Haddonfield, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer

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    Haddonfield, with its charming tree-lined streets and excellent school system, is considered one of the nicest towns in the state of New Jersey and one of the best places to raise a family. Of course, this does not mean that people do not get arrested or accused of committing crimes there just like any other place. Those facing such charges, especially if they have no prior experience with the criminal justice system or the police, are likely to feel scared, alone, and confused about what to do next. The most important thing you can do to give yourself the best chance of successfully dealing with charges against you is to reach out to an experienced, local criminal defense attorney as soon after your arrest or citation as possible.

    Our skilled attorneys have years of experience successfully defending clients in Haddonfield and throughout the South Jersey area against all sorts of criminal charges. Our lawyers are here to answer any questions you may have, serve as your fearless advocate, and work to get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed.

    Contact Our criminal defense lawyers at Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956 for a free consultation.

    What Are the Penalties for Criminal Offenses in Haddonfield, NJ?

    In New Jersey, there are three types of crimes: indictable offenses, disorderly persons offenses, and petty disorderly persons offenses. These terms are different from what is commonly used in other states to denote offenses, so this may be confusing for people charged with a crime when they try to understand the seriousness of the charges. Our criminal defense lawyers have detailed what each type of charge is under New Jersey Law in this section below.

    Indictable Offenses

    Indictable offenses, generally the most serious of the three types of charges, are the equivalent of felonies in other states. There are four degrees of indictable defenses, with lower-numbered degrees being more serious. Examples of first-degree indictable offenses would be murder, manslaughter, and aggravated sexual assault. Second-degree indictable offenses would include ordinary sexual assault, robbery, and illegal possession of a handgun. Third-degree indictable offenses include burglary, credit card fraud, possession of heroin or cocaine, and illegal possession of a shotgun or rifle. Finally, fourth-degree indictable offenses include restraining order violations, certain drug possession crimes, and other lower-level offenses.

    Disorderly Persons Offenses and Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses

    Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses are the equivalent of misdemeanors and infractions, respectively. Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:1-4(b), disorderly persons offenses are misdemeanors and not crimes and do not include an automatic indictment and right to a trial by jury. Potential penalties for a criminal conviction vary depending on the severity of the crime, with more serious penalties being possible for indictable offenses than disorderly person offenses.

    The minimum and maximum permissible sentences vary depending on how severely the state treats each crime as well as your own criminal history. Then, it is up to the judge to decide, based on the arguments made by your lawyer, whether to use their discretion and sentence you to something on the lower or higher end of the scale. For example, if you are a first-time offender charged with a disorderly persons offense, you will probably face only fines and probation. However, if you are a repeat offender charged with homicide, then jail time is a near-certainty if you are convicted.

    How a Haddonfield Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Get Your Charges Dropped

    To avoid facing the most serious penalties and give yourself the best chance at getting your charges dismissed, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon after your arrest as possible. It is especially important that we get to work quickly if you have been arrested and a detention hearing, formerly known as a bail hearing, is set to occur. Such hearings, along with your initial appearance, are held within 48 hours of your arrest and booking, but often much sooner. Because New Jersey essentially eliminated the use of cash bail in 2017, meaning you cannot just pay your way out of jail, it is more important than ever to have a skilled bail hearing attorney by your side to argue to the judge why you should be released based on such factors as your criminal record, ties to the community, and the nature and severity of the alleged offense.

    At your initial appearance, the judge will read the charges against you and advise you of your rights during the criminal case process. In disorderly person cases, your arraignment, where you enter your initial plea of guilty or not guilty, will also occur. In indictable offense cases, this will happen later, after the prosecutor has taken the case before the grand jury and returned with an indictment. In both instances, unless they have already worked out a plea deal with the prosecutor, your lawyer is likely to advise you to enter an initial plea of not guilty.

    After dealing with your arraignment and detention hearing, our lawyers will turn our attention to requesting any outstanding evidence from the prosecutor, filing any needed motions, and trying to work out a deal with the prosecutor. For some first-time offenders, we may be able to get you into a pretrial intervention program, and your charges will be dropped if you complete this program successfully. Other times, the prosecutor may offer to downgrade the charge to something less serious in exchange for a guilty plea. Of course, if you wish to take the matter to trial, our skilled trial attorneys are always ready and able to do so.

