Facing criminal charges can wreak havoc on your life. Protect yourself and your rights with a team of passionate and highly skilled criminal defense attorneys. If you find yourself in a situation involving criminal accusations in Jersey City or surrounding areas, let Bhatt Law Group fight for you.
When you’re charged with a crime, you face a long road ahead. The criminal justice system can be complex and often requires special knowledge to navigate. You don’t have to deal with your situation alone. Call Bhatt Law Group today at (201) 798-8000 to find out how we can help you.
Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
All criminal convictions have serious penalties and often unexpected consequences. If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for you against allegations made.
Some possible consequences of a criminal conviction include:
- Large monetary fines and court fees
- A permanent criminal record
- Driver’s License Suspension
- Restrictions on travel
- Loss or denial of a professional license
- Negative effects on your immigration status
- Inability to find a house to rent or buy
- Difficulty finding a job
- Ineligibility for student financial aid
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
Bhatt Law Group has more than a decade of experience defending good people in Jersey City and surrounding areas against allegations of all kinds. We have the experience to craft an effective criminal defense strategy and make sure your rights are respected throughout the process.
Criminal Offenses – Our team of skilled criminal defense lawyers handles a wide range of charges including DUI, assault, theft, burglary, harassment, property crimes, and public nuisance offenses. We have successfully represented clients faced with relatively minor misdemeanors as well as grievous felonies, and we will use our experience to fight for you.
Criminal Defenses – With a former prosecutor on our team, we know how criminal cases operate and what’s at stake. We will work diligently to learn about every aspect of your case. Once we have all the facts, we will find the flaws in the evidence and craft the best possible defense.
What You Need to Know About the Criminal Justice Process
If you are arrested for a crime, you will be suddenly thrown into the complex criminal justice system. You will face interrogations and an in-depth investigation. Law enforcement authorities may claim to be on your side; however, their questions are targeted and often confusing. They want to find someone guilty and hope that person is you.
If you’ve been arrested, you need to know about the following:
- Your Rights in a Criminal Investigation – Don’t let investigators scare you. You have rights throughout the criminal investigation process. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will protect your rights and make sure they are respected from the beginning.
- New Jersey Criminal Court Process – Once charges are made, you will face the criminal court process in New Jersey. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you against charges made by prosecutors. Bhatt Law Group will make sure your side of the story is heard by the judge and jury.
- Do I need to hire an attorney if I decide to plead guilty? – For many minor crimes, defendants tend to plead guilty, rather than trying to convince the court of their innocence. The process is over much faster as result. However, if you do plan on pleading guilty, be aware that are several compelling reasons to still hire an attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you negotiate a guilty plea agreement with better terms and conditions. You can also better understand the implications of pleading guilty and if it’s the best option for you. Most importantly, a criminal defense attorney might be able to get your charges dismissed and help you avoid a conviction altogether.
- Should I speak to a police officer after I’m arrested? – If you’ve been arrested, the Fifth Amendment protects your rights to not offer a statement or confession to a police officer. You have the right to remain silent if under questioning. You also have the right to a lawyer. Ask to speak to one and wait until you can receive legal consultation. Avoid saying anything, even if the police officer presses you for information. Your word could eventually be used against you in court.
- Will my case go to trial? – The answer depends on your case and attorney. However, if a verdict cannot be reached based on the criminal charges, your case will go to court. An attorney can help by convincing the prosecution that your case isn’t worth pursuing or by proving that the charges were not filed legally. If this happens, your case might be dismissed.
- What types of crimes are considered domestic violence? – In New Jersey, domestic violence crimes are considered to be one or more of the following:Homicide
Criminal sexual contact
StalkingThese crimes occur between family and household members.
- What is a restraining order? – A restraining order is a court order issued to protect a person who has experienced harm from an intimate partner. An individual can succeed in obtaining a restraining order if he or she has been the victim of repeated abusive behavior. The person accused of the abuse normally cannot contact the victim, may be required to move out of their home, or lose joint-custody of their children.
- What type of crimes does Bhatt Law Group handle? – At Bhatt Law Group, we have years of experience providing support and ensuring rights are protected for different crimes. Here are the types of crimes we cover:* DUI/DWI
* Assault and battery
* Drug possession
* Driver’s license suspension
* Traffic offenses
* Felony crimes
* Theft & white collar crimes
* Violation of probation or community control
* Restraining ordersWhatever type of crime you’re dealing with, we offer quality legal representation for criminal cases that could make or break your future.
