Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Most people who face criminal charges prefer not to go to jail. When presented with a plea bargain, they easily accept the offer in order to avoid the expenses and publicity of a trial. However, before accepting a plea bargain or pleading guilty, you should be aware of the potential impact of a criminal conviction. Defendants convicted of a violation or crime, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, can have a criminal record that will follow them wherever they go. There are many long-term consequences of a criminal conviction, including the following:

  1. Employment
  2. A criminal conviction can affect your employment opportunities. It can hinder your chances of developing a career and earning an income. Some employers have policies that prohibit applicants convicted of certain crimes such as fraud, dishonesty, theft or violence. In addition, some convictions can hinder you from pursuing certain careers. For example, some schools will not hire individuals convicted of a sex offense.

  3. College admissions
  4. Some colleges may deny you admission into an educational program if you have a criminal record. It can also hinder you from receiving federal student loans. You may be ineligible to use FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you have been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs.

  5. Housing
  6. Most landlords conduct a background check before renting a property. A criminal conviction can affect your eligibility for both public housing and private housing. In addition, subsidized housing programs use federal rules to decide who is eligible for assistance. Housing agencies can deny admission to people with a past criminal record, as well as to their entire family. Criminal records that can be grounds for denial include drug conviction, sex crime convictions, and violent crimes.

  7. License
  8. Having a past record of criminal conviction can affect your professional license. Many jobs, including positions in a governmental office, education, medicine, and law require a person to maintain certain ethical standards. In addition, having a history of traffic violations can cause your license to be suspended or revoked.

  9. Immigration
  10. Individuals who are not citizens, or illegal immigrants, can be evacuated from the country if they are charged with serious criminal offenses. A criminal history can also result in the denial of your citizenship and your re-entry into the country.

  11. Social Consequences
  12. Criminal convictions can affect your social status and interpersonal relationships, including a romantic relationship, or your relationship with your co-workers, friends, and members of your family.

  13. Voting
  14. In some states, defendants, convicted felons or people with a history of felonies are not allowed to vote.

Charged with a crime? Contact the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

If you are accused, charged, or arrested for a crime in New Jersey, then you will need an experienced and aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney to fight for you. The law offices of Joel Silberman, LLC focuses exclusively on criminal defense. We have a reputation for aggressively representing individuals facing Federal, State, and Municipal charges. Call us today at 201-420-1913 or email at


What to Expect from a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal law

If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense and are looking at some serious penalties or time in prison, you will want to have the best criminal defense lawyer by your side. A criminal defense lawyer is experienced, and is an expert in the field of criminal law. He or she may be able to make certain arguments and spot certain factors that could mitigate or even negate any potential crime. Hence, getting a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in your criminal trial is a necessity.

A criminal defense lawyer can call witnesses in your defense and cross-examine witnesses that the prosecution puts forward. In addition, a criminal defense lawyer may also:

  • Figure out a good sentencing program on your behalf. If you are found guilty, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to work the sentence in such a way that would prevent you from winding back up in the criminal justice system.
  • Work with you and the prosecutor to negotiate a “deal”. This deal is also known as “plea bargain”. A plea bargain can often reduce potential sentence or eliminate some or all of the charges brought against you.
  • Help you with the emotions that come with criminal trials. Criminal prosecutions may often make a defendant feel embarrassed, depressed, and fearful and suffer from low self-esteem.
  • Provide you with a reality check. A criminal defense lawyer often knows the situation better than you will during the criminal trial. He or she can offer insights into how the trial is actually going on and what will likely happen in the future.
  • Point out important legal rules and regulations about criminal prosecution. There are many rules and laws that are buried within regulations and laws, and even prior court opinions. A criminal lawyer knows all these rules and regulations.
  • Spend more effort and time on a case than a defendant who chose to represent himself.
  • Gather evidence and statements from witnesses that are going to be called by the prosecution. Sometimes, witnesses may refuse to give a statement or information to people that were allegedly involved in a crime for their safety. However, they may be willing to talk to an attorney.
  • Find and hire investigators on your behalf to not only investigate the alleged crime but also investigate the witnesses that the prosecution is going to call to the stand. If the investigators can find valid evidence, this could help your case tremendously.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, call The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC for help. We will provide you an aggressive defense from start to finish, and will keep you informed regarding your case. For a free initial consultation, call us at 201-420-1913 or email at


NJ DWI Laws-Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits in NJ

If you are suspected of Driving While Intoxicated in New Jersey, the concerned officer will stop you and take you through a series of field sobriety tests. Your blood alcohol concentration or BAC will be determined by using a breathalyzer or blood test. It is important to be aware of the BAC limits under New Jersey law.

