Answers To Your Criminal Law Questions
The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for anyone. Even if you’ve been through the process before, there are always nuances and legal procedures that will be unfamiliar to you.
I am Steven Garner, a Somerset County attorney with more than 10 years of experience providing exceptional criminal defense for New Jersey clients. I have assembled a few of the most common questions I see in my daily practice. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey and you have questions, please look through the answers below and call me. I can help you.
Will I go to jail?
The question of whether you will go to jail depends on many factors. The charges, the evidence against you and the prosecutor’s decision on what specific charges to levy against you will all play into whether you end up spending time in jail. The most important thing you can do is hire a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you and do everything possible to keep you out of jail.
Should I accept a plea deal?
Again, it depends. There are times when the evidence against the accused is extraordinarily strong, and there’s almost no way you can win. In a case like this, if the deal offered involved reduced jail time or no jail time, it might be worth it to accept the deal.
However, if there are problems with the evidence or if your defense attorney is sure you could win your case outright at trial, then you might want to refuse the deal and fight your case.
In all these situations, the most important thing you can do is work with an attorney whom you can trust to give you good counsel about what to do.
What should I tell the police?
Nothing. The Constitution guarantees you the right to remain silent. You should exercise that right. I have seen far too many cases where someone tells the police too much when they get arrested, and, by doing so, they incriminate themselves. If they would have just stayed quiet, they could have gotten the case thrown out. Call me before you say anything to the police.
Will a conviction show up on my record?
In almost every case, yes. If you get convicted for a crime, that conviction stays on your permanent record. However, there are instances where you could be eligible for an expungement of your criminal record.