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William Proetta Criminal Law

242 10th Street

Suite 103

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Phone: (201) 793-8018

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ

Have you been arrested and charged with a crime in Elizabeth, New Jersey? The criminal justice system can seem frightening and overwhelming, especially if you’re facing charges for the first time. You need an experienced Elizabeth criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the criminal justice process and stand up for your rights.

If you’re facing criminal charges in Elizabeth, turn to William Proetta Criminal Law for the dedicated legal representation you need to protect your freedom and future. We take a personalized approach to every case we handle, providing an aggressive defense and outstanding service.

Contact our firm for a free and completely confidential initial case evaluation with an Elizabeth criminal defense lawyer today.




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Overview of Criminal Defense Matters Handled by Our Elizabeth Legal Team

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our Elizabeth criminal defense team represents clients facing all kinds of criminal charges, including:

  • Assault and threat crimes, including simple assault, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, harassment, and stalking
  • Domestic violence offenses
  • Drug offenses, including simple possession, possession with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trafficking
  • Weapons crimes, including unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a firearm in the course of a crime, and brandishing a firearm
  • Sex crimes, including sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, indecent exposure, and possession or distribution of child pornography
  • Theft and fraud crimes, including petty theft, grand theft, robbery, extortion, forgery, identity theft, and insurance fraud
  • Juvenile charges, including alcohol-related crimes, disorderly persons offenses, weapons crimes, assault crimes, or theft crimes
  • Traffic violations, including speeding, reckless driving, and running red lights or stop signs

Our firm also represents clients seeking expungement of criminal records, including arrest records, court proceedings, and convictions.

How Our Elizabeth Attorneys Can Help Your Defense

If you’ve been arrested for a crime, prosecutors must still prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The state’s burden of proof may allow you to assert defenses to your charges. Some defense strategies our firm often uses include the following:

  • Asserting police misconduct, including unlawful stops and searches, tampering with evidence, or coercion of confessions or witness testimony
  • Challenging the reliability of evidence due to lack of laboratory testing, errors in testing, or breaks in the chain-of-custody
  • Testing the sufficiency of the prosecution’s case by filing motions to dismiss your charges
  • Arguing that you acted in self-defense in cases involving assault or homicide
  • Challenging the reliability of witness identifications

When you turn to William Proetta Criminal Law for help with your case, you can expect us to help you by:

  • Investigating your charges to secure all available evidence, including evidence overlooked by the prosecution
  • Evaluating the facts and circumstances of your case to identify potential defense strategies
  • Explaining your charges and potential outcomes to help you make informed decisions at each stage of the case
  • Recommending diversionary programs, when appropriate, to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction
  • Presenting a persuasive case at trial if you choose to fight the charges before a judge and jury

Our Practice Areas

Potential Legal Penalties for Criminal Charges in Elizabeth

New Jersey criminal law categorizes criminal offenses as either disorderly persons offenses (what other states call misdemeanors) or indictable crimes (felonies in other jurisdictions). Each category of criminal offense also has several degrees of offenses that reflect the seriousness of the crime and determine the potential legal penalties for a conviction.

Possible sentences for a conviction in Elizabeth include:

  • Petty disorderly persons offense – Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
  • Disorderly persons offense – Up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000
  • Fourth-degree crime – Up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Third-degree crime – Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000
  • Second-degree crime – Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000
  • First-degree crime – Up to 20 years in prison, although certain first-degree crimes such as murder may have maximum sentences as long as life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $200,000

Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Record in Elizabeth

In addition to jail, prison time, and fines, a criminal conviction can have other long-lasting negative consequences. Thus, hiring an experienced attorney to fight for you is crucial to protecting your future.

Some of the long-term consequences of having a criminal record include:

  • Harsher penalties if you get convicted of another crime in the future
  • Difficulty securing employment, housing, loans, or educational opportunities when your criminal record shows up on background checks
  • Loss of driving privileges, the right to own or possess firearms, voting rights, or eligibility to hold public office, depending on the crime
  • Restrictions on your ability to travel abroad
  • Potential for adverse child custody determinations 

Your Legal Rights During and After an Arrest in Elizabeth Explained

During an arrest and while facing criminal prosecution, you have several rights afforded to you under the federal and state constitutions. You should remember to exercise these rights after getting arrested and when facing a criminal court:

  • The right to refuse to consent to a search – If the police ask to search your vehicle or home, they must have a search warrant or grounds to conduct a warrantless search. You have the right to refuse to consent to a search if the police do not have a search warrant or the authority to perform a warrantless search.
  • The right to remain silent – You have the right to remain silent and to refuse to answer questions that the police ask you during an interrogation. You should politely let the police know that you wish to remain silent and do not want to answer any questions. Do not assume you can explain or talk your way out of an arrest or criminal charge.
  • The right to legal counsel – You have the right to consult with an attorney before deciding to answer the police’s questions and to have your attorney present during questioning. When charged with a crime, you have the right to legal counsel once the state indicts you. If you cannot afford a defense attorney, the state must appoint a public defender or another attorney to represent you.
  • The right to know what charges you face – You have the right to know what crimes the police have arrested you for, especially before you answer the police’s questions. The police cannot misrepresent the charges they have arrested you for to induce you to make incriminating statements.

Contact Our Elizabeth Criminal Defense Attorney for Legal Help Now

If you were arrested in Elizabeth, New Jersey, get the legal help you need to defend your rights, reputation, and future. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law today for a free, confidential consultation with an Elizabeth, NJ, criminal defense attorney. We are standing by to review your charges and explain your legal options.


Our Clients
Say It Best
Better Call Will!

He is by far the best legal representation I have ever dealt with. Kept me informed every step of the way, and killed it when it came down too court. I could tell how much he really did care about my case when we exited the courtroom and he was more excited then I was with the outcome ( I hadn’t realized how good it was at the time ) but he explained how much worse it could have been and showed me what could have happened. All I can say is that I’m sure glad he was on my side.

Our Clients
Say It Best
Caring, Attentive and Professional

Mr. Proetta is a caring and attentive attorney who represented me in court to resolve a traffic violation, which I strongly felt I was wrongly accused of. He thoroughly explained how it would be unlikely to win the case against me and better to have him work with the prosecutor to have the offense reduced to a lessor fine with no points, which he did achieve. I would highly recommend Mr. Proetta.

Thank you Will for making an unfortunate situation more acceptable.

Our Clients
Say It Best
Couldn’t Be Happier!

Finding myself in need of council for the first time, his name was the first to pop up in online search. A late night phone call was swiftly returned and for the better part of an hour, we spoke about the case and best options for me. Immediately, and with display of confidence, Mr. Proetta offered me a flat rate and an optimistic outcome. He was also very articulate in describing the system. For the following months I received nothing but the best guidance and support from Mr. P, as well as the entire office staff. My issue was promptly, and painlessly resolved In my favor. I do not see myself in need of future service from Mr. Protetta, however he will be the first and only name I’ll recommend to anyone.