Every summer and even during the offseason, folks flock to Margate to enjoy the beach, the bay, and the bars. Getting arrested in Margate, however, can quickly transform a dream getaway into a total nightmare. Especially if you are not from the area and do not have previous experience dealing with law enforcement, you are likely to feel scared, helpless, and alone. Nonetheless, it is important to know that there are steps you can take after an arrest to protect yourself, including reaching out as quickly as possible to a skilled, local attorney.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our experienced Margate, NJ criminal defense lawyers know how to craft the best, most aggressive defense for any sort of crime you have been charged with, no matter how big or small it may seem. Our background and familiarity with the local courts help give us a leg up when it comes to representing you and working to bring your case to the most positive possible resolution. For a free consultation, call us today at (609) 616-4956.
When To Hire a Lawyer for Criminal Charges in Margate, NJ
As soon as you have been cited or arrested for a crime in Margate, you should reach out to our battle-tested criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon as possible. In fact, you should reach out even before an arrest if the police try to question you or search your home or property. If you are cited and released, by quickly reaching out to us you will give us a chance to get into contact with the prosecutor before your court date and try to get the entire matter settled in a single appearance. Furthermore, you keep yourself from throwing the citation aside and forgetting about your court date, which could potentially lead to a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.
If you are arrested, you will want to act even more quickly in retaining an attorney, as your initial appearance and detention hearing, formerly known as a bail hearing, where the judge will decide whether or not you can be released, will be held within 48 hours of your arrest and booking. By reaching out to as quickly as possible, you will give us time to prepare for these important events, particularly the detention hearing. Since the elimination of cash bail in NJ in 2017, the judge makes release decisions based on a series of holistic factors rather than your ability to pay. This makes it even more important to have a skilled bail hearing attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by your side making the most persuasive arguments for your release based on such factors as your criminal record or lack thereof and your ties to the local community.
How a Lawyer Can Assist You with a Misdemeanor Offense Cases in Margate, NJ
In New Jersey, lesser charges that are usually labeled “misdemeanors” in other states are called disorderly persons offenses, while more serious charges often labeled “felonies” in other states are called indictable offenses. In disorderly persons cases, your arraignment, where you are asked to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty, is held at the first appearance, at or around the same time as your bail hearing. An experienced lawyer for a criminal arraignment like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych is likely to advise you to enter a not guilty plea while we collect all the evidence and assess the strength of the prosecution’s case.
After this, we can turn our attentions to filing any necessary pre-trial motions, like a motion to exclude evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search, and trying to work out a deal with the prosecutor for your charges to be downgraded or dismissed. For first-time offenders or those with a very limited criminal record charged with disorderly persons offenses, we may be able to convince the prosecutor to allow you into a pre-trial intervention program where your charges will be dropped if you complete the program successfully. Of course, if you do not wish to take a deal, 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. Note that in disorderly persons cases, your trial will be in front a municipal court judge who makes the decision on guilt or innocence, rather than a jury.
How a Lawyer Can Assist You with Indictable Offense Cases in Margate, NJ
In indictable offense cases, after your detention hearing, the prosecutor will have to take their case before the grand jury, who must vote by a majority that there is probable cause to issue an indictment of you. If an indictment is issued, then you will be arraigned in the superior court. Unless we have already worked out a plea deal with the prosecutor, we are likely to advise you to enter an initial not guilty plea just like with a disorderly persons offense.
From there, we will request any outstanding discovery, file any relevant motions, and focus our efforts on negotiating a deal for your charges to be downgraded or dismissed. While pre-trial intervention will not usually be on the table in indictable offense cases, other deals we can negotiate include the prosecutor downgrading the charge to something less serious, such as from aggravated assault to simple assault, or agreeing to make a lenient sentence recommendation to the judge. If we take your case to trial, you will have the right to a trial in the superior court before a jury of your peers, who most vote unanimously in order to convict you.
Call Our Experienced Margate, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
No matter how minor a criminal charge may seem, it can lead to major headaches down the line, including a criminal record that could prevent you from finding employment or getting a professional license. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our experienced Margate and Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers will leave no stone unturned fighting to get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed so that you do not face the harshest potential penalties. Call our firm at (609) 616-4956 today for a free consultation.