It might be tempting to assume that you don't need an attorney if you're innocent of a crime. Unfortunately, that's not the case. If you've been charged with a crime, you need the help of an experienced criminal law attorney. By bringing your attorney onboard as soon as possible, you can help ensure you don't incriminate yourself and that your rights are upheld throughout the entirety of the criminal process.
Joseph A. Fortunato Law Offices can give you reliable legal advice and representation. Choose an attorney who knows the ins and outs of criminal law in the Montclair, New Jersey area. We service clients from Newark, West Orange, and surrounding areas.
Though criminal penalties vary widely depending upon the nature of the crime, there are guidelines in place for how a crime will be punished in the eyes of the law. In New Jersey, conviction for a misdemeanor crime, or a disorderly person offense, is punishable by no more than a year in jail, with more serious crimes getting the maximum sentence. Lesser misdemeanors, or petty disorderly person offenses, are punishable by no more than three months in jail. Felony crimes, called indictable offenses in New Jersey, are punishable by lifetime prison sentences for the most serious offenses, with 10 to 20 years common. While the level or nature of crimes may not change, the penalties for those crimes may. If you have been arrested and charged with crimes multiple times over a five-year period, lower level misdemeanors may become the highest level of misdemeanor, and felony penalties may increase due to your prior criminal record. That, along with the additional personal consequences that come with a criminal conviction, such as being barred from certain employment or professional organizations, makes keeping criminal convictions off your record essential.
You may be wondering if you really need a defense attorney's help to win your case. Just remember that if you're found guilty of a crime, you could face: