Category: Municipal Court
Disorderly Persons Offenses Can Have a Long-Lasting Impact on Your Life in New Jersey
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Explore the Ramifications of Disorderly Persons Convictions for Background Checks and Applications for Future Opportunities in NJ
There are two kinds of disorderly persons offenses, a petty disorderly offense, and a disorderly persons offense, with the former being less severe than the latter. According to New Jersey law, a person detained for either offense is not entitled to have their case brought before a grand jury for indictment or to have a jury trial. For both kinds of disorderly persons offense, the defendant has the right to counsel (either private or public appointed by the judge.) The fact that these charges are at the lower end of the spectrum does not signify nonchalance in terms of consequences. Fines and jail time are possibilities depending on previous charges and compliance with previous court orders. Beyond that, the long-term impacts of being convicted of a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey can relate to background checks, job opportunities, immigration status, and more critical parts of your future.
Common Actions Constituting Disorderly Persons Offenses in NJ
Few of these charges are violent or have the potential to be violent. Possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault, lewdness, obstructing justice, resisting arrest, writing fraudulent checks, and shoplifting are all actions that can get you charged with a disorderly persons offense. Petty disorderly offenses typically include harassment, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.
Consequences of Disorderly Persons Offenses
For a disorderly persons offense, a judge can put you in jail, charge you steep fines, and require you to attend programs. If you are given probation, you could be assigned to work at a halfway house or a community center. There will also be fines to pay. Your ability to rent a house or apartment, become a foster parent, or adopt a child may also be affected. If you are interested in getting a job with the government that requires a security clearance, you may be hindered by your record. To be a teacher, counselor, bank worker, law enforcement, or join the armed services, having this on your record could affect the outcome. Also, the potential employer may request the applicant’s permission to seek a background check, and the applicant must consent before it can be requested.
Additionally, a disorderly persons charge can cause immigration problems for non-citizens who are in the process of getting a green card, or nationalization can be exacerbated by a disorderly persons charge as they can be considered unethical behavior. This can result in a non-citizen being deemed deportable or inadmissible, or their visa can be canceled.
Disorderly Persons Convictions and Undesired Ramifications on Background Checks
A disorderly persons conviction will show on your criminal record when a background check is run because it is permanent unless you successfully receive an expungement. However, there are times when a complete background check isn’t requested. If a private company with whom you want to work, or a landlord whose apartment you want to rent, performs a background check, they may only request a certain number of years, or perhaps it is a program that limits a search to a certain number of databases. None of which disclose your record. However, it is a bad idea to roll the dice by not talking about your offense up front. You never know if, through other background checks, your record may appear. The consequences of your deception could be charges for fraud.
Larger companies and businesses are more likely to run a complete check than those with less than 20 employees. Younger managers may perceive minor offenses as youthful errors in judgement rather than serious crimes. It is a good idea to do some research before you go in for an interview as to whether the company for which you are applying is known for hiring people whose records are smudged. You may have to accept a job you are less interested in for a while to build up your reputation and job history. Later, you may have less of a problem finding better opportunities.
Another possibility is to clean your record. This is called expungement and it allows for disorderly persons offenses to be removed from your record. Once expunged, they will not appear on any background check, no matter how detailed or thorough. The exception to the general rule applies to jobs in law enforcement and other public positions. Moreover, you will no longer be required to discuss your issue in the past with your hopeful employer in the present.
Process to Expunge a Disorderly Persons Offense in New Jersey
This process can be done on paper or electronically. When you file your petition to expunge your offenses, the system will not correct any mistakes you make or give you any helpful information or advice. Neither will it calculate if you are eligible to submit a petition. It is for those reasons that you should let your lawyer walk you through the process and complete it on your behalf. Any mistakes you make could have a negative effect on the outcome of your request, even if you are eligible. When the court receives your forms, based on the information you and your lawyer submitted, they will or will not confirm your eligibility. If you are found ineligible, the court will most likely refuse your petition for expungement.
It is vital that you and your lawyer put together all relevant information. E-filing makes that much easier than doing it on paper. There is a section where you can retrieve your cases and check to see if all of the information regarding your legal history is correct. There may be errors, so have your lawyer request corrections before you proceed with the process. The system is occasionally incorrect, but by no means regularly inaccurate in listing criminal records from New Jersey. You want to paint yourself as a productive member of society; your job, community work, and family ties all make a difference. For reasons of practicality and accessibility, we will handle the entirety of the expungement process to best position your application for success.
To complete the e-filing, you and your lawyer will be contacted to go over your entire file. Once you confirm that everything has been filled in correctly and there isn’t anything left in blank or mistaken information, your application will be sent to the government departments that need to review it. The court will schedule your hearing. The judge will grant or deny your expungement request. The prosecutor can deny or accept it as well.
