Being arrested can be one of the scariest experiences of a person’s entire life. Especially if you do not have prior experience with the criminal justice system and law enforcement, you may feel helpless in the immediate aftermath. However, is it vital that you know your rights and how to stand up for them, as well as the most important steps you can take to protect yourself. One of the first things you or a loved one will need to do after your arrest is to reach out to a skilled, local criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our battle-tested Gloucester City, NJ criminal defense lawyers have years of experience successfully defending clients against a broad array of criminal charges in the local court systems. We understand that being arrested is a traumatic experience, and we are here to assist you by answering any questions you may have and serving as your fearless, tireless advocate. We will do everything in our power to bring your case to a positive resolution for you. For a free consultation, call us today at (609) 616-4956.
Common Charges Our Gloucester Criminal Defense Attorneys Handle
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our attorneys have a wide and diverse background and experience, and there is almost no crime in the NJ code that someone in our office has not crafted a defense for previously. However, here are some of the most common charges we have successfully defended clients against in the Gloucester City, NJ area:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Drug Possession or Distribution
- Domestic Violence
- Reckless Driving
- Fraud Crimes
When Should I Hire a Lawyer for Criminal Charges in Gloucester City, NJ?
Sometimes, for minor crimes and infractions like disorderly conduct, the police may simply issue you a citation and allow you to go on your way. However, you should act on this immediately by contacting a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon as you receive the citation. We can reach out to the prosecutor and try to get the entire matter resolved in a single appearance. If you brush the citation aside and end up forgetting about your court date, you could end up with a bench warrant issued for your arrest.
Of course, anytime you are arrested, you or a loved one will want to reach out to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon after the arrest as possible. This is important first and foremost because your initial appearance and bail hearing, two very important events of your case, will occur within 48 hours of your arrest and booking, and we will need time to prepare to appear with you. Secondly, you will also want an attorney by your side for any questioning that the police may try to undertake. You should exercise your right to remain silent if the police ask you questions until and unless an experienced criminal defense attorney tells you otherwise.
Major Stages in the Legal Process for a Gloucester City Criminal Case
Most cases unfortunately take multiple steps and appearances before they are resolved. Below we explain the major events of the criminal justice process and how our Gloucester City criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can assist at each stage.
Arraignment and Detention Hearing
Within 28 hours of your arrest, your detention hearing and initial appearance will be held, usually at the same time. At your initial appearance, the judge will read the charges against you and advise you of your rights in a criminal case. In disorderly persons offense cases, your arraignment, where you enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty, will also occur at the initial appearance. In indictable offense cases, the arraignment will be held at a separate appearance after a grand jury has returned an indictment. In either case, a skilled attorney for a criminal arraignment like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych will likely advise you to plead not guilty while we assess the strength of the case and attempt to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor.
At your detention hearing, previously known as a bail hearing, the judge will decide whether you can be released from detention or if you must be held in jail until your case is resolved. Since the virtual elimination of cash bail in New Jersey in 2017, this decision is based on a series of factors assessed by the judge, including your criminal history and flight risk. Our skilled bail hearing attorneys know how to make the most persuasive arguments for your release.
Pre-Trial and Plea Bargaining
After getting you out of jail, we will request any outstanding discovery and file any necessary motions like a motion to exclude evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure. We will also try to work out a deal with the prosecutor for your charges to be dismissed or downgraded to something less serious. For some first-time offenders, we may be able to get the prosecutor to allow you into a pre-trial intervention program, where your charges will be dismissed if you complete the program successfully.
If you do not wish to take a deal and the prosecutor is not willing to drop the charges, our skilled trial attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych are always ready to fight for a not guilty verdict in the courtroom. For disorderly persons cases, your trial will be in municipal court and it will be a bench trial before a judge. For indictable offense cases, the trial will be in the superior court and you will have the right to a trial by a jury of your peers who must unanimously vote to convict you.
Our Gloucester City Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
Any time you are charged with a crime in Gloucester City, no matter how major or seemingly minor, there is always a chance you can end up facing serious penalties, including a criminal record that could haunt you for years to come. By contacting an experienced Gloucester City, NJ and Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon after your arrest or citation as possible, you will give yourself the best chance of bringing the matter to a successful resolution. We will fight tirelessly to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. For a free consultation, contact our firm at (609) 616-4956 today.