For most people, a visit to Sea Isle City consists of fun on the boardwalk, relaxation on the beaches, and a good time in the bars. Unfortunately, especially with all the alcohol flowing, some visitors as well as year-round residents can end up doing something out of character that leads to their arrest. It can be scary and disorienting to be arrested, especially if it is your first time really dealing with the police or the criminal justice system. However, you need to keep calm and keep your head on straight to take the steps necessary to protect your rights and give yourself the best chance at resolving the matter successfully.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do after an arrest or citation for a crime in Sea Isle City is to reach out to an experienced local defense lawyer as quickly as possible. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our battle-tested Sea Isle City, NJ criminal defense attorneys have a proven record of successfully fighting on behalf of our clients facing all sorts of charges in area courts. For a free consultation, call our firm today at (609) 616-4956.
Types of Charges Our Defense Attorneys Handle in Sea Isle City, NJ
Because of the extensive experience of our team of attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, there are very few crimes we have not seen or dealt with before. Below are just some of the more common charges with which we have assisted clients in Sea Isle City over the years.
- Disorderly Conduct
- Underage Drinking
- Sexual Crimes
- Drug Crimes
Penalties for Sea Isle City, NJ Criminal Charges
The potential penalties you can face after being convicted of a criminal charge will vary greatly depending on the nature and severity of the offense, as well as other factors like your criminal record. In New Jersey, indictable offenses are the most serious crimes, followed by disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses. For example, a first-time offender charged with underage drinking, a disorderly persons offense, is almost certainly not going to face jail time, while someone facing charges for homicide, an indictable offense, almost certainly will. Furthermore, in addition to the high fines and long prison sentences that can come with some crimes, any time you have a criminal record it can affect your future in terms of schooling, employment, and licensure. For this reason, it is vital that, no matter how big or small your charges seem, you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J Zarych who can work to keep you from facing the most serious consequences.
How a Defense Attorney Can Help at Each Stage of a Sea Isle City, NJ Criminal Case
For some more minor charges like traffic violations, the officer will simply write you a ticket with a court date on it and let you go on your way. Usually, however, you will be arrested if the police believe you have committed a crime. After your arrest, you will be taken to the local precinct for what is known as the booking process, where you are photographed and fingerprinted and your biographical information is collected. During this time, the police may try to question you, but you have the right to remain silent and you should exercise that right by saying nothing until you have consulted with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Because your detention hearing (AKA bail hearing), where a judge will decide if you must remain in jail while your case is resolved or if you can be released, occurs within 48 hours of your booking, it is vital that you reach out to a skilled bail hearing attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych right away. In 2017, New Jersey virtually eliminated the use of cash bail in the state, and now the judge makes release decisions based on a set of holistic factors such as your criminal history and ties to the community, rather than your ability to pay a certain amount of money. As such, it is even more important to ever to have a skilled attorney representing you at this hearing who understands how to make the most persuasive arguments for your release without any cumbersome conditions like a GPS ankle monitor.
Your arraignment, where you are asked to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty, will occur at or around the same time as your detention hearing in disorderly persons cases. In indictable offense cases, the prosecutor will first have to take their case before a grand jury, and the arraignment will only occur if they return an indictment. In either case, a skilled lawyer for a criminal arraignment like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych is likely to advise you to enter an initial plea of not guilty while we collect all of the prosecutor’s evidence, file any necessary motions, and try to work out a plea deal.
If you are a first time-offender, 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. Other possible deals include the prosecutor downgrading your charges or asking the judge to impose a lenient sentence. Of course, if you do not wish to take a deal, our battle-tested trial lawyers are always ready to fight for you at trial.
Contact Our Seasoned Sea Isle City, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
No matter how small a criminal charge might seem, it has the potential to wreck your life down the line by keeping you from getting the job you want or the security clearance you need for a promotion. As such, it is imperative that any time you are cited or arrested for a crime in Sea Isle City, you reach out to a skilled, local criminal defense lawyer right away. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our veteran Sea Isle City and Atlantic City, NJ criminal defense attorneys have the experience needed to give you the best chance of getting the charges against you downgraded or dismissed. For a free consultation, call us at (609) 616-4956 today.