Wildwood, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers
Each summer and even throughout the whole year, folks from across New Jersey and the surrounding states flock to Wildwood and North Wildwood for fun and relaxation. While most have a great time enjoying the bars and beaches, if you end up having a bad night and getting arrested, your dream vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare scenario.
Many vacationers are arrested for things like fights that get out of hand or alcohol-related incidents. However, criminal offenses may occur under many different circumstances. You may feel helpless and unsure of what to do, especially if you are not a local or familiar with the area, and especially if you have never had any serious contact with the police or criminal justice system before. However, there are steps you can take right away to protect your rights and future.
The most important thing you can do is to reach out to a veteran North Wildwood criminal defense lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon as possible after the arrest occurs. The quicker we get to work on your case, the better chance we have of getting your charges downgraded or dismissed and bringing the matter to the most positive possible resolution. Call our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys today at (609) 616-4956 for a free consultation.
Common Crimes Our Wildwood Criminal Defense Lawyers Handle
Although our team at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych has experience successfully defending clients in Wildwood against all sorts of criminal charges, there are some charges that we handle more commonly than others. These include the following:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Drug Crimes
- Underage Drinking
- Fraud Crimes
- Sexual Crimes
If you were charged with a crime, whether you were on vacation or you are a full-time resident, please contact our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys right away. We can help you get through this ordeal and back to your normal life.
Being Arrested for a Crime in Wildwood, New Jersey
Every year people are arrested in Wildwood, New Jersey for both serious and nonserious criminal offenses. No matter what you are charged with, your arrest needs to adhere to specific legal protocols to be valid and upheld in a court of law. If you were arrested in a way that violated your rights or was otherwise unlawful, you might have a basis to challenge the arrest.
An arrest warrant must be based on probable cause that you likely committed a criminal act. The warrant must clearly state what offense you are suspected of committing and the evidence supporting your arrest. The police must obtain an arrest warrant before executing the arrest from a judge or magistrate. The probable cause must convince the judge or magistrate that the warrant is necessary before they sign off on it.
There are instances where the police may not need a warrant to effectuate an arrest. Usually, this scenario arises when the police actually witness the crime take place. The police need not bother with a warrant because they watched the crime as it happened. Also, since the crime is happening in real-time, they have an interest in making the arrest immediately as a person could escape in the time it takes to get a warrant. Warrants may not be necessary for instances where a dangerous individual poses a threat to public safety.
Speak with our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense lawyers about your arrest. If your arrest was unlawful or invalid, we could challenge it in court.
How to Challenge the Evidence Against You in Wildwood, New Jersey
Mounting a successful defense is about more than asserting an alibi. We can challenge the evidence against you to keep it out of court and weaken the prosecution’s case. Prosecutors are held to a high standard and must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt using only lawful evidence. If evidence was obtained in such a way as to violate your rights, the evidence could be suppressed.
Evidence may be challenged on a number of grounds. If evidence was seized incident to your arrest, but your arrest was later proven unlawful, we can challenge that evidence. Similarly, if evidence was seized under a faulty warrant or without a necessary warrant, it can be challenged and kept out of your trial.
Evidence is often challenged using a motion to suppress. This motion is filed before your trial begins and usually after the discovery process is over and we know what evidence the prosecutor plans to introduce. Our motion to suppress must state what evidence is unlawful and why it should be kept out. Lawful evidence may also be suppressed for reasons like it is unfairly inflammatory, prejudicial, or irrelevant. Contact our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense lawyers to talk about how evidence in your case may be suppressed.
Negotiating a Plea Deal in Wildwood, New Jersey
As strange as it may sound, most criminal cases never make it to a trial. Many cases are resolved through plea deals. Otherwise known as a plea bargain or plea agreement, a plea deal is when the prosecutor agrees to reduce your charges. In exchange for this reduction, you plead guilty and waive your right to a trial. Your case instead moves directly to sentencing and you are sentenced on the lesser charges.
Plea deals are good options for defendants with weak cases. Plea deals often allow a defendant to serve a lighter sentence than if they were found guilty at a trial. However, your right to a trial is practically sacred in the eyes of the court, and they will make sure you know what you are doing before allowing a plea deal to go through.
