Woodstown Criminal Defense Lawyer

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    The job of a criminal defense lawyer is to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and protect the rights of their defendant.  Even more, the job is to compassionately understand that your client is going through perhaps the most challenging experience of their life and that they need all the support and understanding that you can give them.

    Our defense lawyers work not only to get the charges against you dismissed or dropped but also to help negotiate plea agreements that help to reduce the penalties against you as much as possible, apply for you to participate in diversionary programs that work as an alternative to traditional sentences, and to get illegal evidence thrown out to protect you from constitutional rights violations that could lead to unfair convictions.

    For help with your case, call the criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych right away by dialing (609) 616-4956.

    Penalties and Diversionary Programs in Woodstown, NJ

    While our first goal will be to get the case against you thrown out, it is important to first understand what penalties you could be facing if you are convicted.  Understanding these risks – and the alternatives to traditional sentencing that might be available – can help you understand whether there might be options to enter a plea or a diversionary program for your case.


    Most crimes involve a fine.  A common practice with low-level offenses like traffic tickets is to simply pay the fine and end the case.  However, when there are high-dollar fines you cannot afford or harsher penalties on the table, this might not be an option.


    If you are sentenced to probation, you can usually retain your freedom and stay out of jail, with some specific restrictions.  Probation usually requires checking in with a probation officer and following conditions like staying free of further crimes and submitting to regular or random searches of your home.  You will also need to maintain a job and report your employment location and living address to your probation officer.

    Violating the terms of probation often means activating a “suspended” penalty of jail time.

    Incarceration in Jail/Prison

    If you are convicted of a disorderly persons offense – NJ’s version of a misdemeanor, but also the level of charge for serious traffic offenses like DWI and reckless driving – then you will face a maximum of 6 months in jail.  If you are convicted of an indictable crime/offense – NJ’s version of a felony – then you could face over a year in prison.  Obviously, this penalty is one we want to avoid.

    Some crimes have a mandatory jail time assigned to them, in which case you might not be eligible for probation.


    If you are released early from incarceration, you could be put under supervision like you would with probation.  If the supervised release is after jail time, it is called parole instead of probation.  Otherwise, it is administered in basically the same way.

    Violating parole often means going back to prison to serve the rest of the original sentence.

    Diversionary Programs

    Programs like Drug Court or the Pre-Trial Intervention Program can allow offenders to face probation and rehabilitation programs instead of jail time or purely punitive measures.  These programs are available in limited circumstances, but our attorneys can investigate whether they are appropriate in your case.

    With low-level offenses, we may also be able to reach an agreement where the prosecution will forego penalties if you complete certain courses or treatment ahead of your court date.

    Often, these programs require a guilty plea to be entered, but it will not actually be submitted if you complete the program, and the conviction will not be entered on your record.  The plea will only be put on the record if you fail to complete the program, which usually comes with pre-arranged penalties being activated as well.

    Common Criminal Defense Tactics We Can Use in Your Case in Woodstown, NJ

    Criminal defense techniques vary greatly depending on the specific charges and the situations involved in your case.  For example, with charges of a very serious drug felony involving a network of other co-conspirators, the defense tactics will be different than in a case of a solo robbery on a dark street.  Even so, the following defenses are commonly available:

    Using Alibis

    If you have good proof that you were somewhere else when the crime was committed, it will be pretty difficult for the government to convict you.  Evidence backing up your claim, such as corroborating witness testimony or security footage proving you were somewhere else will be great evidence to help your case.

    Arguing Mistaken Identity

    In many cases, bad identification techniques are responsible for unfair charges.  Problems with the witness’ ability to identify the correct culprit could come down to issues of a focus on a weapon instead of the culprit’s face, lighting issues, issues with cross-racial identification, biased line-ups or photo line-ups, and other issues of mistaken identity or bias.

    Blocking Illegally Obtained Evidence

    If the police obtain evidence in violation of your constitutional rights, it should be “suppressed” or thrown out.  This usually happens in three ways:

    First, police cannot use evidence that was seized without probable cause.  Police must have legal grounds to search you or your property, or else the evidence they obtain is forfeited.

    Second, police cannot use evidence they obtained as a result of an unlawful arrest or stop.  Again, police need probable cause to arrest you or reasonable suspicion to stop and question you.  If they do not have this, then any evidence or statements obtained as a result of that illegal stop or illegal arrest are suppressed as “fruit of the poisonous tree.”  This is also true of confessions obtained after an illegal arrest.

    Third, police cannot use evidence from an interrogation while you are in custody if they did not “read you your rights.”  Police must tell you of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney before questioning you, or else the info they get must be suppressed.

    Cooperating and “Flipping”

    While this is not necessarily a defense that proves your innocence, cooperating with the prosecution against a co-defendant can help you get a reduced sentence in many cases.  Especially if you were a lower-level collaborator in something like a drug trafficking ring, police might want to use your testimony to get the “real criminals” higher up in an organization.  There may be opportunities to get charges dropped or reduced by cooperating in prosecutions against other defendants.

    Call Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Today for Help in Woodstown, NJ

    If you are facing criminal charges, call (609) 616-4956 for a free case review with the Law Offices of John J. Zarych’s criminal defense lawyers.

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