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William Proetta Criminal Law

1415 Hooper Ave

Suite 204 Unit B

Toms River, NJ 08753

Phone: (848) 238-2100

Ocean County Criminal Defense Attorney

Being found guilty of any crime in New Jersey can have a significant impact on your future. You could ultimately be heavily fined, serve time in prison, and face long-term consequences from a permanent criminal record. Being accused of a crime can also take an intense psychological and emotional toll as you wait for your case to reach a resolution.

No matter what crime you’ve been accused of committing, our experienced Ocean County criminal defense attorneys can take some of that stress off you. Criminal cases are our sole focus at William Proetta Criminal Law, and our skilled defense attorneys will fight tooth and nail to protect you. We know the local courts and can help you understand what to expect every step of the way.

Contact us today for a free review of your case.

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Our Firm Defends People Who Are Facing All Types of Criminal Charges

We have experience with many different kinds of criminal cases at William Proetta Criminal Law, such as:

Assault and Threat Crimes

In New Jersey, assault is defined as injuring someone or threatening to harm them. A deadly weapon does not need to be involved to make it a crime. Assault is one of the most common violent crimes we deal with at William Proetta Criminal Law. Although it can be charged as a disorderly persons offense, it’s more often charged as an indictable offense. A felony assault conviction can carry a lengthy jail sentence, along with fines and other penalties.

Domestic Violence

New Jersey’s domestic violence laws make it a crime to injure or threaten a spouse, romantic partner, child, roommate, or other permanent member of your household. The law applies regardless of whether a weapon is used. Other acts that can be considered domestic violence include stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, harassment, and endangering a child. A few domestic violence offenses can be charged as disorderly persons offense, but it’s much more common that they are charged as indictable offenses. A domestic violence conviction could cost you custody of your children and include jail time.

Drug Offenses

Being found in possession of illegal drugs can be a major offense in New Jersey, depending on what the drug is and the amount found in your possession. While simple possession is sometimes charged as a disorderly persons offense, a drug trafficking or distribution charge can result in harsh penalties. You could also face a drug charge for possessing materials used to package or manufacture certain drugs, even if you do not possess the drug in question.

Weapons Offenses

New Jersey is notorious for having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. In addition to regulating who can buy or possess a gun, these laws require guns to be registered properly, otherwise carrying them in public can be considered a crime. Possessing a gun without the proper permits or buying one illegally are both considered crimes. It’s also a crime to bring a gun into New Jersey if it isn’t stored properly. Finally, committing a crime using a gun will nearly always lead to harsher penalties if you are convicted.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes in New Jersey carry severe penalties. They carry social consequences as well. Some offenses that fall under the umbrella of sex crimes include sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual abuse of the elderly or a minor, and statutory rape. Being convicted of a sex crime could force you to register as a sex offender, along with other penalties.

Theft and Fraud

There are many types of property crimes that fall under New Jersey’s theft and fraud laws. Some of these offenses include basic theft, burglary (breaking into someone else’s property without permission), robbery (taking someone’s property directly off their person), and embezzlement (stealing money from your employer). A similar crime to theft is fraud, in which someone uses deception or other illegal acts to take money from a business or individual.

Juvenile Criminal Charges

While the law recognizes that juvenile offenders should generally be treated less harshly than adults, juvenile crimes can still carry significant penalties. In a few cases, juveniles can be tried as adults, so be sure to take action immediately to protect your child if he or she has been arrested.

DWI and DUI Charges

Driving a car while you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs is a serious crime. It’s possible to have a first-time DUI offense dismissed if you meet certain standards. However, repeat offenses carry much harsher penalties. If you are driving while impaired and you injure or kill someone, you can expect to face severe consequences.

Traffic Violations

A speeding ticket or other traffic violation may seem like a minor nuisance, but it can still have a significant impact. If you’re convicted of multiple traffic offenses in Ocean County, you could have your driving privileges suspended or permanently revoked, as well as face other punishments.


A mistake in your past shouldn’t haunt you forever. An attorney from William Proetta Criminal Law can help you understand whether you qualify for expungement of your criminal record. Expungement can be a lengthy and convoluted process, but getting help from an attorney can make it easier to get a fresh start.

