Somers Point Criminal Defense Lawyer

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    If you have been accused of a crime, chances are there is a lot going through your head right now. Questions like “What am I going to do?” “What if I get convicted?” and “How will my family and friends react?” will likely be spiraling around in your mind. The situation can seem hopeless and create a feeling of great despair, especially if you believe that you are wrongly accused or the charges against you do not make sense. In addition to potential fines, prison terms, and other penalties, a criminal conviction may make other things difficult, like buying a home, even after you serve your time.

    If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and do not know what to do, turn to us. We have extensive experience working with clients who are accused of crimes, so we have the skills, knowledge, and drive to give you the legal representation you need to uphold your rights during this difficult time. We will leave no stone unturned in fighting for you before trial, during, and beyond, if need be.

    To have our criminal defense lawyers confidentially go over your case, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.

    Criminal Charges Our Defense Attorneys Can Help You With in Somers Point

    Every state will have a criminal code or set of laws that lays out exactly what is prohibited in the state. However, states may differ on the exact verbiage and description of what constitutes a particular crime in their jurisdiction. No matter the charges you are facing, our criminal defense attorneys are up to the challenge and will work to uphold your rights.


    Murder is the most serious crime there is. The statute dealing with murder in New Jersey is N.J.S.A. § 2C:11-3, which defines it as “purposefully or knowingly” killing someone else. For example, “purposefully” killing someone would be waiting outside their house until they get home from work and then shooting them, all with the purpose of killing them. “Knowingly” killing someone would be repeatedly hitting them in the head with a bat, even if you only meant to hurt them a lot.

    Additionally, the murder statute criminalizes what other jurisdictions call “felony murder” under N.J.S.A. § 2C:11-3(a)(3). Felony murder is when you are charged because someone died during the commission of another crime. For example, suppose two people hold up a bank, and one perpetrator shoots and kills a guard when he reaches for the alarm. The second perpetrator – who did not fire the shot – can still be charged with murder under this subsection. However, there are also affirmative defenses to felony murder under this section. For example, if you can prove through evidence that you yourself were not armed and did not know that your accomplice was armed, that can be a defense to a felony murder charge.


    Murder and manslaughter often get confused, but they are different crimes. Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:11-4, manslaughter is “recklessly” causing someone else’s death. Traditionally, this means that the killing was done without any prior planning or “in the heat of passion.” In New Jersey, “reasonable provocation” is required in order for conduct that would otherwise be murder to be classified as manslaughter.

    What constitutes reasonable provocation depends on the circumstances. Mere words are probably not enough to be a reasonable provocation, but threats and intimidation – or actions that could reasonably be perceived as such –might be. Our attorneys can examine your claim to determine whether you are likely to be charged with murder or manslaughter.

    Burglary and Robbery

    Many people get burglary and robbery confused, but they are two separate crimes with separate elements. Generally, burglary refers to entering into a place with the intent to commit a felony, while robbery is the unlawful taking of something through force or threats.

    In New Jersey, burglary is criminalized under N.J.S.A. § 2C:18-2, and is defined as entering a property, structure, or other location with the intent to commit a crime. As an example, if you walk into someone’s unlocked house when they are not home with the intent of stealing their TV but then leave, that is still burglary because you unlawfully entered their house and intended to commit a crime when you entered, even if you did not accomplish that other crime.

    Robbery is a more serious crime in most cases, as it is considered a violent crime rather than a property crime.  It is defined under N.J.S.A. § 2C:15-1. In order to get convicted of robbery, the perpetrator needs to have, during a theft or attempted theft, inflicted bodily injury on someone, threatened someone so that they fear imminent bodily injury, or threatened to commit another crime. For example, if someone walks up to you on the street, pulls out a gun, and says, “Drop your wallet, or you die,” they can be convicted of robbery.


    In New Jersey, there is both simple assault and aggravated assault.

    Simple assault is criminalized under N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(a) and usually covers things like hitting someone else and seriously hurting them and other related actions. It also covers threatening to do that conduct. For example, it would be simple assault to approach within arm’s reach of someone and tell them you are “gonna knock their teeth out” while shaking your fist.

    Aggravated assault is a more serious charge found in N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(b). Aggravated assault entails causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another person or causing serious injury to another person through conduct demonstrating an “extreme indifference” to the value of human life. Additionally, it is aggravated assault to recklessly injure someone with a deadly weapon – like a firearm – or to point a firearm at someone. Finally, doing something that would be simple assault to anyone in certain jobs or positions while they are carrying out official duties is aggravated assault.

    Contact Our Somers Point Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

    The Law Offices of John J. Zarych has criminal defense lawyers who can assist you with your case, reachable at (609) 616-4956.

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