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Criminal Law

How Will A DWI Affect My Employment in New Jersey?

As a professional charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) in New Jersey, you may be worried that the charge will affect your ability to get or keep a job, especially if you are ultimately found guilty. Fortunately, a DWI in New Jersey is not a criminal offense, so it does not show up during criminal background screenings and is not reported to criminal databases like the National Crime Information Center or NCIC. However, that doesn’t mean that a conviction is not without its fair share of penalties for the accused.

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Criminal Law

A Brief Rundown of the Penalties for a Gun Charge in NJ

New Jersey is known for its strict gun laws. If you are accused of illegally possessing a gun or another weapon, it’s important to proceed carefully. Some of the penalties can be severe, so it’s a good idea to work with an attorney knowledgeable about criminal law in Monmouth County, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

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Criminal Law

Can You Text at a Red Light in New Jersey? Maybe Not for Much Longer.

New Jersey drivers have been prohibited by state law from texting while driving since 2008. However, a new bill, Measure S1602, aims to reduce distracted driving by making it against the law to text while at a stoplight, too. In fact, New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a measure that makes simply holding a cell phone, as a driver, a disorderly person offense. If you’ve received a traffic citation for distracted driving, or texting and driving, you may need help from The Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP.

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Criminal Law

What You Should Be Looking for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal charge is a serious offense, and not all lawyers have the experience and skills to get you out of jail. Choosing the best defense lawyer is critical to your acquittal or exoneration, but where do you start looking? Right here!

Area of Specialty

The right attorney should specialize in criminal law. Check the law firm’s website to determine the kind of services the lawyer you intend to hire offers. An attorney who is regularly involved in criminal law understands the legal system and has vast experience handling similar cases.

Choose Someone Experienced in Local Courts

In addition to the specialty area, you should also hire an attorney who has vast experience working with the local courts. Such an attorney has built reliable local connections and relationships that can help you fight a criminal charge. Having insights into how the court operates can help you create a bulletproof defense strategy.

Check Customer Reviews

You can gain important insights about an attorney by checking client reviews available on the internet. Ensure you are using only reputable sources such as the websites of state bar associations. Also, check whether the lawyer is licensed and if they have any formal discipline issues on their record. Websites like Facebook don’t allow lawyers to remove bad reviews, which can be an ideal starting point.

Need Help with a Criminal Case?

If you are looking for experienced criminal lawyers in Hamilton Township, NJ, contact the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP. We strongly believe that the legal system should work for the people, and our criminal law legal teams are committed to standing up for your rights no matter what charges you’re facing. We’ll fight for you — and win!

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Criminal Law

FAQs About Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey

Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts or offenses committed by a young person under the age of 18 years. At the Law Offices of Zapicchi & Liller LLP, we understand that adolescence is a delicate time that can sometimes lead to costly mistakes. However, we don’t believe one mistake made at such a young age should define the rest of someone’s life. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs regarding juvenile crimes in New Jersey, and we’re always available for a consultation should you need additional legal assistance. 

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Criminal Law

Burglary Vs. Robbery in NJ

Typically, burglary does not involve violence, but robbery does. According to New Jersey law, if you use threat or force to steal from someone else, it’s considered robbery. Burglary is theft without violence. If you face burglary or robbery charges, we have the best team of criminal lawyers in Hamilton Township, NJ.

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Criminal Law

What to Do if You’ve Been Accused of a Robbery in New Jersey

Being accused of a robbery in New Jersey is a serious matter. You’re facing severe penalties if you’re convicted. Because of this, it’s imperative that you have a criminal lawyer on your side to protect your rights.

In New Jersey, robbery is split into two degrees: first degree and second degree. Both of them come with the possibility of time in prison and fines, but first degree is a much more serious charge. Criminal law in New Jersey stipulates that a theft that occurs using violence or a threat of violence is robbery, and robbery in the second degree is the default charge for it unless there are extenuating circumstances.

When is Robbery in the Second Degree Increased to Robbery in the First Degree?

Robbery in the second degree increases to a first degree if there is a weapon involved or if there is a threat of using a weapon. It will also increase if there’s an attempted murder or if bodily injury is inflicted upon the victim.

What are the Penalties for Robbery?

Robbery in the second degree carries penalties of incarceration of 5 to 10 years, and robbery in the first degree carries penalties of incarceration of 10 to 20 years.

If there is a weapon used in the robbery, a state mandate requires that the person serve at least 3.5 years in prison. This typically applies to robbery in the first degree.

What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove?