BAC Limitations and Penalties:

Drivers who are 21 and above

If you are of 21 years of age or older, and are caught driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher in New Jersey, you may be convicted of DWI. This standard is applicable to drivers who are legally allowed to consume alcohol.

DWI with a BAC of 0.08%-0.09% may carry a fine of $250-$400 with up to 30 days in jail, IDRC classes and a 3 month drivers license suspension. DWI with a BAC of 0.10% or higher may carry a fine of $300-$500, with a drivers license suspension ranging from 7 months to 1 year.

Drivers under the age of 21

If a driver under the age of 21 is caught with a BAC of 0.01% or 0.07%, he/she may be convicted of underage DWI. DWI with a BAC of 0.01%-0.07% may include penalties of 30-90 days license suspension and 15-30 days of mandatory community service.

Commercial (CDL) Licensed Drivers

Commercial drivers (holders of CDL licenses) who are driving commercial vehicles and whose BAC is 0.04% or higher may be charged with DWI. A DWI conviction may result in a suspension of their CDL license in addition to their driving license.

BAC Under the Limit Can Still Result In DWI

A BAC of less than 0.08% does not mean you can avoid a DWI charge. Police can decide you are intoxicated based on your performance in the field sobriety tests, your speech, other behavior and your driving conduct. If you have any amount of alcohol in your body that  affects your driving, you may still be charged with DWI.

Contact DWI Defense Attorney in NJ

If you have been accused of DWI and are in need of legal help, contact our New Jersey DWI defense attorney at The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC. We focus exclusively on DWI defense.  Call us today at 201-420-1913 or email us at


Guns & Weapons Offenses in Public Places

Guns in public places

Common sense says that having more guns and weapons in public increases the risk of violence. People carrying hidden, loaded handguns and other weapons in public create an unnecessary risk of intentional or accidental shootings. The presence of concealed guns increases the risk that commonplace disagreements will escalate into shootouts, especially in places like bars, sporting event venues and in traffic, where disputes frequently occur.

56% of Americans oppose laws allowing people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public places. However, state after state has adopted the “shall issue” or “may issue” gun laws that remove law enforcement discretion from the permission process. Weak laws permitting concealed weapons have radically increased the number of people who may carry hidden, loaded handguns.

New Jersey and New York require CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) permits. Applicants must demonstrate good cause or a justifiable need to carry a concealed weapon. New Jersey and New York are among the “may issue” states that require applicants to complete a firearm safety course, or otherwise demonstrate their qualification to use a firearm safely. New Jersey also requires that three reputable persons who have known the applicant for at least three years certify that the applicant is of good moral character and behavior. On the other hand, New York requires the licensing authority to ascertain that the applicant is of good moral character.

According to the Violence Policy Center analysis of news reports, CCW permit holders have killed at least 14 law enforcement officers and 622 private citizens since May 2007. These tragic incidents include 27 mass shootings and 39 murder-suicides.

In a 2010 nationwide poll, a majority of Americans opposed laws allowing people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public places. Nine out of ten Americans oppose laws allowing guns on college campuses or in bars, restaurants, stadiums, hospitals or government buildings.

The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

Are you being investigated for, or being charged with federal gun-related offenses? Often the government’s seizure of weapons involves search warrants and warrant less searches. The Law Offices of Joel Silberman prides itself on examining the legality of every case and pursuing the appropriate motions. Call our number at 201-420-1913 or email us at


How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your loved is facing a criminal case, then hiring a criminal defense attorney is important. He/she can help you reduce or dismiss your charges. You need to consider various aspects while choosing a criminal defense attorney.

Here are some simple ways to choose a criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey:

  • Referrals from friends and family members: When choosing a criminal defense attorney, take recommendations from your friends and family.
  • Interview the attorney: Interview the attorney to know his/her level of skills and confidence.
  • Experience: An experienced criminal defense attorney can get results. When you meet a criminal defense lawyer, ask for how long he or she has been practicing and also how many cases have they won.
  • Certifications: When choosing a criminal defense attorney, you also need to check whether the attorney is a certified attorney.
  • Cost of hiring: The cost of hiring is based on the complexity of your case. Provide accurate information to your criminal defense attorney during the consultation to generate a realistic fee.
  • Personality: Make sure the attorney you choose is friendly and easy to communicate with.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Jersey City, NJ

Attorney Joel Silberman, a criminal defense attorney in Jersey City, NJ has skills and knowledge to handle any type of criminal defense case. He is dedicated to fighting for individuals facing federal, state and municipal charges. Call 201-420-1913 for a consultation with Attorney Joel Silberman.


Penalty for a DUI Charge

Penalty for a DUI Charge

Like any other criminal charge, a person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is presumed innocent until he/she is proven guilty. If you are found guilty, the penalty will depend on the state law, as well as on any other circumstances, e.g., if there was an open bottle of liquor in the car; and your cooperation with the police. The following are the penalties for a DUI charge:

Jail Time

In all states, first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. This jail time can be increased under certain circumstances. In some states, if the blood-alcohol content at the time of arrest was very high and crossing the legal limit of 0.08%, the punishment can be more severe.

In most states, a minimum jail sentence of at least several days on a first offense is required. Subsequent offenses will result in a jail sentence of several months to a year.

For a DUI that is a felony because either the driver killed or injured someone, or because it’s your third or fourth DUI, a jail sentence of several years can be given.


Courts also impose high fines for a DUI in addition to a jail sentence. This can range from $500 to $2,000.

License Suspension

Your license can be suspended for a considerable period of time. In many states, a first time offender’s license can be suspended for 90 days. A second time offender’s license can be suspended for one year; and a third time offender’s license can be suspended for three years. If you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, it can result in license suspension. In some states, if you are a repeat offender, you may not be allowed to get back on the road. Your registration can be canceled temporarily or permanently and the state may confiscate your car.

Young Offenders

In most states, the legal drinking age is 21. A minor who is arrested for driving while under the influence will not get any respite from punishment. Adult sentences on minors can be imposed, and their license suspended for one year.

Other Forms of Punishment

In many states, a court sentence may include alcohol education and prevention programs, rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, assessment of a person for alcohol or drug dependency, and community service or victim restitution. If you are a first time offender, these programs can be recommended instead of jail time or paying fines.

Other Consequences

Your insurance company may also cancel the insurance policy or increase the rates because of the mark on the driving record. A DUI charge stays on a person’s driving record for many years. If your license is suspended, the insurance company may cancel the insurance policy.

Get in Touch with Defense Lawyer from The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

After being convicted under DUI charges, you can still protect your rights. You have the right to contact your DUI defense lawyer. We will work to protect your rights, and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious criminal conviction. Get in touch with The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC You can call us at 201-420-1913 or email us at


Seek justice against excessive bail, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel and unusual punishments

The Eighth Amendment denies federal officials authority to require excessive bail, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel and unusual punishments.

In case of Timbs v. Indiana, 139 S. Ct. 682 (2019), the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause incorporates the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause

Background of the case

Tyson Timbs purchased a Land Rover for approximately $42,000 in January 2013 using the proceeds from his father’s life insurance policy. During the following four months, Timbs used the vehicle for multiple trips within Indiana to transport heroin. After a series of controlled purchases involving a confidential informant, Timbs was arrested at a traffic stop. At the time of his arrest in May, the Land Rover had approximately 15,000 more miles on it than when he purchased it in January.

The state charged Timbs with two charges of felony dealing and one charge of conspiracy to commit theft. He later pleaded guilty to one charge of felony dealing and one charge of conspiracy to commit theft in exchange for the state dismissing the remaining charge. After accepting the plea, the trial court sentenced Timbs to six years, five of which were to be suspended. Timbs also agreed to pay fees and costs totaling approximately $1200.

