Criminal Law

Experienced Criminal Lawyers Who Will Fight for You

The first rule of criminal law litigation is that every person is assumed innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt. At Zapicchi & Liller, we have successfully handled a vast array of client cases, from indictable felony crimes in Superior state courts to misdemeanors and disorderly persons cases in Municipal courts.

If you or someone you love has been accused and charged with any criminal offense in Bordentown NJ, or Hamilton Township, NJ, the most important initial step that you must take is to retain the services of a reputable, experienced, and widely knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer – just like you would a traffic lawyer for moving violations. Our attorneys will spare no effort to aggressively and firmly advocate for your rights and best interests from the beginning to the end.

Our approach is aggressive and firm, ensuring that you end up with the best possible result in Burlington County, NJ, Mercer County, NJ, and Monmouth County, NJ. Quick, decisive action on your part could be the difference between a well-crafted, winning strategy and a sloppy, ill-prepared time-barred defense.

Experienced Criminal Lawyers Who Will Fight for You

The first rule of criminal law litigation is that every person is assumed innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt. At Zapicchi & Liller, we have successfully handled a vast array of client cases, from indictable felony crimes in Superior state courts to misdemeanors and disorderly persons cases in Municipal courts.

If you or someone you love has been accused and charged with any criminal offense in Bordentown NJ, or Hamilton Township, NJ, the most important initial step that you must take is to retain the services of a reputable, experienced, and widely knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer – just like you would a traffic lawyer for moving violations. Our attorneys will spare no effort to aggressively and firmly advocate for your rights and best interests from the beginning to the end.

Our approach is aggressive and firm, ensuring that you end up with the best possible result in Burlington County, NJ, Mercer County, NJ, and Monmouth County, NJ. Quick, decisive action on your part could be the difference between a well-crafted, winning strategy and a sloppy, ill-prepared time-barred defense.

What is a Felony?

Criminal law charges are divided into petty disorderly persons offenses, disorderly persons offenses, and indictable crimes (felonies in other states). Indictable crimes are those whose sentences carry at least a one-year prison term. The former two are like misdemeanors in other states.

NJ law groups indictable crimes into four degrees. The term “indictable” implies that a grand jury must be convened to review the facts of the case and hence decide whether sufficient evidence exists to support formal charges. The four degrees of law are as follows:

  • First degree crimes – rape, manslaughter, and murder
  • Second degree crimes – aggravated arson, sex crimes, drug crimes, white collar crimes, kidnapping, and burglary
  • Third degree crimes – possession of controlled, dangerous substances, some DUI/DWI offenses, arson, and certain robbery offenses
  • Fourth degree crimes – certain robbery offenses, certain DUI/DWI offenses, forgery, stalking

Some crimes move up the scale if they are repeat offenses. For example, stalking as a first-time offense is 4th degree, but a second conviction against that same victim moves to 3rd degree.

What is a Felony?

Criminal law charges are divided into petty disorderly persons offenses, disorderly persons offenses, and indictable crimes (felonies in other states). Indictable crimes are those whose sentences carry at least a one-year prison term. The former two are like misdemeanors in other states.

NJ law groups indictable crimes into four degrees. The term “indictable” implies that a grand jury must be convened to review the facts of the case and hence decide whether sufficient evidence exists to support formal charges. The four degrees of law are as follows:

  • First degree crimes – rape, manslaughter, and murder
  • Second degree crimes – aggravated arson, sex crimes, drug crimes, white collar crimes, kidnapping, and burglary
  • Third degree crimes – possession of controlled, dangerous substances, some DUI/DWI offenses, arson, and certain robbery offenses
  • Fourth degree crimes – certain robbery offenses, certain DUI/DWI offenses, forgery, stalking

Some crimes move up the scale if they are repeat offenses. For example, stalking as a first-time offense is 4th degree, but a second conviction against that same victim moves to 3rd degree.

Criminal Charges and Penalties

Given the many classes and types of criminal offenses, there are a variety of penalties and charges which can be imposed. The penalty for a given crime is also dependent on factors other than the crime. For example, a non-citizen of the United States risks deportation on conviction for a petty disorderly persons offense. Convictions can also prevent you from attaining U.S. citizenship.

Other criminal offenses have different penalties depending on the particular merits of each case. At Zapicchi & Liller, we have successfully litigated a number of criminal offenses in Mercer County, NJ, Monmouth County, NJ, and Burlington County, NJ, which include:

  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Bad Checks
  • Drug Charges
  • Burglary
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Identity Theft
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Shoplifting
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Receiving/Handling Stolen Property
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Weapon Possession

Drug Crimes in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey does not look kindly upon those who are caught with illegal substances. To discourage the use, possession, distribution, sale, and manufacturing of future drugs, New Jersey’s complicated statutes pave the path for harsh punishments, even for first-time offenders. The charges can be divided into five different drug classifications (referred to as Schedules I to V), and the sentences vary from the first to the fourth degree. 