Additionally, a recent NJ bill called the Clean Slate (Dec. 19, 2019) provides expungement for anyone who has had a clean record for 10 years. The waiting period begins when all the conditions of any past convictions have been completed in their entirety. According to the bill, there is no maximum number of indictable offenses or disorderly persons offenses that can be cleared. However, any specific offense that cannot be expunged will also disqualify a petition for this kind of expungement. Someone who received an expungement is eligible for a clean slate expungement if their petition is approved.
Limit on the Amount of Disorderly Persons Offenses for Expungement in NJ
Up to 5 disorderly persons charges can be expunged, also 1 indictable offense and 3 disorderly persons charges.
Waiting Time to Have an NJ Disorderly Persons Offense Expunged
For a clean slate expungement, 10 years from your last offense is what you will have to wait. An indictable conviction and up to 3 disorderly persons offenses will take 5 years, while the same offenses with compelling circumstances are 4 years. Five disorderly offenses will take 5 years, but with compelling circumstances, 3 years. Compelling circumstances are areas such as your behavior, community participation, job seeking, etc. to assure the court that you are a participating, positive contribution to society.
How Can a Lawyer Help Remove a Disorderly Persons Offense from Your Record in New Jersey?
The most challenging part of the expungement process is being eligible. When the type of conviction, number of convictions, and your sentence, fees, and probation have been completed. There are many statutes that provide the details, exceptions, and rules for your expungement. A lawyer is your best choice to handle your expungement.
The second challenge is completing all the forms carefully and accurately. E-forms are only as good and efficient as the person who fills them out. A lawyer can apply their knowledge of expungement processes to go over every detail of the forms you need for your expungement. You should paint a picture of the excellent citizen you are, as well as a family member, volunteer, employee, and/or person looking for work but getting rejected because of your record. You need the expungement to continue your growth and contributions to the community.
The final complication is managing the expungement hearing. If you qualify and your paperwork is up to snuff, the hearing should be a formality, a walk in the park without a necessary appearance in court. However, if the prosecutor objects or the court is against your expungement, your wise and experienced lawyer can persuade the court to grant your position.
Have You Been Arrested, Charged, or Convicted of a Disorderly Persons Offense? Contact Our Team of Criminal Lawyers Today
If you were arrested, charged with, or convicted of disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey, you might be in front of a serious issue. A conviction might have severe implications, including a lifelong criminal record and the possibility of jail time. Our recommendation for you is to talk with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at The Bronzino Law Firm about your case as soon as possible. The sooner we know about your case, the sooner we’ll start working on your defense or expungement.
Please do not hesitate to contact the skilled lawyers at our firm with offices in Brick and Sea Girt if you have any additional questions about defending against disorderly persons offenses, them showing up on background checks, or you require more assistance or clarification for a disorderly persons case in any way. We help clients with disorderly and petty disorderly persons charges and expungements of these convictions in Belmar, Toms River, Mantoloking, Lacey, Barnegat, Point Pleasant, Freehold, Eatontown and other areas in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and South Jersey.
Key Information about Repercussions of Cyber Harassment and Cyberstalking in NJ Criminal and Family Courts
The internet is more popular than ever, especially with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram being used by millions of people. Unfortunately, this has also led to a lot of bullying online, also known as “cyber harassment.” Cyber harassment and cyberstalking can occur in any number of situations, but they often involve one party in a relationship targeting the other party. This is particularly true in contentious divorces, with one spouse accusing the other spouse of harassment, threats, etc. If you are going through a divorce and your spouse has accused you of cyber-harassment or cyberstalking, you need to take the accusation very seriously. You could face a multitude of consequences based on these allegations, including criminal charges, a restraining order, and negative impacts on your divorce case. To learn more about cyber harassment and cyberstalking in NJ, including how to respond to criminal charges and potential implications for your divorce, keep reading. To speak with one of our seasoned attorneys with experience handling all aspects of cyber harassment, criminal, domestic violence, and divorce cases in Monmouth and Ocean County, please call (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation.
Acts of “Cyber Harassment” and “Cyberstalking” in New Jersey
The truth is that terms like “cyber harassment” and “cyberstalking” are often open to interpretation because they are relatively new legal concepts, and they also exist in a modern world with a constantly evolving internet.
These are some of the acts that can give rise to a charge for cyber harassment in New Jersey:
Sending threatening emails. It should go without saying that threatening someone with violence or abuse is a very serious crime. When the threats are communicated online via email, it can result in criminal charges for cyber harassment.
Posting dangerous or threatening blog posts. The internet provides people with the opportunity to create websites that host blogs. Sometimes, these blogs are used for the wrong reasons: to post dangerous or threatening content about someone online. If the threatening words go too far, it can lead to criminal charges.
Impersonating someone online. Many websites allow users to create accounts or profiles without much in the way of a background check. This means that someone could potentially create a fictitious account and a fake profile pretending to be someone else. If you do this and then use the account to post inflammatory or negative things online while posing as someone else, it could constitute cyber harassment. (And if you impersonate a minor while doing so, the criminal charges may be elevated.)
