Bridgeton Criminal Defense Lawyer

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    When you are arrested and charged with a crime, you deserve competent legal counsel.  Your lawyers should closely examine the evidence against you and the police procedures used to find evidence and place you under arrest.  There are often things our attorneys can point to to get charges thrown out or at least reduce the available evidence the defense has to use against you.

    Our lawyers can also advise you of your rights, negotiate potential plea deals, and help you understand the potential consequences you could face for the crime you are alleged to have committed.  Our decades of experience can be put to work for you and hopefully get charges reduced and dismissed.

    For a free case review, call Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956 to speak with our criminal defense attorneys.

    Common Defense Strategies in Criminal Cases in Bridgeton, NJ

    Being arrested is not even the beginning of your case.  Depending on how the investigation started, there are many police procedures before the arrest that we can scrutinize, potentially throwing a wrench in the prosecution’s case before they can even bring it before a judge and jury.  When the case does go before a judge, there are many common legal arguments to make that might undermine the charges and potentially lead to dismissal, and when the case goes before a jury, we can make certain arguments to try to convince them to drop the case.

    Suppression of Illegally Obtained Evidence

    Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the police cannot search you, seize your assets, or seize (arrest) you without probable cause and a warrant.  There are many exceptions to the warrant requirement that might apply, meaning that they can seize evidence or arrest you on the spot, but they still need probable cause.

    If the police arrest you, take evidence from you, or search you without having probable cause, then any evidence they seize must be thrown out or “suppressed.”  This is the punishment that officers receive for illegal searches and seizures, and it applies downstream to any other evidence, arrests, or even confessions produced because of the illegal evidence under a doctrine called the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine.

    Under this rule, if a search or arrest was illegal, then any evidence obtained from that event is also suppressed.  For example, if you were searched without probable cause and they found drugs and a gun and you confessed to using the gun to shoot someone after being arrested, then the drugs, the gun, and the confession should all be suppressed.

    Miranda Violations

    If you were questioned while in police custody without being read your Miranda rights, then the interrogation is illegal, and all info obtained should be thrown out.  You have the right to be told what your rights are, and skipping this step is often grounds to get arrests and evidence thrown out.

    If you are interrogated and you are read your rights, but then the police continue to question you after you ask for an attorney or assert your right to remain silent, that should also lead to evidence being thrown out.  However, it is important to note that you ironically have to tell them out loud that you want to remain silent in order to activate this right.

    Improper Charging/Lack of Evidence

    Sometimes police and prosecutors get the law wrong.  This could mean that you end up being charged under a law that technically should not apply to you.  Police are not lawyers, and their initial charges might not be accurate, especially when it comes to intricacies of the law that many lawyers do not even understand.  Experienced prosecutors can even make mistakes, especially when the crime is rare or the code section used to charge you is often misunderstood or currently undergoing challenges in appeals courts or the Supreme Court.

    Sometimes the defense is as simple as asserting that the facts alleged do not actually violate the law.  This can often be tackled at a preliminary hearing or other early stages of the case, where we can ask the court to dismiss the charges before ever even empaneling a jury.  If the case gets to trial and the evidence presented in the prosecution’s stage of the trial does not legally support the claim, then we can move to have the case dismissed at that point as well.


    In many cases, a strong alibi is all that is needed to win the case.  Police and prosecutors are often reluctant to accept alibis, but when the judge’s or jury’s turn to analyze the facts comes around, they are often quite willing to accept a strong alibi.

    If you have proof that you were not present when the crime was committed or strong evidence that you were actually elsewhere, it could be the factor that seals the “not guilty” verdict in your case.

    Problems with Possession Charges

    In cases where you are charged with possessing something illegal – such as drugs, stolen property, guns, or child pornography – the prosecution needs to prove that you knew you had the items in question and that you legally “possessed” them.  Possession comes in two forms, the latter of which is simpler to challenge in court.

    One type of possession is “actual” possession, where the items are on your body, in your pockets, or in a bag you are actually carrying.  It is difficult to prove that you did not know you had something literally on your person, and allegations of actual possession often stick.

    However, they can alternatively try to use “constructive possession.”  Here, they must show that you knew the item was there and that you had access to it.  If the items in question were in a roommate’s closet, you might not have known they were there even if you could access the closet.  Alternatively, if they were in a roommate’s safe, you might not have known the combination and would not have had access.  Constructive possession is often used for cases where something is found in your car or house, but they still need to show you knew it was there, which can be the perfect weakness for our defense lawyers to attack.

    Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Bridgeton for Help Today

    Call us at (609) 616-4956 to speak with the Law Offices of John J. Zarych’s criminal defense lawyers in a free case assessment today.

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