Criminal Defense Attorney in Mercer County, NJ
Mercer County has a lot to offer: prestigious academic institutions like Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, historical sites like battlefields and Ewing Church Cemetery, natural areas, and lush parks like Mercer County Park (home of the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team). It was even the site of the fictional alien landing in H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.
But if you’re charged with a crime in Mercer County, it can be a much less welcoming place. You need someone on your side who knows the system inside and out and can help you defend your rights in court. You need Jenna Casper Bloom.
Being arrested and charged with a crime is frightening and stressful. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI, drug offense, or other crime in New Jersey, you need to retain a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney immediately.
Criminal Charges in the New Jersey Justice System
The New Jersey criminal justice system is set up differently than those in other places. Rather than classifying crimes as “felonies” (more serious) and “misdemeanors” (less serious), it classifies more serious charges by degrees and assigns them to the superior courts. Matters with lower penalties are called “disorderly person offenses” and handled in the municipal courts.
Some crimes can be classified as either type of charge based on the facts (for example, the severity of drug charges depends on the quantity and type of drug in your possession). Even traffic offenses may result in superior court charges if there are aggravating factors like serious injuries or prior traffic convictions.
Mercer County is Vicinage (region) 7 of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Most criminal matters are heard at the Mercer County Criminal Courthouse at 400 South Warren Street in Trenton.
Whether you are charged in superior or municipal court, you can face penalties like jail or prison time, probation, significant fines, community service, and suspension or loss of your New Jersey driver’s license.
Collateral Consequences of Convictions in New Jersey
If you are convicted of any criminal offense, you may also experience “collateral” consequences. You could lose your eligibility to get a professional license or pursue your chosen profession. A conviction could lead to changes to your visa or immigration status and bar you from entering other countries. You may be ineligible for opportunities like educational loans or public benefits and may lose your right to vote while in prison or on probation.
Although, in some cases, you can have a conviction expunged from your record; it can be a long and difficult process. The best strategy is to avoid a conviction in the first place.
A criminal conviction can make it harder to defend against a civil suit, where you may be liable for paying monetary damages.
Never Plead Guilty or Make Any Statements Without Legal Representation
You may not realize that pleading guilty has the same effect as being convicted of a crime by a judge or jury. Prosecutors sometimes attempt to negotiate quick plea bargains with individuals charged with crimes. Don’t accept any offers without consulting with an experienced attorney. You must understand the long-term consequences before making a deal.
Options for Individuals Facing New Jersey Criminal Charges
New Jersey offers a few diversionary programs for individuals with no prior criminal history to avoid a conviction and criminal record. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help determine whether you may be eligible for any of these programs and if so, present your case in the best light possible to the Court. If you are accepted into a diversionary program, your attorney can help you understand how to complete its requirements successfully and avoid a criminal record.
Experienced, Compassionate Representation
People make mistakes, and everyone deserves a second chance. No one should go through the criminal court system alone. Jenna Casper Bloom has the experience and skill to help you navigate the New Jersey court system. She will help you understand your options and work to reduce the impact criminal charges have on your present and future opportunities.