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Criminal Defense

What happens after an arrest?

What rights do I have after being arrested?

Can I fight a criminal charge or is my case hopeless?

Can I get a plea deal?





Q: What happens after an arrest?

Being arrested can be confusing. The legal world is complex and unfamiliar and oftentimes works in unexpected ways. Here is a brief outline of the typical path a criminal defendant takes:

Once you are in custody, the police will likely attempt to interrogate you. As discussed below, you have the right to remain silent. We recommend you immediately ask for an attorney, and then remain silent except for answering basic booking questions such as “What is your name?” and “What is your address?”

Booking is the collection of basic personal information. It can occur before or after interrogation.


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Q: What rights do I have after being arrested?

As you may have heard on a television show or in a movie, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, the court will provide one.” However, that is not the whole story.

Right Against Self-Incrimination

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects persons charged with a crime from self-incrimination. This is where the right to remain silent comes in. You have the right to refuse to answer any questions asked by the government – at the time of arrest, at the jailhouse, and at trial.

We strongly recommend all persons remain silent when in police custody. The only thing you should say is “I want an attorney.”

Right to an Attorney

All persons charged of a crime have the right to an attorney. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that persons who are charged with a crime that can be punished by imprisonment who cannot afford to hire an attorney will be provided one by the government.

We strongly recommend all persons remain silent when in police custody. The only thing you should say is “I want an attorney.”

Miranda Rights

The two rights discussed above – the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney – are known as Miranda rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police officers must inform you of these rights. However, the police do not have to do so immediately, only when they have you in custody and want to ask you questions.

We strongly recommend all persons remain silent when in police custody. The only thing you should say is “I want an attorney.”

Many people think that if the police do not read them their Miranda rights, the charges against them will be dropped. This is not true. If the police fail to inform you your rights you can still be convicted!

Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you and your property from unreasonable search and seizure. Although there are many exceptions to this rule, the police generally cannot search your home, property, car, or documents unless they have a search warrant, or you have given them consent to search.

If a search was unreasonable, the evidence seized during it can generally cannot be used against you at trial.



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Q: Can I fight a criminal charge or is my case hopeless?

At Sitzler and Sitzler we never take the position that a case is hopeless. Each and every person deserves their day in court, and we are honored when a client selects us to be there with them.

The law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. If the state does not have the evidence to support its charge against you, conviction is unconstitutional.  Thus, attacking the state’s evidence against you is an effective defense tactic.

Our firm has successfully defended many persons charged with crimes by discrediting the state’s evidence and presenting other evidence in our clients’ favor. 


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Q: Can I get a plea deal?

The majority of all criminal cases are resolved via plea bargaining with the prosecutor.

There are some crimes in New Jersey, DUI for example, where the prosecutor is not able to offer a lesser charge or lighter punishment. The only options are to plead guilty or go to trial.  

Each case is unique, so no criminal defense attorney can ever promise a specific result in an individual case. What we can promise is that we will devote our full attention and all the resources at our disposal toward defending each and every one of our client’s cases. 


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Criminal Defense News

The Sitzler & Sitzler law office in Hainesport, New Jersey, serves clients in Magistrate, State, and Municipal courts in any county in South Jersey, including Mercer, Gloucester, Atlantic, Cumberland, Cape May, Salem, Ocean, Camden, and Burlington.



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1487 State Highway 38 West, Hainesport, NJ 08036
| Phone: 609-267-1101

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