Brigantine is one of the most popular South Jersey beach towns, bringing in swaths of tourists from the surrounding area each summer. While the vast majority are able to soak up the sun and have some fun without issue, things on vacation can, unfortunately, get out of hand sometimes, and the fun can turn into a nightmare if you find yourself arrested in an unfamiliar place. However, there are concrete steps you can take in the immediate aftermath of your arrest to protect your rights, the most important of which is to retain a skilled, local attorney as soon as possible.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our battle-tested Brigantine, NJ criminal defense lawyers have years of experience in the local court system successfully defending clients against all sorts of criminal charges. Whether you are a year-round resident or a seasonal visitor, we will be by your side for each stage of your case, and will work tirelessly to use our skills and experience to get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed. For a free consultation, call our office today at (609) 616-4956.
Veteran Pre-Arrest and Arrest Attorneys in Brigantine, NJ
If prior to an arrest or citation, the police try to speak with you or search your home or other property without a warrant, even if they claim you are not a suspect, you should not allow them to do so until you have contacted a skilled Brigantine, NJ criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych who can advise you on how to proceed. Most of the time, we will advise you not to say anything or consent to a search, at least until we are present. Even if the officers have a warrant, contact us right away so we can be sure that it was not issued in a faulty way and that the officers do not exceed the scope of their search.
For some lesser crimes or infractions such as underage drinking, rather than making an arrest, the officer may simply write you a citation with a court date and send you on your way. It is important that you not throw this citation into a drawer and forgot about, as missing a required court appearance could lead to a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. Instead, contact us as soon as possible after you receive the citation, so we can reach out to the prosecutor and try to get the matter resolved in a single appearance. Most times, you will be arrested if the officers believe you have committed a crime. You are not required to consent to a search or to speak to the officers without a lawyer present even after you have been placed under arrest. Post-arrest, you will be taken to the local police station for the booking process, where you will be photographed and fingerprinted and then kept in the holding cell until your bail hearing, which will occur within 48 hours in almost all cases.
Do You Need a Criminal Lawyer for a Bail Hearing in Brigantine, NJ?
The quicker you contact a skilled New Jersey bail hearing attorney after your arrest, the better chance we will have to be prepared to appear with you at this hearing and make the most persuasive argument for your release. Since New Jersey basically eliminated cash bail in 2017, these are technically called “detention hearings” now, and the judge makes a release decision based on a holistic series of factors including your criminal record and flight risk rather than on your ability to pay. Our seasoned detention hearing attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych know how to make the best case for your release without any cumbersome conditions like weekly reporting to the court or attending mandatory drug or alcohol counseling.
How Can an Attorney Help Drop Disorderly Persons and Indictable Offense Charges in Brigantine, NJ
How the case will proceed after the detention hearing depends on whether you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense, NJ’s version of a misdemeanor, or an indictable offense, NJ’s version of a felony. For the less serious disorderly persons offense charges in Brigantine, your arraignment will take place at your initial appearance, at or around the same time as your detention hearing. You will be asked to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty, and an experienced attorney for a criminal arraignment like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych will likely advise you to enter a not guilty plea while we request any outstanding evidence, file any relevant motions like a motion to exclude evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure, and try to work out a plea deal with the prosecutor. Disorderly persons cases take place in the municipal court, and, if you choose to take the matter to trial, it will be a bench trial before a single judge who rules on guilt or innocence rather than a jury trial.
For indictable offense cases, the prosecutor must first take their case before the grand jury, who must vote by a majority that there is probable cause to indict you. Once an indictment has been issued, only then will you be arraigned. Unless we have worked out a deal with the prosecutor, we will likely advise you to enter an initial not guilty plea. If we cannot work out a satisfactory deal for the charges to be downgraded or dismissed, and the case ultimately proceeds to trial, it will be before a jury in the superior court. Our experienced trial attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. will work tirelessly to convince the jury that the prosecutor has not met their burden of proving the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Types of Cases Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Handle in Brigantine, NJ
Our lawyers can help people defend themselves against a wide array of disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes. The following are all examples of cases our experienced criminal defense attorneys can handle:
Our law firm can help defendants who have been charged with drug crimes. There are several different types of drug offenses that defendants may be charged with in Brigantine, including crimes for selling, transporting, or manufacturing drugs as well as crimes for simply possessing or using them.
The penalties for drug crimes can vary depending on several factors. If you have been charged with one of the aforementioned offenses, then you can call our lawyers for help mounting your defense. Our legal team can help review your case and explain the appropriate course of action.
