An Overview of the Criminal Justice Process The criminal justice process can be overwhelming, and, if you are the defendant, it can be downright frightening.
New Jersey ranks among the highest in the nation in terms of quality of life. While that makes the state seem like a perfect place to live and work, things can happen. Bad things. Life changing things that can impact you and your loved ones in ways you don’t even want to think about. Being arrested, or having a loved one who gets arrested, is one of those frightening, life-changing events. This is when you need the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have someone fighting for you, protecting your rights. This is when you need Hackensack criminal lawyers who are here for you every step of the way.
When you or a loved one has been arrested, you have questions that need to be answered quickly. You have your side of the story that needs to be told, and you need to have someone who will investigate your case, one who will also vigorously defend you before a prosecutor and a judge. Your Hackensack criminal lawyers need to have compassion and concern for your case, but most of all he needs to be there with you to guide you through unfamiliar court processes and procedures.
Your Hackensack criminal lawyers will understand the law, the charges you face, and the court process. Because he is familiar with the Hackensack criminal court system, he can offer the confidence and professionalism you need, when and how you need it most.
Or, what if your son has been arrested following a domestic situation with his girlfriend? He’s scared and sitting behind bars. You can’t rest until you know you have someone who understands the court system and can help guide him through the process.
No matter what the situation, you or your loved one is now facing the New Jersey criminal justice system, and it’s time to bring in a Hackensack criminal lawyers who understands local, state and federal laws and, equally important, who will fight to protect your rights.
The most important thing your lawyer can do is help ensure your rights are protected throughout the court process. When you hire Hackensack criminal lawyers, these are the professionals who will represent you every step of the way. The criminal justice system is complex, and to make it even harder to navigate, the lawyers and judges seem to speak their own language. This “lawyer speak” includes big words and unusual procedures that are often hard for the average person to follow.
Your Hackensack criminal lawyers will be in charge of your defense. He will handle the issues surrounding your case from the arrest through the investigation and on into the court process. He will negotiate a plea bargain, take your case through appeals when necessary, and assist you in resolving issues following the trial.
One of the first questions you want answered when looking for Hackensack criminal lawyers is how much it will cost. Part of the fee structure depends on how your attorney charges – whether he uses an hourly rate or a flat fee. Hackensack criminal lawyers who charge an hourly rate will charge for the time spent on your case, including court appearances, phone calls, emails, and other correspondence. If your Hackensack criminal lawyers charge a flat fee, however, he/she will evaluate the complexities of the case to determine his fee, no matter how many court appearances, phone calls, or emails are required.
Take advantage of our free consultation to see how much your case will cost.
When you have been charged with a serious crime, you could be looking at time in jail and/or a hefty fine. That’s time away from your loved ones and money that could be better spent on your family. You don’t want to trust your defense to just anyone. You want Hackensack criminal lawyers who will make you his/her top priority, one who cares and will dedicate his time and energy to your case. That’s why the initial consultation is so important. The first time you meet with your Hackensack criminal lawyers, you need to rely on your gut instinct. Pay attention to how the attorney responds to your questions and concerns and also focus on how enthusiastic he is about your defense.
You do not want to risk time in jail or heavy fines because you hired the first Hackensack criminal lawyer that you could find. You want to carefully consider who you choose, because this is the person who will be by your side, fighting for your rights. You want the most knowledgeable, most confident and boldest Hackensack criminal lawyer there is.
For you to have peace of mind regarding your case, you need to be confident that you have the right Hackensack criminal lawyer. During your consultation, in addition to answering the lawyer’s questions, you may want to ask a few of your own:
When you are looking for a Hackensack criminal lawyer, it is important to remember that you are hiring him to defend you. You need to be comfortable with your decision.
The first thing you should remember when you are arrested is that you have rights. The two most important rights are your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
That means that as soon as you are arrested, before you answer any questions, you should tell the arresting officer that you want to call an attorney. The arrest process is frightening enough. Having Hackensack criminal lawyers to defend you will give you peace of mind that someone is looking after your best interest, someone who understands what will happen through each step of the process.
While most states call them misdemeanors and felonies, in New Jersey, offenses are called disorderly person offenses or indictable offenses. The disorderly person offenses include such charges as simple assault, shoplifting, and bad checks. These are usually your lower level crimes, but they can still carry some significant charges, including a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
The indictable offenses (felonies) are so-named because your charges go before a grand jury who will determine if there was probable cause for your arrest. If the grand jury determines that probable cause exists, they will indict you on those charges. There are four levels of indictment in New Jersey, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
The first degree is the most serious and can carry sentences of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. These crimes can include murder, rape, and large-scale drug distribution.