Drug Classifications

  • Schedule I: These substances have a high risk of potential abuse and no accepted medical use in the United States, and thus they carry the most serious offenses. Some Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, acid, MDMA, mushrooms, ecstasy, etc.
  • Schedule II: These substances have a high risk of potential abuse that could lead to physical and mental dependence. However, they do have some accepted medical use (with restrictions) in the United States and are, therefore, available by prescription. Some Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, amphetamines, and fentanyl.
  • Schedule III: These substances have a lower risk of potential abuse that could lead to physical and mental dependence (compared to Schedule I and Schedule II drugs). Additionally, these drugs have accepted medical uses in the United States. Some Schedule III drugs include ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and buprenorphine.
  • Schedule IV & Schedule V: These substances have a low risk of potential abuse that could lead to limited physical and mental dependence, and they are approved for medical use in the United States. Most prescription drugs fall under the Schedule IV and Schedule V categories. Some Schedule V drugs may even be sold over-the-counter.

Possible Charges

If you or someone you know gets caught in possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) at the wrong place at the wrong time, you could face serious prison time. Convicted individuals, even first-timers, may face any of the following sentences depending on the type and amount of drugs they are caught with, as well as a variety of other factors. 

  • First Degree Conviction: 10-20 year sentence
  • Second Degree Conviction: 5-10 year sentence
  • Third Degree Conviction: 3-5 year sentence
  • Fourth Degree: 18-month sentence
  • Disorderly Persons: ~ 6-month sentence

Other punishments and penalties include the suspension of your driving privileges, expensive fines, and mandatory drug education programs. 
Drug convictions can have a devastating impact on the offender’s career prospects, financial stability, relationships, and mental and physical health. At Zapicchi & Liller, we don’t believe one mistake should define the rest of your life. We’re here to help you learn an important lesson in a productive and efficient manner — not behind bars. Our team will always be in your corner. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Drug Crimes in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey does not look kindly upon those who are caught with illegal substances. To discourage the use, possession, distribution, sale, and manufacturing of future drugs, New Jersey’s complicated statutes pave the path for harsh punishments, even for first-time offenders. The charges can be divided into five different drug classifications (referred to as Schedules I to V), and the sentences vary from the first to the fourth degree. 

Drug Classifications

  • Schedule I: These substances have a high risk of potential abuse and no accepted medical use in the United States, and thus they carry the most serious offenses. Some Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, acid, MDMA, mushrooms, ecstasy, etc.
  • Schedule II: These substances have a high risk of potential abuse that could lead to physical and mental dependence. However, they do have some accepted medical use (with restrictions) in the United States and are, therefore, available by prescription. Some Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, amphetamines, and fentanyl.
  • Schedule III: These substances have a lower risk of potential abuse that could lead to physical and mental dependence (compared to Schedule I and Schedule II drugs). Additionally, these drugs have accepted medical uses in the United States. Some Schedule III drugs include ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and buprenorphine.
  • Schedule IV & Schedule V: These substances have a low risk of potential abuse that could lead to limited physical and mental dependence, and they are approved for medical use in the United States. Most prescription drugs fall under the Schedule IV and Schedule V categories. Some Schedule V drugs may even be sold over-the-counter.

Possible Charges

If you or someone you know gets caught in possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) at the wrong place at the wrong time, you could face serious prison time. Convicted individuals, even first-timers, may face any of the following sentences depending on the type and amount of drugs they are caught with, as well as a variety of other factors. 

  • First Degree Conviction: 10-20 year sentence
  • Second Degree Conviction: 5-10 year sentence
  • Third Degree Conviction: 3-5 year sentence
  • Fourth Degree: 18-month sentence
  • Disorderly Persons: ~ 6-month sentence

Other punishments and penalties include the suspension of your driving privileges, expensive fines, and mandatory drug education programs. 
Drug convictions can have a devastating impact on the offender’s career prospects, financial stability, relationships, and mental and physical health. At Zapicchi & Liller, we don’t believe one mistake should define the rest of your life. We’re here to help you learn an important lesson in a productive and efficient manner — not behind bars. Our team will always be in your corner. Schedule a consultation with us today.

The Criminal Law Process

We recommend that you visit our offices near Bordentown, NJ, and Hamilton Township, NJ, for a consultation and speak to our criminal defense attorneys prior to your first appearance in court. Our attorneys will sit with you to carefully review all evidence in which the State bases its case on to ensure that your rights were not violated, filing motions to suppress evidence in a manner that violated your rights.

Our Legal Team is Here for You

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