How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
If you face criminal charges in Jersey City, our criminal defense lawyers can:
- Explain what charges you’re facing and the potential penalties – Many criminal charges sound similar, but seemingly minor differences can have a major impact on what penalties you could be facing. We will also determine which prosecutor and judge are on your case to help you understand what to expect.
- Examine the evidence against you and identify potential weak points – To be convicted, the prosecutor must prove you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By reviewing the evidence the prosecutor has, our experienced Jersey City criminal defense lawyers will work to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, which could lead to a reduction of your charges or dropping them outright.
- File motions to suppress evidence obtained illegally – The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects criminal defendants from illegal searches and seizures. If any of the evidence in your case was obtained illegally, your defense lawyer can file a motion to throw out the evidence, which could make a major difference in your case.
- Negotiate with prosecutors to reach a plea agreement – A plea deal doesn’t always present the best option for criminal defendants, but sometimes it’s better to take a deal to receive reduced penalties. If a plea is in your best interests, we can negotiate for the best possible terms.
- Craft a defense strategy for trial – Most criminal cases never go to trial, but it’s crucial to be ready for a trial in case it is necessary. If your case goes to trial, we can build a strategy to give you the best possible chance of being acquitted.
What You Need to Know About the Criminal Justice System in Jersey City
In New Jersey, minor legal violations are called disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses, which are roughly equivalent to misdemeanors in other states. Municipal court judges usually hear cases involving disorderly persons offenses in Jersey City.
More serious criminal offenses are called indictable crimes in New Jersey. Indictable criminal trials usually occur before the Superior Court in the county where the alleged offense occurs. If a case involves federal crimes, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey hears it.
Hudson County Sanctions for Criminal Convictions
The penalties for a criminal conviction can vary considerably depending on the severity of the offense, the defendant’s record, and other relevant factors.
Disorderly persons offenses in Hudson County can result in fines of up to $1,000, restitution, probation, community service, or imprisonment for up to six months. Punishments for indictable offenses are often much harsher and can include prison sentences of up to 20 years, depending on the crime.
Strong legal representation is essential when you’re facing potentially thousands of dollars in fines, months or years behind bars, and a record that could follow you for life. The Jersey City criminal defense attorneys at William Proetta Criminal Law are here to protect your freedoms by developing the strongest possible defense on your behalf.
What Rights Do the Accused Have After Arrest in Jersey City?
If you or someone you know gets arrested in Jersey City, you should know your rights under the law. Specifically, you have:
- The right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination
- The right to representation from an attorney
- The right to have an attorney appointed if you can’t afford one
- The right to know the charges against you
- The right to a speedy trial
- The right to trial by a jury of peers
- The right to cross-examine witnesses against you
- The right to present evidence in your defense
- The right to freedom from cruel or unusual punishment
- The right to freedom from unreasonable searches or seizures
Sentencing Considerations in Jersey City
Jersey City judges follow the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, which says that all persons convicted of offenses in New Jersey must be sentenced according to codified sentencing guidelines.
These sentencing guidelines are applicable when someone is convicted of any offense other than murder. The guidelines help judges decide whether to impose custodial sentences (prison sentences) or non-custodial sentences (fines or probation). However, judges must also consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances when sentencing a convicted defendant in Jersey City.
Aggravating circumstances increase the severity of a crime and its consequences. Examples of aggravating circumstances could include prior criminal activities, the use of violence during the commission of the crime, or the fact that the defendant was in a position of trust or authority when the crime occurred.
Mitigating circumstances are factors that decrease the severity of a crime and its consequences. Examples of mitigating circumstances might include accepting responsibility or showing remorse for committing a crime, cooperating with the authorities during an investigation, or demonstrating a sincere commitment to rehabilitation.
What Can You Expect from Our Criminal Defense Lawyers?
At William Proetta Criminal Law, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of the accused. We understand how scary and overwhelming it can be to face criminal charges, and we’re here to help.
When you come to us after a criminal accusation or charge in Jersey City, our experienced defense lawyers can support you every step of the way and explore all available defense options to seek the best possible outcome.
Our Jersey City Criminal Defense Lawyers Stand Ready to Fight for You
At William Proetta Criminal Law, our experienced Jersey City criminal defense lawyers know that the criminal justice system can be intimidating and confusing. We are prepared to help you navigate the system while protecting your rights and freedoms.
Contact us today to get started with your free legal case review.