Mercer County, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer

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    Criminal charges are no laughing matter. You can end up paying large fines, serving long prison sentences, and potentially having some of your rights taken away forever. For serious crimes like what other jurisdictions call felonies, there may even be extralegal consequences, such as friends and family wanting to distance themselves from you and increased difficulty finding housing or applying for loans. Indeed, there are serious consequences that may follow you for the rest of your life if you are convicted of a crime.

    If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Mercer County, we can help. Our dedicated attorneys treat criminal defense with the seriousness and meticulous attention to detail it demands, and we will tailor our services to fit your specific needs. Rest assured that we will not stop fighting for your rights and will work towards getting you the best outcome possible for your situation.

    Let the criminal defense lawyers from The Law Offices of John J. Zarych go over your case for free by calling us at the number (609) 616-4956.

    What Levels of Criminal Charges Can You Face in Mercer County, NJ?

    There are a vast array of crimes in New Jersey, among which are more serious felonies like murder, rape, and robbery, as well as less serious crimes like shoplifting, harassment, and resisting arrest. New Jersey breaks down crimes into three different categories: petty disorderly persons offenses, disorderly person offenses, and indictable offenses.

    Disorderly Persons Offenses

    Disorderly Persons offenses are considered more serious than their “petty” counterparts, but they are still not considered “crimes” under the law. Disorderly personal offenses include possessing certain drug paraphernalia and simple assault.

    Although disorderly person offenses are lower-level criminal charges, that does not mean that they cannot have serious consequences. For example, employers may be wary of hiring people with disorderly person offenses convictions on their record, so you should not take these kinds of charges lightly just because they are not technically crimes.

    Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses

    These infractions are the least serious crimes you can be charged with in the state of New Jersey. They are not even categorized as crimes in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. § 2:C1-4(b). Things that fall under this category of offenses include trespassing on someone’s property and harassment.

    While it may seem only beneficial that petty disorderly persons offenses are not “criminal charges,” there are downsides to that being the case. Being charged with a mere petty disorderly persons offense means that you will not get a right to trial in front of a jury. There may just be a hearing before a judge about your conduct. Of course, our attorneys can help you out in those situations as well as with more serious accusations.

    Indictable Offenses

    Indictable offenses are “crimes” under New Jersey law. Some indictable offenses would be “misdemeanors” or less serious crimes in other jurisdictions, while others constitute “felonies.” To stratify this large category of offenses and avoid lumping in less serious crimes with more severe ones, New Jersey law further classifies indictable offenses into fourth, third, second, and first-degree offenses under N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-1. Indictable offenses in the fourth degree include less serious crimes, such as shoplifting things that have a value of $200 or more but lower than $500, Indictable offenses of the first degree include the most severe crimes with the most severe sentences, like armed robbery, murder, and rape.

    Types of Charges We Can Assist You with in Mercer County, NJ

    Our legal team has experience representing clients in a wide array of cases. Below are some of the potential situations that we can help you with in Mercer County.

    DWI Charges

    Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – as New Jersey law calls it – is a crime that is taken seriously in every state. Per N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50, driving while intoxicated covers not just drunk driving but also operating motor vehicles while under the effects of many different kinds of drugs and other substances. You can be required to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle or lose your ability to drive altogether if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, so legal representation is paramount.

    Weapons Charges

    Unlawful possession of weapons is criminalized in New Jersey. The penalties can vary depending on what kind of weapon you are accused of unlawfully possessing. For example, unlawfully possessing a machine gun is considered a second-degree indictable offense, while unlawfully possessing a shotgun or rifle is a third-degree indictable offense.

    Assault Cases

    There are different kinds of assault that are criminalized under New Jersey law. Simple assault is criminalized by N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(a) and includes attempting or succeeding in purposely causing bodily injury to someone, negligently causing bodily injury using a deadly weapon, or putting someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

    Aggravated assault is a more serious type of assault which, per N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(b), involves attempting or succeeding in causing serious bodily injury, intentionally causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon, and brandishing a firearm – or imitation firearm – at another person. Additionally, it is aggravated assault if someone commits simple assault against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or someone carrying out a number of different occupations listed in N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(b)(5).

    Juvenile Cases

    When people under the age of 18 are accused of a crime, they will likely go through proceedings in juvenile court instead of being tried as adults. These cases can be somewhat different than their adult counterparts and, therefore, will require a different approach on the part of our attorneys. In fact, we may be able to get a case that would be tried in regular criminal court to go through the juvenile court if the circumstances permit, so discuss your case with our criminal defense attorneys to see if that applies to you.

    Contact Our Mercer County, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Right Away

    The Law Offices of John J. Zarych has criminal defense lawyers ready to assist you with your claim when you call (609) 616-4956.

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