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New Jersey Criminal Process Attorney

Criminal Court Procedure Lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ Skillfully Defends Clients Rights Throughout Every Step of the Criminal Process in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout NJ

When a person is accused of committing a crime in the state of New Jersey, it is extremely important for them to have a solid understanding of their legal rights as well as the processes that must be adhered to in order to have a credible criminal defense. After being detained, the defendant should make immediate contact with an experienced New Jersey criminal process attorney. This is required for working together effectively, as well as for the creation of a solid defense.

The issuance of a warrant for someone’s arrest typically follows the filing of criminal charges against that individual. When a warrant is issued for the arrest of a certain person, the authorities will search for that person until they find them, at which point they will make an arrest.

Please contact us right away if you or someone you care about has been arrested or charged with a crime in New Jersey. After the first arrest, things move quickly. South Jersey criminal defense lawyer Michele Finizio can protect your rights from the start. Schedule a free consultation right away.

Facing A Criminal Charge And Have Questions? We Can Help. Contact The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Today At 856-888-9059 Or Fill Our Our Convenient Online Contact Form For A Free Consultation About Your Case.

Booking and Custody After Being Placed Under Arrest in New Jersey

After a suspect has been apprehended, the subsequent stage in the process of filing a criminal charge is known as “booking.” When an individual is “booked,” a photograph of them, as well as their fingerprints, is collected at that time. Their personal belongings will be removed from them and stored. In New Jersey, placing a criminal behind bars requires multiple steps, one of which is a medical evaluation of the suspect.

The person who is being held by the police while they wait for their court date is the one who is being suspected of committing a crime. They will have the opportunity to consult with an attorney at this time, which is something that should not be overlooked. You need a criminal lawyer that is both skilled in their field and willing to put in a lot of effort if you want to have a strong defense against your criminal charges. The majority of the time, the hearing will take place no more than forty-eight hours after it has been set. People who have been accused of a crime within this time period should be able to meet with their criminal attorney at least once to begin the process of putting together a defense during this time.

How a Qualified New Jersey Criminal Process Attorney Can Help With Your First Appearance With the Judge

Following an individual’s arrest, they will be required to make what is known as their “first appearance” in court. At this stage, defendants are given an official explanation of the charges brought against them as well as information regarding their legal rights.

The right of the defendant to have legal representation is one of the things that will be explained to them on the first court date. If the defendant claims that they are unable to pay for a lawyer, it will be determined whether or not the defendant should be provided with a public defender.

A person who is detained in custody has the right to make their initial court appearance within three days, with the exception of weekends and legal holidays. The Superior Court is the venue for trying cases involving criminal indictments. Municipal courts are responsible for handling both serious and minor violations that result in disorderly persons offenses.

No matter how much money you have, if you are being accused of committing a crime, you absolutely need to get a competent attorney. Contact a criminal court procedure lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio for a free initial consultation about your case. We will do everything in our power to assist you in beating the charges against you and maintaining your rights.


I can honestly say that I am 100% satisfied with the outcome of my case. Michael handled my case very well. I would definitely recommend her to anyone who needs help with any court issues.

Lelany J.


Very realistic and professional. Great with communication and prompt with follow ups. Flexible with availability, responds to both texts and phone calls. I was very happy with the service I received.

Jerilyn N.


Michele is an amazing attorney. She goes above and beyond to help. She answers her phone at all times of the day and is eager to get you the answers and give you the advice and representation you need. Don’t hesitate to use her services!!!!

J. L.

Indictable Offenses: Pre-Trial Intervention

When a defendant appears in court for the first time after being charged with an indictable offense, the judge will inform the defendant that there is a possibility that he or she will be able to participate in the pre-trial intervention program (PTI). 

Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) offers criminal defendants alternatives to prosecution and punishment. PTI helps first-time offenders. PTI rehabilitates personal issues that can lead to crime. PTI services should benefit eligible people and deter future crime.

PTI Eligibility

PTI is ineligible if any of the following apply:

  • You attended PTI in the past.
  • You received conditional discharge or dismissal.
  • The Veterans Diversion Program acquitted you.
  • You participated in any other state or federal diversionary program for a felony or other indictable offense.
  • You’re facing disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, municipal ordinance, or other non-criminal accusations (except if you are charged with a disorderly persons offense that involves domestic violence)

The prosecutor may approve PTI if:

  • You are charged with a crime with a jail penalty or mandated minimum parole ineligibility.
  • You were convicted of an indictable offense in New Jersey or a felony in another state or federal court.

Your PTI application must include a statement about why you should be accepted. The prosecutor must approve your application before the court does.

PTI Method

PTI can delay criminal proceedings for up to 36 months. A probation officer will oversee you and verify that you meet all court conditions, such as:

  • Random drug tests
  • Finishing community service
  • Mental health, alcohol, and drug evaluations
  • Taking approved mental health, alcohol, or drug therapy
  • *Additional penalties, fees, and restitution may apply.