Second degree offenses are still very serious and can carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Those charges can include arson, kidnapping, drug distribution, burglary, and many sex crimes.
The third-degree offenses can include DUI, possession of controlled substances, and certain burglaries and robberies. The sentence can include up to five years in prison and fines of up to $15,000
The lowest level of indictable offenses are the fourth-degree charges. These can include forgery and stalking, along with DUI. The maximum penalty for fourth-degree charges is 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
When you are facing jail time or hefty fines, you want your Hackensack criminal lawyer to be fighting for you with every resource he has, working to get your cases dropped or dismissed.
After asking how much it will cost, one of the first questions you will have for Hackensack criminal lawyers following your arrest is, “Can you get my charges dropped?”
That will be the first order of business for your attorney – to try to get the charges against you dropped altogether. This is not always possible, however. While charges may not be dropped, your Hackensack criminal lawyers will work tirelessly to have them reduced.
Another option your attorney will try to get for you is a diversionary program. This means that your case does not go to trial, and you do not have to plead guilty. At the superior court level, your case could go through pretrial intervention (PTI), which is for indictable offenses (felonies). You may also qualify for probation if you have a clean record and have never had charges in the New Jersey criminal justice system. Another option for indictable offenses is drug court, a special program for people who are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or both, who commits a crime while under the influence.
Your Hackensack criminal lawyers will understand diversions that may be offered to you and will help you evaluate each of your options.
Hackensack criminal lawyers will have a firm understanding of the New Jersey criminal court system, whether your case involves a disorderly person offense (a misdemeanor), like a simple assault, or the more serious indictable offenses (felonies), such as murder, rape, drug distribution or gun charges. He will be able to lay out for you the battle plan he will use to fight for you based on his professional experience.
After your arrest, a call to your attorney will set off a series of events, all designed to ensure that you have the best representation possible. Your Hackensack criminal lawyers will immediately begin his own investigation into your case. That could include talking with witnesses, viewing surveillance footage, and reviewing any other evidence the prosecutor has presented in your case.
Once the facts of the matter are clear, it is time to determine the best course of action for your case. This is when your Hackensack criminal lawyers will enter plea bargain negotiations on your behalf. He will review the evidence and facts of the case with the prosecutor and fight to have charges dropped or reduced.
Once he has reached a plea bargain that he feels could be satisfactory to you, your Hackensack criminal lawyers will bring that information to you and help you evaluate the options before you. Should you accept the plea bargain, your Hackensack criminal lawyers will help guide you in your next steps. However, if you choose to reject the plea bargain and have your case heard before a judge, your Hackensack criminal lawyers will be ready to proceed. Again, the decision is ultimately yours and yours alone because the decision that is made will directly impact you and your loved ones.
Unless you are a repeat offender who is well versed in the criminal proceedings, the New Jersey court process is not necessarily something you experience on a daily basis. That’s where your Hackensack criminal lawyers will come in. He/she will bring his knowledge of the law and will have remarkable negotiation skills that have been sharpened by years in the Hackensack court system.
First, though, he will be a sympathetic ear. You have been accused of committing a crime, possibly a very serious crime. You are looking at time in jail, you are looking at paying lots of money in fines and restitution, and you could lose your job or be kicked out of school. The worst part? Nobody seems to be listening or to even care about your situation – no one except your Hackensack criminal lawyers. He will make it his business to fully understand your case, to have complete knowledge of all aspects of the situation that led to your arrest. He will do all of this because you are his client, and he is fighting for you.
Hackensack criminal lawyers are here to protect you. Areas we serve include Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic County. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, our mission is the same: to safeguard your presumption of innocence.
Few things in life are worse than being wrongfully accused. Your freedom & reputation are our top priority. We will defend you during this tough time. We will help you with Assault, Drug, DWI, Theft charges & more.
As Hackensack criminal lawyers, we have vowed to fight & support you. Nothing is more frightening than facing criminal charges. Regardless of the charges you are facing, we will work tirelessly to keep you out of jail & keep your record clean. Whether you are facing misdemeanor, indictable, or DWI charges, we are here for you. We’ve successfully represented clients facing disorderly persons offenses, assault charges, drug charges, theft charges, aggravated sexual assault charges, and more.
