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Reasons for Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defense

There are many reasons why hiring a criminal defense attorney is beneficial for you. They understand the law better, have invested years of education in criminal justice and earned their experience in courtrooms. Regardless of whether they to help lower your penalties or avoid any other consequences, our attorneys are very prepared to handle your case.

The last thing you want is a criminal record following you for the rest of your life. A criminal defense attorney can help stop that from happening. With a good attorney by your side, you have a good chance to win the case or have it dismissed. If you are convicted, he or she can still appeal and ask the court to delete your conviction from your records, allowing you to live a normal life without worrying about a criminal record standing in the way of your job or social life.

When you are faced with a criminal charge, it is vital that you correctly handle all the documentation involved such as filing a plea bargain and submitting court documents on time. If you are handling the case on your own, it might be overwhelming for you to keep track of all the documents you need to bring to court. You may think that you are saving on the attorney’s fees, but a wrong step or a missed deadline for submission of documents could result in you losing your case. You would then have to face many more penalties, and have a much bigger price to pay. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with all the legal proceedings and, most importantly, keep you out of jail.

A criminal defense attorney can attempt to get your penalties lowered by getting a diversion or an alternate sentence. In case you want to settle your case by plea bargaining, only an expert criminal defense attorney can successfully negotiate a fair settlement with seasoned prosecutors. He or she can also protect you from improper attempts to get you convicted.

If you were to run into dishonest individuals trying to tamper or destroy your evidence, it would be very challenging to correct that on your own without professional help. An experienced defense attorney will know exactly what to do with people who are less than honest. An experienced attorney has access to professionals such as private investigators, medical practitioners and expert witnesses. They will help you uncover the truth, track down records and point out weak or contradictory statements.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, contact criminal defense attorney Joel Silberman right away. Joel and his team will provide an aggressive defense from start to finish and offer you the best chance to stay out of jail. For a free initial consultation, call us at 201-273-7070 or toll free at 800-889-3129. You can also email us at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defense

If you are facing a criminal charge, hiring the right defense attorney can help you deal with your criminal case more effectively. It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. However, choosing the right attorney can be challenging. When searching for the right attorney, look for someone who is experienced and can fight for you and protect your reputation and rights.

Here are several factors to consider when hiring a criminal defense attorney:

Location: Look for an attorney who is licensed to practice in your particular state because legal statutes may differ from state to state. This can also help with coordinating court appearances and increases your ability to meet your attorney in person to discuss your case.

Area of specialization: Every criminal defense attorney specializes in a specific area of criminal defense, such as DUI, theft, domestic crimes, violent crimes, etc. Hire an attorney who is specialized in your specific charges because he or she will be more experienced in that area of criminal defense.

The attorney’s reputation: Do not choose an attorney just because he or she charges less or because you are impressed with their advertising campaign. You can learn about the attorney’s reputation by researching reviews, testimonials and publications.

Look for someone who is respected by the judges and receives a good amount of referrals from clients and other attorneys.

The attorney’s fee: The fee is another factor that must be considered. Even though it is important to hire an attorney within your budget, hiring an inexpensive or inexperienced attorney may ruin your case. At the same time, a higher fee is not necessarily an indicator of quality. It is always to your benefit to research different attorneys and hire someone who meets all your qualifications and is within your budget.

The attorney’s level of communication: You may have a lot of questions as you move through the legal process. A good lawyer will take the time to explain things in a language you understand. Always choose someone who is friendly and easy to communicate with.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, you should contact us. We will provide you with an aggressive defense from start to finish, and will keep you informed regarding your case. To speak with us, call (800) 889-3129 or email at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com

 

Types of Defenses to Criminal Charges

Defenses to Criminal Charges

A person who has been charged with a criminal offense appears in court. If he or she pleads “not guilty,” the trial officially begins. In order to convict the accused, the prosecutor must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The court gives the defendant an opportunity to present a defense. However, the final decision rests in the hands of the judge or the jury. Here are some common defenses against criminal charges:

 
  1. Presumption of innocence
    According to the law, people accused of a crime are legally presumed to be innocent. This principle requires the prosecutor to prove the criminal defendant’s guilt. Due to the presumption of innocence, the defendant does not need to argue the case, present any witnesses, or do anything to prove innocence. If the prosecutor can’t convince the jury that the defendant is guilty, he or she goes free.
  2.  
  3. Proof beyond reasonable doubt
    Because of the serious consequences of a criminal conviction, a prosecutor must prove unequivocal guilt. In other words, the prosecutor must convince a judge or jury that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If a reasonable doubt exists relative to one or more elements of the crime that has been charged, the defendant can argue the case. If doubt remains or the ‘burden of proof’ has not been met, the defendant is given the benefit of the doubt and cleared of the charge.
  4.  
  5. The alibi defense
    In this defense, the defendant attempts to prove that he or she was somewhere other than the scene of the crime at the time the crime allegedly occurred. It seeks to prove that the defendant is innocent. For example, if the defendant was accused of committing a burglary at a certain date or time, the evidence to support the alibi might consist of family testimony and other evidence proving that he or she was at a different place.
  6.  
  7. Self-defense
    Self-defense is about the right to protect oneself or others from physical harm by using reasonable force or defensive force. It means the person doesn’t necessarily have to wait for the attack in order to act in self-defense. However, the force used should be reasonable under the circumstances. This type of defense is commonly used by defendants who have been accused of violent crimes, such as battery, assault with a deadly weapon or murder. The defendant admits violence, but attributes the crime to the other person’s threatening or violent acts. The core issues in most self-defense cases are:
  8.  
    • Who was the aggressor?
    • Where did the incident take place?
    • Did the defendant have a duty to retreat before using force?
    • Was the defendant’s belief that self-defense was necessary reasonable?
    • Was the force used by the defendant reasonable?
     
  9. Insanity defense
    In this defense, the defendant admits the offense, but seeks to absolve himself or herself from blame on the grounds of insanity. It is based on the principle that punishment is justified only when one is able to control one’s behavior and has the capacity to understand that one has committed a crime. This defense prevents people who cannot fully function in society from being criminally punished. An insanity defense case involves complex procedures and various tests to determine the truth of the claim.
  10.  
  11. Intoxication defense
    This defense depends on whether the intoxication was voluntary or involuntary, and whether the intent in question was clear and strong enough to merit a criminal charge. Involuntary intoxication can be a defense to criminal charges if the person was tricked or forced into consuming drugs or alcohol. Generally, voluntary intoxication does not excuse criminal conduct. However, some states have an exception to this rule. The defendant can argue that he or she was too drunk or high to have formed the intent to commit the crime. Specific intent can only be used as a partial defense in a case. It can be used to raise reasonable doubt about specific intent in a crime.
  12.  
  13. The defense of entrapment
    Entrapment occurs when the government or the law enforcement officers persuade a person to commit a crime by actually placing the idea in their mind. For example, the police may use overbearing tactics or coercion to induce someone to commit a crime. However, entrapment can be difficult to prove when a defendant has a prior related conviction. In addition, the defendant may be found guilty even if a government agent suggested or helped commit the crime if a judge or jury believes that he or she had the inclination to commit the crime.

Need a strong criminal defense? Contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC are dedicated to fighting for individuals who are facing Federal, State or Municipal charges. We will defend you and your loved ones against all types of violent crime charges. Call us today at (201) 273-7070 or (800) 889-3129 or email us at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Discretions of a Criminal Lawyer

Lawyer, judge and criminal

Criminal Lawyers, also known as criminal defense lawyers, defend individuals, organizations and entities that have been charged with a crime. They are responsible for providing the defendant with legal advice, counsel and representation during a criminal trial. Many criminal defense lawyers become involved at a very early stage in the criminal justice process, providing legal services even before criminal charges have been formally filed against a suspect. Many criminal lawyers also continue to work with a defendant even after trial to help them with post-trial legal issues like parole and probation.

Every criminal defense case is unique. The manner in which the criminal defendant acts and answers the questions that the prosecutor poses is important. Moreover, it is crucial for clients to tell their lawyer the complete truth. The best criminal defense strategy lies in the defendant and the criminal lawyer laying out a story that is based on the truth. Even if the defendant is guilty, if he or she honestly confides the truth to the lawyer, the lawyer can present the story in a better light. This could result in a plea bargain, or to the defendant being found guilty on a lesser charge.