In addition, the state sought to forfeit Timbs’ Land Rover. The trial court denied the state’s action, ruling that the forfeiture would be an excessive fine under the Eighth Amendment, characterizing it as grossly disproportional to the seriousness of the offense. The court also noted that the maximum statutory fine for Timbs’ felony dealing charge was $10,000, and the vehicle was worth roughly four times that amount when Timbs purchased it. The trial court ordered the state to release the vehicle immediately. The court of appeals affirmed.

The Indiana Supreme Court reversed, concluding that the U.S. Supreme Court had never clearly incorporated the Eighth Amendment against the states under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court also ruled that the state had proven its entitlement to forfeit the Land Rover under state law.

(Ref: “Timbs v. Indiana.” Oyez, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.)

What did the Supreme Court say?

The question before the Supreme Court was – “Has the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause been incorporated against the states under the Fourteenth Amendment?”

The Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause is an incorporated protection applicable to the states. The court termed it as “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty” and “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”

Why the verdict of Timbs v. Indiana case is important?

The Term, in Timbs v. Indiana verdict by the Supreme Court reiterates the right to be free from excessively harsh punishment at the hands of the government

Get help for curative remedies!

If you have been subjected to excessive bail or imposed excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments, you have right to curative remedies.

For years Joel Silberman served as an Assistant Prosecutor with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. He will appeal against the injustice you may have suffered to get you a justice you deserve.

Call (201)-420-1913 today to schedule an appointment.



New Jersey Courts Set to Resume Jury Trials

According to the Supreme Court order released on Sep 18, 2020, New Jersey courts are set to resume jury trials from Monday, Sept. 21.

On Sep 21, the Superior Court Judge Robert Vinci. Jury selection will be conducted using a hybrid approach. Voir dire questioning will primarily take place in a virtual format, with technology provided by the Judiciary as needed.

Read the full text here:

Immediate motivation behind the resumption of jury trials

The decision to resume a limited number of jury trials is motivated by providing legal recourse to the detained in jail awaiting trial, as well as the rights of victims of crime seeking access to the courts to complete a critical step in their recovery, both being greatly restricted due to measure taken due to prevailing Covid19 pandemic situation.

Sep 11 notice to the Bar

The Sep 11 notice to the Bar by Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D., acting Administrative Director of the Courts, detailed out the measures on the resumption of criminal and civil jury trials. Read the text here:

Detained in jail or awaiting trial, contact Defence Attorney Joel Silberman

If you have been detained in jail or awaiting trial, contact Defence Attorney Joel Silberman. The Law Offices of Joel Silberman are proud to protect the innocent from criminally prosecution and equally as proud to expose abuses by those who have taken an oath to protect us.

Law enforcement never rests and neither do we. Immediately after retaining Joel Silberman you will receive a 24/7 dedicated line to contact him on. Call (201)-420-1913 today to schedule an appointment.


Conviction of an alien unlawfully present in the United States for unlawful firearms possession

In case of Rehaif who entered the United States on a student visa and later lost his immigration status, the Supreme Court held that the Government therefore must prove both that the defendant knew he possessed a firearm and also that he knew he belonged to the relevant category of persons barred from possessing a firearm, and reversed Rehaif’s conviction

What was the charge against Mr. Rehaif?

Rehaif entered the United States on a student visa. When the university to which he was admitted dismissed him for poor performance, it advised him that he would lose his immigration status unless he enrolled elsewhere, which he did not do. He went to a shooting range where he purchased ammunition and practiced using the ranges firearms. The ammunition he bought came from out-of-state and the firearms he used were from Austria.

What law says?

Federal law declares it unlawful for an individual, unlawfully present in the United States, to possess a firearm or ammunition that has been transported or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce. A second statute makes it a federal crime to knowingly engage in such unlawful possession.

District court held him guilty without proving his unlawful present in the United States

At his trial, the U.S. district court advised the jury that the government did not have to prove that Rehaif knew that he was in the U.S. unlawfully. The jury convicted Rehaif, and the court sentenced him to prison for 18 months.

