Whether or not you have been formally charged with a crime, please read on, then contact an experienced Mercer County criminal defense lawyer to learn what you should do if you are accused of a crime in New Jersey.
You have been accused of a crime in New Jersey – now what?
If you have been accused of committing a crime in the Garden State, you should take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Realize the seriousness of the accusations: By understanding the seriousness of the crime and its potential penalties, you help prepare yourself for the possibility that the police, prosecutor, judge or jury might not see the case your way. This will help you make decisions and take actions that will increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
- Understand the price of a good defense: To build a strong defense, you will need to account for attorney fees, investigation costs and expert witness fees. This can be expensive but it is preferable to years, decades or even the rest of your life behind bars.
- Intervene before charges: Retain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney, like Douglas Herring, Esq., before you are formally charged, so you can be proactive and possibly prevent being charged at all.
- Take no action: Sometimes, inaction on your part affords you the opportunity to see if the prosecutor even develops the necessary evidence to charge you with the crime. Witnesses can recant their statements and test results can bolster your innocence, all without you saying or doing anything.
- Gather any physical evidence and documents: Collect any physical evidence that supports your defense and turn it over to your attorney. This includes clothing, photographs, correspondence, emails, receipts, GPS data and more.
- Obtain witness contact information: Provide your attorney with the contact information of any witnesses who might strengthen your defense.
- Investigation: Your attorney will need to conduct his or her own investigation in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and that of the prosecution. Then, he or she will plan accordingly.
- Plea bargain: After assessing the case for and against you, your attorney may deem it advisable that you plead guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a conviction, a harsher sentence and/or a permanent criminal record.
By the same token, you should never destroy evidence that you think could hurt you, talk to or have any contact with the victim or witnesses, talk to the police, prosecutor or criminal investigator without your attorney or consent to a DNA test or other test requested by the police without your attorney present. Mistakes can be costly, so please give us a call today.
CONTACT A MERCER COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
Here at the Law Office of Douglas Herring, we believe that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to due process. No one facing a criminal matter should proceed without a competent attorney on their side. We are here to listen to your case, determine the best strategy going forward, and fight for your rights. Contact us today so we can get started.