Criminal Defense Lawyer Assisting Clients Throughout Hoboken
Unlike other states, New Jersey laws define what constitutes a crime as opposed to a misdemeanor, known in the state as a disorderly person’s offense. Any offense resulting in 6 months of prison time or less is classified as a disorderly person’s offense and not considered a crime. A municipal court will handle such offenses. There are several indictable crimes in New Jersey, such as DUI, assault, drug possession, drug distribution, domestic violence, and gun possession.
While a disorderly person’s offense is the least serious offense in the spectrum of misdemeanors and felonies, it still has significant consequences for the offender, such as incarceration and expensive fines. Criminal offenses are classified by the degree of severity, which can range from first degree to fourth degree, with first-degree offenses being the most severe and fourth-degree being the least serious.
Incarceration time varies for each classification. Fourth-degree offenders are subject to a maximum of 18 months; a third-degree offense may result in 18 months to 5 years in prison; a second-degree offense results in five to ten years behind bars, and a first-degree offense is punished with ten to twenty years in prison.
Our firm has a team of Criminal Defense attorneys in Jersey City that is well-versed in all aspects of Criminal Law in New Jersey and can help you understand your charges and the type of sentence you might be likely to receive. It is in your best interest to be represented by an attorney as early in the process as possible to improve your chances for a better outcome.
Is Self-Representation in a New Jersey Criminal Case a Bad Idea?
In some cases, a defendant might wish to exercise their right to self-representation and choose not to retain an attorney. Generally speaking, this may be a bad idea depending on the severity of the crime and the punishments a defendant will face if convicted. Without more in-depth analysis, an individual might think it makes sense to represent themselves when faced with a less severe charge with invariable penalties. However, this does not always work in their favor.
As an example, let’s look at a DUI charge. A first-time offender might be inclined to choose to self-represent, thinking that the penalties resulting from pleading guilty are not severe enough to justify the expense of hiring a lawyer. While that is accurate in some cases, most people in this situation do not consider the future consequences of pleading guilty to a DUI without contesting the charges or negotiating the penalties.
Once charged with a DUI, a driver will find it incredibly challenging to find affordable car insurance and spend thousands more every year with high-risk carriers. An attorney would have challenged the accusations and evidence gathered and would perhaps have been able to have the charges dismissed or negotiate the penalties more favorably.
A Criminal Defense lawyer has the knowledge and experience to deal with the practical and legal issues involved with every step of a criminal case in New Jersey and can see both sides of every case. The attorney will have an objective view of the weaknesses of your case and prepare a defense strategy accordingly and be ready to respond to the prosecution’s arguments. When your life, freedom, and finances are at stake due to a possible criminal conviction, it is best to have a well-versed attorney on your side to minimize or dismiss charges.
How Can I Get Help for my Case?
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C. can represent clients charged with any crime in Hoboken and surrounding areas. We understand how stressful it is to be charged with a criminal offense, whether this is your first or third time. For that reason, we will work diligently to learn all aspects of your case, study the evidence presented by the prosecution and devise a defense strategy to defend your rights and lessen the impact of your charges – and dismiss them whenever possible. While not all charges can be dismissed, our team will use all their knowledge and expertise to achieve a better outcome for your case. The Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C. is available to discuss your situation. Call us at 201-798-4024.