The Difference between Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process


A plaintiff can sue for malicious prosecution when a defendant “maliciously” prosecutes a criminal or uses a civil proceeding against the plaintiff when the defendant knows they don’t have a case.

Abuse of process occurs when a plaintiff sues a defendant for wrong accusation or a previous case where the defendant tried to use the legal system against the plaintiff in a manner for which legal system is not intended.

The Essential Elements of Malicious Prosecution

A successful malicious prosecution claim requires the following:

  • Beginning or continuing a criminal or civil legal proceeding
  • Believing in the allegations of the proceeding without any reasonable grounds
  • Getting to a judgment in the proceeding without a purpose
  • Termination of the proceeding in favor of the person being prosecuted or sued

An example of malicious prosecution is when the police brutalize an individual and then, in an effort to cover up their own criminality, charge that individual with resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer although no such activity ever took place.

The Essential Elements of Abuse of Process

In the case of abuse of process, a plaintiff can sue for abuse of process when a defendant starts the legal process. The most important element of abuse of process is that:

  • A plaintiff shows an improper and unnecessary purpose
  • The defendant uses the legal system to extort, force or create an illegal effect through the use of an otherwise legal process.

For example, when a defendant’s lawsuit is legitimate but a certain aspect of the lawsuit is not, the plaintiff can still sue for abuse of process.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been maliciously prosecuted, please call the Law Offices of Joel Silberman for a free consultation. We have the knowledge, skills and experience to help you. Call 201-420-1913 or email


Why You Should Hire a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Criminal trial attorney

Certified trial attorney is a title granted by the New Jersey Supreme Court to criminal trial attorneys that demonstrate a higher level of experience, education, knowledge and skills in their criminal trial practice. This certification is solely granted to those lawyers who apply for it. The Supreme Court, through its board on attorney certification, grants this title to those lawyers who are able to meet the standards set by the board and approved by the court. An attorney can be a certified criminal trial attorney if:

  • He or she has been a member of the New Jersey Bar for at least five years.
  • He or she has taken a specific number of legal education courses in the years prior to filing an application.
  • He or she demonstrates substantial involvement in the preparation of litigated matters.
  • He or she submits a list of attorneys and judges who will attest to the applicant’s character and ability.
  • He or she passes a written examination covering various aspects of trial practice in their designated specialty.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a crime, it is in your best interest to hire a certified trial attorney because:

  • Certification is the highest level of evaluation for competency, experience, professionalism and ethics within a specific area of the law.
  • When you hire a certified criminal defense attorney, you can be sure that your attorney is a specialist in their area of the law.
  • Certification is an assurance that the attorney has the skills and experience to succeed in the high-pressure environment of a courtroom.

Do You Need a Criminal Trial Attorney?

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. Attorney Joel Silberman will defend you or your loved ones against all types of criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, DWI, murder or manslaughter, theft and fraud, assault and domestic violence, weapons offenses, juvenile offenses, traffic violations and record expungement. Call 201-420-1913 or email


How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Person arrested for a crime

Getting charged with a crime is a difficult situation. It requires the help of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. A skilled criminal defense lawyer knows exactly how to present your case in court. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will do the following things for you:

Provide you with an honest assessment: Your lawyer know how things work in the court system. He or she will provide you with an honest assessment of how the trial will proceed and what you can expect.

File the necessary paperwork: Your lawyer can help fill out the necessary paperwork in court. He or she can ensure that all the paperwork is filed according to the strict deadlines set by the court.

Negotiate a plea bargain: Your lawyer can work with the prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain for you. A plea bargain can reduce your potential sentence and may eliminate a few or all of the charges against you.

Work out a sentencing program: Your lawyer can work out a suitable sentencing program depending on your charges. He or she may also work to get your sentence structured so that you don’t cross paths with the judicial system in the future.

Gather statements: Your lawyer can gather witness statements. He or she can hire investigators to investigate the witnesses scheduled to be presented by the prosecution. If the investigators find anything suspicious, this could help your case considerably.

Bring in expert witnesses to testify: A lawyer can bring in expert witnesses to testify on your behalf in an effort to get an acquittal.

Contact Us

If you are accused, charged or arrested on criminal charges, you will need an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to fight for you. Criminal defense lawyer Joel Silberman focuses exclusively on criminal defenses. He will provide an aggressive defense from start to finish and will keep you informed regarding your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email


Choosing the Right DWI Defense Attorney

Intoxicated driver

If you have been arrested or charged with a DWI, you may be facing serious consequences. Getting the help of a competent and experienced DWI defense attorney is in your best interest. However, choosing the right attorney can be challenging. The right attorney will play a major role in your case.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right DWI attorney:

Experience: Choose an attorney who has extensive experience in DWI cases. A lawyer with many years of legal experience and a history of handling DWI cases successfully would be a great choice. You can look at reviews and testimonials from former clients when considering the attorney’s experience.

