As hard as it may sound, try not to get too panicked or afraid if you get arrested. The road from your initial arrest to your first appearance in court will seem agonizing and frightening, but your lawyer will do what he can to allay your fears and let you know what your best options are. You should speak to a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer immediately after being arrested. Call 732-212-2812 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
Some criminal cases go all the way to trial, but most instead end with a guilty plea and a sentence from a judge. If you decide to plea bargain and then enter of plea of guilty, there will be a “change-of-plea” hearing. Remember to be respectful and precise at your hearing so the judge is inclined to grant you a favorable sentence at the later sentencing hearing.
As you progress with your case, your New Jersey criminal defense lawyer will let you know about certain obligations that you have. Many of these obligations arise during the course of the discovery process. Discovery occurs when each side of the case asks for information that is helpful to aid the other side in working on its case.
Once the prosecutor requests discovery from you through your New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, reciprocal discovery is triggered. Additionally, your New Jersey criminal defense attorney might have to provide notice of certain defenses that you may raise, such as an alibi. This mandate for reciprocal discovery is often executed through a pretrial order. The prosecution might have to provide more information from the case, including witness lists, statements and trial exhibits.
Determining Information to Request
One of the responsibilities of your criminal defense attorney is to determine how helpful certain information may be to your case. He or she must assess whether asking for this information exceeds the cost of disclosing information about your defense. He or she may ask some of the following questions:
• Are you aware of the prosecution’s strategies and case in general, or do you have a good idea about the likely evidence that they will produce?
• Will your witnesses be intimidated if disclosure allows the prosecution to start asking them questions now? Do your witnesses have damaging information in their past that can affect their credibility?
• Does your defense depend on the other side being surprised, or is it the only feasible defense that the case warrants or that the prosecutor would likely anticipate?
Limitations of Discovery
The prosecution can’t compel a defendant to testify, and his or her attorney can’t be forced to provide pretrial information about what the testimony might be. Additionally, you are not required to disclose potentially damaging information to the prosecution. However, by being aware of the prosecution’s evidence, your attorney may be able to anticipate the intended prosecution strategy to better prepare his or her own strategy to combat this evidence.
If you would like more information regarding the obligation of providing certain discovery to the prosecution, contact Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812 to set up a confidential meeting.
The Miranda Warnings were established to protect the rights of suspects taken into custody–this includes the right to remain silent. No matter the questions posed, or general chit chat officers try to engage a suspect with, any statements said can be used to incriminate the suspect. A suspect should tell the officer that they invoke their right to stay silent and their right to an attorney, and then only converse with their attorney.
For the most part, federal law has outlawed possession and distribution of marijuana in the United States. However, some states feel like it should be up to the individual states and are pushing back. Seventeen states have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana possession.
A skilled New Jersey federal criminal defense attorney defines pre-trial custody credit as credit given for time that a defendant has spent in custody prior to trial.
If you have been arrested and detained prior to trial, that time is usually factored into your sentence. This is true in the majority of state courts and in federal courts. If, however, you have been placed under house arrest, are in a halfway house or are being monitored electronically, such credit is not normally accorded in most states.
As the types of facilities to which you may be confined are typically unpleasant, your Trenton federal criminal defense attorney will work towards having you released on bail. It is possible that you may not be convicted, so it follows that you may never be incarcerated at all. Your attorney will be working towards this, naturally. Even if you are released from a holding facility and placed on electronic monitoring or house arrest, you are at least in a better position to help your lawyer on your case.
Be Sure You Have Help
If you are facing charges, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact Tim Anderson, a seasoned federal criminal defense attorney, by calling 732-212-2812 today.