If you have ever been arrested or accused of a crime in New Jersey, you are probably confused, frightened and concerned about your future and that of your family. In spite of the stress you may be feeling and your desire to tell your side of the story in hopes of talking your way out of the situation, the first thing should do is REMAIN SILENT. Keep in mind that anything you say or do will be used against you in a court of law. You should be absolutely truthful, polite and cooperative when responding to questions regarding your identity since providing misinformation can result in an additional criminal charge. Beyond that, you should tell the investigating officer that you want to “speak with an attorney.” Always remember that the officer is not there to understand what happened but rather to gather evidence and assist the prosecutor in building a case against you. Everything you say is “on the record” and anything you say can be taken out of context if it strengthens the case against you. The officer never “speaks to the prosecutor” on your behalf.
If you have been arrested or accused of a crime in New Jersey, you should seek legal advice right away and hire an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you obtain legal representation, the sooner your attorney can become familiar with your case, take steps to preserve evidence that may be relevant to your defense, seek a reduction of your bail/ bond or ask that you be released on your own recognizance.
Attorney Gwendolyn O. Austin is a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney serving clients in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union Counties. Contact this office at (973) 735-2706 or on line for a free, confidential consultation. I offer affordable rates and accept major credit cards for your convenience.
My criminal law practice includes: