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Criminal Defense Attorney in Cranford, NJ

Have you been charged with a crime in Cranford, New Jersey? If so, you need a criminal defense lawyer familiar with New Jersey’s criminal justice system and adept at handling cases like yours. The experienced Cranford criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law stand ready to aggressively advocate for you and protect your rights throughout the process.

You don’t have to face this challenging time alone. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law today for a free and completely confidential consultation with our criminal defense attorneys in Cranford, NJ.

Why You Need Our Cranford Criminal Defense Lawyers

At William Proetta Criminal Law, we have a strong track record of successfully defending people facing criminal charges in Cranford and elsewhere in New Jersey. We fight for our clients’ rights and defend their freedom regardless of the case’s complexity.

William Proetta Criminal Law is your hometown legal team in Cranford, NJ. We are very familiar with the judges, prosecutors, and unique nuances of the legal system in Cranford.

Our personalized approach to each client and extensive resources set us apart from other firms. You’re not just another case file to us. You’re a person facing a difficult situation. That’s why we promise not to pass you around to junior attorneys or unprepared staff. When you work with us, you’ll have direct access to your attorney when you need them, even on evenings and weekends.

Criminal Defense Cases We Handle in Cranford, New Jersey

Some of the most common types of criminal defense cases we handle include charges involving:

  • Drug offenses – Although simple possession of marijuana (up to 6 oz.) is legal in New Jersey, the purchase, possession, distribution, manufacturing, and trafficking of other drugs is not. Possession of certain drug paraphernalia is also against the law.
  • Assault – Assault and threat crimes occur when someone becomes physically violent with another person or threatens another person with physical violence. These charges include stalking, harassment, and simple and aggravated assault.
  • Sex crimes – Being accused of a sex crime can have lifelong consequences, harming a person’s reputation in the community and hindering their chances of gainful employment. Sex crimes include possessing child sex abuse material (CSAM), rape and attempted rape, solicitation, indecent exposure, and sexual assault.
  • Domestic violence – Domestic violence crimes involve violence between people in intimate or family relationships or shared households.
  • Fraud and theft – Fraud and theft charges become more serious the higher the value of the alleged stolen items or defrauded assets. These charges include shoplifting, credit card fraud, identity theft, forgery, embezzlement, petty theft, and grand larceny.
  • Weapons offenses – New Jersey gun laws are stricter than those in many other states. Common weapons and firearms offenses include possession of a weapon by a felon, using a weapon in the commission of a crime, and brandishing a firearm.
  • DUI and DWI charges – Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges get more serious the higher a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is and if they cause an accident while intoxicated.
  • Traffic violations – Our attorneys can help mitigate a traffic violation’s penalties and avoid license suspension. Common offenses include speeding, improper passing, reckless driving, failure to yield, and running red lights.

Our attorneys also represent minors under 18 who have been accused of crimes. We protect their futures by aggressively arguing to have charges dropped or reduced. We also work with clients seeking an expungement of criminal charges, wiping their criminal record clean so they stand a better chance of getting a job, securing housing, and gaining financial stability.

What’s the Difference Between Indictable Offenses and Disorderly Person Charges?

Unlike most states, New Jersey criminal charges aren’t classified into misdemeanors and felonies. Instead, New Jersey has disorderly persons charges and indictable offenses. An indictable offense is akin to a felony in other states, while disorderly persons charges are similar to misdemeanors.

Indictable offenses are considered more serious infractions and carry more severe punishments than disorderly persons charges.

Potential Defense Strategies in Cranford Criminal Cases

Our criminal defense attorneys can evaluate the facts of your case and develop a robust defense strategy against the charges.

Depending on your situation and the criminal charges you face, your attorney might use one of the following strategies:

  • Police misconduct during the investigation, your arrest, or your interrogation
  • Self-defense 
  • Entrapment 
  • Insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Inconsistent witnesses 
  • Mishandled evidence 

Potential Penalties for Criminal Convictions in Cranford, NJ

Penalties for disorderly persons convictions include the following:

  • Petty disorderly persons offense: Up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail
  • Disorderly persons offense: Up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail

Penalties for indictable offenses include the following:

  • Up to 18 months in prison and fines of up to $10,000 for crimes of the fourth degree
  • Up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000 for crimes of the third degree
  • Up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000 for crimes of the second-degree
  • Up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000 for crimes of the first-degree

State laws specify the penalties for offenses and provide guidelines for sentencing. However, judges have discretion in ordering offenders to pay fines, fees, or restitution.

Long-Term Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Fines and incarceration aren’t the only consequences of a criminal conviction. Criminal convictions become part of a person’s permanent criminal record, visible to anyone who searches for information about that person.

Individuals and entities that might perform background checks include:

  • Employers
  • College admissions boards
  • Landlords
  • The military
  • Members of the public 

A criminal conviction could also affect your ability to find employment, secure a loan, rent an apartment, own a firearm, drive a vehicle, or vote. Thus, consulting our experienced criminal defense attorneys is crucial to protecting your rights and future.

What Are My Rights During an Arrest and Criminal Proceedings?

If you have been arrested, detained by police, or charged with a crime in Cranford, you can defend your legal rights by:

  • Staying calm and not resisting arrest – Do not try to run, resist, or obstruct law enforcement officers. Keep your hands visible at all times, and never lie to the police or provide them with a fake ID.
  • Refusing to consent to search requests – If the officer asks to conduct a search, it is likely they don’t have a warrant. If they insist on searching you, you should politely make it clear that you do not consent. Evidence law enforcement secures in an illegal search will likely be inadmissible.
  • Expressing your wish to remain silent – Tell the officers you wish to remain silent. Offering explanations, excuses, or details could later cause problems in your court case.
  • Asking for a lawyer immediately – Tell the police that you want to speak with a lawyer immediately. If the officers persist with questioning, repeat your intention to remain silent and your request for a lawyer.
  • Remembering the details of the arrest – If you believe the arresting officers violated your rights, do your best to remember as much as you can and record your recollections as soon as you are able. Critical details could include the officers’ names, badge numbers, and car numbers.

Consult with Our Cranford Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

When you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Cranford, NJ, trust the legal team at William Proetta Criminal Law. We understand that your rights and your future are at stake. We are ready to work tirelessly to seek the best outcome in your case.

Get started now by contacting us for a free consultation.