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How Can a New Jersey Defense Attorney Help You?

March 22, 2024 | Posted In Criminal Law |

Whether you are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI), another traffic violation or a serious criminal offense, you need to protect yourself by all means available. All types of offenses carry steep penalties under New Jersey law, and the financial costs alone can far exceed what most people can afford. Hiring an experienced New Jersey defense attorney is the first step—and while this might sound like the more expensive approach, it can save you a significant amount in the long run.

7 Ways an Experienced New Jersey Defense Attorney Can Help

Why is it worth hiring a New Jersey defense attorney to represent you? Here are just some of the ways an experienced attorney can help:

1. Helping You Avoid Costly Mistakes

Regardless of the specific charge (or charges) you are facing, you need to be very careful to protect yourself. There are lots of mistakes you need to avoid—and this is true from the moment you get arrested.

For example, one of the first (and most common) mistakes people make is missing their first court date. Not only can this limit the options you have available, but it can also lead to the judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are facing criminal charges in Superior Court, missing your first court date could also lead to an additional charge for failure to appear.

2. Determining What Defenses You Have Available

When you hire an experienced New Jersey defense attorney to represent you, your attorney will carefully evaluate all potential defenses in order to identify the specific defenses that you have available. Knowing how to approach your case is key, as different defenses apply in different circumstances.

From DUI to assault and other crimes, there are defenses to all charges under New Jersey law. The prosecutors assigned to your case must be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and any flaws or shortcomings in the prosecution’s case could be enough to entitle you to a pre-trial dismissal or a “Not guilty” verdict at trial.

3. Protecting (and Asserting) Your Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Constitution and the New Jersey Constitution protect suspects and defendants in New Jersey. If the police or prosecutors violate your constitutional rights, this can provide you with a defense regardless of the underlying facts of your case.

An experienced New Jersey defense attorney will be able to help protect your constitutional rights during your case. Your attorney will also be able to take legal action to assert your constitutional rights if necessary. Violations of your constitutional rights can entitle you to have key evidence withheld from trial (which can prevent prosecutors from meeting their burden of proof)—but it is up to you to assert your rights effectively.

4. Making Informed Decisions About How to Handle Your Case

Due to the risks you are facing, it is critical that you make informed decisions about how to handle your case. Pleading guilty is almost certainly not your best option, regardless of the facts at hand. Instead, your best option is most likely to be one of the following:

  • Seeking Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) – In many (but not all) cases, first-time offenders are eligible for New Jersey’s pre-trial intervention (PTI) program. If you enter into New Jersey’s PTI program, your case will be diverted from trial; and, if you complete the program successfully, your charge will be dismissed.
  • Negotiating a Plea Bargain – If you aren’t eligible for PTI and you don’t have a strong defense to the charge (or charges) against you, then it might be time to consider a plea bargain. Negotiating a plea bargain allows you to plead guilty to a lesser offense that carries lesser penalties and has fewer long-term consequences.
  • Fighting Your Charge (or Charges) in Court – From asserting constitutional violations to exposing flaws in the prosecution’s case against you, there are several ways to fight traffic violations and criminal charges in court. While going to trial will be necessary in some cases, it is possible to obtain a favorable result through pretrial filings in some cases as well.

An experienced New Jersey defense attorney will be able to provide the insights you need to feel confident in how you decide to approach your case. Once you decide, your attorney will be able to take all necessary legal action on your behalf while keeping you updated and informed throughout the process.

5. Negotiating a Plea Deal on Your Behalf if Warranted

If you decide that seeking a plea deal is the best approach to your case, your lawyer will be able to negotiate on your behalf. Negotiating a plea deal is not something that you want to try to do on your own. An experienced lawyer will be able to present a strong case for a favorable deal and advise you as to whether accepting a plea deal is in your best interests.

6. Representing You in Court if Necessary

If you are not eligible for PTI and accepting a plea deal is not in your best interests, then you will need to fight your case in court. This also requires experienced legal representation. From following the required procedures to building substantive legal arguments that will withstand scrutiny from prosecutors and the judge, there are several reasons why it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side.  

7. Minimizing the Consequences of Your Arrest (and Protecting Your Right to File an Appeal)

Ultimately, hiring an experienced New Jersey defense attorney is the best way to minimize the consequences of your arrest. While there are no guarantees, you are far more likely to achieve a favorable result with an experienced attorney on your side. Your attorney can also protect your right to file an appeal, and your attorney can help you decide whether to challenge the outcome of your trial if necessary.

Schedule an Initial Consultation with a New Jersey Defense Attorney Today

If you would like to know more about hiring a New Jersey defense attorney, we invite you to get in touch. To schedule an initial consultation at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., please call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can help online today.

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