Being charged with a criminal offense is a stressful and often frightening time. However, you don’t have to face this alone. Working with a Middlesex, Monmouth, or Mercer County criminal lawyer can help you navigate the court process and build yourself a strong defense. A lawyer can help you understand the specifics of your charges and find ways to reduce or even dismiss them in court. A criminal lawyer will be on your side to protect your rights and give you the best possible defense when going to court.
What is a Criminal Lawyer?
When you get into any kind of legal issue, having a lawyer on your side is the best way to defend your case and protect your rights. However, each law firm and lawyer within often specializes in a specific type of law. This helps them provide better assistance for their clients. A criminal lawyer is one who has dedicated their practice to defending clients charged with criminal offenses.
What are Criminal Offenses?
A criminal offense is any act that violates a federal, state, or local municipal law. Federal criminal offenses can happen to anyone in any location, but some criminal offenses are specific only to the state or county/city you are in. A state or municipal law applies to anyone who is in that area, even if you don’t live there. For example, possession of marijuana may be legal in New Jersey, but if you take it across state borders to Pennsylvania, you could face possession of drugs charges.
There are two types of criminal offenses. Indictable offenses of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree are higher charges that result in a minimum of six months of jail time if convicted. Non-indictable offenses, commonly known as disorderly person offenses, are less severe and typically result in less than six months of jail time.
If you face any kind of criminal offense charges, working with a Mercer County criminal lawyer can help you build a strong defense and protect your rights in court.
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Common New Jersey Criminal Offenses
It can be difficult to separate criminal offenses between indictable and non-indictable categories. In some cases, a normally non-indictable offense can become an indictable offense, given the specifics of the incident and other factors. Common New Jersey criminal offenses include:
Criminal Mischief – N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 – Purposely, recklessly, or knowingly damaging the tangible property of another.
Criminal Trespassing – N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3 – Unlawful entry of a structure/property.
Disorderly Persons – N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 – Engaging in violent or tumultuous behavior or creating a hazardous or potentially dangerous situation that serves no legitimate purpose.
False Imprisonment – N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3 – Knowingly restraining another person in an unlawful manner.
Lewdness – N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4 – Any flagrantly vulgar and/or offensive act that a person knows or reasonably expects is likely to be observed by other non-consenting person(s).
Resisting Arrest – N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 – Purposely preventing a law enforcement officer from effecting a lawful arrest.
Under the Influence of C.D.S. – N.J.S.A 2C:35-10(b) – Being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (“C.D.S.”) apart from the treatment of sickness or injury as prescribed by a physician.
Restraining Order Violations (A.K.A Contempt Charges) – Knowingly violating the terms outlined in a restraining order.
Many common criminal charges in New Jersey are disorderly person offenses, but each case has the chance to become a higher charge depending on the specifics of the incident.
How a Mercer County Criminal Lawyer Can Help
If you face a criminal charge, you’ll want a criminal lawyer on your side. Working with a lawyer ensures that your rights remain protected during the trial. Even if you are under arrest, you still have certain rights as an American citizen. Some police officers or institutes may try to take advantage of the fact that many people don’t know their rights or may be too afraid to stand up for them. A criminal lawyer will help ensure you are treated fairly during the court hearing process.
A criminal lawyer will also be able to help you build a strong defense for your case. You may have noticed that many criminal charges include the words ‘knowingly’ or ‘purposefully.’ You may face charges of breaking a law you didn’t even know existed. Or you may have been forced to take illegal action to prevent injury or harm to yourself or others. Regardless of why or how it happened, a criminal defense lawyer can help you defend your case and fight for a better outcome.
Finding a Mercer County Criminal Lawyer
If you face criminal offense charges in New Jersey, a Middlesex, Monmouth, or Mercer County criminal lawyer can help. Attorney Leon Matchin has devoted his practice to defending his clients against criminal charges. Whether you’re facing a disorderly person charge or an indictable offense, he’ll help you build a strong defense and protect your rights in court. For assistance with your criminal charge case, call Attorney Matchin today at 732-887-2479. You can email him at [email protected] for a consultation. The sooner you contact an attorney after your charges, the better chance you have at forming a strong defense and getting the best possible outcome in your trial.