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The Right to Evidence Disclosure in Criminal Discovery

a prisoner

When a person is accused of criminal charges, the justice system has procedures and protocols in place that govern the way in which the accused is determined to be guilty or not guilty. In addition, there is a rule that makes the person who has been formally accused of a crime entitled to disclosure of the evidence and information. This evidence or information is known as discovery and the defendant has the right to receive it before trial.

Types of Discovery

Discovery material may include police personnel records, medical records relating to injuries, any criminal records of witnesses, recordings of police interviews of victims, defendants or witnesses, and photographs of the alleged crime scene. A police report is typically the first item of discovery that a criminal defense attorney receives. It will contain the names of any victims and witnesses as well as their statements. It will also have observations from the police officers and other important information regarding the incident.

In addition, under the Constitution, the prosecution must disclose exculpatory evidence within its possession or control to the defense. Exculpatory evidence is evidence that tends to contradict the defendant’s guilt or supports a lesser punishment.

Defense attorneys submit a request asking for the aforementioned evidence. If the evidence is not handed over to the defense attorneys intentionally or unintentionally, it is a violation of the law.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will understand the complexities that come with a criminal case. If you or your loved one has been accused of a crime, hiring a criminal defense attorney will help you and your case.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime, speak to our experienced criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling criminal cases. Our criminal defense lawyers will diligently work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Five Tips for Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged or arrested for DUI, your top priority should be finding an experienced attorney who will fight for you and your loved ones. However, choosing a DUI lawyer can be difficult with so many lawyers to choose from. Your choice can either make or break your case.

Here are five tips to help you navigate the myriad choices and help you choose the best DUI attorney for you:

Experience: Find an attorney who has experience in handling DUI cases and has worked in the jurisdiction where you were arrested. This will work to your benefit because he or she will fully understand DUI defensive tactics. In addition, they will understand the system better and may be acquainted with the judge and district attorney on your case.

Credentials and Accreditations: Choose an attorney who is qualified and has sufficient knowledge in the field. Ask for the lawyer’s credentials and accreditations. This information will demonstrate the caliber of the lawyer.

References: Select a lawyer who offers references. A top-notch attorney should have acquired several clients that are willing to tell you how their case went and how effectively the attorney participated in their case.

Avoiding Attorneys Who Have Been Disciplined: If the potential lawyer has been disciplined by the bar, move on to another choice. A disreputable attorney is the last thing you want.

Cost: Determine the attorney’s fee. While it is not advisable to choose a lawyer based on price alone, you will need to make sure you can cover all the expenses. Ask about it up front, along with any available payment plans.

If You Need an Experienced DUI Lawyer, Contact Us.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

What to Know Regarding DUI Sentence Enhancements?

The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are severe. However, there are added circumstances that can make the penalties even greater with a DUI sentence enhancement. A drunk driving sentence enhancement can include higher fines, longer license suspension and, in a growing number of states, mandatory jail time.

DUI Enhancement Factors

Although DUI laws vary from state to state, here are some of the factors that can trigger DUI sentence enhancements:

Prior DUI Conviction – Most U.S. states have increased penalties for any driver with repeated drunk driving offenses. Some states enhance the sentence for a DUI for a conviction within the past 5 years; other states enhance the sentence for a conviction within the past 10 years. Many states will enhance the sentence for any previous conviction irrespective of how long ago it was.

High Level Blood Alcohol Concentration – `Most states are beginning to adopt laws that increase penalties for drivers who have high blood alcohol levels at the time of their arrests. Some states place that level at 0.15 while others have greater enhancements for a BAC above .20.

Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test – If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you may be subject to more penalties. In some states, refusal means immediate revocation of your license whereas in other states, it can lead to jail time.

Child Endangerment – If you were arrested driving under the influence with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Accident Without the Appropriate Auto Insurance – If you cause an accident while driving under the influence and do not have the required auto insurance, your penalties will be greater.

Bodily Injury – If your accident is due to DUI and you cause injury to someone else, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Other Factors – Other circumstances that can make you subject to sentence enhancement for a DUI conviction include:

  • No valid driver’s license
  • On probation for another crime
  • Having an open container of alcohol
  • Having multiple previous convictions
  • Having an ignition interlock device on the vehicle

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Overview of a DUI Case and What Happens When It Goes to Trial

Facing a DUI charge can be an overwhelming experience. You may have many concerns such as whether or not you will be able to retain your driver’s license, how long it will take for your case to go to trial and what potential legal penalties you may face. Therefore, if you have been charged with a DUI, it is in your best interest to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for your rights.

Every DUI case is unique and has a distinct set of circumstances. However, the legal process is largely the same. Courts generally govern the entire process from the initial charge to the time when your DUI case goes to trial.

Below is an overview of the different stages of a DUI case and under what circumstances the case may go to trial:

Summons and Complaint: This is a document that states the charges against you. It will also include the date you are required to appear in court. Your lawyer may decide to move this date forward in order to give you additional time.

Arraignment: This is a formal procedure where the presiding judge will advise you of your rights, obligations and possible penalties associated with the DUI charge against you. During this period, you will enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial Discovery: During this stage, your attorney will review all documents produced by the State regarding your case and determine if your legal rights have been violated. The prosecutor is the representative of the State in a DUI case. Under the law, the State must give your lawyer all relevant material and evidence that it has gathered against you, including:

  • Narratives
  • Police reports
  • Video recordings of the sobriety tests and/or arrest
  • Witness statements
  • Audio recordings
  • Photographs
  • Scientific documents pertaining to the DUI breathalyzer machine
  • Any other evidence produced by the State in your case

Status Conferences: This is where the prosecutor and your DUI lawyer meet and talk about discovery or other issues related to your case. In addition, they may also talk with the judge about your case.

Pre-Trial Motions: This motion is made by your attorney in order to seek specific relief in your case. For instance, your attorney may file one or more motions that involve issues regarding suppression of evidence, production of discovery, and dismissing or prohibiting testimony. These motions are usually made orally before the court.

The Trial: This is the stage when you case goes to trial. This happens if your case was not resolved or dismissed before the trial or the district attorneys were unable to offer a reasonable plea resolution. Your trial will be held in the Municipal Court district where your DUI ticket was issued. Typically, your case will go before a single municipal court judge. The prosecutor will present evidence and possibly call witnesses for the State. Your attorney will provide evidence and introduce witness testimony in your defense. The presiding Judge will listen to both parties and make a determination as to your guilt or innocence.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you hire a highly skilled and experienced DUI attorney. At the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, our DUI defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle any DUI matter. We build the best possible defense on your behalf in order to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Video: What a DUI Defense Attorney Do for Me

A DUI defense attorney can utilize their experience in DUI defense strategies, negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor and expunge your conviction. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, you need to speak to the experienced DUI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC. We will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913.

 

What Does a DUI Defense Attorney Do?

DUI defense attorney

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense can result in serious penalties. It can involve hefty fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time. DUI law is very complicated, and the facts of every case are different. A person who doesn’t have any legal training or experience may not know the viable defenses or ways to minimize the potential consequences of a conviction. Getting the help of a skilled DUI defense attorney is therefore crucial. Here are the things a DUI defense attorney can do:

Utilize their experience: One of the biggest advantages that a DUI defense attorney can provide is their experience. A skilled attorney will have experience and training in DUI defense strategies. He or she will know exactly what to do within the court system to achieve the best outcome for your case.

Keep track of legal deadlines: A DUI attorney can keep a track of the deadlines and fill out the necessary paperwork and documents within the protocols and procedures set by the court.

Negotiate with the prosecutor: Your attorney may work with the prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain. A plea bargain can have your case dismissed entirely or the charges reduced.

Find loopholes and errors: An attorney with experience in DUI cases can spot inconsistencies or procedural loopholes in your case and work toward having the case dismissed.

Expunge your conviction: If you are convicted, your attorney can help you get the conviction expunged so that it does not affect your credit or future employment. It is important to note that expungement procedures may differ per state and local jurisdictions. Only an experienced attorney will know how to navigate the system.

Get a fair judgement: Once convicted, you are likely to face serious punishment. If you have a DUI defense attorney representing you, he or she can negotiate a fairer judgment from the court, such as community service.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills in handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

The Top 6 Questions to Ask Your DUI Defense Attorney

DUI attorneys

If someone has been charged with a DUI, consulting a good DUI defense attorney is the most important decision you can make. Most DUI defense attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Make sure you compile a list of questions to ask before you hire an attorney.

Here are the top six questions to ask your DUI defense attorney:

  • Special training: Ask if the lawyer is certified by any organizations such as the NCDD (National College for DUI Defense). Ask if the attorney has training from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and if they received training on using the breathalyzer machine.
  • Experience: Ask how many years the attorney has been practicing DUI law, how many cases they have handled and what their trial experience is.
  • Knowledge about the local court system: Make sure the lawyer practices in your county and knows the prosecutors in that jurisdiction. Knowing what kinds of plea deals a prosecutor normally offers could make a big difference in your case.
  • Fees: Ask if the lawyer charges a flat fee or an hourly rate. A flat fee is more common for DUI lawyers. Ask if there will there be extra costs, such as expert witness fees. Also, ask for details on how you will be billed.
  • Personalized attention: You want to be sure that your case gets the attention it needs. Ask if the DUI defense attorney will personally work on your case and represent you in court or give your case to their assistant to handle.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI or DWI, contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC. Our experienced DUI/DWI defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle your case. We will work hard to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to help you avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Could you be Criminally Charged for Driving and Texting?

Texting and driving

Texting and driving is dangerous and can have severe consequences. Many states have an explicit law for texting and driving. Federal law bans texting and driving and categorizes it as distracted driving. Many state’s law on texting and driving even specify jail time.

In New Jersey, texting and driving is a criminal offense. For the first offense, you could receive a fine of $200 to $400. The second offense has a fine of $400 to $600. The third offense increases fines by $200 and could include a 90-day license suspension, plus motor vehicle points.

If your action of texting and driving causes injury to someone, then you might face jail time. If your action of texting and driving led to someone else’s death, then you can be charged with negligence and vehicular manslaughter or a homicide charge. If convicted of a vehicular homicide, you can face a term of imprisonment in the second degree between 5 and 10 years, of which you will not be eligible for parole for a minimum of 3 years.

In cases when your texting and driving didn’t result in something as severe as a fatality, you could still be charged with reckless driving.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with driving and texting, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can build a strong defense for you and help you determine whether you should take your case to trial or not. Criminal defense attorney Joel Silberman at the Law Offices of Joel Silberman has the skills, knowledge, compassion, and dedication to help you. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 
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