Bayonne police brutality suit cost at least $1.5 million to settle

At least $1.5 million was paid to settle a police brutality lawsuit brought by a family that was beaten and pepper-sprayed by Bayonne police, according to a confidential deal released Friday after a year-long court battle by The Jersey Journal.

The family of Brandon Walsh sued the city of Bayonne and the police department in November 2014, 11 months after Walsh was beaten with a flashlight during an arrest at his home. Read more.


Federal lawsuit against Hamilton policeman heats up

A federal complaint against a Hamilton policeman remains active as a U.S. District Court judge denied the officer’s legal attempt to terminate the lawsuit.

Legal counsel for Officer James Scott filed a motion seeking a quick summary judgment and requesting the court to dismiss Randy Padilla’s complaint with prejudice, arguing that Scott had probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against Padilla. Read more.


The Consequences of Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer Test

Taking a Breathalyzer Test

When a person is pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the officer may administer a field sobriety test, followed by a Breathalyzer test. A Breathalyzer test is one of the many tests that police officers use to take drivers suspected of being under the influence into custody.

Most states have implied consent laws regarding these types of tests. This means that when a person applies for and is issued a driver’s license, he or she is automatically giving consent to a Breathalyzer and other tests, whenever necessary, to determine impairment. However, many people refuse to take this test.

Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test can result in serious consequences. Your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended for up to 12 months, fines may be imposed, and you may face a jail term for not submitting to a BAC test when suspected of a DUI. Drivers with past DUI convictions can face even longer suspensions or jail time.

Refusing a Breathalyzer test is not advisable because prosecutors may still base a potential DUI charge on other evidence collected at the scene, such as officer observations, witness testimony, or the results of a field sobriety test. The refusal may also be used against you in a future trial.

Contact Us

New Jersey has extremely tough laws for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. The consequences can have a devastating effect on a person’s career and family. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI or Refusal, you should speak with attorney Joel Silberman as soon as possible to start preparing a defense. Call 201-420-1913 or email


What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence

False domestic violence accusation

Domestic violence is a serious crime, and false accusations can have serious consequences. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including his or her reputation. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, there are specific things to do to protect your freedom and reputation. Here are some tips from the domestic violence attorneys at The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, on what to do after you have been falsely accused of domestic violence:

Seek legal help:

This is one of the most important things to do. An experienced domestic violence attorney can help you through every step of the legal process leading up to the trial. Your lawyer will have the knowledge and skills to thoroughly review the case and determine which legal options will result in the best outcome.

Inform family members about the false accusation:

It is not uncommon for family members of the alleged victim to turn against the loved one accused of the crime. Inform your family members about your ex partner’s accusations. It will prepare them for the worst and encourage them to believe your side of the story.

Do not meet your ex partner without a witness:

If circumstances force you to come into contact with you ex partner, do not meet him or her alone. Make sure you have a witness present and if possible, meet him or her in a public place. Having a witness present can help avoid another false allegation by your ex partner.

Avoid behavior that can be used against you:

While you are in court, do not engage in arguments with your partner, joke about violence or suicide or act out aggressively. These actions will make you look as if you are violent, short-tempered and unstable in front of the judge.

Make decisions with a clear head:

False accusations of domestic violence can prompt you to make decisions that you may regret later. Make all decisions with a clear head. Unreasonable decisions may have consequences on your freedom and reputation. Contact your attorney to ensure that you are making the right decisions.

Contact Us

If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you should speak with a domestic violence attorney right away. An experienced domestic violence attorney will provide invaluable guidance throughout your case while protecting your fundamental rights. At the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, we defend the rights of people falsely accused of domestic violence. We can help you too. Call 201-420-1913 or email


Driving Without a License in NJ

Driving without a license

Driving without a valid license is a criminal offense in New Jersey and may lead to serious consequences. Driving without a license may mean that you have a driver’s license but it was not in your possession, or that you never applied for a license, or that your license has been cancelled, revoked or suspended by the authorities.

Under the New Jersey motor vehicle law, no person is allowed to drive a motor vehicle without a basic driver’s license or probationary driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. When a person is caught driving without a valid license, he or she may face serious penalties. Similarly, if a person has allowed an unlicensed driver to use his or her vehicle, that person may also face serious fines.

Penalties for Driving Without a License in NJ

Driving without a license in New Jersey may lead to the following fines and penalties:

  • Driving with no prior license: May lead to a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 60 days. The person will be ineligible for a license for 180 days.
  • Driving without a license with proof of a prior license: May lead to a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 60 days.
  • Violating a restriction on a conditional license: May lead to a fine of up to $100 and imprisonment for up to 30 days.
  • Lending your driver’s license: May lead to a fine of up to $500.
  • Allowing an unlicensed driver to drive your vehicle: May lead to a fine of up to $500.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with driving without a license in New Jersey, let our experienced criminal defense attorneys help you. We have the knowledge and experience to pursue the best possible outcome in your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email


How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

Criminal Defense Attorney

Many people think that once you have been charged for a criminal offense, there is not much that a criminal defense attorney can do to reduce the sentence. However, hiring an experienced attorney could be in your best interest. Not only can an attorney get your sentence reduced and protect you from additional charges, but they can also help get your case dismissed.