Posting nude photos of someone online. Some of the most pernicious online bullying involves the posting of nude photographs or videos on Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere on the internet. The idea is often that the subject of the photos will be embarrassed if they are circulated all across the internet. When the naked images are of an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend, it can give rise to additional criminal charges for Revenge Porn.
Criminal Charges for Cyber Harassment in New Jersey
In New Jersey, cyber harassment and cyberstalking are very serious crimes that can result in the perpetrator being convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, fines, and long-term consequences like a criminal record. Regardless of what specific actions gave rise to your charges for cyber harassment, it is now imperative that you have a competent criminal defense lawyer on your side and helping you to avoid the most severe penalties. Moreover, your lawyer should have experience handling these types of cases and possess a strong understanding of what the law says about cyber harassment and cyberstalking, particularly since the law in this area is always being updated.
NJ Cyber Harassment Crime
Cyber harassment is addressed in the New Jersey Criminal Code by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1. The statute stipulates that a person is guilty of cyber harassment if they use social media, specifically, or an electronic device, generally, to communicate online and to make a threat against another person, cause injury or harm to another person, or commit a crime against another person.
These are the broad strokes of the law, which goes into more detail about exactly what can give rise to a cyber-harassment charge. For example, if you attempt to harm someone with your online post, the prosecution will need to prove that you had the intent to cause emotional harm or to place the other person in fear of either physical or emotional harm. But keep in mind that this element of proof has been interpreted broadly by courts so that the prosecutor may only have to establish that a reasonable person would have been put in fear by the defendant’s online communication. This means that if you used the internet to publish menacing words or even lewd or obscene content, that might be enough to constitute a violation of the cyber-harassment statute.
Cyber Harassment Penalties under NJ Law
In most instances, cyber harassment charges are classified as fourth-degree indictable offenses. This means that cyber harassment is a felony, and a conviction carries a possible sentence of up to 18 months in state prison, as well as a fine of $10,000. In some circumstances, however, cyber harassment charges can be elevated to a third-degree indictable offense, which comes with possible penalties of 3-5 years in state prison, in addition to a fine of up to $15,000. The statute allows for the state to elevate the charges to a third-degree felony if the offender impersonated a minor and then cyber-harassed a minor victim.
The bottom line is that you do not want to be convicted of cyber harassment in New Jersey. Not only could a conviction or guilty plea on cyber harassment charges result in you being sentenced to time in prison, but it will also leave you with a criminal record. Imagine having to explain a harassment conviction on a job application in the future or having to tell friends and family members why you were convicted of stalking.
These long-term consequences, along with short-term consequences that could include prison, are a major reason why you should consider hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer to defend you against the charges. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. Alternatively, another option might be the entrance into a diversionary program such as Pretrial Intervention (PTI), which will allow you to avoid a conviction and ultimately get the charges removed from your record.
Accusations of Cyber Harassment and Domestic Violence
If accused of cyber harassment, you could be in violation of the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. The domestic violence law protects certain individuals against harassing, annoying, or threatening behavior, including current or former spouses, current or former romantic partners, co-parents, and anyone who has previously been involved in a dating relationship. This means that not only could you face criminal charges under the NJ Criminal Code, but you may also be subject to a restraining order under the Domestic Violence Act. Moreover, if you subsequently violate that restraining order, you can be charged with an additional felony, otherwise known as an indictable offense.
Cyber Harassment & Cyberstalking During the NJ Divorce Process
Beyond the criminal and civil consequences of a cyber-harassment and/or cyberstalking allegation, the outcome of your divorce case could also be adversely affected. The judge in your case is likely to take the accusations into consideration, especially if there is a child involved. Your child custody rights could be limited or your visitation curtailed if you are ultimately convicted of cyber harassment. And if your ex-spouse files and ultimately obtains a final restraining order, this can prove a significant hindrance to your ability to interact with your children, as it may require special arrangements for transportation and transferring the children from one parent to another based on your child custody and parenting time schedule.
Contact a Seasoned Family Law & Criminal Lawyer for Your Cyber Harassment & Cyberstalking Defense in Freehold and Toms River NJ
You can see how one allegation of cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is by no means limited in its potential impacts on your life. Bearing this in mind, contact the experienced attorneys at Bronzino Law Firm to begin the process of protecting your best interests. We handle all aspects of criminal and family law cases, including criminal charges, divorces, restraining orders, and child custody issues.
Our skilled lawyers are committed to preserving your rights and advocating for you in every venue where so much is on the line for your future. The Bronzino Law Firm serves clients in Toms River, Marlboro, Colts Neck, Beach Haven, Rumson, Middletown, Jackson, and nearby areas, including all Ocean and Monmouth County towns. Call (732) 812-3102 or fill out our online contact form today for a free consultation.
Despite Impact of COVID-19 & Social Distancing Limitations, NJ Judicial Staff Work Diligently to Ensure Justice is Served Securely & Safely
With court hours based on a county-by-county decision, these measures and options to operate remotely to a certain extent ensure that both the staff and the public everyone can stay healthy and safe.
