When you’re indicted on criminal charges in New Jersey, it’s a moment filled with worry, fear, and uncertainty. Many convictions carry long incarceration terms and hefty fines, and you may feel concerned about what the indictment means for your immediate and long-term future. However, it is vital to remember that you are not alone in this fight.
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to providing robust and dedicated defense for individuals facing criminal indictments in New Jersey. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to learn more about how we can help you through this challenging time.
Understanding Criminal Charges and Indictments in New Jersey
What is a criminal indictment? What does criminal indictment mean? A criminal indictment is a formal accusation that starts a criminal case. It represents the conclusion of a grand jury investigation, where the investigators have presented evidence, and the jury has determined there is enough probable cause to charge someone with a crime.
In New Jersey, the criminal justice process commences with an arrest followed by the filing of a criminal complaint or indictment. A complaint often precedes an indictment in the criminal justice process. The primary difference between a criminal complaint and an indictment lies in who issues them. The victim or police typically issue a criminal complaint, while a grand jury issues an indictment.
Common criminal charges in New Jersey range from minor offenses like traffic violations to serious indictable offenses (called felonies in other states) such as assault, robbery, and even murder. The severity of these charges varies, and so does the ensuing legal process. If you are currently facing criminal charges in New Jersey, enlisting the services of our experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand what you are up against, as well as what you can do to protect your future and your liberties.
Rights of the Accused in New Jersey
The U.S. Constitution and New Jersey laws provide you with rights designed to ensure a fair trial and just treatment in the legal system. At the forefront of these rights is the guarantee of legal representation. You have the unassailable right to have an attorney stand beside you, representing your interests and advocating for you. Your attorney can guide you, provide advice, and use their knowledge and skill to implement a robust defense strategy.
Another vital right you hold is the right to remain silent. This constitutional protection is in place to guard against self-incrimination. The pressure during an arrest or interrogation can be intense, but it’s imperative to exercise this right. Remember, any statement you make to law enforcement can and likely will be used against you in court. Waiting to speak until your attorney is present ensures you don’t unintentionally jeopardize your defense.
You also have the right to a speedy trial and to confront and cross-examine witnesses against you. Furthermore, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, the burden of proof lies squarely on the prosecution’s shoulders. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime.
Navigating the Criminal Justice System: What to Expect
Being indicted is just the beginning of the journey through the criminal justice system. What happens after an indictment? The next step is the arraignment, where the prosecution will formally charge you in court, and you will enter a plea.
Following the arraignment, the pre-trial phase begins. Here, your defense attorney will challenge evidence, argue motions, and negotiate a potential plea bargain if that would be in your best interests.
A plea bargain, where you plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence or reduced charges, could serve as a favorable alternative to a trial. However, if a plea deal is unfeasible or undesirable, the case proceeds to trial, where a jury will determine your guilt or innocence. If the jury finds you guilty, the judge will determine your sentence.
While the process may seem daunting, remember that each step provides an opportunity for your defense attorney to challenge the case against you, seek the dismissal or reduction of charges, request a more lenient sentence if applicable, and advocate for your rights. A skilled defense attorney can guide you through this labyrinth, fighting every step of the way to seek the best possible outcome for your case.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal defense attorneys, like those at Keith Oliver Criminal Law, play a crucial role in balancing the scales of justice. We are not only legal professionals but also skilled strategists. Here are some of the functions an attorney can perform in your defense:
- Uncovering facts
- Identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Arguing motions to suppress evidence
- Negotiating plea deals
The objective is to put up a strong defense designed to secure the best possible outcome, whether that is dismissal of charges, reduced charges, minimum sentencing, or another favorable outcome. Choosing the right New Jersey criminal defense attorney could be the most consequential decision you make.
How Keith Oliver Criminal Law Can Assist You
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, our exclusive focus on criminal defense means we bring deep knowledge and extensive experience to your situation. We have a thorough knowledge of the nuances of New Jersey’s criminal justice system, ranging from minor traffic cases to serious indictable offenses (felonies). Our personalized approach to representation means we are here for you, always ready to answer questions and diligently fight for your rights.
We want to hear your side of the story because everyone deserves a fair opportunity to clear their name. With us, you are not just a case. You are a person seeking justice, and we are here to guide you.
Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law Today
Facing a criminal indictment in New Jersey can be a daunting experience, but remember, the right legal representation makes a significant difference. At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we are devoted to making a difference for you. We stand ready to assess your situation, identify the most effective defense strategies, and pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
If you are facing a challenging fight with the criminal justice system, take charge of your defense now and fight for your future. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options.