The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Rehaif’s conviction

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Eleventh Circuit) affirmed Rehaif’s conviction on several grounds. The Eleventh Circuit noted that conviction requires proof of three elements:

  • The defendant falls within one of the categories [of disqualified possessors] (the status element);
  • The defendant possessed a firearm or ammunition (the possession element); and
  • The possession was in or affecting [interstate or foreign] commerce [(the jurisdictional element)]. With regard to the status element, binding Eleventh Circuit case law dispensed with a mens rea requirement (sometimes referred to as scienter, state of mind, or knowledge requirement).

The Supreme Court reversed Rehaif’s conviction

The Supreme Court held that the Government therefore must prove both that the defendant knew he possessed a firearm and also that he knew he belonged to the relevant category of persons barred from possessing a firearm, and reversed Rehaif’s conviction. Speaking for a majority of the Court, Justice Breyer pointed out that mens rea questions are first and foremost a matter of congressional intent. He noted that the longstanding presumption, traceable to the common law, that Congress intends to require a defendant to possess a culpable mental state regarding each of the statutory elements that criminalize otherwise innocent conduct. Nevertheless, he explained that the presumption does not necessarily apply to all of a crime elements.

If you have been charged in a criminal case

If you are facing criminal charges, you need a legal defense from an attorney like New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Joel Silberman. He is dedicated to fighting for individuals that are facing Federal, State and Municipal charges.

At the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, no case is too big or too small. Whether you have been issued a summons for Municipal Court or been charged with a First Degree offense, you will receive the same aggressive and hard-hitting representation.

Call (201)-420-1913 today to schedule an appointment.


Remedy against prosecutorial misconduct or a racially biased jury

Recently, in Flowers v. Mississippi, 139 S. Ct. 2228 (2019), the U.S. Supreme Court again reversed and returned the case to the Mississippi courts where the prosecutions repeated, racially motivated misconduct during the defendants six trials for the same murders precluded a creditable Batson finding that the prosecutors challenge of an African-American prospective juror was based on race-neutral factors.

Background of the case

State authorities prosecuted Flowers six times for an offense in which a furniture store owner and three employees were shot to death. The state supreme court reversed Flowers first and second convictions due to numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct. The state supreme court overturned Flowers third conviction on the grounds of discriminatory jury selection. The fourth and fifth trials ended in hung juries. A sixth jury convicted Flowers of murder and sentenced him to death. Flowers argued that the prosecutor in his sixth trial used peremptory challenges in a racially discriminatory manner. (Read full details at

What did the Supreme Court say?

Supreme Court: The U.S. Supreme Court again reversed and returned the case to the Mississippi courts. The Court, speaking through Justice Kavanaugh, declared [f]our critical facts, taken together, require reversal:

  • First, in the six trials combined, the State employed its peremptory challenges to strike 41 of the 42 black prospective jurors that it could have struck.
  • FSecond, in the most recent trial, the sixth trial, the State exercised peremptory strikes against five of the six black prospective jurors.
  • FThird, at the sixth trial, in an apparent attempt to find pretextual reasons to strike black prospective jurors, the State engaged in dramatically disparate questioning of black and white prospective jurors.
  • FFourth, the State then struck at least one black prospective juror, Carolyn Wright, who was similarly situated to white prospective jurors who were not struck by the State.

What is a peremptory challenge?

Peremptory challenges allow prosecutors to have prospective jurors dismissed without having to explain the reason for the challenge. A prosecutor may not exercise peremptory challenges in a racially discriminatory manner.

Batson v. Kentucky case and peremptory challenge

The Supreme Court in Batson v. Kentucky established a three-part test to assess claims of racially discriminatory use of peremptory challenges. First, the accused must make prima facie showing that the challenge was made for discriminatory reasons. Second, the prosecutor has the burden of proving a race-neutral justification for the challenge. Third, the trial court must determine whether the prosecutor has satisfied his burden.

We will protect your right to justice

For years Joel Silberman served as an Assistant Prosecutor with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. During this time Joel litigated hundreds of felony and juvenile cases and appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division on multiple occasions. He knows what prosecutors can do and cannot do. If you are a victim of prosecutorial misconduct or a racially biased jury, he will appeal against the adverse verdict you have got to get you justice you deserve.
Call (201)-420-1913 today to schedule an appointment.

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