    Types of Haddonfield, NJ Criminal Charges Handle by Our Law Firm

    Between all of our attorneys and support staff at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, there are few, if any, crimes that we have not dealt with before. Below are just some of the most common types of charges we have professional experience successfully defending clients against, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.


    Assault is defined under N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1 and encompasses two main crimes: simple assault and aggravated assault.

    Simple assault is intentionally causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another person, negligently causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon, or putting someone in fear of serious bodily injury. As examples, giving someone a black eye in a bar would be considered simple assault. So would whacking someone over the head with a golf club. Finally, threatening to injure someone in a physical altercation would be simple assault.

    Aggravated assault is a more serious crime. It is defined as attempting to cause or cause serious bodily injury to another person, causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another with a firearm. Additionally, the pointing of a firearm at another person is specifically called out as aggravated assault.

    The main difference between simple assault and aggravated assault is the “serious” bodily injury prong. Serious bodily injury is defined under N.J.S.A. § 34:15-37.6 and means any injury that creates a substantial risk of death or permanent disfigurement. A classic example of serious bodily injury would be a gunshot to a vital organ. Other serious bodily injuries would include bludgeoning someone with a bat or beating them so badly that they need to go to the hospital.


    There are several different kinds of theft in New Jersey. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is defined under N.J.S.A. § 2C: 20-3 as taking someone’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Additionally, this crime includes unlawful transfers of interests in real property.

    Theft by deception is defined under N.J.S.A. § 2C:20-4 as taking something through a false impression, failing to correct someone’s mistake to take something, or preventing someone from getting information that would make them not transfer something to them. For example, if you tell someone you are at their house to collect a payment but in fact are not, and they pay you, that would be considered theft by deception.

    Theft by extortion is detailed in N.J.S.A. § 2C: 20-5 and is defined as unlawfully taking something through the threat of bodily injury, the threat of false accusations, or threats to do or not do something if the victim does not hand over valuables. For example, if a doctor refuses to prescribe life-saving medication unless the victim pays them an exorbitant sum, that would be considered theft by extortion.

    Disorderly Conduct

    Disorderly conduct is criminalized under N.J.S.A. § 2C:33-2 and is defined as “improper behavior,” engaging in fighting or threats, or creating hazardous conditions for other people that do not serve a legitimate purpose. “Improper behavior” means causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. For example, having a wild party with very loud music at 3:00 AM may be a good time, but it will be considered disorderly conduct under New Jersey Law.

    Additionally, in some cases, you can be convicted of disorderly conduct for saying certain things. For example, it would be disorderly conduct to yell racial slurs at someone with the hope of scaring them in a public setting.


    Driving under the influence is a very serious crime and is criminalized in every state. New Jersey’s DUI statute is N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50. It defines driving while intoxicated as operating a motor vehicle while affected by alcohol or drugs. Like most states, the legal limit in New Jersey is a blood-alcohol content of 0.08%.

    Our lawyers have represented clients accused of all these crimes and more. Do not hesitate to reach out for help with your case.

    Consequences of Criminal Convictions and Charges in Haddonfield, NJ

    Any time you are charged with a crime, even if it is something you would consider relatively minor, you should take it seriously. Aside from facing high fines and jail time in many cases, a criminal conviction can have long-term collateral consequences such as making it more difficult for you to find gainful employment. Your friends and family may think of you differently and not want to associate with you. It may be more difficult to find employment if a criminal conviction comes up on a background check. Additionally, for felony convictions, certain rights, like voting or the ability to own firearms, may be temporarily or permanently restricted.

    As such, it is vital that you reach out to an experienced Haddonfield, NJ criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner we can get to work on your case, the better chance we have of mitigating the damage, keeping you from facing the most serious potential penalties, and working with the prosecutor to get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed.

    Call Our Seasoned Haddonfield, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

    Call our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers from Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956 for a free, confidential consultation.

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