Defendants who have been charged with assault can face serious penalties including imprisonment, court-ordered community service, costly fines, and mandatory anger management classes. In general, there are three types of assault that you may be charged with in Brigantine: simple assault, aggravated assault, and assault by auto.
The criminal penalties sought by the prosecution in your assault case can be impacted by several different factors. Thankfully, our experienced criminal defense lawyers can help fight charges pertaining to any type of assault.
Additionally, our attorneys can provide support and guidance to defendants who have been charged with weapons crimes. Like drug crimes, there are many different types of weapons crimes that defendants in Brigantine may be accused of:
- Sale of guns
- Possession by felons
- Armed robbery
- Negligent discharge
- Terrorist threats
- Possession of an unlicensed firearm
The laws pertaining to gun crimes can be complicated. If you are facing criminal penalties pertaining to one of the aforementioned weapons offenses, you can reach out to our legal team for help with you case. We will fight to preserve your rights and potentially reduce or eliminate the penalties accompanying the crime you have been charged with.
Even after serving time and paying your debt to society, you may still face unfortunate challenges in your daily life because of your criminal records. For example, you may have difficulty finding a job, buying a house, or forming friendships. Thankfully, our experienced criminal defense lawyers can work to have your criminal record expunged.
However, not all arrests may be expunged. While reviewing your case, our attorneys can investigate whether your conviction or arrest can be taken off of your criminal record.
Furthermore, our criminal defense lawyers can provide aid to those who have been accused of domestic violence. Domestic violence refers to the infliction of abusive, violent, coercive, threatening, or forceful acts on one family member by another. The criminal penalties for domestic violence are very serious. Also, accusations of such acts can create immense turmoil in family members’ lives.
After being accused with domestic violence, you should seek to prevent charges from being filed. However, if charges have been filed, you may fight to have them dismissed. You can call our law firm for help dealing with an accusation of domestic violence in Brigantine, NJ.
Those who drive drunk can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). If an officer suspects you of drunk driving upon pulling you over, then he may administer a breathalyzer test. Even if you think you are sober, if your breathalyzer tests demonstrates that your blood alcohol level surpassed 0.08%, then you are considered to be drunk. Also, separate offense may be levied against those who refuse to consent to officers’ breathalyzer tests.
If you encounter police officers and fail to comply with their requests or direction, then you may be charged with resisting arrest. There are multiple forms of conduct that may constitute resisting arrest:
- Pulling away from an officer when they attempt to place handcuffs on you
- Striking an officer or pushing them away while they inform you that you are under arrest
- Spitting at a police officer or launching another type of bodily fluid towards them
- Attempting to flee or failing to stop when a police officer attempts to pull you over
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, the aforementioned actions may result in an indictable offense or a disorderly persons offense. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, you should connect with our criminal defense attorneys for help fighting the charges.
Our legal team can also help mount defenses for juvenile charges. The following are common types of offenses faced by juveniles in Brigantine, NJ:
- Burglary, shoplifting, theft
- Possession or distribution of narcotics
- Sexual assault
- Illegal weapons possession
- Underage drinking
If you child has been charged with a crime, you should call our criminal defense lawyers as quickly as possible. Our attorneys can help keep a momentary lapse in judgment from negatively affecting your child’s future.
Also, our lawyers can offer support to those who have been charged with disorderly conduct. New Jersey’s laws pertaining to disorderly conduct are aimed at keeping the peace. However, what is considered peaceful to some may be disputed by others. Generally, behavior that is considered boisterous, loud, offensive, or dangerous may constitute disorderly conduct. For example, the following activities may be disruptive enough to warrant a such an offense:
- Recklessly shoving your way through a crowd
- Setting off fireworks inside
- Causing danger to others while high or drunk
Most disorderly conduct charges will be considered disorderly persons offenses, as opposed to indictable crimes. Still, the penalties for such crimes can be severe. Those who are charged with disorderly conduct in Brigantine can call our law firm for help defending themselves.
Lastly, defendants who have been accused of internet crimes can seek guidance from our criminal defense lawyers. There are multiple types of internet crimes that people may be charged with in Brigantine. For instance, our legal team has experience defending those who have been accused of sex crimes involving social media and multiple other crimes involving computers. If you or someone you love has been charged with such a crime, you can call our criminal defense lawyers for advice.
Contact Our Skilled Brigantine, NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys Right Away
In most cases, the criminal justice system consists of multiple steps and proceedings and it can be a lengthy ordeal from start to finish. From your arrest, and even before, and all the way through a trial if necessary, our experienced Brigantine, NJ criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J Zarych will be your side fighting for your charges to be downgraded or dismissed and your matter to be brought to the best possible resolution for you and your future. Call our Brigantine and Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer today at (609) 616-4956 for a free consultation.