Being charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey can be overwhelming and challenging. The potential consequences of a criminal conviction can turn your life upside down in an instant. Many people facing criminal charges such as Class B misdemeanors tend to believe they will not get into too much trouble. However, as you will learn throughout this article, lesser criminal charges still carry serious consequences. Our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys from the Law Offices of John J. Zarych will discuss whether you will go to jail for a Class B misdemeanor in New Jersey.
Will You Face Jail Time for a Class B Misdemeanor in New Jersey?
New Jersey has two main criminal offense categories. These categories are known as disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes. If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense, it is essential to hire an experienced, skilled Galloway Township criminal defense attorney. Many people tend to believe that a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey is not a big deal. However, a criminal conviction for this type of offense can lead to devastating consequences.
Typically, a criminal conviction for a disorderly persons offense can lead to $500 in fines and up to thirty days in jail. In addition to these penalties, a convicted felon may also be ordered to participate in special programs such as community service, counseling, and probation – if the convicted felon qualifies for it.
However, these are not the only consequences and challenges you may face. Your criminal conviction may appear in your criminal record. Having a criminal record has its own particular challenges. For instance, having a criminal record significantly reduces your chances of getting an education, a new job, or a personal loan. Moreover, the social stigma related to a criminal conviction may also impact your life moving forward. It is essential to hire an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney who can guide you and help you understand what you can expect from your case.
What Happens if I’m Charged with a Class B Misdemeanor in New Jersey?
Being charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey is something that should always be taken seriously, no matter how small your charges may seem. As we mentioned, New Jersey classifies criminal offenses as disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes. Disorderly persons offenses equate to misdemeanors in other jurisdictions, while indictable crimes can be compared to felonies. Thus, when we talk about Class B misdemeanors, we commonly refer to disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey.
Your criminal case typically begins with your arrest. Once you are placed under arrest, the police officer will take you to the police station for “booking.” The booking process requires an officer to take your picture, contact information, and fingerprints. Once the booking process concludes, you may be released on your own recognizance or remain in jail until your bail hearing.
Your first appearance before a judge must take place 48 hours after your arrest. During your first appearance, a judge can set different conditions in exchange for release pending pre-trial, keep in you in jail until your next hearing, or set bail. Bail can help you avoid jail while other hearings are pending. However, it is essential to understand that bail is limited, and not all defendants qualify for it. Additionally, it is critical to understand that you cannot post bail in cash. However, you can use a bail bond agency to cover your bail.
During your first appearance, the judge will consider your case’s circumstances to determine whether you may be considered to be released on own recognizance. Release on Own Recognizance (ROR) is an official document certifying that the court is aware of your charges and that you will appear to every hearing from there on out.
It is essential to have legal representation during your first appearance. Facing New Jersey’s criminal justice system can be complicated. However, with your New Jersey criminal defense lawyer’s assistance, you may be able to understand what to expect from your case.
Following your first appearance, the prosecutor in your case will decide whether they will proceed with your case. At this point, the prosecution will evaluate your case’s circumstances and determine if they have enough evidence to get a conviction. This is a critical step in your case because the evidence can show whether your case can continue or if your charges can be downgraded.
Plea bargains are common in criminal cases. During this process, your Pleasantville criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor will negotiate your plea. At this point, the prosecution makes an offer in exchange for a plea. It is not uncommon for the prosecution to make deals such as downgrading charges, dismissing certain criminal charges, or reducing sentences. With your New Jersey’s criminal defense attorney’s assistance, you can ensure you make the best choice and get the best out of your plea deal.
The criminal process in New Jersey is complex and challenging. No matter how your situation looks, it is critical to act quickly and retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. There have been cases where a defendant may decide to take other routes, such as hiring a public defender or defending themselves. However, in our experience, it would be best to hire a legal professional who understands the law and can guide you through your case.
New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Offering Free Consultations
Our attorneys can help if you or a loved one was charged with a disorderly persons offense or indictable crime in New Jersey. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our Atlantic City and Ocean City criminal defense attorneys can help you understand what to expect from your case and fight aggressively to defend and uphold your rights. Being charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey can lead to life-altering consequences. To learn more about all of our services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (609) 616-4956.