Mount Laurel NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Being charged with a criminal offense can turn your world (and your family’s world) upside down, especially without proper legal counsel. Young, Marr and Associates are here to help you. We devote ourselves to reviewing every detail of your charges and make it our mission to ensure the best possible outcome, whether you’re being charged with a minor traffic infraction or a felony crime. We have a diverse, experienced group of attorneys at Young, Marr and Associates who are ready to assist you with all your criminal law needs.
Choosing a criminal defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you can make after being charged with a crime. The legal process can be difficult to navigate and proceeding with legal actions seems like an impossible task, that’s where we come in.
We’ve been assisting clients for more than 20 years and have extensive knowledge and experience in criminal, family law, bankruptcy and a wide range of civil litigation. Our attorneys are dedicated to treating each case, each person with the respect and expertise they deserve.
What is Criminal Law?
Criminal law is in place to protect society. Basically, it’s a system of law concerned with the punishment of those who commit crimes. But, the balance of power within the justice system would become skewed if those who are charged with a crime weren’t offered adequate representation. Fair treatment for criminal defendants depends upon the skill of their defense attorney, which is why it’s crucial you hire an attorney who will put your well-being first.
The main responsibility of a defense attorney is to represent clients who are alleged with committing a crime. The primary job of the attorney is to question witnesses, gather facts and evidence concerning the incident, and asking questions during the trial. We may be able to settle your case out of court by negotiating with prosecutors. Through negotiating with prosecutors outside of court, we may also be able to eliminate or reduce the charges and penalties.
In general, Criminal Law asks and seeks to answer the following questions:
- Did the person charged commit the crime?
- What crime did they commit?
- Do they have a defense?
Whether you face a felony or you’re fighting a simple traffic violation, at Young, Marr and Associates, we do our best to get you the treatment and compensation you deserve!
Different types of criminal law
Criminal law divides crimes into two main categories, felonies and misdemeanors.
Misdemeanors are considered less serious infractions. A misdemeanor is generally punished less severely than a felony, typically with monetary fines, rehabilitation sentencings, or community service. Some examples of misdemeanor crimes include simple assault, disorderly conduct, first DUI/DWI, trespassing, solicitation and vandalism.
A felony is usually punishable by a prison sentences of greater than one year. It’s considered a more serious offense than a misdemeanor. In a felony case, court room procedure must be strictly observed so the defendants’ rights stay protected. Some examples of felony crimes include murder, rape, terroristic threats, burglary, kidnapping, or arson.
Federal vs. State Prosecution
The rules change depending on whether the crime is charged in State or Federal Court. Most criminal matters are dealt with in state courts unless the crime occurred on federal property, a federal employee committed the crime, or the criminal activity affects interstate commerce. For the government to have power to regulate behavior, it must have “jurisdiction,” which means the crime occurs within a state’s boundaries, violates a state’s laws, and therefore gives that state the power to prosecute. Likewise, a crime that occurs on federal property authorizes the federal government to deal with the suspect. Some crimes violate both state and federal law, which enables both governments to bring criminal charges.
What to expect if I’ve been charged with a crime
Before you speak with the police or any officer of the court about claims of wrongdoing, it’s a good idea to have a criminal lawyer present to defend your rights.
For either a felony or misdemeanor offense, your first court hearing will be called an initial appearance (arraignment). At the initial appearance, the judge will read and if necessary explain the charges filed against you. You will also be advised of your right to legal representation. If you’ve requested counsel or counsel has been appointed, or if you indicate that private counsel will be retained, a plea of not guilty is entered. If you enter a not guilty plea, a trial date will be set.
If you plead guilty, either a date will be set for sentencing or the magistrate or judge will impose probation, fines or other sentences immediately. In some cases, the judge or magistrate may allow a defendant to plead nolo contendere, or no contest. In many jurisdictions, a plea of no contest is equivalent to a guilty plea, except the defendant is not directly admitting guilt.
If you plead not guilty, the judge or magistrate typically sets the amount of bail.
For a felony, you would not enter a plea. The matter is set for preliminary hearing to establish if a crime has been committed and if there is probable cause to believe that you committed the offense(s). The judge or magistrate will also set the amount of bail, if applicable.
During the preliminary hearing, the government must demonstrate to a judge or magistrate that there is sufficient evidence, or probable cause that you committed the crime. If the court finds there is no probable cause, the matter is dismissed. If probable cause is established, the case is transferred to trial court.
With the support of a criminal lawyer, you can raise questions about the basis of the charges you face, and the handling of testimony, evidence and police and court procedures.