The court can expel you from your PTI program if you violate its terms. Leaving the program will advance your criminal case.

Successfully completed, a PTI program will dismiss all criminal charges. The arrest and criminal complaint can be expunged, and PTI can also ensure that a permanent record will remain clear of a criminal conviction.

Pre-Indictment Matters That a Reputable Criminal Court Procedure Lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ Can Help With

After the first court hearing, it is up to the office of the county prosecutor to decide if the case has any validity and if there is enough evidence to get a conviction. The office of the prosecutor reviews the information included in the police reports and conducts interviews with victims and witnesses before making a decision regarding whether or not the initial charges will be pursued in court. If there is not sufficient evidence, the charge will be reduced to a disorderly persons offense and the charges will either be transferred to local courts for a hearing or abandoned altogether. A complaint will be investigated by a jury if it is not resolved during the procedure that leads up to an indictment.

It is possible for a defendant’s attorney to attempt to get charges withdrawn or reduced prior to the case being presented to a grand jury. It is possible that the defendant will agree to a plea bargain in which they will admit to a lesser charge in exchange for avoiding going to trial. This will depend on the specifics of the case. A defendant does not give up their ability to appeal their convictions just because they have agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain.

A criminal case can be swiftly and equitably resolved through the use of a plea bargain, which can be negotiated at any time prior to the case being tried in court. Experienced New Jersey criminal process attorney Michele Finizio can discuss with you the potential consequences of either entering into a plea bargain or taking your case to trial.

Pre-Arraignment Conference

In the immediate aftermath of the receipt of an indictment, a pre-arraignment meeting will take place. The pre-arraignment conference is something that is scheduled by the Criminal Division office in the county where the offense was committed.

Before this conference, the defendant and their attorneys have access to the discovery materials and any other relevant evidence. This affords the defense the chance to examine the evidence that has been accumulated against the accused in advance of the conference.

Following the conclusion of this preliminary investigation, a defendant has the option of requesting pre-trial intervention (PTI) or entering into plea negotiations. A defendant may, of course, also choose to enter a guilty plea to the allegations against them.

Pre-Trial Conference

After the arraignment, most people go back to court for a status conference or a pre-trial conference. At the pre-trial conference, the defendant and the State talk about how the plea deal arrangements are going. The pre-trial conference must happen within sixty (60) days of the arraignment, according to the Court Rules. The rules also say that there can be more than one pre-trial meeting, which is usually the case. At the pre-trial conference, the parties also talk about any questions about the discovery that may still need to be answered. Lastly, plea-cut-off dates are often set in many counties. This means that the State’s plea deal is no longer good after a certain date. The case will almost certainly go to court at that point.

Most cases have more than one pre-trial meeting or status conference. These meetings give the defense attorney and the prosecutor a chance to look at the case and the evidence and figure out the best way to end it. For instance, the State’s first offer of a plea deal is not always the best. At these conferences, the defense lawyer can “poke holes” in the State’s case to try to get the prosecutor’s office to offer a better plea deal. But sometimes the offer doesn’t get any better, and the defendant has to decide if he or she wants to take the plea deal or go to trial. You must hire a criminal defense lawyer with a lot of experience to help you through this phase of the process.

New Jersey Criminal Process Attorney Michele Finizio Can Confidently Defend Your Rights at Trial

New Jersey Criminal Process Attorney

The beginning of a criminal trial occurs well before the selection of the jury. At this point, the defense attorney is interviewing potential witnesses, gathering exculpatory evidence, and developing a defense theory of the case that will be presented to the jury. Additionally, the defense attorney is gathering evidence against their client and analyzing it. Additionally, the defense attorney is investigating the events that led to the charges against their client.

In addition to this, the defense attorney is drafting and preparing any pre-trial motions that could be necessary. Examples of these include motions to suppress a client’s statement or physical evidence, to compel the turnover of potentially exculpatory papers, or to limit the use of material that contradicts the defendant’s position. Such motions usually involve courtroom evidence under oath from witnesses representing the state or the government. This enables defense attorneys to learn about the case that is being brought against their client and to “road test” adversarial witnesses in open court prior to the trial.

The Procedures of Trial and the Selection of the Jury

The selection of the jury is among the most important decisions, as well as one of the most difficult ones, that must be made throughout the trial. It should come as no surprise that the various experiences we’ve had throughout our lives shape the way we look at things. The experiences that jurors have had in their own lives are brought into the courtroom with them. Counsel makes an effort to learn as much as they can about potential jurors during the questioning stage, which comes before the jury takes its oath. The process of selecting jurors is not a precise one with a high degree of mathematical precision. Instead, it is up to the discretion of the councel to decide based on their prior experience.

The testimony of witnesses is the most important part of any trial. In the presence of a jury, an attorney needs to be able to successfully cross-examine a variety of witnesses. This includes testimony from both fact witnesses and subject matter experts. In most cases, the manner in which a witness is put under examination will vary according to who called that individual as a witness. The questions that are posed to a party’s own witnesses need to be more broad or open-ended, whereas the inquiries that are posed to the opposing party’s witnesses can be more directive. As a consequence of this, trial counsel needs to have the ability to “shift gears” depending on the sort of witness that is now testifying.

A defense attorney certainly needs to be familiar with all of the rules and procedures that govern the way a jury trial is conducted, as these rules and procedures can be quite lengthy. But there is one “rule” that attorneys must keep in the back of their minds at all times: anything can happen during the trial. In spite of earlier assertions to the contrary, there is always a chance that witnesses won’t show up to the trial at all, that they will recant their previous statements about what happened, or that they may simply choose not to testify at all. The disappearance of physical evidence is also possible. The capacity of counsel to respond to unforeseen or unexpected situations in a manner that properly protects a defendant’s constitutional rights is dependent on their knowledge of law and procedure, in addition to their years of experience in the legal system.

Objections Raised Both Before and While the Trial Is Underway

Every defense attorney has the same goal in mind whenever they go to court: to win every single case. On the other hand, an experienced defense attorney would never assume that they will be successful in any particular one. Due to the inherent randomness of the procedure, there is always the possibility of failing a trial. As a consequence of this, the responsibility of the defense counsel during the trial is actually dual. Counsel puts in a lot of effort to win at trial while also creating a record for appeal in the event that their client is found guilty of the charges. In light of this, legal representation will, in addition to developing and implementing a successful trial strategy, take the necessary steps to ensure that the trial record includes challenges to any and all findings that were unfavorable to the position of their client. These objections will serve as the basis for any appeals that may be filed in the future.

Why You Need a Reputable Criminal Court Procedure Lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ to Guide You Through an Indictment

Individuals accused of more serious offenses are typically hit with a criminal indictment. A prosecutor is required to present evidence to a grand jury prior to receiving an indictment for their case.

In the state of New Jersey, a crime of the first, second, third, or fourth degree is considered an indictable offense. Examples of such crimes include fraud, theft, gun and weapons offenses, drug crimes involving controlled dangerous substances, assault, and more.

In the event that the jury decides to issue a guilty verdict, the judge will almost always issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest. A summons is a legal document that notifies a suspect of the date that he or she is required to appear in court in order to avoid being detained and charged with a crime. 

If you have been accused of committing a crime, you should consult with an experienced New Jersey criminal process attorney as soon as possible. If you are found guilty, you will have to serve time in jail in addition to paying a significant amount of money in fines.

Sentencing Guidelines in New Jersey

Those defendants who have been found guilty will be sentenced by the same judge who presided over their trials and will receive their sentences at this time. Following the conclusion of the trial, the judge will provide instructions to the court staff to conduct a presentence investigation and will schedule a time for the sentencing hearing.

The presentence investigation report’s objective is to assist the judge in arriving at a sentence that is commensurate with the crime committed, the defendant’s criminal history, and the general state of the defendant’s life. This is done so that the judge can impose a punishment that is consistent with the law. When a defendant is convicted of certain serious offenses, the judge is compelled to sentence them to serve at least the minimum period of time that is specified by law.

The Process of Appealing a Conviction

A person who has previously been found guilty of a crime has the option of appealing their case. The court will review the transcript of the trial to determine whether or not the decisions that were taken by the judges of the Superior Court were reasonable. In addition, defendants have the option of requesting that their sentencing court alter their sentence or assist them in some other way.

Contact New Jersey Criminal Process Attorney Michele Finizio for a Free Consultation About Your Case Today

Getting convicted of a felony in New Jersey has serious consequences, regardless of whether the alleged act involves illegal substances, firearms, sexual misconduct, or something else. If you are found guilty, you run the risk of losing your license, your freedom, and any possibilities you had of getting a job or receiving financial assistance from the government. Get in touch with the Law Offices of Michele Finizio as soon as possible to get a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey criminal process attorney to talk about your legal rights and options.

Get A Free Consultation With An Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney. All You Have To Do Is Call 856-888-9059 Or Fill Out Our Online Contact Form.

Reviews Matter

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

"I am extremely grateful for the exceptional legal services provided by my lawyer (Michele Finizio) in handling my charges. Their expertise and dedication played a pivotal role in achieving positive outcomes for my case. Very Grateful.”
- Enrique R.

“Had a case and hired the team. Recieved a better outcome than anticipated. The process was smooth and relaxed. Definitely recommend! Thank you everyone!”
- Yashar E.

"I was facing some serious charges and Michele and Kevin made me feel comfortable and at ease throughout the whole process. Very professional, understanding, courteous, and diligent. Michele’s firm was highly recommended to me by a friend who has used her a few times. 10/10 highly recommend. Thank you so much Michele and Kevin!!!!"
- Samantha O.

“I highly recommend this law firm. They were easy to contact and very knowledgeable. I will definitely work with them again.”
- Stevey M.
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