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Camden Criminal Lawyer Discusses the Process for Someone Arrested in New Jersey

Criminal Charges: Initial Arrest and Warrants

When charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is important for the defendant to understand their rights and the procedures that they must go through in order to ensure a fair criminal defense. Upon arrest, the defendant should immediately contact an experienced New Jersey criminal lawyer. This is important for consultation and to build a strong defense.

Often, a person faces criminal charges before actually being arrested, which results in a warrant. Once a warrant is issued for an individual’s arrest, the police will search for that individual until they are located, and will subsequently carry out an arrest.

Booking and Custody

After the individual has been arrested, the next step in the process of a criminal charge is booking. When being “booked,” the individual’s photograph and fingerprints will be taken. Personal items will be confiscated and held. Additionally, the New Jersey criminal booking process involves a medical screening.

Upon being booked, the individual charged with a crime will be held in police custody until their court hearing. During this time, they will be allowed to contact an attorney, and it is extremely important to do so. Having a devoted and competent criminal lawyer is absolutely necessary to build a solid criminal defense. The hearing normally takes place within 48 hours of booking. The individual charged with a crime should be given an opportunity to meet with their criminal lawyer at least once in this time to begin building a defense.

Court Hearing for Criminal Charges

At the initial court hearing, the defendant will have a list of charges read to them. If a warrant was not necessary for their arrest, this may be the first time that they hear their full list of charges. After this, the defendant has the choice to plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” No contest will result in the same sentencing as a guilty plea, but without admitting fault. Usually, a no contest plea requires the judge’s assent.

Before entering a plea, it is very important that the defendant consults in detail with their criminal defense lawyer. Frequently, if the crime was committed by the defendant, a deal for a lesser charge in exchange for a guilty plea can be worked out with the prosecution. However, an attorney will help to determine if this is necessary at all, and if not, will help the defendant build a case in order to prove their innocence.

Trial and Sentencing

If the defendant pleads not guilty to criminal charges, a trial will ensue in order to determine whether evidence is sufficient to prove a defendant’s guilt. Guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and an effective lawyer will help fight against the criminal charges brought against their defendant, dismissing evidence and establishing innocence. If the defendant is found not guilty, they will be released from custody. If found guilty, a sentencing hearing will follow, in which a proper sentence is determined.

Camden Criminal Lawyers at The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Fight Criminal Charges in New Jersey

Having an effective criminal lawyer is essential to a strong criminal defense. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in New Jersey, Camden criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio can help you. We represent clients in Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout New Jersey. Call us at 609-230-0374 or contact us online for a free consultation at our offices in Moorestown, New Jersey.

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I could not have asked for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my cases and the cases of those I've recommended, as if we were part of her family.

-D.A.