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Criminal Defense Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

If you were arrested, it does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of a crime. Being accused of a crime, though, is always a serious matter that requires legal counsel. Don’t try to combat criminal charges on your own. Consider speaking with a criminal defense attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey, to understand your best strategy to get your charges dismissed or reduced.

Contact William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC for help fighting any criminal charges against you, whether you are facing charges for drug possession, theft, fraud, sex crimes, or other offenses in New Jersey. William Quirk is committed to protecting your rights, freedom, and future. He has spent 16 years as a private attorney with experience handling local and state cases. His law firm also serves clients in Clifton, Paterson, and West New York areas.

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Criminal Charges in New Jersey

Unlike most other states that use the terms “misdemeanor” and “felony,” New Jersey laws are classified as “disorderly person offenses” and “indictable offenses.”

Disorderly Person Offense

In New Jersey, a disorderly person offense closely represents what other states refer to as a misdemeanor. The penalty for these offenses is generally less than six months of imprisonment.

Disorderly person offenses in New Jersey have two classifications:

  • Petty Disorderly Person: These offenses are the least serious among the two classifications. Common examples include harassment, trespassing, and disorderly conduct. Punishment can include up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.

  • Disorderly Person: This classification refers to acts such as simple assault and resisting arrest. A maximum jail sentence is six months, and a maximum fine is $1,000.

Disorderly person offenses are not considered crimes. Therefore, the defendant will not go through a jury trial but still has the right to legal counsel.

Indictable Offense

In New Jersey, an indictable offense will go to a grand jury for determination of whether the evidence supports the charges. There are four classifications of indictable offenses in New Jersey:

  • First-degree offenses, such as aggravated manslaughter and armed robbery, generally carry a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.

  • Second-degree offenses, such as reckless vehicular manslaughter, can be punishable by five to ten years in prison.

  • Third-degree offenses, such as arson or motor vehicle theft, may include a prison sentence of between three and five years.

  • Fourth-degree offenses, such as forgery and criminal mischief, include no more than 18 months in prison.

All penalties may also include expensive fines, fees, and restitution to the victim.

New Jersey Criminal Court Process

Whether your charges are classified as a disorderly person offense or an indictable offense determines the process you will experience in New Jersey.

Disorderly person offenses do not necessitate a jury trial. Rather, sentencing will generally occur once a person is found guilty or pleads guilty. A judge will enter a sentence, taking into account any suggestions brought forth in the plea bargain. Penalties may include jail time, probation, community service, fees, or fines.

Indictable offenses, on the other hand, are presented to a grand jury who will use the prosecutor’s evidence to determine whether there is enough proof to support the charges. If the grand jury decides, based on the evidence, to indict the defendant, the case is placed on the trial calendar. If an agreement on a plea cannot be reached, a trial will be scheduled. Often, a plea bargain is agreed to, negating the need for trial.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

William Quirk represents people arrested or charged with all types of disorderly person and indictable offenses. His law firm has a successful record of defending clients in Hackensack, New Jersey, as well as Paterson, Clifton, and West New York areas. William Quirk is prepared to keep you informed every step of the way through the legal process and aggressively defend you against the charges you are facing. Call today for a free case evaluation.