Gloucester County Criminal Defense Lawyer

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    Getting charged with a crime is something nobody wants to go through. There are serious penalties involved including fines, time in jail or prison, and other restrictions. Moreover, there is a social stigma sometimes associated with people convicted of crimes that can be difficult to overcome.

    With so much at stake, you need the best legal help you can get. Our lawyers know how to handle the most challenging criminal cases, so we are more than ready to help you with your needs and fight hard for you all the way through the legal process.

    To get a free, confidential analysis of your situation, call (609) 616-4956 and speak to the criminal defense lawyers from The Law Offices of John J. Zarych.

    Criminal Cases Our Lawyers Can Help You with in Gloucester County

    There are a lot of different crimes that someone can be charged with in New Jersey. Our criminal defense lawyers have the experience to represent you for any type of charge you may be facing, and we will fight hard to ensure that you are treated fairly and get the best possible outcome.


    Murder is the most serious crime someone can be accused of. New Jersey criminalized murder under N.J.S.A. § 2C:11-3 prohibits murder, which New Jersey defines as “purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly” causing another person’s death.

    Taking of another person’s life “purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly” largely relates to what other jurisdictions may call first, second, or third-degree murder. For example, in other jurisdictions, first-degree murder is considered a more severe crime than second-degree murder. In New Jersey, if the defendant “purposefully” killed someone, it is on the same level as first-degree murder. For example, conduct that would constitute purposefully killing someone would be waiting outside someone’s house until they come home from work and then shooting them.

    Second-degree murder is “knowingly” committed. The main difference here is that the defendant may have not intended to kill the victim, but they knew their conduct might result in death. An example of this would be playing Russian roulette.

    New Jersey also criminalized “felony murder.” Felony murder is a death that happens in the course of another crime. For example, if you rob a bank with a friend and the friend pushes someone to the ground who suffers a head injury and later dies from it, that can lead to you being charged with murder even if you did not actually help cause their death.

    All murder charges are serious, so you need to get in touch with our criminal defense lawyers quickly if you or a loved one are facing these charges.


    In New Jersey, assault is criminalized under N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1. There are actually two kinds of assault you can be charged with in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault.

    Simple assault involves threatening or succeeding in causing bodily injury to another person. An example of bodily injury that would constitute simple assault would be punching them in the face and causing bruising. Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey unless it happens during a mutually consented-to fight, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense. For example, two people getting into an argument at a bar and “taking it outside” to fight could result in disorderly conduct charges instead of assault for both people involved.

    Aggravated assault is a much more serious crime. It involves the attempt or actual causing of serious bodily injury to another person or bodily injury if the perpetrator uses a weapon. Serious bodily injuries are defined in N.J.S.A. § 2C:11-1(b) as injuries likely to cause death, disfigurement, or loss of a bodily function. For example, twisting someone’s arm until it breaks is serious bodily injury and, therefore, aggravated assault in New Jersey.

    While simple assault is a disorderly persons offense, aggravated assault is a higher-degree crime with more significant penalties, so you need to talk to an attorney if you are facing those kinds of charges.

    Driving Under the Influence

    Drunk driving or driving under the influence is a dangerous activity that is criminalized in every state. New Jersey’s law prohibiting “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) is N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50(a), which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle when you are drunk. Additionally, this statute makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using drugs.

    In New Jersey, you do not actually have to drive the vehicle yourself to receive a DWI charge. New Jersey law allows for DWI convictions if the court finds out that you let somebody who you know is under the influence of drugs or alcohol operate a motor vehicle you own or that you had control over a vehicle you were not actually driving. For example, if you were asleep in your car with your keys in the ignition but you did not actually drive anywhere, you can still be convicted of DWI.

    Unlawful Possession of Weapons

    New Jersey takes unlawful possession of firearms and other weapon seriously. N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-5 criminalizes the unlawful possession of many different kinds of dangerous weapons.

    Many of the prohibitions in this statute have to do with the unlawful possession of firearms. First, possessing a machine gun – a firearm that shoots more than one bullet with a single pull of the trigger – is a “second-degree” crime in New Jersey. Additionally, possessing a handgun without a valid permit is also a second-degree crime.

    Finally, possessing “other weapons” in circumstances that are not “manifestly appropriate” for their use is a fourth-degree crime.

    Domestic Violence

    Other crimes can be charged as domestic violence in New Jersey, provided other criteria are met.  New Jersey takes domestic violence very seriously, and it is criminalized by N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-6.8. Domestic violence charges involve violent acts carried out by one spouse or person with a “dating relationship” with another person. A household member can be not just family members but any adult you live with, and sometimes individuals that you do not live with but are frequently in contact with. Depending on the type of crime a domestic violence charge stems from, the sentence will be different. For example, domestic violence involving homicide or assault will have more severe penalties than domestic violence involving terroristic threats.

    Talk to Our Gloucester Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

    The Law Offices of John J. Zarych has criminal defense lawyers ready to help you out when you call (609) 616-4956.

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