Criminal and Municipal Defense
When accused of a criminal, disorderly persons or traffic offense, the most valuable right you have is the right to counsel. It is vital to have an attorney by your side to help you understand your rights and guide you through the process. You need an attorney with you that is knowledgeable about the law and has a track record of effectiveness and experience assisting clients in your situation. Our attorneys aggressively defend our clients with the goal of obtaining the very best possible results with them in mind. Since any charge in New Jersey carries potentially serious consequences, it is best to consult with an experienced defense attorney immediately after being charged.
Being arrested or charged with an offense is an unnerving experience. In the courtroom, the Police and Prosecutor are on the same side and the Judge sits up high trying to get through his long list of cases and is unable to offer you advice. It may appear as if the entire justice system is stacked against you and because of this it is essential to have an experienced criminal attorney by your side. Having an experienced attorney working for you is important because there is nobody at the Court that will advise you as to all the consequences of a potential guilty plea or verdict. If you are looking for attorneys who are knowledgeable and experienced and who can help calm your nerves contact the law firm of LevinCyphers.
- Criminal Defense
- Traffic Offenses
- Juvenile Delinquency
Our law firm has experience serving clients who are facing criminal charges ranging from the simplest of criminal charges that involve the municipal courts to complex criminal charges involving State and Federal Courts. Our attorneys have experience handling such criminal matters as:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Charges
- Megan’s Law
- Motor Vehicle Violations
- Parole and Probation
- Resisting Arrest
- Sex Crimes
- Underage Drinking
- Weapon’s Charges
- Wire Tap Cases
Criminal Law Overview
Crimes and offenses in New Jersey are governed by Title 2C, which is the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. In New Jersey offenses are not classified as “Felonies” and “Misdemeanors” but are instead called “Crimes” or either “Disorderly Persons or Petty Disorderly Persons” offenses, respectively. The broad goal of Title 2C is to protect the citizens of New Jersey as well as public interests and public safety.
Those charged with an offense in New Jersey are entitled to a number of statutory and Constitutional protections including the Right to Remain Silent and the Right to an Attorney. There are also specific statutes to protect defendants from excessive and/or arbitrary punishment.
Offenses are separated into six “degrees,” the lowest charge that a person can face in New Jersey is called a petty disorderly offense, this is followed by a disorderly person offense both of which are commonly dealt with by the local Municipal Court in which the offense occurred. Following these the offenses which are now called “crimes” are designated as first, second, third or fourth degree; each of which have maximum penalties that an offender can be sentenced to. Important to note is that there is no right to indictment by Grand Jury nor any right to trial by jury for any offense not deemed a “crime.” It is also important to note that while an offense may have been against an individual, it is the State or Municipality who levies criminal charges and as such even if the “Victim” wishes to dismiss, it may not be that simple. The State may attempt to prosecute a case even against the victim’s wishes.
Just because you are facing a traffic offense doesn’t mean that you aren’t facing significant penalties. The penalties for those who plead or are found guilty of a traffic offense can range from significant fines to loss of driving privileges and even jail. There are also numerous penalties that can occur due to a conviction for a motor vehicle offense such as your insurance premiums increasing, motor vehicle surcharges and community service. It is important to have an experienced attorney by your side who understands your rights and the potential penalties you may face. The attorneys at LevinCyphers have experience handlings traffic offense such as:
- Careless Driving
- Driving while Suspended
- Driving without Insurance/ Unregistered
- Reckless Driving
The Municipal Courts of New Jersey have the highest caseload of Courts in this State. Depending on the town, you may be in Court with hundreds of other defendants on any given day. Due to the sheer volume of Municipal Court cases, many offenses that you face in the Municipal Court can be downgraded by plea bargaining with the local municipal Prosecutor. Plea bargaining can save you significant fines, loss of license and even keep you out of jail. Most offenses, except drug offenses and drunken driving offenses, can be plea bargained. It is important to have an experienced attorney who knows the inclinations of the Judges and Prosecutors across the State in order to get the best possible outcome.
One of the more common offenses heard in Municipal Courts is Driving Under the Influence. Those charged with a DUI face very hefty penalties including very high fines and loss of license. Associated with the DUI charge is the Refusal to provide a breath sample. A Refusal charge bears the same penalties as a DUI. It is vital to have an Attorney with you when facing a DUI charge as the penalties are numerous and can have a drastic impact on your life.
The Attorneys at Levin Cyphers will seek the best possible results for our clients. We will advise and consult with our clients throughout the entire process and defend our clients to either avoid conviction or negotiate the best possible plea agreement.
A juvenile is anybody under the age of 18 years old at the time of the offense. Juvenile delinquency offenses are heard in the Family Part of the Superior Court. A juvenile offender has many of the same rights as an adult offender but is not entitled to the right to have their matter be presented to the Grand Jury for Indictment nor are they entitled to a trial by Jury. In certain circumstances, even a juvenile offender in New Jersey can be prosecuted as an adult in cases involving serious offenses. It is important to hire an attorney experienced in juvenile matters. Handling a juvenile matter is not the same as handling an adult criminal offense. The goal of juvenile court in most instances is rehabilitation and not punishment and as such it is important for the attorney you hire to have a different mindset when handling your child’s charges. If your child is charged with a juvenile delinquency offense, contact LevinCyphers. The attorneys here have the experience and knowledge necessary to help your child.
Expungements in New Jersey
If you have been convicted of a crime or offense, there is a chance that the conviction itself can be expunged through a Court procedure known as expungement. Eligibility for expungement is determined by N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 et seq. If you are considering an expungement application, it is best to consult with an attorney to determine if you are indeed eligible for that relief. The law firm of LevinCyphers has experience in successfully pursuing expungement for eligible clients and can help you with this process.
For some types of crimes, New Jersey law allows people to clear their names and seal their criminal record after a certain amount of time has passed. This is called “expungement.” In practical terms, it means you no longer need to admit that you were convicted of a crime when you fill out a job or housing application. This can provide tremendous relief in a tight employment market. If you have been arrested or charged with an offense and then the matter was dismissed you need not wait to file for an expungement. As long as you meet the legal requirements you can file immediately after the matter is dismissed. This means that you can answer “no” to the question: Have you ever been arrested or charged for a crime? This can be important when applying for jobs.