Criminally Charged—Do You Need An Attorney?

Have you been charged with a crime or crimes in the state of New Jersey?  The damage stemming from a criminal conviction can have life-long repercussions, especially when seeking employment.  A conviction is typically a permanent part of your criminal record and will be revealed during standard background checks. 

This is the reality for several New Jersey residents mentioned in a recent news article.   Police stopped a vehicle because the driver did not have a license and the smell of marijuana was apparent.  Both cocaine and marijuana were found, as well as the money from the sale of the drugs.  Most alarmingly, one of the residents was charged with up to seven crimes from this one single situation. 

The government has a substantial amount of resources to prosecute you.  It is advisable to hire an attorney for your defense, especially to defend you against accusations from other people involved, such as police officers.  Likewise, an attorney can decipher whether your constitutional rights have been violated by an unreasonable search and seizure that transpired.  Further still, if you have already been exonerated for a particular offense, an attorney will ensure that there is no double jeopardy. 

Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor on your behalf.  This type of settlement prevents the need for further litigation and trial, in exchange for your acceptance of a lower sentence.  However, if your case does go to trial, it is even more crucial to have an attorney.  A licensed attorney can take on the burden of fully narrating your story to the jury to invoke sympathy and compassion for your particular situation, especially if you were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Moreover, criminal defense cases often involve extended discovery processes due to the need for evidence.  Evidence may include any substances or possessions that were taken from the scene by law enforcement, such as drugs or weapons, in addition to testimony of witnesses.  Furthermore, any medical tests that were administered during or shortly after the incident may be admitted to demonstrate whether you were under any influence that impaired your decision-making.  The judge may also require extensive lay or expert witness testimony to confirm the facts and your mental, emotional, and physical state during the crime.  Let your attorney battle for you and ensure that your rights are protected to the fullest extent.