Freehold Violent Crimes Defense Lawyers

In New Jersey, crimes of violence committed against others carry the most serious penalties, including life in prison without the possibility of parole. While U.S. News & World Report ranks New Jersey fifth for overall crime and corrections, the Garden State actually boasts the lowest in the nation for violent crimes.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need a criminal defense lawyer knowledgeable and experienced in the court system. At Lyons & Associates, P.C., our skilled Freehold violent crimes defense lawyers have extensive experience defending clients charged with serious violent crimes and provide comprehensive and aggressive strategies and representation.

What Types of Violent Crime Cases Does Lyons & Associates, P.C. Handle?

Federal and state laws define violent crimes as criminal acts committed under actual or threatened force or physical harm. We handle various violent crime cases, including but not limited to the following:

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Assault and Threat Crimes
  • Assault by Auto
  • Carjacking Charges
  • Disarming a Police Officer
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Domestic Violence
  • Harassment
  • Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder and Homicide
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Restraining Order Violations
  • Simple Assault
  • Sexual Assault and Rape
  • Stalking Offenses
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Weapons Offenses

What Are Aggravating Circumstances?

Certain violent crime charges not directed at a specific individual are grossly reckless, and demonstrating a total disregard for human life are considered aggravating circumstances, such as randomly firing a gun into an occupied building, eluding police, or setting fires. A lesser-degree crime, such as manslaughter, may be elevated to a first-degree crime when aggravating circumstances exist. Other crimes that can be elevated due to aggravating circumstances include simple or aggravated assault, robbery, and sexual assault.

What Penalties Do Violent Crimes Carry in New Jersey?

Depending on the crime and the level of severity, New Jersey has extremely harsh punishments for those convicted of violent crimes.

Certain violent crimes, such as murder and kidnapping, are statutory crimes with punishments defined by law. For instance, a first-degree offense, such as carjacking, is punishable by 10 to 30 years imprisonment with a mandatory requirement of serving 85 percent before being eligible for parole.

Other violent crime punishments are levied according to the state’s general classifications for crimes and punishments, known as “degrees.” New Jersey has first, second, third, and fourth-degree offenses, the first being the most severe. Under New Jersey law, penalties include:

  • First-degree offense: Ten to 20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.
  • Second-degree offense: Five to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
  • Third-degree offense: Three to five years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
  • Fourth-degree offense: Up to 18 months in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Disorderly persons offense: Fines up to $1,000.
  • Petty disorderly persons offense: Fines up to $500.

New Jersey law provides longer or enhanced sentences for repeat or persistent offenders with at least two prior adult criminal convictions by age 21 who are currently being tried for a first, second, or third-degree crime. Career and professional criminals, co-conspirators, and second offenders in possession of a firearm are all subject to enhanced sentences with a first-, second-, or third-degree conviction. Career or professional criminals refer to offenders whose livelihood revolves around crime and who expect payment for committing crimes.

What Is the No Early Release Act?

In New Jersey, if you are convicted of a violent crime, you may be subject to the state’s No Early Release Act (NERA). Under the Act, offenders of certain violent crimes are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence before becoming eligible to be considered for parole. If you are facing charges for a crime subject to NERA, it is crucial to retain an experienced Freehold violent crimes defense lawyer to fight the charges on your behalf.

What Are Potential Defenses Against a Violent Crimes Charge?

Anyone charged with a crime in the United States has a constitutional right to defend themselves against the charges. Specific defenses depend on the circumstances of the case, but general defenses against violent crime charges include but are not limited to:

  • Acting in self-defense against an attack.
  • Acting in the heat of passion.
  • Lack of intent to harm or incapable of forming intent due to impairment.
  • Mental illness at the time of the alleged crime, preventing the ability to distinguish right from wrong or the consequences of actions.

Other possible defenses may include mistaken identity, racial bias, tainted evidence, or mental incapacity. Regardless of the charge, our skilled Freehold violent crimes defense lawyers can conduct a comprehensive analysis and build a strategy to challenge the prosecution’s case against you.

What Are the Consequences of Being Convicted of a Violent Crime?

Being convicted of any crime can carry consequences beyond legal punishments that can radiate through every aspect of your life and make it difficult to find employment, housing, loans, and credit, loss of voting rights and the ability to own or possess a weapon and require you to pay restitution to the victim. Additionally, convictions for certain crimes, such as being required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, can subject you to underreported consequences, like societal prosecution and stigmas. This can affect and dictate where you live, work, and interact with the general public.

Why Choose Lyons & Associates, P.C.

Lyons & Associates, P.C. will protect your future and your freedoms if you have been charged with a violent crime. The sooner we take your case, the sooner we can begin building a case to challenge the charges and evidence against you.

Our firm will provide crucial legal support and representation. Our criminal defense attorneys understand the complexities of the criminal justice system and the severe consequences that accompany such charges. Our attorneys offer comprehensive defense strategies tailored to the specific circumstances of our clients’ cases. By meticulously examining evidence, identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and leveraging our extensive knowledge of New Jersey criminal law, we can challenge the charges against you.

Moreover, Lyons & Associates, P.C. is committed to providing personalized and compassionate legal services, recognizing the immense stress and uncertainty accompanying criminal charges. We will ensure that you are fully informed and supported throughout the legal process, from pre-trial negotiations to courtroom representation. Our dedication to client advocacy means we will vigorously defend your interests. By choosing our firm, you gain a dedicated ally in navigating legal challenges and working towards a resolution that minimizes the impact on your life.

Our Violent Crimes Defense Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Clients Facing Serious Criminal Charges

Being convicted of a violent crime in New Jersey carries heavy legal and personal consequences. If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime, you need to enlist the services of an experienced Freehold violent crimes defense lawyer at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Somerville, Morristown, and Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Mercer, Burlington, Camden, Somerset, and Monmouth Counties.