Unfortunately, fearing exposure, many clients are reluctant to admit the whole story to their lawyers. They are not able to trust their lawyer fully, doubting if that will be to their advantage. There are certain discretions that a criminal lawyer has. Here are some facts and reasons why you can and should confide in your criminal lawyer:

  • If a defendant confesses to his lawyer that he or she actually committed the crime, the lawyer does not have to disclose the client’s confession of guilt to the court or to anyone else. The lawyer can advise the client to change his or her plea to guilty, but the defendant has immunity from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Moral and professional ethics bind lawyers from revealing statements made in confidence.
  • It is the responsibility of the criminal lawyer to advocate for the accused by doing everything within the law to clear the latter of the charges leveled against him or her. But, at the same time, it is not the lawyer’s responsibility to determine whether the client is guilty or innocent. Only a judge or jury can decide that.
  • The lawyer will advise the client on the various decisions the client must make about how the case will be handled. The lawyer will make sure that the client fully understands the consequences of all the decisions. But in the end, the client decides and bears all the consequences.
  • A criminal lawyer who is a private practitioner has the right to decline or accept a particular case. However, the accused has a right to legal counsel under the constitution. A court-appointed lawyer will represent the accused if he or she is not able to pay for legal representation.

Every lawyer is sworn to uphold a code of personal responsibility requiring them to represent the client to the best of their abilities within the parameters of the law.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, you can contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC. Call our toll free no. at (800) 889-3129 or email us at Joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.
We represent every case with commitment and dedication.

 

Guns & Weapons Offenses in Public Places

Guns in public places

Common sense says that having more guns and weapons in public increases the risk of violence. People carrying hidden, loaded handguns and other weapons in public create an unnecessary risk of intentional or accidental shootings. The presence of concealed guns increases the risk that commonplace disagreements will escalate into shootouts, especially in places like bars, sporting event venues and in traffic, where disputes frequently occur.

56% of Americans oppose laws allowing people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public places. However, state after state has adopted the “shall issue” or “may issue” gun laws that remove law enforcement discretion from the permission process. Weak laws permitting concealed weapons have radically increased the number of people who may carry hidden, loaded handguns.

New Jersey and New York require CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permits. Applicants must demonstrate good cause or a justifiable need to carry a concealed weapon. New Jersey and New York are among the “may issue” states that require applicants to complete a firearm safety course, or otherwise demonstrate their qualification to use a firearm safely. New Jersey also requires that three reputable persons who have known the applicant for at least three years certify that the applicant is of good moral character and behavior. On the other hand, New York requires the licensing authority to ascertain that the applicant is of good moral character.

According to the Violence Policy Center analysis of news reports, CCW permit holders have killed at least 14 law enforcement officers and 622 private citizens since May 2007. These tragic incidents include 27 mass shootings and 39 murder-suicides.

In a 2010 nationwide poll, a majority of Americans opposed laws allowing people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public places. Nine out of ten Americans oppose laws allowing guns on college campuses or in bars, restaurants, stadiums, hospitals or government buildings.

The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

Are you being investigated for, or being charged with federal gun-related offenses? Often the government’s seizure of weapons involves search warrants and warrant less searches. The Law Offices of Joel Silberman prides itself on examining the legality of every case and pursuing the appropriate motions. Call our toll free number at 800-889-3129 or email us at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com

 

Potential Defenses to Domestic Violence

domestic violence defense
Domestic violence charges are very serious and its conviction can carry serious consequences. If you have been wrongly accused of committing an act of domestic violence, a strong domestic violence defense is essential in protecting your reputation and freedom. Here are some potential defenses to domestic violence:

Wrong suspect: You can defend yourself by establishing that someone else was responsible for the abuse and not you. There are a number of ways to establish your innocence, such as presenting evidence as to whether you were near the scene of the alleged incident and whether you had a reliable alibi.

Self-defense: You may make a claim that your action was in self-defense or to protect your children. A claim of self-defense may work if you reasonably perceived an imminent threat, had a proportional response, and were not the initial aggressor.

Deliberate and false allegations: Sometimes, an accuser may make false allegations of abuse against partners out of spite. This is generally common in child custody and divorce cases. To turn away a conviction stemming from false allegations, your defense attorney will try to search for inconsistencies in the accuser’s story by comparing it to police records and witness accounts.

Consent: Although very uncommon, if the accuser gave consent to the act, then that same consent may work as a defense against a domestic violence charge.

