Mercer County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney Fights for Clients Accused of Crimes in Mercer County, New Jersey
Whether you are facing possible jail time or monetary fines, it is important to remember that a criminal conviction can have unexpected consequences that extend far beyond the actual punishment. When choosing a criminal defense attorney in Mercer County, New Jersey, knowledge and experience are necessary, but not always sufficient. At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella, I go the extra mile for my clients in actually getting to know each client so that I can understand their circumstances and future goals. Taking this client-centric approach to criminal defense has resulted in my ability to craft successful defense strategies for hundreds of clients, including those accused of:
- Assault or battery
- Simple assault
- Domestic violence
- Drug crimes
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI or DWI)
- Disorderly conduct
- Resisting arrest
- Sex crimes
- Traffic violations
- Weapons offenses
In my office, my clients are more than just a file number. I know what far-reaching consequences criminal convictions can carry, and work tirelessly to uncover every possible defense avenue for every one of my clients.
Understanding How the New Jersey Criminal Justice System Works
In many cases, a New Jersey resident may be investigated for a crime far before they are ever arrested. Often, however, law enforcement officials will witness the crime and immediately arrest the person who they believe committed the crime. Most cases will proceed as follows following the initial arrest:
- Arraignment, or initial appearance. After arrest, the accused individual will appear before a judge, and can plead guilty or not guilty. Bail is also determined at this initial hearing.
- Plea bargaining. During this stage of the process, the prosecution reviews the evidence and develops their case. A skilled criminal defense attorney can intervene to negotiate reduced charges, or a diversionary program that can allow the accused person to avoid criminal prosecution altogether. In other cases, an attorney can negotiate for the charges to be dropped entirely depending upon the available evidence.
- Indictment. If the accused person accepts a plea bargain, or reduced charges, a grand jury will then decide whether the prosecution has enough evidence to support the charge (note that this is not a decision of innocence or guilt).
- Pre-arraignment conference. Within three weeks of an indictment, the prosecution must share its evidence with the accused person’s criminal defense attorney, who will continue to work to negotiate a favorable resolution.
- Trial. If no alternative agreement is reached, the case will proceed to trial.
- Sentencing. If the crime is particularly serious, a later sentencing hearing will be held to determine the punishment that will be imposed.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Minimize Legal Consequences in Your Case
Many opportunities arise throughout the criminal justice process that can allow an experienced criminal defense attorney to mitigate the potential consequences of a criminal accusation. At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella, I fight vigorously to protect my clients’ rights and analyze every piece of available evidence to negotiate reduced charges or have the case dismissed if at all possible.
I understand the value of the available diversionary programs in the state of New Jersey and work to convince the prosecution that these options are much more appropriate in many of my clients’ cases. With smart and dedicated legal representation, it is often very possible to minimize the damage caused by a criminal accusation.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Hard-Hitting Criminal Defense Attorney in Mercer County, NJ Today
If you have been accused of a crime in Mercer County, taking a “wait and see” approach is never advisable regardless of the type or severity criminal accusations. All criminal accusations are severe and should be approached as such. Contact my offices as soon as possible to discuss your case with a skilled, aggressive criminal defense attorney today. I can be reached via phone call or by filling out this online form. My offices are conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619.
About Mercer County, NJ
Mercer County, New Jersey constitutes the Trenton-Ewing, NJ Metropolitan Area and is considered part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The county was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 22, 1838, from portions of Burlington County (including Nottingham Township), Hunterdon County (including Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, Trenton City and portions of Hopewell Township), and Middlesex County (including West Windsor Township and portions of East Windsor Township). It was named for Continental Army General Hugh Mercer, who died as a result of wounds received at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. Mercer County is home to Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary, the Institute for Advanced Study, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Thomas Edison State University and Mercer County Community College. Mercer County continues to attract many tourists each year.
Frequently Asked Questions for Criminal Defendants in Mercer County, NJ
FAQ: Is it possible to receive probation in my case? What’s the difference between probation and parole in New Jersey?
Probation and parole are similar in that they may be imposed after an individual is found to be guilty of a crime. Both probation and parole place restrictions on the individual for a set period of time, and can require regular reporting, counseling, remaining employed and/or refraining from drugs, alcohol and further criminal activity. The difference is that parole is imposed after a jail sentence has been served, while probation is typically imposed instead of requiring that the convicted person spend time in jail. Whether probation is appropriate will depend upon the severity of the charges brought against you, and the specific facts of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advocate for probation in lieu of jail time, and can also explain other programs that may be available in New Jersey to help you avoid jail time.
FAQ: If the police contact me, should I answer their questions?
You usually should refrain from speaking to the police without a criminal defense attorney even if they have not immediately accused you of a crime, and even if you know that you have not committed a crime. This is because you may potentially implicate yourself without realizing it, simply because you are nervous when being questioned. You always have the right to remain silent and the right to speak to an attorney when being questioned by the police or prosecution.