Being accused of a crime is a stressful and overwhelming matter that can have life-altering consequences. In New Jersey, criminal charges can result in hefty fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. Whether you have been charged with a minor offense or a serious crime, the consequences can be severe and could haunt you for years to come. That’s why it’s essential to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side who can help protect your rights and fight for your freedom.
The Arrest and Bail Process
If you’re arrested in New Jersey, the police will take you into custody and book you at the police station. The court will set your bail amount, which is the money you need to pay to be released from jail while awaiting trial. If you can’t afford to pay the full bail amount, you can contact a bail bondsman, who will post the bail for you in exchange for a fee.
Step 1: Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
The first and most important step in fighting criminal charges is to hire a criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights. They can also help you understand the charges against you and the potential consequences of a conviction.
Step 2: Preliminary Hearing
After your arrest, you’ll be required to attend a preliminary hearing, where the judge will determine whether there’s enough evidence to proceed with the case. Your criminal defense attorney can use this hearing to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and argue for your release if the evidence is insufficient.
Step 3: The Arraignment
Arraignment is the formal process where you enter a plea to the charges against you. You can either plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Your criminal defense attorney can help you decide which plea is best for your case.
Step 4: The Discovery Phase
During the discovery phase, both the prosecution and the defense exchange information and evidence that they plan to use at trial. Your criminal defense attorney can review the evidence against you and challenge it if it’s inaccurate or inadmissible.
Step 5: Plea Bargaining
If the evidence against you is strong, your criminal defense attorney may recommend plea bargaining. This is an agreement between the prosecution and the defense that involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge or receiving a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Plea bargaining can often result in a more favorable outcome than going to trial.
Step 6: Trial
If a plea bargain is not possible or desirable, the case will proceed to trial. If your case goes to trial, your criminal defense attorney will present your case before a judge or jury. They will argue on your behalf, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. The trial process can be lengthy and complex, but your criminal defense attorney can help guide you through it.
Step 7: Sentencing
If you are found guilty or plead guilty, the next step is sentencing. The judge will consider the severity of the crime, your criminal history, and other factors when determining your sentence. Your criminal defense attorney can argue for a more lenient sentence and help you understand the consequences of the sentence.
In addition to these steps, there are many other factors to consider in a criminal defense case, such as bail hearings, appeals, and expungement. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help make sure that your case is handled correctly and that your rights are protected throughout the process.
Contact a Scotch Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation About Your Criminal Defense Case
At Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC, we understand the stress and anxiety that come with facing criminal charges. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys is committed to fighting for your rights and defending your case. We have successfully defended clients in a wide range of criminal cases, from minor traffic violations to serious felonies. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of the New Jersey criminal justice system and can guide you through every step of the process.
We are dedicated to providing our clients with personalized attention and aggressive representation. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.