Reputation: You can learn about the attorney’s reputation by researching reviews, testimonials and publications. Choose someone who is respected by other lawyers and consistently receives referrals from clients.

Qualifications: Choose an attorney who is highly qualified and has extensive training in DWI law. You can review the attorney’s profile to see whether his or her qualifications are a good fit for the type of services you need.

Communication: Choose a lawyer who is friendly and easy to communicate with. A good lawyer will take the time to explain things in a manner that is easily understood.

Fees: Understandably, you may want to choose an attorney within your budget, but hiring an inexpensive or inexperienced attorney may ruin your case. Similarly, a lawyer with higher fees does not necessarily indicate quality. Choose an attorney who meets all your requirements and is within your budget.

If you or someone you love is facing DWI charges, speak to our experienced DWI defense attorneys as soon as possible. We have the knowledge, skills and experience to handle any DWI case. Our DWI defense attorneys will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf so you can avoid a serious criminal conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email


How Does a DUI/DWI Impact Your Life?

Driving While Intoxicated

DUI/DWI is a serious offense. If someone is arrested for a DUI/DWI, he or she may face fines and legal fees. He or she may also face imprisonment and other severe consequences.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI/DWI, you should consult with an experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney as soon as possible.

How Does a DUI/DWI Conviction Impact Your Life?

Legal Consequences

A DUI/DWI may result in:

  • Arrest
  • Prison time
  • Fines and legal fees
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation
  • Driving restrictions, such as only being allowed to drive to and from your job
  • Probation
  • A potential criminal record

Personal Consequences

A DUI/DWI may have severe personal repercussions that include:

  • Loss of career opportunities
  • Increased rates for health, life and home insurance due to the possibility of a high-risk death
  • Job loss
  • Damaged reputation
  • Embarrassment and humiliation
  • College or university application denials
  • Job application denials
  • Auto insurance cancellations

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI/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 DUI/DWI 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


Failing Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) in New Jersey

DWI driving while intoxicated

When you get pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be asked to submit two types of tests, a breath test and a field sobriety test (FST). It is important to be aware that you have the right to refuse a FST, although the refusal might result in an arrest. If you decide to submit to a FST, fail the test and are arrested as a result, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney to help you.

Understanding the Field Sobriety Tests Used in New Jersey

The following are the three FSTs used in New Jersey that are validated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test – This test will check:
    • Lack of tracking in either left or right eye
    • Repetitive or uncontrolled movements in either eye prior to 45 degrees of movement
    • Involuntary eye movement in either eye at full deviation
    • Repetitive or uncontrolled movements in either eye when looking upward
  2. Walk-and-Turn Test – This test will check:
    • Balance
    • Starting and stopping time
    • Maintenance of heel-and-toe contact
    • Maintenance of the line
    • Manner and number of turns
    • Number of steps
  3. One-Leg Stand Test – This test will check:
    • Balance
    • Manner of hopping
    • Putting down the raised foot

If you or a loved one has been arrested for failing a FST, speak to an experienced DWI defense attorney as soon as possible.

At The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, we have the extensive experience, knowledge and skills to handle DWI cases. Our DWI defense lawyers 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


Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

Intoxicated driver

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a category of DWI but has higher penalties, different plea-bargaining restrictions and is considered a more serious crime than a regular DWI. New York State enacted a new law in 2007 that created the Aggravated DWI charge.

Aggravated DWI is a misdemeanor. If you are charged with it, you will most likely not be able to plead below a DWI misdemeanor.

Criminal Penalties for Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

First Aggravated DWI: A first DWI offense, regardless of the results of the Breathalyzer test, is considered a misdemeanor. An offender could be sentenced to a jail term of up to one year, with probation for an additional 3 years. He or she could also be charged a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 and have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to a year.

The offender may also be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel, which is a program designed to help offenders understand the effects of DWI.
Second Aggravated DWI: If a person commits a second Aggravated DWI within 10 years of his or her first one, he or she can be charged with a Class E felony. The offender can be sentenced to a jail term of up to 4 years and face a maximum fine of $5,000. In addition, his or her license can be revoked for up to 18 months.
Third Aggravated DWI: A third Aggravated DWI in 10 years is treated as a Class D felony. The offender can be sentenced to a jail term of up to7 years and face a fine ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. The offender’s license can also be revoked for up to 18 months.