COVID-19’s significant impact on the New Jersey Judicial system can easily be seen in the volume of curtailed court proceedings and backlogged trial court cases. Although all federal civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials have been postponed until January 4, 2021, the courts are working diligently to ensure that justice and other court services can be served and transacted remotely as well as securely.
According to recent NJ state guidelines and information, both Superior and Municipal Courts have resumed some in-person court services. A limited number of judges and judicial staff work on-site each day to accommodate attorneys, litigants, and public members with scheduled appointments or legal proceedings.
With court hours based on a county-by-county decision, these measures and options to operate remotely to a certain extent ensure that both the staff and the public everyone can stay healthy and safe.
If you have received a Municipal court summons or have a scheduled hearing, now more than ever is the time not to ignore these appointments or delay seeking experienced legal guidance. Being convicted of a crime in a NJ municipal court can result in jail time, heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and seriously impact your employment, educational, and housing opportunities, and result in a permanent criminal record.
This means protecting your rights by keeping on top of any scheduled hearing, motion, conference, or other legal matter and having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to answer questions about application deadline filings, family law matters, or exploring your legal options. Also, courts aren’t eager to create an additional backlog of divorce and family law cases either. Sometimes, alternative methods of resolving disputes such as mediation or arbitration may be more effective and economically sound alternatives to facilitate settlements agreeable to all parties.
No matter the kind of family law issue, criminal case, real estate transaction, or municipal court summons, Bronzino Law Firm, LLC is ready to begin helping you today. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided our clients with the same level of quality legal services and representation as always, targeted to their needs. Conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt, New Jersey, we know how stressful these situations can be and are dedicated to providing highly attentive, effective, and knowledgeable legal counsel to each of our clients. With our honest, communicative, and dedicated approach to handling any legal issue, we can find solutions to and overcome even the most difficult issues.
Have You Missed a Court Date? Are You Wondering What To Do?
Unexpected events happen, which may prevent someone from being able to make their court appearance. In one of our recent articles, “Consequences of Failing to Appear in Court or Respond to a Court Summons,” we discussed how if you or someone you love in New Jersey missed a court date for a traffic violation or a criminal offense or needs guidance on resolving a license suspension, arrest warrant, or an outstanding case, you must consult an experienced attorney who can best present your unique circumstances and explains your missed court appearance. Thus, possibly minimizing or avoiding any resulting penalties.
Open and honest communication with one´s legal counsel can provide context, prevent misunderstandings, arrest warrants, or time spent away from loved ones. Besides, a strong defense of the underlying charges can increase the chances of an acquittal or reduction to a lesser charge.
How Does Your Office Communicate With Clients During the Pandemic?
Since before the pandemic, The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, has been committed to safely and securely serving and communicating with clients. We understand and believe that each client is different, with unique needs and goals, and as such, unique strategies must be crafted for each case to settle them for our clients favorably.
We want to keep our employees, as well as our clients and potential clients, safe, so our new integrative approach of email, phone, video chat apps, and video conferencing options gives our clients the personal connection and quality service they have come to expect from us, combined with the comfort that modern technology and the internet provides.
Does Your Office Support Client In Remote or Virtual Court Proceedings?
As the digital transformation of virtual court proceedings has tried to meet the challenges the pandemic has placed on the judicial system, it has also exposed numerous social challenges and discrepancies between internet access and connectivity.
As lawyers, we are committed to eliminating any disparities, in the same way, we would in a physical court, by ensuring that if our clients are using technology remotely (i.e., via our office), they can still get justice. Just imagine how not having access to more modern means of internet connectivity (i.e., somewhat modern laptop or computer, high-speed internet) and the connection is lost or dropped or how lacking an environment conducive to properly hearing the proceedings or sufficient privacy to give testimony, could affect a client’s remote hearing case.
We work with our clients to ensure they can focus on protecting their rights and seeking justice by supportively guiding them through this “new normal” of a remote judicial process.
Contact Our Monmouth County Family Law Firm Today
At the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorneys provide our clients with the necessary support to negotiate with local courts, protect their rights, and ensure their and their family’s future so that they can move on to a place of calm and stability.
If you would like to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a member of our team today regarding a municipal court summons or any family law issue you may be facing, please fill out the online form or call our Brick or Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your legal options.
Manipulation and Domestic Violence Attorney Advising Clients in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
Domestic abuse is a prevailing issue across our communities, and as we are required to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence cases have significantly increased.
One doesn’t have to be physically injured to be the victim of domestic violence. There are many forms of domestic abuse, including physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual – the key all have in common that makes them the abuse is the manipulation of one partner by the other at their core.
- Cyber Harassment
- Criminal Restraint
- Sexual Assault
- Criminal Sexual Contact
- False imprisonment
- Criminal mischief
- Contempt of a restraining order
- Crimes involving risk of physical harm to those protected by the 1991 New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act
In addition to the more obvious forms of domestic violence like assault, as you can see, behavior that attempts to control, manipulate, or threaten are chargeable offenses under New Jersey law.