Accused of Domestic Violence in NJ? Contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

If you have been accused of domestic violence in New Jersey, you should speak with our NJ domestic violence attorneys right away. Our experienced attorneys will provide valuable guidance throughout your case, while protecting your fundamental rights. Call us at (800) 889-3129 or email at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Penalty for a DUI Charge

DUI

Like any other criminal charge, a person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is presumed innocent until he/she is proven guilty. If you are found guilty, the penalty will depend on the state law, as well as on any other circumstances, e.g., if there was an open bottle of liquor in the car; and your cooperation with the police. The following are the penalties for a DUI charge:

Jail Time

In all states, first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. This jail time can be increased under certain circumstances. In some states, if the blood-alcohol content at the time of arrest was very high and crossing the legal limit of 0.08%, the punishment can be more severe.

In most states, a minimum jail sentence of at least several days on a first offense is required. Subsequent offenses will result in a jail sentence of several months to a year.

For a DUI that is a felony because either the driver killed or injured someone, or because it’s your third or fourth DUI, a jail sentence of several years can be given.

Fines

Courts also impose high fines for a DUI in addition to a jail sentence. This can range from $500 to $2,000.

License Suspension

Your license can be suspended for a considerable period of time. In many states, a first time offender’s license can be suspended for 90 days. A second time offender’s license can be suspended for one year; and a third time offender’s license can be suspended for three years. If you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, it can result in license suspension. In some states, if you are a repeat offender, you may not be allowed to get back on the road. Your registration can be canceled temporarily or permanently and the state may confiscate your car.

Young Offenders

In most states, the legal drinking age is 21. A minor who is arrested for driving while under the influence will not get any respite from punishment. Adult sentences on minors can be imposed, and their license suspended for one year.

Other Forms of Punishment

In many states, a court sentence may include alcohol education and prevention programs, rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, assessment of a person for alcohol or drug dependency, and community service or victim restitution. If you are a first time offender, these programs can be recommended instead of jail time or paying fines.

Other Consequences

Your insurance company may also cancel the insurance policy or increase the rates because of the mark on the driving record. A DUI charge stays on a person’s driving record for many years. If your license is suspended, the insurance company may cancel the insurance policy.

Get in Touch with Defense Lawyer from The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

After being convicted under DUI charges, you can still protect your rights. You have the right to contact your DUI defense lawyer. We will work to protect your rights, and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious criminal conviction. Get in touch with The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC You can call us at (800) 889-3129 or email us at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?

Plea Bargain

A plea bargain is an agreement, between the defendant in a criminal case and the prosecutor, to resolve the case before it reaches trial. Usually, the defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge, a more lenient sentence, or dismissal of certain charges. Usually, prosecutors and judges offer plea bargains to move cases quickly through the system while still getting convictions. Guilty pleas can often be arranged in minutes, while trials can take days, weeks, or sometimes months. Choosing whether or not to accept the bargain depends on the circumstances of your case. Before accepting a plea bargain, ask the following questions:

  1. Is this offer really in my best interest?
  2. Facing a criminal charge can be a terrifying, stressful, confusing experience. It is easy to give in to quick solutions to end the process. Although the offer looks good, prosecutors are not interested in representing your best interests. In addition, there are many consequences for accepting a plea bargain, such as a criminal conviction. Therefore, you should analyze whether the plea bargain is in your best interest. A criminal defense attorney can determine whether the plea will improve your case, or whether taking the case to trial is a better option.

  3. Does the plea really offer a bargain?
  4. In a plea bargain negotiation, judges and prosecutors offer the defendant incentives to accept the deal. The main benefits include receiving a lighter sentence for a less severe charge, quick resolution, or getting out of jail. Before accepting the offer, you need to analyze whether the deal is worth taking.

  5. Have I talked to my attorney?
  6. Unlike judges and prosecutors, a criminal defense attorney represents your interests. A criminal attorney is familiar with criminal law and legal procedures. He or she can determine whether the plea bargain offer is worth taking. An attorney can determine whether the case filed against you can be disputed. If the case is strong, he or she may be willing to take the case to trial. A criminal defense attorney can also determine whether the plea bargain is a better deal.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