Having to deal with the police or the prosecutor may not be easy if you are on your own. You may be vulnerable to being treated unfairly or taken advantage of by other parties. Moreover, if you are not an experienced attorney, you will not know the full extent of the legalities involved in your case. If you have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to represent you, he or she will make sure that you are treated fairly and that the laws and statutes work for you to reduce your sentence or have your charges dismissed altogether.

If you are considering representing yourself, remember that if you are not familiar with the law and the legal system, you may end up incriminating yourself. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can rest assured that no such mistake will happen and that you will be represented to the fullest extent possible. Even when it comes to facing the representatives of the justice system such as the prosecutor, judge and other officials during your trial, you will always be at an advantage if you hire a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with all the proceedings.

Contact Us

At The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, no case is too big or too small. Whether you have been issued a summons for municipal court or you have been charged with a first degree offense, you will receive the same aggressive and hard-hitting representation. If you are faced with a criminal charge and need legal representation, call 201-420-1913 or email at


Excessive Force by Police

Excessive force by police.

Excessive force is the use of force by a police officer that is disproportionate to what a reasonable police officer would use under similar circumstances. The law allows police officers to use whatever force is necessary to make an arrest or defend themselves. However, they are also required to use their best judgment in determining how much force should be used in the heat of the moment.

The amount of force police officers can use depends on the circumstances of the arrest, such as:

  • The severity of the alleged crime
  • Whether the person poses a direct threat
  • Whether the person is resisting arrest

Under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 USC 1983), people have the right to be free from violations of their constitutional rights by government officials. Use of more force than is reasonably necessary leads to a violation of a person’s fourth amendment rights. The fourth amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Instances of Excessive Force by Police Officers

  • The use of physical force against a person already in custody and not resisting arrest
  • The use of a weapon against an unarmed person
  • The use of threat to force a person into providing information or confessing
  • The use of repeated force or the use of a weapon when a person is already subdued

Suing a Police Officer for Use of Excessive Force

A person who has been a victim of excessive force may have a viable claim against the arresting officer. However, to sue a police officer, a victim must provide sufficient evidence. The following are two important pieces of evidence:

  • Video footage of the incident where excessive force was used: This is important because police officers generally have more credibility than the person arrested.
  • A significant and serious injury suffered by the victim: It is important to note that if a person has suffered a significant injury but the officer establishes that the use of force was reasonable, the person arrested may not be able to sue the officer.

Contact Us

Victims of excessive force are entitled to monetary damages to compensate them for the injuries they have suffered. If you or a loved one has been physically hurt due to the excessive use of force by a police officer, call 201-420-1913 or email at


Reasons for Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

prosecution defense

There are many reasons why hiring a criminal defense attorney is beneficial for you. They understand the law better, have invested years of education in criminal justice and earned their experience in courtrooms. Regardless of whether they to help lower your penalties or avoid any other consequences, our attorneys are very prepared to handle your case.

The last thing you want is a criminal record following you for the rest of your life. A criminal defense attorney can help stop that from happening. With a good attorney by your side, you have a good chance to win the case or have it dismissed. If you are convicted, he or she can still appeal and ask the court to delete your conviction from your records, allowing you to live a normal life without worrying about a criminal record standing in the way of your job or social life.

When you are faced with a criminal charge, it is vital that you correctly handle all the documentation involved such as filing a plea bargain and submitting court documents on time. If you are handling the case on your own, it might be overwhelming for you to keep track of all the documents you need to bring to court. You may think that you are saving on the attorney’s fees, but a wrong step or a missed deadline for submission of documents could result in you losing your case. You would then have to face many more penalties, and have a much bigger price to pay. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with all the legal proceedings and, most importantly, keep you out of jail.

A criminal defense attorney can attempt to get your penalties lowered by getting a diversion or an alternate sentence. In case you want to settle your case by plea bargaining, only an expert criminal defense attorney can successfully negotiate a fair settlement with seasoned prosecutors. He or she can also protect you from improper attempts to get you convicted.

If you were to run into dishonest individuals trying to tamper or destroy your evidence, it would be very challenging to correct that on your own without professional help. An experienced defense attorney will know exactly what to do with people who are less than honest. An experienced attorney has access to professionals such as private investigators, medical practitioners and expert witnesses. They will help you uncover the truth, track down records and point out weak or contradictory statements.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, contact criminal defense attorney Joel Silberman right away. Joel and his team will provide an aggressive defense from start to finish and offer you the best chance to stay out of jail. For a free initial consultation, call us at 201-420-1913. You can also email us at


Factors to Consider When Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing a criminal charge, hiring the right defense attorney can help you deal with your criminal case more effectively. It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. However, choosing the right attorney can be challenging. When searching for the right attorney, look for someone who is experienced and can fight for you and protect your reputation and rights.