Subtle Control as Domestic Violence
But what does this look like in the home? Below are some subtle signs of domestic violence that create a culture of control inside a relationship, slowly stripping one’s power and eventually leading to mental, emotional, and even physical insecurity:
- Domestic abusers will use one central tactic to isolate you from loved ones and external relationships in your life, so they are your sole influence and the only voice in your head other than your own. When fewer perspectives are providing you information about what is occurring, you will be easier to control. If a spouse keeps you from working, offering you an allowance to keep you in the home, this is also intended to isolate you from the empowerment of income-generation and external influence and is a form of domestic abuse.
- Everyone wants to feel belonging. As such, an abuser will tell you and show you that you are not worthy of their love, separating you from your own self-love and self-loyalty. They will subtly or explicitly put you down, making you question yourself and tricking you into believing that you have to change to merit another’s love.
- Gaslighting is a subtle and dangerous form of mental abuse. One person uses manipulative tactics to convince the other person that they cannot trust themselves, making them completely controllable by their abuser. Some forms of gaslighting are lying, blame, projection, and insincere generosity. The use of these tactics drives a victim into self-doubt, a state at which they can be much more easily controlled.
- A partner who threatens revenge if you leave is engaging in abuse. These threats that create a sense of being trapped, whether emotionally or physically, are domestic violence.
- When one partner uses money to control the dynamics or actions within a relationship or withholds shared money in separate accounts, this is considered financial abuse.
Getting out of a manipulative relationship
If you feel you are in a subtly or overtly abusive relationship, you can take steps to get out.
- Spend time daily participating in self-development practices such as listening to self-help podcasts, practicing affirmations, meditating, or practicing yoga. An abuser will cut down your self-esteem to keep you on a tight leash and break this cycle of mental and emotional control; you must have another influence reminding you of your inherent worth.
Have a support network
- Open up to friends, family, or co-workers with whom you can confide about your unhappiness and concerns. Having a sense of being in a community outside of your relationship is essential for your safety and ultimate sovereignty.
Protect your money
- Privately open a separate bank account or begin saving money in a hidden place. Even if you are expected to hand over your earnings to your spouse, you must have some financial capital to support you in your transition. Look for ways to earn a small income if you don’t currently have a job while building your skills.
Contact a Domestic Violence hotline for advice and to develop a plan.
The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24/7 at 1-800-572-SAFE (1-800-572-7233).
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.
Seek the advice of a Wall Township Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
At Bronzino Law Firm, our family law attorneys serve clients across Point Pleasant, Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas in all matters of domestic violence.
Our approach holds their safety at the center of our process, and we are equipped to inform and empower their right to a safe and protected living environment and a thriving, free life.
Brick and Sea Girt Attorneys Offer Virtual Consultations to Serve Clients
We leverage technology to meet the needs of our clients, by providing dynamic, client-focused representation in Family Law matters
As the world comes to terms with the spread of the coronavirus, countless New Jersey citizens asked to practice “social-distancing” and “shelter in place” are in dire need of legal services, and are finding it challenging to find experienced and flexible legal counsel able to meet their unique needs amid the growing pandemic. Attorneys prepared for what is in many ways a new legal landscape know that in this digital age, it’s possible to provide legal services in a safe and convenient way without compromising on quality.
At The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, located in Brick, New Jersey, we believe legal services should be accessible at everyone’s fingertips and clients should be able to get the services of an attorney even without an initial physical meeting. We leverage technology to meet the needs of our clients, by providing dynamic, client-focused representation in Family Law matters (i.e., Alimony and Spousal Support, Child Support, Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Criminal Charges, and Municipal Court summons, Real-Estate ventures, and Wills, Trusts & Estates). We understand and believe that each client is different, with distinctive needs and goals, and as such, unique strategies must be crafted for each case in order to favorably settle them for our clients.
Our lawyers are prepared to protect your rights and are ready to arrange convenient, virtual meetings via Skype, WhatsApp video, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, Clio Connect or Legaler to discuss how we can best support you and meet your legal needs.
How Do I Schedule a Virtual Legal Consultation with a Bronzino Law Firm Attorney?
From the comfort of your home or office and with the convenience of your smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can arrange to speak with a lawyer from The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, to answer your legal questions or issues. If you would like to speak with an attorney about your case in a free and confidential consultation today, you can:
1) Contact us online or
2) Call our Brick or Sea Girt offices at (732) 812-3102 or
To schedule a call and free 20-minute virtual consultation/meet up to discuss your family law needs. During the consultation feel free to ask questions, as we will discuss the best plan to protect your rights and future going forward.
We believe in keeping our clients informed and involved in the legal process and are prepared to use various technologies in order to do so. By having up-to-date and detailed information about your case, you can make the best possible decisions for your family’s future.
