Middlesex County Criminal Defense Lawyer
It’s not easy to know what to do after you’ve been charged with a criminal offense. You can beat your charges, however, and a Middlesex County criminal lawyer can help you build the best defense.
Whether you’ve been wrongfully accused or simply made a mistake, getting charged with a crime can put everything you’ve worked for in life at risk. From prison time to expensive fines to damage to your reputation, the consequences can be drastic and long-lasting.
You have to do everything you can to challenge the charges against you. Even if the offense is minor, getting convicted will establish a criminal record. Not only will this cause a number of problems for your personal and professional lives, but it can also escalate the penalties for future offenses.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need the best defense available to clear your name. A Middlesex County criminal defense lawyer from Clark & Clark, LLC can help you build this defense and will never stop fighting for you.
If There’s a Warrant out for Your Arrest
A defense lawyer can do more than just help you after you’ve been arrested. If you know that a warrant is out in your name, we can help you resolve the situation without the public humiliation of an arrest.
We’ll contact the police on your behalf so that you can come into the station for booking without a confrontation. Your attorney will be on hand throughout the process and help you through it by answering any questions from the officers.
Getting our firm involved early also provides a number of other benefits. For one, it gives us the opportunity to arrange bail ahead of time so that you’ll likely be able to leave after booking. Second, the earlier we can get acquainted with the charges against you and start collecting evidence, the better.
Understanding the Charges Against You
Your Middlesex criminal lawyer will help you understand the charges against you. It’s important to know what penalties the prosecution is likely to pursue, as sentencing is often impacted by things like your prior criminal record, the circumstances of your arrest, and a number of extenuating factors.
Unlike most states, New Jersey doesn’t break crimes up into misdemeanors and felonies, although it does have a comparable system. Misdemeanors, which are generally minor offenses, are roughly equivalent to disorderly person offenses. Felonies, the more serious crimes, are comparable to New Jersey’s indictable offenses.
With indictable offenses, a grand jury is required to convene and determine whether the evidence supports formally charging you. This takes place before the actual jury trial.
Penalties for Crimes in New Jersey
If you are charged with a crime in Middlesex County, the following penalties will apply:
- Petty Disorderly Person Offense – Up to thirty days in jail and a fine of up to $500
- Disorderly Person Offense – Up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
- Fourth-Degree Indictable Offense – Up to eighteen months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Indictable Offense – Three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
- Second-Degree Indictable Offense – Five to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000
- First-Degree Indictable Offense – Either life in prison or between ten and thirty years in prison, plus a fine of up to $200,000
Convictions Have More Than Just Legal Consequences
There’s more at risk than just a fine and jail or prison time, however. Whether you were charged with a DWI, a violent crime, a drug-related offense, or anything else, a conviction will establish a permanent criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life.
This can make it incredibly difficult to find work and even to apply for housing and loans. If you are convicted of an indictable offense, you’ll essentially become a convicted felon, which can cost you rights that most people take for granted, such as the right to own a gun.
Things get even worse if you’re convicted of a sex crime, as this can land you on the sex offender registry.
All of this makes it critical to work with a Middlesex criminal defense lawyer who will never give up on your case and whose goal will be to see your charges dismissed.
The Risks of Self-Representation
While many people are tempted to represent themselves, this is rarely a good idea. Even attorneys who find themselves charged with crimes tend to retain legal counsel.
If you aren’t familiar with the criminal justice system, it can prove disastrous when your day in court finally arrives. The prosecutor and the judge aren’t going to go easy on you just because you aren’t a lawyer.
In fact, the prosecution is less likely to offer you a plea bargain if you go without a defense lawyer.
While a public defender might be an option for some, public defenders tend to be overworked and buried under a caseload that might not allow them to dedicate the appropriate amount of time and care to your case.
Middlesex County Criminal Defense FAQ
We know how stressful facing criminal charges is. Your life’s been up-ended and everything’s been put at risk. You’re going to have questions, and with that in mind, we’ve answered a few of the more common ones here. For additional information, please contact our office so that you can speak with a Middlesex County criminal lawyer directly.
If my charges get dismissed, can I get the record of my arrest expunged?
New Jersey allows expungements of criminal records in a number of circumstances. If your charges are dismissed or you are acquitted, you’ll likely be eligible. If you are convicted, however, you’ll need to wait a specific number of years before becoming eligible, depending on your offense. Certain offenses are not eligible for expungement.
If a gun was involved in my charges, will it affect my case?
Most likely, yes. The involvement of any type of deadly weapon, such as a gun or knife, can have a dramatic impact on the severity of the charges against you. In many cases, the prosecution will also pursue a harsher sentence.
I didn’t know that what I was doing was illegal; will that help my defense?
In most cases, not being aware of the law can’t be used as a defense. It might make it easier to get your charges reduced, but getting your charges dismissed will require treating your case just like any other criminal case and developing the best possible defense.
Connect with a Middlesex County Criminal Lawyer
Clark & Clark, LLC is fully dedicated to helping people charged with crimes. Our goal is always to get your charges dismissed or to receive a not guilty verdict. While other defense attorneys might settle for a plea deal, that’s not what you get with us.
To discover how we can help you fight the charges against you, simply schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Middlesex County criminal defense lawyer. Just complete the form on this page or call 732-303-7857.