NJ Criminal Law
New Jersey criminal attorney John C. Grey, Jr. is aggressive in the defense of your misdemeanor or felony cases.
If you were recently involved in a criminal matter, such as fraud, racketeering or theft, our law firm can assist you with your case. Our attorney has worked with clients in many areas of criminal law and can help you examine your case.
TYPES OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES
Speeding tickets and motor vehicle violations are often treated as summary offenses under criminal law. These are regarded as smaller offenses. Violators usually pay a fine and/or suffer some points on their driving record. There are also local ordinances or municipal regulations such as unlawfully drinking alcohol on school grounds which are regarded as smaller summary-type offenses.
This category refers to criminal offenses which are significant enough to leave offenders with a criminal record, but not ranked as high as felony offenses. For example, in most places, drunk driving and minor drug possession are treated as misdemeanors. Depending on the crime and the state in which it is being prosecuted, a misdemeanor may result in a fine, a jail term, probation, community service, restitution or other kind of penalty.
Felonies are the highest category of crimes, and generally refer to such offenses as murder, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnap and arson. Federal and state criminal codes may list any number of other felonies. Certain kinds of drug offenses and weapons offenses are classified as felonies, as are a number of white-collar crimes involving criminal fraud, racketeering, and theft.
Criminal charges are generally filed by a prosecuting authority. The prosecuting authority may be known as the district attorney, United States attorney, state attorney, prosecutor or similar title. Although police may make an arrest and sign a criminal complaint form, it is actually the state attorney or prosecutor who is filing the criminal charges and prosecuting them.
Once charged with a crime, a party has a right to be represented by a New Jersey criminal attorney. Not everybody is entitled to a free New Jersey criminal lawyer. However, if you meet certain financial criteria, you may be entitled to a public defender. In some states, a public defender will be appointed for you if you cannot afford a private attorney. In some instances, you may be required to pay a small amount to the public defender for his or her services.
How You Plead
In all cases, you have a right to plead guilty or not guilty. You also have a right to raise as many defenses as are available under the circumstances of your case. Your New Jersey criminal lawyer may be able to obtain discovery and other evidence which will potentially prove you innocent of the crime. Such exculpatory evidence is crucial, and you should be sure that your attorney makes a proper motion, at the appropriate time, to obtain this evidence before you go to trial.
If you are guilty of a crime, and intend to plead guilty, you still may want to retain a New Jersey criminal attorney to assist you in obtaining the smallest penalty or the smallest sentence possible. In most cases, you will be given an opportunity to present evidence including documents, testimony and witnesses as to why you should be given a suspended sentence, a reduced sentence, or some other special dispensation because of the nature of the crime.
Any number of other motions may be available to you depending on the circumstances of your case. You may also want to engage in settlement discussions with the prosecutor. In an appropriate case, you may be eligible for a plea bargain in which you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge, in exchange for the state dropping its other charges against you.
Criminal cases have many technical elements. If you are charged with a crime, along with other persons, it may be necessary to consider whether you are all tried together or tried separately in individual court proceedings. You may wish to consider what witnesses are available to both you and the prosecutor. There may be questions as to whether a child, senior citizen or other person is competent to testify. In some cases, the insanity defense or other defenses may be available.
If you are not happy with the outcome of your criminal case, it may be possible to appeal. We have experience in these types of cases and can assist you with your appeal. The Law Office of John C. Grey Jr. stands ready, willing, and able to assist you.