Here are several factors to consider when hiring a criminal defense attorney:

Location: Look for an attorney who is licensed to practice in your particular state because legal statutes may differ from state to state. This can also help with coordinating court appearances and increases your ability to meet your attorney in person to discuss your case.

Area of specialization: Every criminal defense attorney specializes in a specific area of criminal defense, such as DUI, theft, domestic crimes, violent crimes, etc. Hire an attorney who is specialized in your specific charges because he or she will be more experienced in that area of criminal defense.

The attorney’s reputation: Do not choose an attorney just because he or she charges less or because you are impressed with their advertising campaign. You can learn about the attorney’s reputation by researching reviews, testimonials and publications.

Look for someone who is respected by the judges and receives a good amount of referrals from clients and other attorneys.

The attorney’s fee: The fee is another factor that must be considered. Even though it is important to hire an attorney within your budget, hiring an inexpensive or inexperienced attorney may ruin your case. At the same time, a higher fee is not necessarily an indicator of quality. It is always to your benefit to research different attorneys and hire someone who meets all your qualifications and is within your budget.

The attorney’s level of communication: You may have a lot of questions as you move through the legal process. A good lawyer will take the time to explain things in a language you understand. Always choose someone who is friendly and easy to communicate with.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, you should contact us. We will provide you with an aggressive defense from start to finish, and will keep you informed regarding your case. To speak with us, call 201-420-1913 or email at


Types of Defenses to Criminal Charges

Defenses to Criminal Charges

A person who has been charged with a criminal offense appears in court. If he or she pleads “not guilty,” the trial officially begins. In order to convict the accused, the prosecutor must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The court gives the defendant an opportunity to present a defense. However, the final decision rests in the hands of the judge or the jury. Here are some common defenses against criminal charges:

  1. Presumption of innocence
    According to the law, people accused of a crime are legally presumed to be innocent. This principle requires the prosecutor to prove the criminal defendant’s guilt. Due to the presumption of innocence, the defendant does not need to argue the case, present any witnesses, or do anything to prove innocence. If the prosecutor can’t convince the jury that the defendant is guilty, he or she goes free.
  3. Proof beyond reasonable doubt
    Because of the serious consequences of a criminal conviction, a prosecutor must prove unequivocal guilt. In other words, the prosecutor must convince a judge or jury that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If a reasonable doubt exists relative to one or more elements of the crime that has been charged, the defendant can argue the case. If doubt remains or the ‘burden of proof’ has not been met, the defendant is given the benefit of the doubt and cleared of the charge.
  5. The alibi defense
    In this defense, the defendant attempts to prove that he or she was somewhere other than the scene of the crime at the time the crime allegedly occurred. It seeks to prove that the defendant is innocent. For example, if the defendant was accused of committing a burglary at a certain date or time, the evidence to support the alibi might consist of family testimony and other evidence proving that he or she was at a different place.
  7. Self-defense
    Self-defense is about the right to protect oneself or others from physical harm by using reasonable force or defensive force. It means the person doesn’t necessarily have to wait for the attack in order to act in self-defense. However, the force used should be reasonable under the circumstances. This type of defense is commonly used by defendants who have been accused of violent crimes, such as battery, assault with a deadly weapon or murder. The defendant admits violence, but attributes the crime to the other person’s threatening or violent acts. The core issues in most self-defense cases are:
    • Who was the aggressor?
    • Where did the incident take place?
    • Did the defendant have a duty to retreat before using force?
    • Was the defendant’s belief that self-defense was necessary reasonable?
    • Was the force used by the defendant reasonable?
  9. Insanity defense
    In this defense, the defendant admits the offense, but seeks to absolve himself or herself from blame on the grounds of insanity. It is based on the principle that punishment is justified only when one is able to control one’s behavior and has the capacity to understand that one has committed a crime. This defense prevents people who cannot fully function in society from being criminally punished. An insanity defense case involves complex procedures and various tests to determine the truth of the claim.
  11. Intoxication defense
    This defense depends on whether the intoxication was voluntary or involuntary, and whether the intent in question was clear and strong enough to merit a criminal charge. Involuntary intoxication can be a defense to criminal charges if the person was tricked or forced into consuming drugs or alcohol. Generally, voluntary intoxication does not excuse criminal conduct. However, some states have an exception to this rule. The defendant can argue that he or she was too drunk or high to have formed the intent to commit the crime. Specific intent can only be used as a partial defense in a case. It can be used to raise reasonable doubt about specific intent in a crime.
  13. The defense of entrapment
    Entrapment occurs when the government or the law enforcement officers persuade a person to commit a crime by actually placing the idea in their mind. For example, the police may use overbearing tactics or coercion to induce someone to commit a crime. However, entrapment can be difficult to prove when a defendant has a prior related conviction. In addition, the defendant may be found guilty even if a government agent suggested or helped commit the crime if a judge or jury believes that he or she had the inclination to commit the crime.

Need a strong criminal defense? Contact The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC are dedicated to fighting for individuals who are facing Federal, State or Municipal charges. We will defend you and your loved ones against all types of violent crime charges. Call us today at 201-420-1913 or email us at

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