Criminal Defense

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

 

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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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.
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  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.

 

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

 

2 Bayonne police brutality lawsuits settled for $335K

Two separate police brutality lawsuits filed against the Bayonne Police Department and city police officers were settled for a total of $335,000, according to a settlement agreement that was released today.

In one of the cases, Jason Rios sued Bayonne police over an incident on Aug. 29, 2010, in which he said police pepper-sprayed him, knocked him out cold, and arrested him for no reason. A police report said Rios acted in a “threatening manner.”

Read more..

 

NJ DWI Laws-Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits in NJ

If you are suspected of Driving While Intoxicated in New Jersey, the concerned officer will stop you and take you through a series of field sobriety tests. Your blood alcohol concentration or BAC will be determined by using a breathalyzer or blood test. It is important to be aware of the BAC limits under New Jersey law.

BAC Limitations and Penalties:

Drivers who are 21 and above

If you are of 21 years of age or older, and are caught driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher in New Jersey, you may be convicted of DWI. This standard is applicable to drivers who are legally allowed to consume alcohol.

DWI with a BAC of 0.08%-0.09% may carry a fine of $250-$400 with up to 30 days in jail, IDRC classes and a 3 month drivers license suspension. DWI with a BAC of 0.10% or higher may carry a fine of $300-$500, with a drivers license suspension ranging from 7 months to 1 year.

Drivers under the age of 21

If a driver under the age of 21 is caught with a BAC of 0.01% or 0.07%, he/she may be convicted of underage DWI. DWI with a BAC of 0.01%-0.07% may include penalties of 30-90 days license suspension and 15-30 days of mandatory community service.

Commercial (CDL) Licensed Drivers

Commercial drivers (holders of CDL licenses) who are driving commercial vehicles and whose BAC is 0.04% or higher may be charged with DWI. A DWI conviction may result in a suspension of their CDL license in addition to their driving license.

BAC Under the Limit Can Still Result In DWI

A BAC of less than 0.08% does not mean you can avoid a DWI charge. Police can decide you are intoxicated based on your performance in the field sobriety tests, your speech, other behavior and your driving conduct. If you have any amount of alcohol in your body that  affects your driving, you may still be charged with DWI.

Contact DWI Defense Attorney in NJ

If you have been accused of DWI and are in need of legal help, contact our New Jersey DWI defense attorney at The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC. We focus exclusively on DWI defense.  Call us today at (201)-273-7070 / (800) 889-3129 or email us at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

    In response to Megan’s Law, the Sex Offender Internet Registry Law, also known as Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), was enacted which requires certain sex offenders to register. This law was formed with the motive to create awareness of sex offenders by making their information public. Failure to register is a crime.
    A person who has been convicted, or found not guilty by reason of insanity for commission of a sex offense shall register as a sex offender.
    A person who fails to register as required under this act shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

Registration Requirements

    An individual who has been convicted of the following sex crime is required to register as a sex offender:

  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual assault of spouse
  • Molestation of a child or continuous sexual abuse of a child
  • Infamous crimes against nature
  • Lewd and lascivious acts
  • Indecent exposure and public sexual indecency
  • Taking a child for the purpose of prostitution
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Incest
  • Kidnapping, aggravated assault, murder, unlawful imprisonment, and burglary (when the offense includes evidence of sexual motivation)
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Violation of Sex Offender Registration statutes

    Penalty for Failure to Register as Sex Offender: Third Degree Crime

    Failure to register as sex offender is a third degree crime. If convicted, then the offender is liable for 3 to 5 years imprisonment.

Sex Crime Offense Defense Lawyer

If have been charged with failure to register as sex offender, then contact our experienced sex crime defense lawyer. The Law Office of Joel Silberman, LLC works to help you. Call us today at (201)-273-7070 and see what we can do for you.

We serve in Jersey City and Newark in New Jersey.

 
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