In order to launch a successful case for robbery, the prosecution has several points they need to prove. These include proving that:

  • The defendant intended to commit the crime
  • The defendant did commit or attempt to commit a theft
  • The defendant used or threatened to use force during the robbery or while leaving the robbery

It’s imperative that anyone who’s facing a robbery charge contact one of our criminal lawyers in Hamilton Township, NJ, to explore defense options. These vary based on the circumstances of the charges, so be sure that you discuss the entire case with one of our attorneys to find out what options you have. Contact us now to learn more!

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Criminal Law

What Happens After You Get Charged with Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute in New Jersey?

Possession with Intent to Distribute in New Jersey?

More often than not, simply getting caught with any type of drugs on your person, even recreational marijuana, can land you a drug possession with intent to distribute charge in New Jersey. How? Law enforcement officials may not have any solid evidence that you did, in fact, intend to distribute, but that won’t stop them from increasing the severity of the charges against you. 

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Criminal Law

What You Need to Know About Weapons Charges in New Jersey

While the ability to be armed is protected under the Second Amendment, it’s still important for New Jersey weapon owners to understand local laws that restrict weapon usage and accessibility. New Jersey is well-known for having some of the toughest weapon charges, so knowing the law and choosing an experienced lawyer to help you is essential in making it through the case without massive fines or jail time, or avoiding a weapons charge in the first place.  

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Criminal Law

What You Need to Know About Indictable (Felony) Offenses in New Jersey

Indictable offenses in New Jersey, also known as felonies in other states, are crimes that require a prison sentence of at least one year after conviction. These crimes, such as murder, arson, sex crimes, and robbery, among others, are the most severe crimes one might commit, and they all have different levels of severity with corresponding punishments. In this article, we at the Law Office of Zapicchi & Liller LLP will give you a brief overview of indictables in NJ, including the degrees of indictable offenses, the criminal statute of limitations, and the different sentences for each. 

Degrees & Sentences of Indictment 

New Jersey indictables are classified by four degrees. Their severity is listed in descending order below:

  • First-Degree: These are the most serious offenses a citizen may commit in the state. They include murder, rape, and manslaughter.
  • Judges can impose a standard sentence of 10 to 20 years, or between 20, 25, 30 years, and life. The court may fine the convicted person a maximum of $200,000.
  • Second-Degree: These include aggravated arson, burglary, sex crimes, drug crimes, kidnapping, and white-collar crimes. 
  • Convictions in this category can necessitate a sentence of 5 to 10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
  • Third-Degree: This category consists of some DUI offenses, some robbery crimes, arson, and possession of a controlled substance.
  • A court can order a 3- to a 5-year prison sentence and fines up to $15,000 for those convicted at this level.
  • Fourth-Degree: These are the least severe indictable offenses. Crimes include forgery, some DUI and robbery offenses, and stalking. 
  • A defendant convicted at this level faces from 12 to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

These degrees and their corresponding crimes refer to first offenses only. Any subsequent convictions for the same offense will usually be considered a more severe degree for individual perpetrators. New Jersey law dictates that there should be an “ordinary term” for each degree, as listed above. However, judges can extend sentences for certain crimes (e.g., 20 years to life for a murder charge), impose minimum penalties, or allow for indicted individuals to serve all or a part of their sentences on probation. 

Even though indictable crimes are the most serious crimes, there is still a statute of limitations for many of them, meaning that the state has a certain period to open a criminal case before it cannot be brought to court. Although for some of the more serious crimes, this is not a concern.

Below is a summary of the statutes of limitations for indictable offenses:

  • There is no statute of limitations for severe crimes like murder and manslaughter, sexual assault, acts of terrorism, widespread damage, or injury.
  • Bribery of a government official, official misconduct, related offenses (7 years)
  • Other felony offenses (5 years)
  • Criminal sexual contact or endangering the welfare of a child with an under-18 victim (whichever is later: within 5 years after the victim turns 18 or 2 years of crime discovery by the victim)

An indictable crime can seriously affect your life, as a conviction becomes part of your permanent record and can make it challenging to get a job or an apartment and eliminates your voting, gun, and professional license rights. Additionally, If you were convicted of a prior felony, a harsher sentence may be imposed. An experienced criminal defense lawyer should always be consulted to help reduce sentences and make plea deals. If you need a defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Zapicchi & Liller LLP before it is too late! 

In addition to indictable offense representation, if you require a speeding ticket lawyer in Monmouth County, NJ, or a DWI/DUI lawyer in Mercer County, NJ, call the Law Office of Zapicchi & Liller LLP today!