Plea deals are open to negotiation. Either side may initiate these negotiations, but both sides must agree on the outcome. Prosecutors often have heavy caseloads and are willing to negotiate plea deals to lighten their workload. If the first plea offer is not a good one, you and your attorney can make a counteroffer for something better. However, plea deals are not required, and a prosecutor could deny you an offer. Likewise, you may reject a plea offer and take your case to trial. Speak with our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys about negotiating the best plea deal for your case.
Appealing a Conviction in a Criminal Case in Wildwood, New Jersey
Even if you are unfortunately found guilty of the charges against you, your fight is not over yet. Every criminal defendant has a right to file a direct appeal and take their case to a higher court. However, your appeal is not like a brand new trial where you can present evidence and make arguments. Instead, the higher appellate court will review the record of your case from the lower trial court and look for legal errors. Precisely what legal errors the court looks for depends on how we file your appeal.
To raise an issue on appeal, you must preserve the issue at trial. Preserving an appealable issue is often done by bringing the issue to the court’s attention, commonly by objecting. A denied objection will be ripe for appeal after your trial. However, if you accepted a plea deal and pled guilty, you may not have any direct appeal options because you did not have a trial. However, you may have appellate options under New Jersey’s postconviction relief laws. Speak to our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys about your appeal options.
When Should You Contact an Attorney for Your Wildwood, NJ Case?
In some cases for minor crimes like traffic violations, the police officer may simply issue you a citation with a court date on it and you will not be detained. If this happens to you, by reaching out to a skilled North Wildwood criminal defense lawyer like the ones at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon as possible, you give us a chance to reach out to the prosecutor and try to get the matter resolved in a single court appearance. It is never a good idea to throw such a citation aside and wait to act, because, if you forget about it and fail to appear in court as required, you could end up facing a bench warrant for your arrest.
Usually when the police believe you have committed a crime, they will arrest you and transport you to the nearest Wildwood police station to be booked, where they will photograph and fingerprint you and collect your biographical information. Within 48 hours of booking, but often earlier, you will have your initial appearance and detention hearing. As such, it is vital that you or a loved one reach out to a battle-tested criminal defense attorney as soon after your arrest as possible.
You will certainly want a lawyer for these proceedings, especially the detention hearing, where a judge will decide based on a series of holistic factors whether you represent a danger to the public and must remain in jail while your case is resolved. A skilled detention hearing attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych will be able to make the most convincing case for your release without any cumbersome conditions like GPS ankle monitoring. Get in touch with our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible for help.
How Our Wildwood Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help with Your Case
Once we have dealt with getting you released from jail, we will turn our attention to requesting any outstanding evidence and filing any relevant motions like a motion to suppress evidence obtained from an illegal search and seizure. If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense, your arraignment, where you are asked to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty, will occur at your initial appearance.
For indictable offenses, your arraignment will not occur until after the prosecutor has received an indictment back from the grand jury. In either case, our skilled Wildwood criminal defense attorneys for a criminal arraignment at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych are likely to advise you to enter a not guilty plea while we assess the strength of your case and try to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor to get the charges downgraded or dismissed.
If you are a first-time offender, we may be able to convince the prosecutor to allow you into a pre-trial intervention program, which will result in your charges being dropped if completed successfully. Other potential deals include the prosecutor agreeing to recommend a light sentence to the judge or downgrading the charges to something less serious in exchange for your guilty plea.
Of course, if you do not wish to take a deal or are not satisfied with the deal offered, our veteran Wildwood criminal attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych are ready and able to defend your innocence in the courtroom. Note that trials for disorderly persons cases take place in the municipal court in front of a single judge who decides guilt or innocence, while those charged with indictable offenses have the right to a jury before their peers, who must unanimously vote to convict. Speak to our Wildwood, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys about your situation as soon as you can.
Call Our Knowledgeable Wildwood, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Being arrested or cited for a crime is never an easy or fun experience, but it can be made better if you take the steps you need to protect yourself and mitigate the damage already caused. The most important thing you can do in the immediate aftermath of your charges is to reach out to a skilled Wildwood and Atlantic City criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych. For a free consultation, call our firm today at (609) 616-4956.