- What do I do if I’ve been arrested? – If you’ve been arrested, do not use force (you normally don’t have the right to resist arrest even if the arrest is illegal). After an arrest has been made, you will be searched at the scene or in the prison. You will also be photographed and fingerprinted. The record of your arrest will go on file. During this time, invoke your rights which states that you can remain silent and have access to an attorney. Avoid saying anything that could be incriminating. Instead, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and navigate through the challenging criminal justice system.
- What is an arraignment? – An arraignment is your first appearance in court after you’ve been charged with a crime. The court will formally inform you of the charge. You must be present for this hearing. An arraignment is also public so victims and their families might attend. The prosecutor will use this time to determine whether to continue with the charges or drop them. A Bhatt Law Group attorney can help you prepare for your arraignment and ensure that you don’t say anything that could be used against you.
- What is bail? – Bail is a specific amount of money that must be paid to the court to release you from jail. This release is conditional as you must promise to appear in court when required. Bail amounts will depend on certain factors such as the type of crime, your age, criminal record, and other court history. The defendant may post his or her own bail or ask someone else.
- Can I be released without bail? – In some cases, yes. You can request to be released on an O.R. release (i.e. a release on your own recognizance). You promise the court that you will appear for all court proceedings. The court will look at your past criminal record, severity of the crime, and if your release will endanger public safety. Based on this information, you may be granted an O.R. release that comes with certain conditions.
- How can I bail someone out? – You can pay bail (either post a bond, pay in cash, or sign over rights to a property) to the court that issued the order. This can normally be done during regular business hours at the office of the court. You’ll get your money back once the court has issued a judgment for the case (although if you use a bail bond, 10% of the value is typically not refundable).
- What is a felony vs misdemeanor? – The main difference between the two crimes is the amount of jail time that must be served. A felony is the most serious form of crime and means that you could serve one or more years in prison. A misdemeanor likely won’t result in more than one year in prison since misdemeanors aren’t considered as serious as felonies. An attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected in either case.
- What can I do if I’m be charged with harassment? – If you have been charged with harassment, the likelihood of conviction depends on the case. The relationship between the accused offender and the victim, gender, age, occupation, as well as other factors are considered. The prosecution has to be able to prove that the defendant intended for their conduct to harass the victim. In addition, harassment charges are not always valid under the law as they are only made because a victim complained. These charges can often be downgraded or dismissed by the court if it can be proven that the complaints don’t constitute criminal harassment. To ensure that you aren’t unfairly convicted or to help minimize the repercussions of a harassment charge, contact us at Bhatt Law Group to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
- What areas do your serve? – We represent clients for criminal and traffic charges throughout New Jersey including Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County (Hudson County Criminal Attorney, Jersey City Criminal Attorney, and Hudson County DUI Attorney), Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County.
- Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney – The criminal justice system caters to attorneys. It can be difficult to navigate the process without one. You need to file specific paperwork and meet important deadlines. Let us handle those details.
- Expungements – After a conviction, you will want to move forward with life as quickly as possible. Bhatt Law Group can help you obtain an expungement so that your criminal record is clean.
- What should I do if I’m falsely accused of a crime? – Being falsely accused of a crime that you didn’t commit can be a horrifying experience, especially if the initial charges aren’t dropped immediately. There is also the possibility that the court might find you guilty. This is where having an experienced lawyer can be vital in helping you prove that there are no legal grounds for the accusations and get the charges dropped or dismissed.
- How long does a criminal case take? – The length depends on the complexity of the case. For example, a felony case might take months or a year. A misdemeanor case could take weeks or a few months. Having a lawyer assist you with a reasonable plea offer early on in the case can speed up the process significantly.
- What penalties will I face if convicted? – The penalty depends on the crime committed. If you are convicted for a misdemeanor, you might face fines, driver’s license suspension, probation, and up to a year in prison. A felony can result in time in prison (a year or more), higher fines, community service and stricter probation. Both types of crimes will also go on your permanent record.
- What is a dismissal vs expungement? – A dismissal refers to when a court drops the defendant’s case because they determine that it’s not worth prosecuting or that the evidence isn’t strong enough against the defendant. An expungement refers to the process of clearing a person’s record, including criminal charges and arrests (although it does not apply if one has been convicted of a crime). This process is extremely important as it’s difficult for a person who’s been arrested or charged to find a job, buy a home, and more. An expungement ensures that criminal history is erased or eliminated. An expungement can be difficult to obtain which is why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer to fight for you.
- Can a plea bargain be made in a DUI case? – Yes, a plea bargain can be made with a DUI case which means you won’t have to go to trial. You also will know exactly how long your sentence will be. However, be aware that a plea bargain also means that you will have a DUI charge on your record and will also have to serve the sentence. If you decide that a plea bargain is the best direction to take, work with a lawyer to get the best offer possible.
