Have you been arrested in Bridgewater Township? Are you facing criminal charges? Now might be one of the most stressful times of your life. A criminal conviction could affect everything from your career to your relationships to your fundamental freedoms. A Bridgewater criminal defense lawyer can help you face your charges.
When your future depends on the outcome of the charges you face, you can’t afford to leave things to chance. You need an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer to advise and defend you. At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we stand ready to protect your legal rights and advocate for your best interests as you face off against New Jersey’s criminal justice system.
Contact us today to learn how our Bridgewater Township criminal defense lawyers can help in a free, confidential case review.
What Kinds of Cases Our Criminal Defense Law Firm Handles
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we handle a range of criminal defense matters, including cases involving:
- Traffic violations
- DWI charges
- Drug offenses
- Assault and threat crimes
- Federal crimes
- Domestic violence
- Theft and fraud crimes
- Juvenile offenses
- Sex crimes
- Weapons offenses
- Money laundering
- White-collar crimes
If you face criminal charges of any kind in Bridgewater Township, NJ, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at Keith Oliver Criminal Law.
How Are Crimes Classified in New Jersey?
Most states use the terms “felony” and “misdemeanor” to classify criminal offenses. In New Jersey, criminal offenses that are equivalent to misdemeanors in other states are called disorderly persons offenses, while offenses that are equivalent to felonies are known as indictable crimes.
These classifications reflect the seriousness of the crime and the corresponding penalties under New Jersey’s justice system.
There are four levels of indictable offenses that differ based on the severity of the crime in question. The four degrees of indictable offenses are as follows:
- First-degree indictable crimes – The most severe crimes under New Jersey law. Examples of first-degree crimes include homicide, aggravated sexual assault, and robbery.
- Second-degree indictable crimes – These crimes are less severe but still carry significant penalties, including prison time and substantial fines. Examples of second-degree crimes include aggravated assault, burglary, and drug trafficking.
- Third-degree indictable crimes – These offenses include arson and unlawful possession of controlled substances.
- Fourth-degree indictable crimes – These are the least-serious indictable offenses. Examples of fourth-degree crimes include simple assault, stalking, and unlawful weapon possession.
Disorderly persons offenses are subdivided into two categories:
- Disorderly persons offenses – These offenses are more severe than petty disorderly persons offenses but less serious than indictable crimes. Examples include shoplifting, simple assault, simple drug possession, and resisting arrest.
- Petty disorderly persons offenses – These include trespassing, harassment, and public intoxication.
Bridgewater Township Municipal Court hears cases involving traffic violations, petty disorderly persons offenses, and disorderly persons offenses that occur within the territory of Bridgewater Township. If you have questions about a summons to Bridgewater Township municipal court, contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law to discuss your questions.
How Are Crimes Punished in New Jersey?
New Jersey law specifies the potential punishments for various types of crimes. For indictable offenses, possible penalties include:
- First-degree crimes – Ten to 20 years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines
- Second-degree crimes – Five to ten years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines
- Third-degree crimes – Three to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
- Fourth-degree crimes – Up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines
Criminal punishments for disorderly person offenses can include:
- Disorderly persons offenses – Up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines
- Petty disorderly persons offenses – Up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines
Are There Other Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in New Jersey?
While the immediate consequences of a criminal conviction are fines, prison time, and other punishments, a conviction can have long-term effects on your life. For example, a conviction could make it harder to get a job or get admitted to a college.
- Employment challenges – Many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with criminal records. A conviction could limit your future job opportunities. A conviction also could cost you a job if it results in the denial or revocation of a professional license or security clearance.
- Housing difficulties – Landlords routinely conduct background checks on prospective tenants. A criminal conviction could make it harder for those with criminal convictions to rent apartments or houses.
- Educational impact – If you’re attending or planning to attend school, a conviction could affect your eligibility for financial aid and prospects for college admissions.
- Loss of custody or visitation rights – A criminal conviction could lead to custody disputes or visitation restrictions if you have minor children.
Is My Criminal Record Permanent?
The New Jersey legal system has a process called expungement that allows individuals to have certain arrests or convictions removed from their records after specified periods of time. Your eligibility for expungement depends on several factors, including the severity of the crime on your record, the number of times you’ve been convicted, and the amount of time that has passed since you completed your sentence. Certain crimes, such as homicide and sexual assault, are not eligible for expungement.
Keith Oliver Criminal Law can discuss your eligibility for expungement of a criminal record and guide you through the process. If your conviction is expunged, it no longer appears on your public record, and you no longer have to report a conviction when filling out job applications.
How Can a Bridgewater Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
The criminal justice system can feel harsh and unforgiving, especially if you try to face it alone. Keith Oliver Criminal Law is here to guide you through this difficult time. Our experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyers understand your concerns and frustrations. We are committed to helping you protect your future. Each criminal case has unique factors. Based on your specific circumstances, our Bridgewater Township criminal defense firm will pursue the most favorable outcome possible, whether that involves a dismissal of charges, a diversion program, a plea to reduced charges, or a reduced sentence. We will analyze your case, develop an intelligent defense strategy, and fight for your rights every step of the way.
Remember, the police and prosecution are already building a case against you. You need the help of a skilled legal professional who can gather the facts and identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. With decades of focus on criminal defense, knowledge of the local court system, and personalized attention, our firm is ready to help you fight criminal charges.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing criminal charges or have received a court summons in Bridgewater Township, don’t wait to contact a criminal defense lawyer. Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law for a free case review. We are here 24/7 to answer your questions.