Monmouth County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Nothing is as frightening as getting charged with a crime. By consulting with a Monmouth County criminal lawyer, you can find out how to build the defense you need to protect your freedom and finances.
Just like everywhere else in the United States, in New Jersey, you’re innocent until proven guilty. If you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s important not to lose hope. Criminal charges don’t automatically result in a conviction, and the right defense can see your charges dismissed.
Clearing your name isn’t exactly simple, however. While the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, you’ll need to expose the weak points in their case against you, whether that’s providing an alibi or collecting evidence that shows you aren’t guilty.
By working with a Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer from Clark & Clark, LLC, you’ll benefit from the services of a legal professional who knows how to craft the most compelling defense possible for your case. We never give up on a client, and we won’t be intimidated by the prosecution.
Criminal Charges: Know How They Work in New Jersey
A conviction for even a minor crime is a serious stain on your record. While New Jersey is unlike other states in that it doesn’t have felonies and misdemeanors, it does use a similar system. Having a conviction on your record can severely limit your future options, so it’s important to know what you’re up against.
Depending on the offense you were charged with, it will be categorized as either a disorderly person charge (equivalent to a misdemeanor) or an indictable offense (equivalent to a felony). These are further broken up into different degrees, with a range of legal penalties assigned to each.
Violent crimes and drug-related offenses can fall into either category, while most sex crimes tend to be indictable offenses. Your defense lawyer will help you determine what a conviction could result in, but these are the general sentencing guidelines used in New Jersey:
- Petty Disorderly Person Offense – Jail sentence of up to thirty days, fine of up to $500
- Disorderly Person Offense – Jail sentence of up to six months, fine of up to $1,000
- Fourth-Degree Indictable Offense – Prison sentence of up to eighteen months, fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Indictable Offense – Prison sentence of between three and five years, fine of up to $15,000
- Second-Degree Indictable Offense – Prison sentence of between five and ten years, fine of up to $150,000
- First-Degree Indictable Offense – Prison sentence of either life or between ten and thirty years, fine of up to $200,000
Conviction Will Change Your Life Beyond the Legal Penalties
The truth is that there’s more at risk than just the penalties specified under New Jersey law. A criminal conviction—especially for an indictable offense—will stay with you for the rest of your life and affect your opportunities.
For example, a criminal record can make finding work, housing, and loans difficult to impossible. The applications involved often inquire about criminal history, and having to mark “yes” greatly reduces the odds that you’ll be accepted.
Becoming a convicted felon can also cost you your right to bear arms and own a gun. You’ll also probably find that your personal relationships can be strained, which can even cost you your family.
Whether you made a mistake or are wrongfully accused, there’s a lot at stake when you face criminal charges—virtually everything in your life. A Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer from our firm can help you protect everything you’ve worked for.
Don’t Represent Yourself in Court
One common mistake many people make is attempting to represent themselves in court and build their own defense without legal counsel. Put simply, this is a mistake you can’t afford to make.
The criminal justice system was not built with the layperson in mind. The prosecution will treat you as though you’re a defense attorney who’s been practicing law your entire career—and so will the judge, for that matter.
If you’re hoping for a plea bargain, don’t expect one to be forthcoming when you don’t have your own criminal lawyer. The prosecution will likely see you as an easy win and push for a harsh sentence.
Instead, let us go to work on your behalf. As former prosecutors, we know how the other side is going to build their case against you, and we can expose the weak points in their arguments. When you need a legal advocate in Monmouth County, we’re here to help.
Problems with Parole and Warrants
If you haven’t yet been arrested but are aware that a warrant is out for your arrest, it’s the perfect time to contact our defense firm so that we can get started on your case.
A warrant has the potential to lead to extreme embarrassment if the arrest takes place at work or in public. We can prevent this from happening by arranging your booking with the police. Odds are good that we can arrange bail simultaneously, so you won’t have to be detained afterward.
Likewise, if you’re out on parole and have run into problems—perhaps you violated your parole accidentally or had a misunderstanding with your parole officer—we can help here, as well. Whatever the issue is, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Monmouth County Criminal Defense FAQ
Facing criminal charges is frightening and stressful. We know you’ll have questions, and we’re here to provide answers. Below are answers to a few common concerns, but a Monmouth County criminal lawyer from our office is available to answer any additional queries.
If I was arrested for driving while intoxicated, can it be expunged from my record?
Unfortunately, no. New Jersey treats DWI as a serious form of motor vehicle violation rather than a criminal offense. As a DWI does not appear on your criminal record, it cannot be expunged.
Will I get leniency if I’m a first-time offender?
It’s possible, but you shouldn’t expect it. Leniency is sometimes given if the offense was minor or if you demonstrate true remorse. However, it’s best to approach your case with the goal of achieving an acquittal or the dismissal of your charges.
Can a public defender represent me?
If you meet the requirements, then yes. However, public defenders are frequently overworked. You might find that the public defender’s caseload prevents him or her from giving you and your case the time it needs.
Connect with a Monmouth County Criminal Lawyer
Clark & Clark, LLC is dedicated to helping people charged with crimes win a full acquittal or dismissal of their charges. We take pride in never backing down, and you can count on us to never give up on you or your case.
To arrange a time to meet with a Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer during a free and confidential consultation, just call 732-303-7857 or complete the form below.