Criminal Law

Indictable Offenses

Crimes are not defined as felonies and misdemeanors in New Jersey, but rather as indictable crimes or disorderly persons offenses. Indictables range from first to fourth degree crimes and are handled on the Superior Court level. These serious crimes would include drug possession/distribution, robbery, burglary, shoplifting, conspiracy, money laundering, sex crimes, and many others. These offenses are very serious. Defendants face fines, probation, and serious jail time. Other than loss of your personal freedom, you stand to have a criminal record that could haunt you for the rest of your life. Serious crimes (felonies) can not be expunged from your certified criminal history. You need an attorney who knows the courts and is willing to mount a serious defense against the state’s team of prosecutors. After a thorough analysis of the state’s case, the goal is to get the best deal possible from the state, or if the case is weak, to take it to trial. Do not hesitate to call my office if you have been charged with a crime.

Expungements

Disorderly persons offenses can be removed from your criminal record. The process is a somewhat lengthy one and an attorney can help ease the process and reduce errors. A considerable amount of materials needs to be certified mailed to various state agencies who are given the opportunity to object to the petition. If there are no objections, a judge signs the order of expungement and from that point on the offense never happened. It is best to retain an attorney who has experience preparing the required petition and order of expungement to prevent any mistakes. Keeping certain offenses on your record can prevent you from gaining employment and housing. Since most offenses can be expunged with relative ease after a certain time has elapsed, it would be wise to expunge your record.

Trials

If the state has a weak case against a defendant, it is very unlikely the state will be able to meet its burden of proof for a conviction. The prosecution must convince a 12-person jury that a crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt. If one juror dissents, then a “hung jury” is declared and there is no conviction. A defendant needs an attorney who will thoroughly review the state’s case and confidently discredit the state’ case in front of the jury. You need an attorney who is experienced at picking a jury, giving open and closing statements, and aggressively examining and cross-examining witnesses. I have obtained a “not guilty” verdict for my client in a money laundering and conspiracy case in Middlesex County Superior Court. However, going to trial is not wise in all cases, so the decision to do so must be carefully considered with an experienced attorney.

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