Civil Penalties

An Aggravated DWI also carries civil penalties which may include a $250 per year DMV assessment for three years and a $395 court surcharge.
The offender will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in his or her car during probation or the conditional discharge period. An IID is a mechanism to prevent drinking and driving. This device requires the driver to breathe into it so that it can analyze the blood alcohol level. If the level is high, the car won’t start. Once the device is installed, it cannot be removed for 6 months. All charges for installation and maintenance are the offender’s responsibility.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DWI or Aggravated DWI, you need to speak to our experienced DWI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle any and all DWI charges. Our DWI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to help you avoid a serious criminal conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email


How to Avoid Getting a DWI or DUI

Drinking and driving

DWI or DUI is a traffic offense in New Jersey. The consequences of a DWI or DUI can be life-changing. The simplest answer as to how to avoid a DWI or DUI is to avoid drinking or being intoxicated in any way when driving. There are many other behaviors that you should do before, during and after a DWI or DUI stop that can prevent you from getting a DWI or DUI charge or at least lessen your charges.

Have Updated Documents Ready: If you are stopped and asked by a police officer to hand over your documents, be calm and hand your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance to the officer.

Be Calm and Polite During Questioning: If the officer asks you if you have been drinking, politely answer. Be honest and calm. Do not be defensive or argumentative.

Field Sobriety Tests: New Jersey traffic laws allow police to ask drivers to step out of the car for any traffic stop. If this happens, do your best to stay calm and step out of your car. Try to maintain polite eye contact with the officer as he or she will observe you for any indications of intoxication including bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol or the inability to maintain your balance.

Roadside Breath Tests: If you are requested to breathe into a Breathalyzer to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), you should do it. The state of New Jersey is an implied consent state, which means that you gave your consent to be tested when you accepted your driver’s license. However, you can still request a more reliable test instead of the roadside test. It is then up to the officer to decide whether to take you into custody for refusal to take the test.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Criminal attorney Joel Silberman can help you if you have been accused of a traffic offense in New Jersey. When you receive a ticket for a traffic violation, you can choose to fight back with the help of the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC.  Mr. Silberman has extensive experience in defending clients accused of traffic violations and offers skilled and experienced legal representation throughout New Jersey. We will provide an aggressive defense and keep you informed regarding your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email


Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey

When a child commits a crime in New Jersey, they can be arrested or detained. Although children make mistakes, parents must face the reality that their child has committed a crime and the consequences of that crime can be as simple as writing an essay for misdemeanor crimes to possibly being tried as an adult for felonies. New Jersey judges have a lot of leeway when deciding how to handle a juvenile case.

A person under the age of 18 in New Jersey is considered a juvenile. If the person commits a crime and turns 18 during the course of a trial, they are still considered a juvenile. In extremely serious cases such as assault and murder, courts can try a juvenile as an adult. In some of the less serious cases, a juvenile case is heard in the family division of the Superior Court.

In juvenile cases, the parents of the child will get a notice from the Superior Court describing the charges, court procedures and other information pertaining to the charges. Simple cases are sometimes referred to the Juvenile Conference Committee, who are citizen volunteers appointed by a Family Division judge to act on the court’s behalf. Other cases can be referred to a judicial referee, who is an attorney that sits in for a judge and acts on the court’s behalf with the same legal authority.

In all juvenile cases, the child must have representation that has their best interests in mind. As soon as parents get a notice from the court, they should speak with an attorney. If there are provable monetary considerations, the state must provide a public defender. New Jersey is strict and if either parent is employed, they will most likely not be eligible for assistance. It is important to note that public defenders usually have very high caseloads and are not able to devote the kind of time and energy that a juvenile criminal defense attorney can when defending a child for any kind of criminal charge.

Attorney Joel Silberman has defended many children facing adult trials and whenever possible, succeeded in having them downgraded to a family court matter. We can consult with prosecutors, obtain the state’s evidence and assess the case to effectively represent the interests of your child. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help protect your child’s rights and assess your family’s options. Call the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey at 201-420-1913 or 201-420-1913 or email


What to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime?

Falsely Accused of a Crime

A false criminal accusation can have serious consequences. If every step leading up to the trial isn’t handled properly, there can be a negative impact on every area of the individual’s life, as well as future employment and educational opportunities. It is important for the accused person to know exactly what to do. His or her actions immediately following the charge can make the difference between conviction and acquittal.

When you are falsely accused of a crime:

Hire a criminal defense attorney: This is the first and most important thing to do. Hiring a lawyer early in the investigation can increase the chances of proving your innocence. Your lawyer may also be able to determine if the charges were properly filed, negotiate with the prosecutor and help you understand your legal rights.

Do not discuss your case with anyone: When you have been falsely accused of a crime, do not try to prove your innocence to anyone. Remaining silent will do more good than harm. Discuss your side of the story and other details of the incident only with your lawyer.

Gather evidence and witnesses: Before the search warrant is issued, gather as much evidence as possible and bring it to your lawyer. If someone witnessed the situation or knows of your innocence, ask that individual to share their story with your lawyer.

Stay away from the accuser: Do not try to have any type of conversation with your accuser as it can complicate the matter further. The prosecutor could potentially blame you for intimidating the accuser. Allow your lawyer to handle the matter.

Contact Us

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you protect your rights and assess your options. We will provide an aggressive defense and keep you informed regarding your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email

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