Everything You Need to Know About Criminal Law
For US readers, a brief discussion of criminal records, procedure, and some of the more common criminal allegations faced by American citizens.
According to studies, 1 in 3 Americans aged 18 and over have some kind of criminal record. These records can have serious impacts on the lives of those who have been arrested or convicted. Having a criminal record can complicate your personal, professional, and family life. Criminal convictions can make it difficult for you to get or keep your job, continue or complete your education, and may limit your child custody rights. If you are not a US citizen, then a drug charge will have an impact on your immigration status, as well as any applications you have made to change your status. And, of course, having a criminal charge means that any subsequent charges will be more severe. But with an experienced and successful criminal defense attorney, you may be able to have charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Gun Charge Cases
The gun laws in New York and New Jersey are very complex for each state. You can be charged with criminal possession of a gun if you:
- Sell a gun.
- Are close enough to a gun to use it.
- Do not have a permit for a gun in an area where concealed carry is permitted.
- Brandish or use your gun.
What can cause confusion for some people is the fact that you do not need to actually have the gun on you to be charged. This can complicate cases in which someone is charged with possession of a gun they truly did not know was in the immediate vicinity, such as underneath the driver’s seat of a car they’re borrowing. Another reason why someone could be charged with illegal possession of a firearm is when they are driving through and get pulled over in a state where the gun laws are different from their home state. There are a variety of other examples of how someone can be arrested and charged with possession of a firearm, so you will want to speak to an attorney about your specific circumstances. These cases are usually aggressively prosecuted, so you will need a highly experienced and successful attorney.
Drug Possession and Distribution Cases
If you have been arrested with the possession of drugs and/or the intent to sell, then you will need a highly experienced criminal defense attorney representing you. These cases, like gun charges, are aggressively prosecuted. Some defenses for drug charges include procedural errors, unlawful search and seizure, and even mistaking a common substance for an illicit one if they look similar. For example, if you believe your 4th Amendment rights have been violated and that police conducted an unlawful search, your attorney will bring evidence of this to court to argue in your favor.
What Makes a Great Criminal Defense Attorney
When you’re going in front of a judge, you want a knowledgeable and experienced attorney representing you. You certainly want to check that they graduated from an accredited law school. While membership in the state or American Bar Association is not required to practice law, it is very difficult to pass and thus is quite a prestigious achievement. You may also want to consider a defense attorney who was previously a prosecutor. The best way to pick a great attorney is to give them a call and schedule a consultation so you can discuss your specific circumstances and concerns.