Our Practice Areas

How Our Ocean County Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You

An Ocean County criminal defense attorney at William Proetta Criminal Law can begin fighting for you from the moment you contact us after an arrest. We will:

  • Explain what charges you’re facing and the potential penalties – Many crimes have similar names or definitions, but small distinctions can have a significant impact on what penalties you could be facing. We will also look into what prosecutor and judge are on your case to help you understand what to expect.
  • Examine the evidence against you and identify potential weak points – The legal standard for a criminal conviction requires the prosecution to prove you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By looking at the evidence against you, an experienced defense lawyer at William Proetta Criminal Law will work to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, which could lead to your charges being reduced or dropped.
  • File motions to suppress evidence obtained illegally – Criminal defendants are protected from illegal searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If any of the evidence in your case was obtained through illegal means, your defense lawyer can file a motion to have the evidence thrown out, which could have a major effect on your case.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to reach a plea agreement – Accepting a plea deal isn’t always the best option for criminal defendants, but there are times when it’s better to take the deal in exchange for reducing the penalties you may face. If this is in your best interests, we will help you negotiate for the best possible outcome.
  • Craft a defense strategy for trial – The majority of criminal cases never reach the trial stage, but it’s important to be prepared for a trial in case one is necessary. If your case does go to trial, your attorney can craft a strategy to give you the best possible chance of being acquitted.

Penalties for a Criminal Conviction

Broadly speaking, the baseline penalties for a criminal conviction in New Jersey are:

  • First-degree offenses – 10 to 20 years in prison, generally without a chance for parole
  • Second-degree offenses – Five to 10 years in prison
  • Third-degree offenses – Three to five years in prison
  • Fourth-degree offenses – Up to 18 months in prison
  • Disorderly persons offenses – Up to six months in jail
  • Petty disorderly persons offenses – Up to 30 days in jail

Additional Consequences of a Criminal Record in Ocean County

Jail time and fines aren’t the only potential consequences of being convicted of a crime in Ocean County. Other long-term consequences of having a criminal record include:

  • Difficulty finding a job
  • Being prevented from obtaining a loan for a car or home
  • Losing your driving privileges (temporarily or permanently)
  • Being forced to register as a sexual offender
  • Isolation from friends and family

Tips for Protecting Your Rights During and After an Arrest in Ocean County

You need to do whatever you can to protect your rights if you have been accused of a crime in Ocean County, New Jersey. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep quiet when you’re arrested, and don’t fight back against the police.
  • Take note of the officers’ names and badge numbers, if possible.
  • Ask to speak to an attorney as soon as you can after your arrest.
  • Don’t say a word about your case or answer any questions unless your attorney is present.
  • If you need to attend any court hearings, be respectful, dress appropriately, and follow your attorney’s instructions.
  • If you are released, don’t break any of the conditions of your release.
  • Do not discuss your arrest or share details of your case on social media.

Our Ocean County Criminal Defense Lawyers Stand Ready to Fight for You

If you are under investigation for a crime or have been arrested, you need help from a New Jersey criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law today to speak to an Ocean County criminal defense lawyer in a free and confidential consultation.

Our Clients
Say It Best
Best Defense Lawyer!

This is the second time I had Will represent me and both times he provided outstanding service. First and foremost he got the best results possible for me, using his expertise and experience. Further, he is extremely flexible with his time and always made me feel comforted that he was doing everything possible to give me the best defense. I would absolutely recommend him.

Our Clients
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Case Dismissed! Amazing Attorney 100%

No attorney could have done better than Mr. Proetta. We had to go to court 4 times but he stuck with it and on my 4th court appearance he even had to request a conference with the judge and prosecutor in private chambers – where he spent 15 minutes arguing on my behalf. The result was the judge reluctantly dismissed my case!!! Will definitely recommend him to all my friends and family.

Our Clients
Say It Best
Couldn’t Ask for Anyone Better

Will Proetta has helped my family since 2013. Every single case he has represented us has been above and beyond. Our 1st by Will would of been 1-3 yr jail time downgraded to a municipal ordinance. He is very honest and he truly works hard for an outstanding outcome.Our most recent case, Will represented us on weapon charges w/CDC & drug possession all dismissed, dismissed, dismissed. The astounded looks as we exit the courtroom was unbelievable. Will cares, he has so much knowledge and the respect in the courtroom giving and receiving. So much pressure was lifted off my shoulder to know we have Will & he calls or texts you back the same day when he becomes available. No lawyer will work as hard as he does. He is a Godsend.