How Is Criminal Law Unique in NJ?

Although many aspects of criminal law are virtually the same in every state, each state handles many details of the law and the legal process differently.  Anyone under investigation or arrest for a crime in New Jersey needs to be aware of the differences that can affect the outcome of the case against them.

The following are just some of the unique characteristics of criminal law in New Jersey that can affect criminal defense in NJ:

  • DWI lawsNew Jersey law punishes any person who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08 percent, or who is visibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The level of punishment is often dependent on how high that blood alcohol concentration is, combined with the number of prior offenses, if any.  Refusal to take the two required breath tests is an independent offense, with penalties mirroring a DWI.   If cited for DWI or Refusal, you should immediately contact a criminal law firm in NJ.
  • Suspension or revocation of license:  New Jersey does not permit anyone with a suspended or revoked license to drive anywhere, including to and from work.  If you need to drive, experienced criminal attorneys may be able to help get a reduction in the license suspension.
  • Allowances for disorderly persons offenses:  Since New Jersey splits criminal activities into the categories of crimes versus disorderly persons offenses, criminal attorneys in NJ can greatly streamline the legal process and reduce potential punishment by proving that an activity was a disorderly persons offense.
  • Miranda rights:  New Jersey law does not require the reading of Miranda rights at the time of arrest, although Miranda rights must be read once a person is taken into custody and the police want to ask questions about the crime.  You should never discuss the alleged crime until you have one or more criminal attorneys in NJ at your side.
  • Lie detector (polygraph) tests:  Polygraph tests are rarely used in court in New Jersey, and a person cannot be required by police to take one.  Nevertheless, there may some situations where a suspect can benefit from the test, depending on the context in which it is given.  That is a highly fact-specific decision, so a person should never agree to do so without speaking with an experience criminal lawyer first.
  • Searches:  Without probable cause, New Jersey law does not permit police to search you, your home, or your car without your consent.  Police are required to inform you of your rights prior to asking for your consent.  If you have been searched and the evidence is being used against you, an experienced criminal lawyer can tell you whether your constitutional rights were violated.

Experienced criminal law firms know the unique aspects of the New Jersey criminal process that can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case.  Consider retaining a NJ criminal law attorney at the law firm of Benedict and Altman.  The firm handles all types of criminal proceedings in all levels of courts, from traffic violations in municipal court to felonies in New Jersey and federal courts. Our firm fights to protect our clients, from negotiated pleas to trials and appeals.

Call 732 745-9000 or contact us online for an NJ criminal defense attorney.


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