Getting convicted of a crime in New Jersey can have consequences in all aspects of your life. Your finances, your ability to work, your ability to spend time with your children, your reputation and your freedom can all be on the line—and they can all be gone in an instant if you don’t hire a New Jersey defense attorney to help you.
But, while you have a lot at stake if you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you also have a chance to avoid unnecessary consequences. You can hire a New Jersey defense attorney to fight your charges and work closely with them to defend yourself by all means available.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Charged with a Crime in New Jersey?
While there are several possible defenses to criminal charges in New Jersey, defending yourself is not an easy task. It requires thorough knowledge of the law, and it requires dedication to ensuring that you achieve the best outcome possible in light of the circumstances at hand. With this in mind, below is an overview of some of the key steps for avoiding unnecessary consequences as a criminal defendant in New Jersey.
1. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
As a criminal defendant, you should exercise your right to remain silent. This means that you should not discuss your case with the police, prosecutors, or anyone else involved in the criminal justice system. Prosecutors can use any information you share voluntarily, and even statements that may seem harmless could potentially create significant problems for your defense.
At this point, you should avoid discussing your case with anyone else as well. This includes family members, friends, coworkers and anyone else who may be facing charges alongside you. In fact, from this point forward, you should only discuss your case with your New Jersey defense attorney.
2. Think About Everything That Has Happened
When facing criminal charges, it can be easy to focus on your immediate circumstances. This is especially true if you have been detained pending trial. But, when it comes to building your defense, it is important to take the time to think back to everything that has happened.
This includes the circumstances leading up to your arrest, what happened during your arrest, and what has happened since. There are several different types of defenses to criminal charges—including defenses that involve police mistakes. So, while the underlying facts of your case are important, what the police did during and after your arrest is extremely important as well.
3. Talk to a New Jersey Defense Attorney
You should talk to a New Jersey defense attorney about your case as soon as possible. There is work that your defense attorney will need to do right away, and you will want your defense attorney to represent you in court during your arraignment. When you are facing fines, jail time and other consequences, hiring an experienced defense lawyer is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Just because you may have committed the crime(s) charged, it does not mean that you will be convicted of it when you work with an experienced attorney. An experienced New Jersey defense attorney is frequently able to have the charges dismissed, reduced or is able to get a less harsh conviction result.
4. Make Sure You Know Your Court Date
Speaking of your arraignment, you need to make sure you know your court date. If your arraignment has already happened, you need to know when you are required to show up in court next. Not only is showing up on time and prepared crucial for your defense but missing a court date can also potentially lead to an additional charge for failure to appear.
Your defense attorney will be able to assist with determining your next court date, and your attorney will also be able to represent you in court. This means communicating with prosecutors and the judge on your behalf, and it means helping you avoid mistakes (such as pleading guilty or giving a confession) that could leave you with no way out.
5. Be Prepared for What Is To Come
Fighting criminal charges is a process that a New Jersey defense attorney will explain in detail once they’ve been hired. There are several steps involved—including many steps that will take place well before your trial. All are critically important, and you need to make sure you are prepared to do everything necessary to avoid unnecessary consequences. While your defense attorney will take many steps on your behalf (such as filing motions in court), you should be prepared to remain actively involved in the process as well.
6. Avoid Making Flawed and Misguided Assumptions
Too often, criminal defendants make costly mistakes because they are relying on inaccurate information. With all that you have at stake, you cannot afford to make any flawed or misguided assumptions. Therefore, before you do anything that could potentially impact your criminal case, you should consult with your defense attorney to make sure you have an accurate understanding of the law.
7. Work Closely with Your Defense Attorney
This brings up another important point: When you are facing criminal charges, you should not hesitate to contact your defense attorney whenever you have questions, concerns or information to share. Building an effective defense is a collaborative process, and you and your attorney will need to work well together. You should choose a defense attorney you trust, and you should not have any reservations about discussing any aspect of your case with your defense counsel.
Likewise, you should respond promptly whenever your defense attorney contacts you. You don’t want to leave your attorney waiting on you for information. By working with your attorney to build a strong defense as efficiently as possible, you can feel confident that you are doing everything you possibly can to minimize the consequences of your arrest.
Talk to a New Jersey Defense Attorney About Your Case
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys about your case. To schedule a confidential consultation with a New Jersey defense attorney at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can reach you online now.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending criminal cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.