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Criminal Law


Courtesy of New Jersey LawSite members, Schwartz & Posnock
 

 

 

1. What should I expect to happen after I’ve been charged with a criminal offense?

Most often, however, charges have already been filed against you before you seek the services of an attorney. In those cases, we will immediately advise you of certain steps to take to eliminate the chance that your own conduct and statements will help the prosecution build its case against you. For example, it is extremely unlikely that speaking with a law enforcement official or prosecutor will help your case. You need to know your rights. In particular, you have the right to remain silent. An individual never has an obligation to speak to a police officer, detective or investigator. If it is determined that speaking with law enforcement investigators is in your best interests, our attorneys will represent you in all interactions with law enforcement.

2. Who conducts the investigation on my behalf?

Success in a criminal case may often depend on the effectiveness of the investigation conducted on your behalf. We work with experienced criminal investigators and will start our investigation process as soon as possible. If an opportunity to develop your own defenses is lost, a witness may disappear, or a memory may fade. The availability of key documents which may support your defense must be obtained at the earliest possible moment, or the document may be lost. Cell phone records are particularly difficult to obtain after several months due to a cellular carrier’s short record retention times. In a criminal case, timing can be everything. Our investigators know how to “hit the street” and find witnesses. We will run a full background check on the witnesses who have accused you of criminal activity to develop impeachment evidence.

3. What makes a crime a Federal crime?

Crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the federal government often concern an alleged fraud facilitated by the use of the U.S. Mail or a commercial mail carrier such as Fed Ex, or by phone or fax. Federal fraud charges may involve the misappropriation of federal funds by false billing of Medicare, billing a government agency such as the EPA or Department of Defense for false or inflated services or goods, or loan / mortgage fraud involving HUD insured loans. Federal fraud charges may involve alleged schemes to misappropriate private funds as well. The list of federal criminal and regulatory offenses gets longer with each Congressional session. If you are contacted by a federal law enforcement agent, such as an FBI agent, postal inspector, treasury agent, or Secret Service agent, you may be the target of an on-going federal criminal investigation.

A request by a law enforcement investigator to give an interview is not an order compelling you to do so. If you are approached by an agent, it is best to request an opportunity to speak with an attorney first – which the agent must honor – before you decide what is in your best interests.

4. I have not been charged, but I suspect I am under Federal investigation. When should I retain a lawyer?

Very often, you will learn that you are the target of an on-going federal criminal investigation through direct contact from federal law enforcement agents, or from law enforcement contacts to your co-workers, or associates

At this point, it is imperative to engage an attorney to contact the investigating agents or the Assistant United States Attorney handling the case. The early stage of a defense attorney’s involvement in a case is primarily focused on gathering as much information about the investigation as possible. The early stages will involve an analysis of whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you with a crime. Your attorney should conduct a prompt investigation of the facts of the case and explore all avenues leading to defenses of the potential charges. No decision to cooperate in an investigation should be made without the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.

 5. My child was arrested for a rather serious crime. How does the Court deal with a minor?

As juvenile defense attorneys, we act as your child’s voice in court, recommending care, treatment and guidance consistent with your child’s best interest. We will arrange appropriate psychological services and counseling. In many instances, we can resolve your child’s case by way of a deferred disposition, which will prevent him or her from obtaining a juvenile delinquency adjudication. We will aggressively seek to minimize the impact of a juvenile court charge upon your child. We will also work to expunge your child’s record of juvenile convictions.

If, based on your child’s age, juvenile delinquency record, or seriousness of the crime alleged, the State seeks to treat your child as an adult, our juvenile court attorneys will fight to keep the prosecutor from waiving the case to the adult Criminal Court, where the consequences – and jail sentences – are much more severe.

6. Will the Court treat my child as an adult?

If, based on your child’s age, juvenile delinquency record, or seriousness of the crime alleged, the State seeks to treat your child as an adult, our juvenile court attorneys will fight to keep the prosecutor from waiving the case to the adult Criminal Court, where the consequences – and jail sentences – are much more severe.

We are familiar with Juvenile Court procedure, and will fully investigate your child’s case, aggressively represent him or her, and work with you and your child to find the best possible solution to his or her problem.



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Finding the appropriate New Jersey lawyers for your particular legal need is the purpose of this site. You may find them by searching by County, or by practice area in New Jersey law, or use our onsite search engine. This page lets you view FAQs on various New Jersey law written by the members of New Jersey LawSite.