Elizabeth NJ Indictable Crime Defense Lawyers
If you are facing an indictable criminal offense (i.e. a felony) arising out of any municipality in Union County, your charge will be referred to the Superior Court in Elizabeth. This is the only court that can preside over first, second, third and fourth degree crimes. Less serious violations of the law, referred to as disorderly persons offenses, are generally heard in the municipal court where the incident occurred. If you or a loved one has been charged with an indictable charge, namely, a first degree, second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime, you need representation by an attorney who is not only highly experienced in handling offenses of this severity but also one who regularly operates at the Elizabeth Courthouse. Our firm has this level of qualification with four (4) former prosecutors on staff and a team of seven (7) attorneys who dedicate 100% of their practice to defending the accused. It also helps that we routinely appear at the Union County Superior Court and have an offense that is only a few miles down the road in Cranford. Call us for immediate consultation, free of charge, at 908-272-1700.
Penalties That You Could Face If You Fail To Successfully Defend Your Felony Charge
The New Jersey Criminal Code outlines certain standard penalties that apply in first, second, third and fourth degree cases. The basics in terms of maximum penalties are as follows:
- First Degree Crime. $200,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
- Second Degree Crime. $150,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
- Third Degree Crime. $15,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
- Fourth Degree Crime. $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
While these are the standard penalties, there are many instances where the consequences of a particular crime deviate from the jail time and fines set forth. For example, when a felony/indictable charge involves a drug offense, fines are increased to $35,000 for third degree cds possession and $75,000 for third degree drug distribution. There are also situations where the standard jail term is enhanced and/or where a mandatory minimum sentence applies. One such instances is where someone is convicted of possession of an illegal handgun. NJ Law requires, in accordance with a law known as the Graves Act, that an individual serve at least three (3) years in state prison before he/she is eligible for parole.
What Is The Criminal Process At The Superior Court
The first stage of the criminal process in Union County is an appearance at Central Judicial Processing, also referred to as Central Intake. This is located on the 1st Floor of the New Annex Building (Elizabethtown Plaza) directly across from the Jail. At this event, an individual will be with representatives of intake and probation to undergo initial screening, including eligibility for PTI. You will also be scheduled to appear before Honorable Joan Robinson Gross, the presiding Union County Municipal Court judge, for an initial appearance. The courtroom for Judge Gross is located on the second floor of Union County Jail, 15 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth NJ 07207. At the conclusion of this appearance, the accused is typically provided with a notice to appear a Plea-Disposition Conference (“PDC”). This proceeding is also referred to as an Early Disposition Conference (“EDC”). At this proceeding, which is typically pre-indictment, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office is to make its best plea offer on a case. And unlike many counties, this process is taken very seriously with little exceptions for deviation when it comes to tendering of a more favorable plea later. It is therefore abundantly important, assuming you have not retained an attorney long before this proceeding, that you do so prior PDC. If the matter cannot be resolved at the initial or an adjourned PDC date, the case is usually set down for indictment. A series of hearings will then follow, including arraignment, pretrial and/or status conferences, trial and possible sentencing.
Highly Experienced Criminal Attorneys To Fight Your Union County Charges
When it comes to effectively defending a serious criminal offense, experience and knowledge can make all the difference. We are a team of seven (7) defense lawyers and the only one of its nature, as far as we know, with an office in Union County. We also happen to be when of the largest criminal defense firms in the state. There are multiple former prosecutors on our staff, and more than four with over twenty (20) years of experience defending individuals accused of various violations of law. Our firm is ready to put all of its resources and muscle to work for you. Give us a call at 908-272-1700 for a free initial consultation.
Helpful Court Information:
Union County Superior Courthouse, 2 Broad Street Elizabeth, NJ 07201. Main Number: 908-559-4600
Criminal Division Judges (as of 7/3/14):
- Honorable Robert J. Mega, P.J.S.C.
- Regina Caufield, J.S.C.
- Joseph P. Donohue, J.S.C.
- Frederic R. McDaniel, J.S.C.
- Scott J. Moynihan, J.S.C.
- Stuart Peim, J.S.C.
Criminal Division Manager: Bernadette Fiore, 908-659-4660
Central Intake Leader: Cathy Morales, 908-659-5407
Drug Court Coordinator: Mathew Hagler, 908-659-4680
Supervisor of Probation: Wendi Cabell, 908-659-4062
Pretrial Intervention Applications: 908-659-4675