How Can Our Monmouth County Criminal Defense Attorneys Help You?
As defense attorneys, we know there is no such thing as an open-and-shut case. There are many opportunities and angles to build out a defense in every situation. A Monmouth County criminal lawyer from Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help you by:
- Explaining your charges and legal options so that you are able to make decisions that best serve your interests at each stage of the case
- Investigating the facts of your case so that we are not relying solely on the evidence supplied by the prosecution. This may allow us to find additional evidence or witnesses to help with your defense.
- Identifying and pursuing effective factual and legal defenses on your behalf, including by filing motions to exclude unlawfully obtained, irrelevant, or unreliable state’s evidence.
- Moving to reduce or dismiss your charges to test the sufficiency of the prosecution’s case.
- Pursuing negotiations with the prosecution to try to secure a favorable plea deal that avoids harsh penalties for a conviction, when appropriate to do so.
- Advocating your case at trial should you choose to fight your charges and maintain your innocence.
Every case is unique and requires a defense strategy to match. This is why we prioritize getting to know our clients and their goals and concerns. That gives us the insight to best represent them throughout the defense process.
Contact us now to learn how our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys can help you.
Understanding the Penalties for a Criminal Conviction in New Jersey
Criminal offenses in New Jersey fall into one of two grading classifications: disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes. Disorderly persons offenses are usually called misdemeanors in other jurisdictions, while indictable crimes are equivalent to felonies in other states. The penalties that are imposed for a criminal conviction in New Jersey depend on the grading of the offense. Sentencing ranges include:
- Petty disorderly persons offense: Up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Disorderly persons offense: Up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Fourth-degree crime: Up to 18 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $10,000
- Third-degree crime: Three to five years in prison and a potential fine of up to $15,000
- Second-degree crime: Five to 10 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $150,000
- First-degree crime: Up to 20 years in prison (although certain offenses can have maximum terms ranging from 25 years to life) and a potential fine of up to $200,000
Other sentencing terms that courts can impose for a criminal conviction in Monmouth County include:
- Probation, which may be added on top of or sentenced in lieu of a term of incarceration
- Court costs and fees
- Restitution paid to the victim(s) to compensate them for financial losses caused by the crime
- Community service
- Behavioral or drug/alcohol abuse counseling
- Community supervision, which can require a released offender to regularly report to law enforcement
- Sex offender registration requirements for a conviction on a sex-based offense
Long-Term Consequences of Having a Criminal Record
Even after an individual has completed all the terms of a sentence – including incarceration, probation or community service, and fines and restitution – they may find that they face additional consequences from their conviction. A criminal record can have long-lasting impacts on a person’s life, particularly when they apply for:
- Educational opportunities
- Credit or other financial services
- Certain government benefits
A criminal record for an indictable crime or certain disorderly persons offenses can also disqualify an individual from lawfully owning firearms or from being eligible to apply for employment with law enforcement agencies or the judiciary.
Finally, a criminal record that includes certain sex-based offenses will also mean that an individual needs to register as a sex offender, potentially for the rest of their life. Since sex offender registries can be accessed online by the public, registrants may have to deal with the social stigma that comes with being designated a sex offender.
Tips for Protecting Your Rights During and After an Arrest in Monmouth County
The things you do after being arrested in Monmouth County can impact the outcome of your eventual criminal case. If possible:
- Do not attempt to resist arrest or flee from law enforcement. Even if you believe you have not committed a crime, trying to prevent your own arrest is itself a criminal offense.
- Remain calm and respectful toward the officers, but politely assert your rights.
- Once you have been arrested, inform the officers that you intend to exercise your right to remain silent and politely decline to answer any questions about any criminal offense.
- Also, inform the officers that you want to exercise your right to speak with an attorney before any questioning begins.
- If you are released after your arrest, collect and preserve any important information or documents relevant to your charges, such as photos, records, emails, or text messages. If you are detained pending trial, have your attorney or a family member gather this evidence on your behalf.
- Even if you do not speak to an attorney while in police custody, you should talk to a Monmouth County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your release. Early representation is crucial to your defense.
Talk to a Monmouth County Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Monmouth County, time is of the essence. Criminal cases can move quickly, and you have important legal decisions you need to make. Don’t wait to get the legal representation you need. Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law today for a free, confidential case evaluation with a Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer.