Hunterdon County Criminal Lawyer Helping Defendants Get Justice in New Jersey
Defendants should know that that are many different ways to have criminal charges dismissed or to convince a district attorney to enter into a plea bargain. Whether you have been charged with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree crime, the police cannot seize evidence or arrest residents unless they follow the law. The prosecution must be able to prove each element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Often times, the credibility of prosecution witnesses and the evidence can be called into question.
Fighting to get charges dismissed and obtaining fair plea bargains since 1955
The Hunterdon County criminal attonrneys at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. have 250 years of combined trial experience. Many of our criminal defense attorneys have served as prosecutors before beginning their work with us. Our understanding of how prosecutors think, how to try a case before a judge or jury, and our dedication to suppressing illegal evidence and collecting the best defense evidence all contribute to our lawyers’ skill and tact in getting the accused justice.
Prior criminal trial experience matters
Prior prosecution and defense trial experience can often mean the difference between winning a case or obtaining a just plea bargain and being confined to jail for months, years, or even decades. Our Hunterdon County trial lawyers have experience prosecuting homicides, sexual assault cases, drug cases, drunk driving charges, speeding tickets, and the full range of violent and non-violent indictments and charges. A trial is simply not the time to learn a job. Your liberty, your finances, your job, your relationships, and your reputation are all on the line in criminal cases.
Trial experience matters because:
- Prosecutors will not offer fair plea arrangements unless they know you have the ability to try, and win, a serious criminal case. The more a Hunterdon County criminal defense attorney can demonstrate an ability to win cases, have charges dismissed, and have evidence suppressed, the more likely a prosecutor is to make a deal because the prosecutor knows he/she might lose.
- Our criminal justice system is built on the premise that defendants will be tried by a jury of their peers who are more likely to listen and be fair than a judge or a prosecutor. Understanding how to choose jurors and present cases before them is an art that must be learned through experience.
- Trials depend on presentation of evidence, questioning of witnesses, use of correct legal procedures, and the ability to find flaws in the prosecution’s case. The only way to build a case for trial is to understand what happens in a trial. Similar to a performer: until he/she has been on stage in front of an audience, the performer does not know how loud to sing, how fast to talk, or how well the lines will be received.
Trial experience also matters because only an experienced litigator can recommend a plea bargain. Trials are always risky. Someone who has tried multiple cases has a much better idea of what a jury is likely to do than a novice.
Dismissal and reduction of charges
Often the police will bring a series of charges, or charge someone with a more serious crime than the facts support. Part and parcel of any defense lawyer’s job is to show that the defendant, if guilty at all, is only guilty of the less serious offenses. Reducing charges, or having them dismissed entirely, requires:
- A thorough understanding of New Jersey law and procedure
- An ability to negotiate by showing the flaws in the prosecution’s case and the strength in our client’s case
- An understanding of the many practical issues involved, such as the likelihood a co-defendant may not agree to testify, or that the police violated established procedures
The judge can agree to dismiss charges if the law does not establish the charges. The prosecution can also recommend a dismissal or reduction of charges.
Plea agreements in criminal cases
There are many decisions that go into the terms of a plea agreement and whether the plea agreement should be accepted. The final decision to accept a plea offer belongs to the accused, not the defense lawyer. Some of the key factors are:
- With a plea agreement, there is certainty as to which charges the accused will accept and what the terms of the sentence will be—provided the trial judge accepts the plea bargain.
- The strength and weaknesses of each sides’ case. This includes the likelihood that evidence may be dismissed, the credibility of witnesses, and the predispositions of the trial judge
- Miscellaneous factors. For example, a prosecutor may only be able to try a set number of cases during the week and must settle other cases so they will not be dismissed.
Our criminal trial practice areas
Our Hunterdon County criminal law firm represent clients across the spectrum of criminal cases, including 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree crimes and municipal court crimes. Some of our key areas of focus are:
- Drug possession – Drug possession offenses depend on the type of drug and the weight of the controlled substance.
- Burglary is a 2nd or 3rd degree crime that involves illegally breaking and entering into a building, office, or facility with the intent to commit a crime in that structure.
- Drunk driving – Drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more will be prosecuted for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even a first-time conviction will likely mean jail time.
- Speeding tickets – A violation of this traffic offense means more than just a fine. It also means points on the driver’s license, possible surcharges, and increased insurance premiums.
Many defenses, such as illegal searches and seizures, apply to each type of offense. Other defenses are unique to the crime in question.
Speak with an experienced Hunterdon County criminal lawyer today
Experience and reputation matter. Our defense attorneys have been recognized by the top state and federal law rating agencies in New Jersey and the country. Most importantly, local prosecutors respect our abilities to try and win criminal cases. To talk to one of our respected Hunterdon County criminal defense attorney promptly, please call Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. at (908) 561-5577 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.