- What do I do if my license was suspended? – Your license can be suspended for a number of reasons. Perhaps you were convicted of a DUI, failed to pay fines or court fees, or refused to take a breathalyzer test. Whatever the case, facing the loss of your driving privileges can be painfully difficult, especially if you can’t get to and from work. Let us know at Bhatt Law Group if you have received a notice of proposed suspension from the state. We’ll serve as your advocate in helping restore your driving privileges and/or avoid permanent loss of your license.
- What is the implied consent statute in New Jersey? – This statute states that any driver in New Jersey consents to a breath, blood, or urine sample if arrested for drunk driving. If you refuse this test, you can be subjected to mandatory penalties. The first offense includes, but not limited to, driver’s license suspension of 7 to 12 months and significant monetary fines. The second offense results in a mandatory driver’s license suspension of 2 years, as well as fines and other requirements. The third offense and any following offenses result in a mandatory 10-year driver’s license suspension, fines and requirements. Just know that police officers are required to inform you of all penalties you could face if you refuse. If they don’t, you may have defenses to the refusal charge. A blood or urine sample also requires a warrant and if this isn’t obtained, you may also have defenses to the refusal charge. Talk with your lawyer about your course of action in either situation.
- What are possible defenses to drug charges? – Possession and manufacturing and distribution charges can result in significant penalties in the state of New Jersey. If you are facing drug charges, an experienced lawyer can review and advise on viable defenses. These defenses might include:* Lack of probable cause for the initial stop and/or arrest
* Whether the search or seizure was legal
* Whether the police satisfied the requirements for a search warrant
* Whether the police satisfied chain of custody for any evidence that they seized when you were arrested
* Whether the police lab properly administered testsCall our experienced team at Bhatt Law Group and let us analyze your case to find the best potential defenses for you.
- What are possession charges in New Jersey? – Common possession charges in New Jersey result from the possession of CDS. This includes the possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana which can result in 6 months of incarceration, a fine not exceeding $1,000, and driver’s license suspension of up to 6 months. Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or possession of non-marijuana related CDS can result in potential incarceration of up to 5 years and fines not exceeding $35,000. Possession of drug paraphernalia can result in penalties similar to the possession of a small amount of marijuana.
- What are manufacturing and distribution charges in New Jersey? – Manufacturing, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute CDS are viewed as serious drug offenses in New Jersey and usually considered indictable offenses with greater penalties. The type of substance and the amount, as well as the location of the arrest, determine the severity of the penalties.
- What are my rights in a criminal investigation? – No matter what crime you’ve been charged with, you still have rights as represented in the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This includes your Fourth Amendment rights which protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Your Fifth Amendment rights mean that you are not required to provide evidence or act as a witness against yourself in a criminal case (as stated in the Miranda warning). The Sixth Amendment gives you the right to an attorney during interrogation, trial, sentencing, and the initial appeal of a conviction, as well as the right to a jury and witnesses. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure that your Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights are all protected.
- How does the points system work in New Jersey? – In New Jersey, your traffic violations and penalties are tracked according to the points system. If you are found guilty for certain offenses or do not contest charges, points are added to your license. If you receive six or more points within three years, you will be charged with a fine. However, if you receive twelve or more points during that time period, your driver’s license will get suspended. Points are difficult to remove so fighting your tickets can ensure that points aren’t added to your record.
- What are the penalties for theft in New Jersey? – Penalties for theft normally correlate with the value or nature of the stolen property or service. A jail term of six months or less and a fine not exceeding $1,000 is normally the penalty for a property or service worth less than $200. However, property or services worth at least $75,000, a controlled dangerous substance that weighs more than one kilogram, or human remains, or any theft by extortion is considered a second-degree crime and can result in five to ten years in prison and a fine not exceeding $150,000. Our experienced team at Bhatt Law Group can help if you are facing any type of theft charges.
- How can a Bhatt Law Group criminal defense attorney help me? – At Bhatt Law Group, we have a team of criminal defense lawyers who have years of experience with the criminal justice system and courts in Jersey City. Whatever crime you’ve been charged with, call us to ensure that your rights are protected and to minimize the damage of the charges.
Contact a Jersey City Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you are charged with a crime, you probably feel like the whole world is against you. However, you don’t need to fight allegations on your own. We believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty and will zealously work by your side.
If you or a loved one is charged with a crime in the Jersey City area, trust the skill and experience of Bhatt Law Group. Call us at (201) 798-8000 or use the online form below to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.