuances that are best handled by an experienced criminal lawyer.
The state of New Jersey’s goal is to prevent crime rather than exclusively punish wrongdoers. If you’re charged in New Jersey, you may have a unique opportunity to engage in a pre-trial intervention (PTI) program. The program can be from six months to three years and can involve community service, drug tests, psychological evaluation and fees. If you complete the program successfully, your original charges will be dismissed and your criminal record can be expunged. You must apply to enter the pre-trial intervention program and not all cases are accepted. Often, you need legal and factual arguments to persuade the Criminal Division to accept individuals into the program. If your application for PTI is denied, you may appeal your denial. It is often in your best interest to retain an attorney to help with the application and avoid any unexpected obstacles.
Stealing in New Jersey can lead to a number of theft charges depending on the circumstances of what you are accused of stealing. These crimes vary from common theft like shoplifting or computer theft to extortion for property in excess of $75,000. The state of New Jersey considered bad checks, forgery, credit card fraud and insurance fraud all theft crimes. If you are convicted of a theft crime, you could face fines, a negative impact on your credit score, jail time and other penalties.
While the Constitution protects your right to bear arms, there are nuanced restrictions of this right in New Jersey. You may be facing a weapons charge if you own, were using or were driving with any number of firearms, including a handgun, airsoft gun, paintball gun or BB gun without a permit. Even if you have a permit to carry in another state, your permit will not prevent you from being charged in New Jersey if you are not permitted to possess a firearm by New Jersey law. Weapons charges also include possession of illegal weapons like silencers, handcuffs, gravity knives, brass knuckles, explosives and slingshots. These felony criminal charges carry steep penalties including thousands of dollars in fines and many years in prison.
Violent crimes are some of the most serious charges in the New Jersey legal system. These crimes involve threatening or causing bodily harm to another person. This can involve a total stranger — such as in a car accident — or a loved one — such as in domestic violence cases. Regardless of the crime, violent crimes carry the highest levels of penalties, including life in prison.
Sentencing & Appeals
A significant part of your criminal defense strategy relates to sentencing for your case and possibly fighting the outcome via appeal. A talented and diligent criminal lawyer will negotiate on your behalf during the trial to reduce sentencing as much as possible. If you are convicted, you also have the right to an appeal, meaning a new judge will consider changing the outcome of your case. In both cases, you need a strong criminal defense attorney in the courtroom who is experienced in negotiation and will advocate on your behalf.
If you own a business operating during a Declared State of Emergency, the government imposes certain price constraints pursuant to the Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1, et. seq. Generally, the Law prohibits the sale of merchandise at a price 10% greater than prior to the State of Emergency. While the Law is intended to protect consumers from excessive price increases, the enforcement…
Types of Weapons Charges The New Jersey Criminal Code contains laws in Chapter 39 (N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5) related to unlawful possession of weapons, which are defined as anything “readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury.” Weapons charges can result from simple possession of a weapon, even if it was not being used. Weapons charges are commonly associated…
The last thing a parent wishes for their child is to have a criminal record follow them through life. Unfortunately, many adolescents find themselves facing the consequences of being caught in the criminal justice system. In fact, in 2014, the National Center for Juvenile Justice reported that there are 67,776 juveniles in residential placement including detention centers, boot camps and…
If you or a loved one has been accused of a sex crime, you need a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and ensure your side of the story is heard. Being charged with a sex crime can be an incredibly disruptive force — with ruinous potential — on every aspect of your life….
If you are an adult or juvenile who has been charged with a drug crime in Burlington County, NJ it is important to obtain experienced and committed legal guidance. The following are potential drug charges in New Jersey: Possession of CDS (Drugs) – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, 1st through 3rd Degree Distribution of CDS (Drugs) – N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, 1st through 3rd Degree…
What is Stalking? Stalking laws in New Jersey are broad and are not simply the act of showing up at the location where the victim lives or works or following them on foot or by vehicle. N.J. Stat. § 2C:12-10 defines stalking as: “A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly…
Negotiating a Sentence When a defendant in a criminal case is found guilty, either after a trial or following a guilty plea, the sentence is always decided by the judge in the case. However, sentencing is incredibly complicated and judges are bound to follow a combination of Statutes and Court Rules. In some instances, such as crimes in the first…
New Jersey Law defines Arson as the intentional or reckless causing of a fire or explosion. Said differently, it is unlawfully starting a fire. Arson is typically charged in the context of the unlawful burning of a building or structure to collect the insurance or to destroy a building for some other unlawful reason. One can also be charged with…
Bail Is A Constitutional Right (Pre-January 1, 2017) New Jersey’s bail system saw significant changes on January 1, 2017. Learn about 2017’s NJ bail reform. The right to pre-conviction bail is a fundamental right enshrined in the New Jersey Constitution. It is also required by the New Jersey Rules of Court, specifically, Rule 7:4-1. Our Constitution provides that: All persons shall,…
What is Expungement? Expungements are defined as “the extraction and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a person’s detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal justice system” (2C:52-1). Expunged records “include complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index…
What is the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)? The Pretrial Intervention Program (“PTI”) provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with the chance to undergo treatment rather than face New Jersey’s drug offense penalties, as they would in the case of ordinary prosecution. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense…
The penalties if convicted of a theft crime in New Jersey depend on the circumstances of the theft. The degree of the crime and the penalty depends on the value of the property or the type of property stolen. For example, a second degree robbery sentence is likely to be more harsh than a third degree. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2(c) provides the grading of…
A violent crime occurs when one person harms or threatens to harm another person. In New Jersey, non-violent crimes are all crimes punishable by jail time that do not threaten to or actually involve bodily injury. There are many different types of violent crimes, including assault, robbery, manslaughter and murder. If you are accused of having committed a violent crime,…
What is a Federal Crime? The U.S. Constitution establishes courts that rule on cases involving federal laws, and these federal courts use different guidelines and sentencing procedures from those at the state level. Federal criminal cases are often investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but can also involve other federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service or…