If you’re facing criminal charges in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, or Passaic County, we make it our mission to get you the best result possible. Our clients live in or near Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson. If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. Our team of aggressive criminal lawyers will strive to get you an excellent result. Contact us today to see how we can help.
Your team of Hackensack criminal lawyers will conduct our own investigation into your case. If you’re facing drug charges, we will research the facts of your arrest & research the law. The best criminal lawyers know that drug cases boil down to challenging law enforcement’s search of your person or property.
Another example involves assault cases. When facing aggravated assault charges, we need to determine your available defenses. New Jersey law permits you to act in self-defense. As your criminal lawyers, we will gather all available evidence and use it during our plea negotiations with the county prosecutor.
If you’ve arrested for a sex crime like aggravated sexual assault or statutory rape, we work with a team of investigators and & forensic experts to build your defense. These charges carry mandatory minimum prison sentences & you cannot afford to leave any stone unturned. If you’re facing an allegation involving a minor, they may charge with endangering the welfare of a child. DYFS is likely to get involved and you risk losing your children. This is a terrible situation to be in & that is why we strongly recommend that you hire a criminal lawyer.
In Municipal court cases, we will investigate the facts surrounding your disorderly persons arrest. Whether you’re charged with marijuana possession, obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, shoplifting, trespassing, criminal mischief, or simple assault, we will carefully examine the evidence. The evidence in your criminal case includes police reports, witness statements, the police car video, surveillance footage, and more. It is through our investigation that we get evidence to get your charges dismissed.
During our initial meeting, we will patiently listen to your side of the story. We do not put a time limit on our free consultations so you will not feel rushed. Criminal convictions have serious consequences & for this reason, we need to hear all the facts in your case. A single fact may be the difference between your freedom & going to prison.
As your Hackensack criminal lawyers, we will aggressively plea bargain on your behalf. plea bargaining is an art that criminal defense lawyers must master. It’s during this stage that we fight to get your criminal charges dismissed. However, if the prosecutor believes that he/she has a winning case & refuses to dismiss your criminal charges, plea negotiations continue.
If we don’t get your case dismissed, we exhaust all efforts to get you admitted into a diversionary program. Diversionary programs in New Jersey consist of Pretrial Intervention, Conditional Discharge, and Conditional Dismissal. Although Drug Court is not a diversionary program, it serves the important function of helping you avoid jail.
Now, if we can’t get your case dismissed, or if you’re ineligible for probation, don’t panic. As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we have committed to protecting you. When a dismissal or probation is not possible, remain calm. We never stop fighting! The last step in the plea bargaining process involves downgrading your criminal charges. This means that your indictable offense (felony) gets lowered to a misdemeanor. Once your criminal charges are out of “felony danger”, the likelihood of incarceration is slim.
If none of these legal strategies work, we take your matter to trial.
The last & final step in your criminal matter involves trial. As Hackensack criminal defense lawyers, we will defend you to the bitter end. You have a constitutional right to your day in court. Whether you’re facing trial in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, or Passaic County, you need an aggressive team of criminal lawyers who will fight for you in the courtroom. We have a proven track record of representing clients in or near Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson.
We appreciate the fact that you are facing incarceration & getting a criminal record and therefore we approach trials with an “all or nothing” attitude. Because every case is unique, so is every criminal defense lawyer. You need to trust that the lawyers who represent you love to fight for truth & justice. The only thing more important than the love of fighting is the love of winning.
Contact us today for a free consultation!
You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.
Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey as well as nearby cities. The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.
There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.
The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.
We understand that your choice of Hackensack criminal lawyer could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of criminal lawyers that will represent you.
An Overview of the Criminal Justice Process The criminal justice process can be overwhelming, and, if you are the defendant, it can be downright frightening.
It’s a daily question: “I’m looking for the best New Jersey criminal lawyer. Are you the best?” They ask because either they or their loved
Arraignment – The Basics An arraignment is nothing to be afraid of. You should view your arraignment as an opportunity that you can take advantage
NJ Restraining Orders – The Basics There are two types of restraining orders in New Jersey: temporary and final restraining orders. Under the New Jersey’s
a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.
***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.
Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.
When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.
A mere “hunch” is not enough.
In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.
b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.
c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions