Somerset County Criminal Defense Attorney

An arrest on any criminal charge can leave you stressed and uncertain about the future. You may face jail time, heavy fines, and long-term damage to your reputation. There’s also the intense psychological pressure that comes with being accused of a crime and waiting to see your fate. The best way to protect your freedom and rights is to get help from an experienced Somerset County criminal defense attorney. 

At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, our skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorneys will fight fiercely for the best possible outcome in your case. Often, we can get criminal charges reduced or even dropped. However, in cases where a plea deal is the best option, we negotiate for the minimum possible penalties so our clients can move forward with their lives as soon as possible.

Contact Us Today

Our highly experienced team can help you better understand the charges you’re facing and find the best way forward. Contact us today for a free and confidential case review with a trusted Somerset County criminal defense attorney.

Common Types of Criminal Cases We Handle in Somerset County

At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, our criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge and skills to tackle many criminal cases. Some of the more common issues we handle at our Somerset County criminal defense firm include the following:

  • Assault and threat crimes – Assault is causing someone harm or verbally threatening to cause them damage, either with a weapon or without. This is one of the most common violent crimes we see at our firm. While assault can be charged as a disorderly person’s offense (New Jersey’s equivalent of a misdemeanor), it’s usually charged as a felony and can carry a hefty jail sentence.
  • Domestic violence – New Jersey’s domestic violence laws cover a wide range of offenses against a spouse, romantic partner, child, roommate, or anyone else who lives with you in your household. These crimes include threats of bodily harm, acts of violence (with or without a weapon), harassment, stalking, kidnapping, and more. Some domestic violence actions can be considered disorderly person offenses, but more often, they’re charged as felonies. In addition to prison and fines, potential penalties for domestic violence offenses include losing custody of your children and being forced to surrender any firearms you possess.
  • Drug offenses – Possessing illegal drugs in New Jersey can be severe, depending on the drug and the amount in question. If you’re accused of trafficking or manufacturing illicit drugs, you could face even more severe criminal penalties. Possessing materials used in manufacturing, packaging, or selling illegal narcotics sometimes leads to significant penalties, even if you did not use or have the drugs themselves.
  • Weapons offenses – New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. There are tight regulations regarding who can buy guns, and firearms must be registered appropriately if you wish to carry them in public. Illegally possessing a weapon or not obtaining the proper permits is a crime, and the penalties for most crimes escalate considerably if they’re committed using a gun. You can even be charged with a crime simply for bringing a gun into the state without storing it correctly, even if you obtained it legally.
  • Sex crimes – Sex crimes can include a wide range of offenses. We defend clients against charges of sexual assault, unwanted sexual contact that does not involve penetration, sexual abuse of a minor or the elderly, sexual harassment, and statutory rape. Sex crimes carry some of the harshest penalties under New Jersey law, and you could be forced to register as a sexual offender if convicted. Other criminal penalties include substantial prison sentences and hefty fines.
  • Theft and fraud charges – New Jersey’s anti-theft laws cover many offenses. These include theft, robbery (taking someone’s property off their person), burglary (breaking into someone’s property without permission), and embezzlement. A related offense is a fraud, which is the crime of using deception or other illegal means to steal money from a business or other institution, such as an insurance company.
  • Juvenile crimes – State officials recognize that criminal offenders who are not legal adults should be treated differently in many cases, and the penalties for juvenile offenses are generally less severe than what adults would face for the same crime. That said, juveniles can be charged as adults in certain circumstances, so it’s still essential to take juvenile criminal charges seriously.
  • DWI/DUI charges – Driving while impaired or under the influence is a significant offense that could lead to losing your driving privileges, large fines, and jail time. You may be able to have a first-time DUI dismissed by completing a pre-trial intervention program, but repeat offenses will lead to more severe penalties. If you injure or kill someone with your car while impaired, you could be charged with assault or death by auto, both of which carry severe criminal penalties.
  • Traffic violations – Speeding, reckless driving, running a red light, failing to yield the right-of-way, and other traffic violations may seem minor. Still, they can carry significant penalties depending on the circumstances. Repeat offenses lead to heavy fines and the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
  • Expungements – Our law firm also works with people who want a criminal conviction wiped from their records. A felony on your criminal record has many adverse effects, from limiting your job prospects to blocking your access to credit for a new home or vehicle. New Jersey has procedures to let some offenders have criminal convictions expunged, but the requirements are strict and complicated. A Somerset County criminal defense lawyer from our firm can guide you through the process and help you fight for the clean slate you deserve.

Our Somerset County Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Make a Difference in Your Case

People who’ve never been accused of a crime often don’t know what a criminal defense lawyer does outside a courtroom. Here are some of the ways a Somerset County criminal defense lawyer can help if you’ve been accused of a crime in New Jersey:

  • Explaining your exact charges – Many crimes sound similar, but subtle distinctions can significantly affect the potential penalties you may face. For example, threatening someone could be charged as simple assault, a disorderly person’s offense. In contrast, assault with a deadly weapon is indictable and carries much harsher penalties.
  • Looking at the evidence for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case – Prosecutors have to prove you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” to convict you of a crime. A skilled criminal defense lawyer from our law office can examine the evidence and identify potential weaknesses in the case. We can also gather evidence and interview witnesses to support our defense.
  • Suppressing evidence obtained illegally – If any evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search or other illegal processes, our criminal attorneys can file a motion with the courts to have it thrown out. This can significantly weaken the criminal case against you and could lead to the charges being dropped.
  • Negotiating a plea agreement – In some criminal cases, the best option for defendants is to work out a plea deal with prosecutors. If this is the case, our experienced legal team will clarify why you should be given the minimum penalty under the law.
  • Crafting a thorough defense if your case goes to trial – Most criminal cases don’t go to trial, but you need a criminal defense attorney prepared to argue your case to verdict if necessary. Thorough trial preparation will put you in the best position possible, regardless of how your legal issue is resolved.

What Are the Penalties for a Criminal Conviction?

The penalties for a criminal conviction in New Jersey depend on the severity of the crime you’ve been charged with. Generally speaking, the potential penalties for a criminal conviction are:

  • First-degree offense – 10 to 20 years in prison, usually without the possibility of parole
  • Second-degree offense – 5 to 10 years in prison, with at least 3 years served before you may be eligible for parole
  • Third-degree offense – 3 to 5 years in prison with the possibility of parole
  • Fourth-degree offense – Up to 18 months in prison
  • Disorderly persons offense – Up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
  • Petty disorderly persons offense – Up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine

What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Having a Criminal Record?

In addition to jail time, fines, and other penalties, having a conviction on your criminal record can have other social consequences, such as:

  • Being unable to find a job
  • Losing access to credit
  • Ruining relationships with friends and family
  • Losing your driver’s license
  • Losing your right to own a gun
  • Affecting child custody
  • Having to register as a sex offender

There is so much at stake when you are charged with a crime. Let the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law fight for your freedom and future.

How Can You Protect Your Rights During and After an Arrest in Somerset County?

If you’ve been arrested in Somerset County, you must do everything you can to protect your rights as your case proceeds. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Don’t fight back if you’re arrested. Stay quiet and calm.
  • Ask for a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
  • Don’t say anything to the police without a lawyer present.
  • Make notes about the details of your arrest, including officer names and badge numbers.
  • If you’re granted bail, follow all the conditions ordered by the judge.
  • Do not post about your arrest or your case on social media.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Somerset County Now

If you’ve been arrested in Somerset County, you need a local criminal defense attorney who knows the courts and the prosecutors. Get in touch with Keith Oliver Criminal Law today to ensure your rights are protected. A Somerset County criminal defense lawyer from our law firm can review your case in a confidential and free consultation.