The Law Offices of Joel Silberman is proud to protect the innocent from criminal prosecution. If you have been charged with a crime, we can defend you and determine what your best course of action is. Call us today at (201)-273-7070/(800) – 889-3129 or email at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Most people who face criminal charges prefer not to go to jail. When presented with a plea bargain, they easily accept the offer in order to avoid the expenses and publicity of a trial. However, before accepting a plea bargain or pleading guilty, you should be aware of the potential impact of a criminal conviction. Defendants convicted of a violation or crime, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, can have a criminal record that will follow them wherever they go. There are many long-term consequences of a criminal conviction, including the following:

  1. Employment
  2. A criminal conviction can affect your employment opportunities. It can hinder your chances of developing a career and earning an income. Some employers have policies that prohibit applicants convicted of certain crimes such as fraud, dishonesty, theft or violence. In addition, some convictions can hinder you from pursuing certain careers. For example, some schools will not hire individuals convicted of a sex offense.

  3. College admissions
  4. Some colleges may deny you admission into an educational program if you have a criminal record. It can also hinder you from receiving federal student loans. You may be ineligible to use FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you have been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs.

  5. Housing
  6. Most landlords conduct a background check before renting a property. A criminal conviction can affect your eligibility for both public housing and private housing. In addition, subsidized housing programs use federal rules to decide who is eligible for assistance. Housing agencies can deny admission to people with a past criminal record, as well as to their entire family. Criminal records that can be grounds for denial include drug conviction, sex crime convictions, and violent crimes.

  7. License
  8. Having a past record of criminal conviction can affect your professional license. Many jobs, including positions in a governmental office, education, medicine, and law require a person to maintain certain ethical standards. In addition, having a history of traffic violations can cause your license to be suspended or revoked.

  9. Immigration
  10. Individuals who are not citizens, or illegal immigrants, can be evacuated from the country if they are charged with serious criminal offenses. A criminal history can also result in the denial of your citizenship and your re-entry into the country.

  11. Social Consequences
  12. Criminal convictions can affect your social status and interpersonal relationships, including a romantic relationship, or your relationship with your co-workers, friends, and members of your family.

  13. Voting
  14. In some states, defendants, convicted felons or people with a history of felonies are not allowed to vote.

Charged with a crime? Contact the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

If you are accused, charged, or arrested for a crime in New Jersey, then you will need an experienced and aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney to fight for you. The law offices of Joel Silberman, LLC focuses exclusively on criminal defense. We have a reputation for aggressively representing individuals facing Federal, State, and Municipal charges. Call us today at (201)-273-7070/(800)-889-3129 or email at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com

 

What to Expect from a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal law

If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense and are looking at some serious penalties or time in prison, you will want to have the best criminal defense lawyer by your side. A criminal defense lawyer is experienced, and is an expert in the field of criminal law. He or she may be able to make certain arguments and spot certain factors that could mitigate or even negate any potential crime. Hence, getting a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in your criminal trial is a necessity.

A criminal defense lawyer can call witnesses in your defense and cross-examine witnesses that the prosecution puts forward. In addition, a criminal defense lawyer may also:

  • Figure out a good sentencing program on your behalf. If you are found guilty, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to work the sentence in such a way that would prevent you from winding back up in the criminal justice system.
  • Work with you and the prosecutor to negotiate a “deal”. This deal is also known as “plea bargain”. A plea bargain can often reduce potential sentence or eliminate some or all of the charges brought against you.
  • Help you with the emotions that come with criminal trials. Criminal prosecutions may often make a defendant feel embarrassed, depressed, and fearful and suffer from low self-esteem.
  • Provide you with a reality check. A criminal defense lawyer often knows the situation better than you will during the criminal trial. He or she can offer insights into how the trial is actually going on and what will likely happen in the future.
  • Point out important legal rules and regulations about criminal prosecution. There are many rules and laws that are buried within regulations and laws, and even prior court opinions. A criminal lawyer knows all these rules and regulations.
  • Spend more effort and time on a case than a defendant who chose to represent himself.
  • Gather evidence and statements from witnesses that are going to be called by the prosecution. Sometimes, witnesses may refuse to give a statement or information to people that were allegedly involved in a crime for their safety. However, they may be willing to talk to an attorney.
  • Find and hire investigators on your behalf to not only investigate the alleged crime but also investigate the witnesses that the prosecution is going to call to the stand. If the investigators can find valid evidence, this could help your case tremendously.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, call The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC for help. We will provide you an aggressive defense from start to finish, and will keep you informed regarding your case. For a free initial consultation, call us at (800) 889-3129 or email at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 
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