CONTACT A BRICK, NJ FAMILY LAW LAWYER
Serving Families across Monmouth County and Ocean County towns including Neptune, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Brick, Asbury Park, Wall, and more
Across all areas of Family Law, our lawyers can answer your questions today. Our attention to detail and priority to the attorney-client relationship often leads to outcomes that are both beneficial and personalized to the individual needs and concerns of our clients and their families. Our experienced attorneys work to resolve legal conflicts outside of the courtroom when possible, but will never hesitate to aggressively litigate and defend our clients’ legal rights when necessary.
Call our Brick or Sea Girt Bronzino Law, LLC office at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential virtual consultation today to discuss your unique needs, concerns, or situation when it comes to any kind of family law matter.
Littering vs Illegal Dumping Laws in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
While the majority of New Jersey citizens know this and are on board, the state still faces some irritating examples of illegal dumping.
Everyone knows that it takes a collective effort to keep a community clean and safe. Illegal dumping is, by definition, the inappropriate disposal of waste, which is illegal in addition to the fact that it disrupts the look and feel of its surroundings. Generally, someone illegally dumps their trash when they are looking to either sidestep the expense of city waste disposal, or they do not want to be bothered by its schedules.
What is the difference between illegal dumping and littering?
New Jersey differentiates between what is considered illegal dumping and what is considered littering, a different offense with a different consequence.
Illegal dumping is the improper disposal of large amounts of waste. This waste could include basic household waste, biohazardous medical waste, non-recyclable electronic waste, and even such large scraps as mechanical or automobile parts. Usually, culprits offload their large quantities of waste in areas in which it won’t be easily found, such as woods or wetlands. New Jersey does, however, know areas in which illegal dumping sites exist right in the middle of the city.
As is the case in most states, littering is different from illegal dumping in its quantity. Illegal dumping is the improper disposal of large quantities of waste, while littering is the improper disposal of small quantities.
What are the effects and penalties of illegal dumping?
The effects of illegal dumping are far-reaching and impact our communities and wildlife in subtle ways. In addition to creating an eyesore that makes a negative emotional impression on our citizens, it also puts wildlife at risk, especially when the dumps are in tall grass, and rapidly moving animals do not see it until they are right upon it.
Additionally, because New Jersey funds must go to clean up the waste, valuable taxpayer dollars are not going to necessary efforts such as roadways and social health initiatives.
In addition to causing adverse effects on the community, someone convicted of illegal dumping faces steep penalties under New Jersey law. State and local law enforcement, as well as representatives of the New Jersey State Park System and its conservation officers, are directed to cite and enforce penalties to the maximum extent of the law.
The minimum fine for illegal dumping in New Jersey is $2,500, and those convicted may be charged up to $50,000 in fine. Additionally, perpetrators may lose their driver’s license and road privileges for a set period of time and even forfeit their vehicles.
What are the penalties for littering?
Penalties for littering are much less harsh, though they do not go without consequence. According to New Jersey law, “a person who throws, drops, discards, or otherwise places any litter of any nature upon public or private property other than in a litter receptacle commits a petty disorderly person’s offense” and is subject to up to a $500 fine. Minimum fines for littering are $100 in the state.
While generally speaking the fine is the extent of the penalty for littering, the perpetrator may also have to complete community service. If a person is convicted of littering twice within a span of six months, their fine increases to between $250 and $1,000 for the offense; and depending on the conditions of the offense may even be subject to up to 60 days in jail.
New Efforts to Eradicate Illegal Dumping
In a new effort to keep the state clean and its citizens in alignment with the law, New Jersey has enacted new measures to catch perpetrators. Many concealed wildlife cameras are being used to catch perpetrators, and law enforcement is cracking down on offenders, while the court system penalizes them to the full extent of the law. While these measures are in place to catch as many offenders as possible, it is still impossible for law enforcement to fully eradicate illegal dumping. As such, New Jersey calls on its public to support the effort, offering sites such as www.stopdumping.nj.gov, which shows photos of perpetrators and asks the public to identify those photographed.
Experienced Attorney by Your Side
At The Law Office of Peter J. Bronzino, our defense attorneys are experienced in supporting our clients across Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey when they have been charged with illegal dumping.
Misdemeanor v. Indictable Charges Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJ
Serving clients across the Jersey Shore in Point Pleasant, Toms River, Jackson, Wall, Sea Girt, and Brick.
Anyone charged with an offense in New Jersey can become easily confused by the terminology used by courts, attorneys, and even friends. This is often the case when a person is charged with a misdemeanor (disorderly persons) offense or an indictable offense. It is important to understand the differences between the two offenses and the potential consequences of each. Similarly, it can become hard to discern what you have been charged with and what the potential consequences are. From a DUI, to drug crimes, assault violations, driving tickets, or even stalking, it is important to understand the type of charge and potential consequences. Below, we will discuss the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony offense.
Misdemeanors and Indictable offenses are not the same.
New Jersey classifies offenses into two categories. Offenses are either disorderly persons or indictable offenses. Many people are confused about what they are charged with because these terms are not often used when referring to crimes. Instead, media outlets and many nearby states refer to offenses as misdemeanors or felonies. In New Jersey, the term disorderly persons offense is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in other states. You may hear some attorneys refer to it as a “dp”, short for disorderly persons. Similarly, a felony is relatively the same as an indictable offense. However just as the terms are different for the crimes are different, the potential consequences of each vary greatly.
Misdemeanor-disorderly persons offense
A misdemeanor is a lower-level offense that is, more often than not, heard in municipal court. This court is in the town in which the alleged offense occurred. The offenses in municipal court are broken down into two categories, namely petty disorderly persons (dp) offenses, and disorderly persons offenses. A petty “dp” is the lowest level offense that a person may be charged within New Jersey. It is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, $500 in fines, and court costs and mandatory state penalties. Petty dp’s commonly heard in municipal court are harassment, mutual fighting, and disorderly conduct. The next level of municipal offenses is disorderly persons offense (misdemeanors).
Disorderly/misdemeanor offenses are above petty dp’s but have less penal consequences than felony/indictable offenses. Unlike felony offenses, you cannot go to New Jersey State Prison if convicted of a disorderly persons offense. The law only allows a person convicted of such offense to go to the county jail for 180 days. However, there are additional penalties a person faces such as being placed on probation, up to $1000 in discretionary fines, mandatory state penalties, court costs, and possible license suspensions. Unfortunately, many people continue to suffer the consequences of a misdemeanor charge because they cannot make the required payments on the fines and the court then suspends their license. Of course, suspending the license compounds the financial problem as the person cannot get to work and therefore cannot pay the fines and the cycle continues. Common examples of misdemeanors charged in New Jersey are:
- Less than 50 grams of marijuana,
- Drug paraphernalia,
- Simple assault,
- Criminal mischief (damage less than $200),
- Shoplifting (less than $200)
Sometimes these charges can be attached to a complaint about an indictable/felony offense which is heard in Superior Court, located in the county in which the offense occurred.
Felony/indictable offenses, unlike misdemeanors, are punishable by potential terms in New Jersey State Prison. Felony offenses range from first through fourth degree and each degree has a term of state prison attached to it that you face. For example, first-degree faces 10-20 years in state prison, second-degree faces 5-10 years, third-degree 3-5 years, and fourth-degree faces 12-18 months. The court may sentence a person to probation in lieu of state prison, but the probationary sentence can include up to 364 days in the county jail. In addition to the state prison terms or probation, there are discretionary monetary penalties that you can be ordered to pay such as $10,000 for a fourth-degree, $15,000 for a third, $150,000 for a second and 250,000for a first.
Other differences in misdemeanor and felony offenses
Municipal Court (misdemeanors) is less formal than courts in which indictable offenses are heard. For example, you are entitled to a trial on a disorderly persons offense, but the trial will be in front of a judge, not a jury. In a felony case, you will have a trial in front of jurors. Additionally, for felonies unlike misdemeanors, your fingerprints and DNA will be taken and put in a state database to identify you in any future criminal conduct. A record of your charges will also be available for potential employers to see and as such, your employment and financial future will be negatively impacted.
Common examples of charges that would subject you to the consequences of felony charges are:
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS)
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana
- Shoplifting (more than $200)
- Credit Card theft
- Bad check
- Identity theft
- Resisting arrest
- Aggravated assault.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but rather a sample of commonly charged indictable offenses.
Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney with Offices in Brick and Sea Girt NJ
No matter what type of offense you are charged with, you are facing consequences that can have a negative impact on your personal and financial life. You need a zealous advocate that can protect you and guide you through the process. Our office has the knowledge and experience to help you in your case. Call our office today at (732) 812-3102 or contact us to arrange a free case consultation and evaluation with an experienced criminal trial attorney.
Sobriety Checkpoint DUI Charges Attorney in Brick and Sea Girt NJ
Serving Clients Charged at a DUI Checkpoint in Point Pleasant, Toms River, Spring Lake, Wall, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties
Recently there have been many questions around the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints in New Jersey. Be that as it may, they are a tool currently being used by law enforcement in order to reduce injuries and deaths that occur on our roads caused by drivers who are under the influence. The truth for most drivers is that facing sobriety checkpoints can be unnerving, even when you haven’t had a drop to drink. Knowing the best way to handle a sobriety checkpoint can help you protect your rights and your future.
Studies conducted by the American Beverage Institute have shown the practice of setting up sobriety checkpoints has been a useful tool to discourage drunk driving. Put simply, a sobriety checkpoint is police traffic stops where officers are set up on a roadway to stop vehicles randomly to check for drug or alcohol-impaired drivers. Frequently these checkpoints are set up during times when it is statistically shown that driving under the influence commonly occurs such as on holidays or late on weekend nights.
Sobriety Checkpoints at the Jersey Shore – Overview
At a sobriety checkpoint, police stop and interview each car as it comes down the road. Often they use traffic cones or other portable reflective signs in order to indicate that traffic must stop. Drivers are usually asked to lower their windows and produce their driver’s licenses, proof of insurance as well as their vehicle registration. The officer will then proceed to ask a series of questions to evaluate your current state of sobriety.
The officer at that point conducts a battery of initial sobriety tests. Should an officer suspect that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol due to the smell of alcohol, seeing open containers of alcohol or slurred speech, further investigation may ensue. These tests can include physical coordination tests as well as mental coherency tests.
If the driver fails the above-mentioned tests, the officer may ask the driver to perform a breathalyzer test. It is important to know that, by law, police officers may not subject drivers to undergo these sobriety tests unless there is valid suspicion of alcohol or drug impairment. The implied consent law states that drivers using New Jersey roads are required to submit to breath, blood and urine testing if a police officer has probable cause to believe they are intoxicated. You do have the right to refuse, but there are consequences for doing so. New Jersey law N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4(a) outlines those consequences clearly.
What are the signs of DUI that Police Look for at a Sobriety Checkpoint?
There are many physical signs of intoxication that police are trained to spot. These include:
- Blurry or bloodshot eyes
- Slurred speech
- Dilated pupils
- The inability to speak in complete sentences
- An odor of alcohol or drugs emanating from the car or the driver
- Open alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in the car
- Inappropriate or suspicious behavior
What are your rights and responsibilities at a sobriety checkpoint?
Contrary to a great deal of information on the internet, both Federal laws and New Jersey laws permit sobriety checkpoints. However, law enforcement officers must follow designated protocols.
Checkpoints must be scheduled, visible, and the public must be notified
Checkpoints cannot be set up randomly or simple for the purpose of stopping certain individuals. Supervisors must authorize the planning and conduct of the checkpoint ahead of time. That means police officers are not allowed to set up a sobriety check randomly at will to surprise the public. Checkpoints must be very visible and the public must be given notice. It has been shown that when people know ahead of time that officers will be out conducting sobriety checkpoints, they are more conscientious about refraining from driving under the influence.
You are not required to answer all questions or submit to search of your vehicle
Because New Jersey and Federal law makes these checkpoints legal, most people assume they have no choice but to answer all questions and participate in all tests at a sobriety checkpoint. This is simply not the case. You are required by law to provide the appropriate documentation when requested, including your vital information. However, you don’t have to answer other questions. Furthermore, you are well within your rights to refuse to allow officers to inspect your vehicle.
Other rights afforded to motorist at sobriety checkpoints include:
- The right to have your lawyer present before answering any questions
- Miranda rights if police arrest you
- A reasonable opportunity to secure property if taken into custody
- The right to asserting your desire to leave if you are not under arrest
Failure to Follow Checkpoint Laws Could Get the Case Thrown Out
It is important to remember that the laws that govern sobriety checkpoints are not only for the motorist but for police as well. If the police do not follow the law and you are arrested a judge could throw the charges out in court.
For example, when performing physical field sobriety tests it must take place on a level, well-paved stretch of pavement in order to ensure that uneven surfaces do not negatively impact the outcome. Furthermore, law enforcement officers must calibrate breathalyzer machines to exact specifications. The officer who performs the breath test must also be certified to do so. Breathalyzer machines that haven’t been properly maintained and calibrated have been known to give a false-positive reading.
If you or someone you know has been arrested at a field sobriety checkpoint it is critical to contact and consult an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Brick and Sea Girt NJ DUI and Sobriety Checkpoint Defense Lawyer Today
Being charged with DUI is no small matter. At Bronzino Law Firm, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights of our clients arrested at sobriety checkpoints for DUI across Point Pleasant, Toms River, Spring Lake, Wall, and Ocean and Monmouth Counties.
If you have been charged with a DUI, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us for a free and confidential consultation; please fill out the online form, or give us a call at our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.; we look forward to protecting your legal rights.
Types of Criminal Charges Reviewed by Ocean and Monmouth County Lawyers
Serving Clients Facing Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies in Asbury Park, Wall, Toms River, Brick, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Neptune, Spring Lake and across the Jersey Shore
Most citizens don’t have much interaction with and knowledge of the criminal justice system. However, if you or someone you know is charged with a crime it is important to understand the different types of crimes and what the possible penalties that can result are.
In New Jersey, as in other states, crimes fall under different classifications. In fact, Title 2C Section 2C:1-4 of The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice clearly defines the differences. This grouping usually reflects the seriousness of the different types of crimes committed and in most cases the penalties that are attached to the crime. The groups are infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. The reason for these classifications is to help create a more efficient system and make a pattern that citizens can follow when it comes to how being charged with these crimes impact them.
The major categories are in most cases determined by the amount of jail time that is possible. For example, when trying to figure out what the difference is between a misdemeanor and a felony, one can look to the maximum potential jail time for the crime for the answer.
What qualifies as an Infraction in NJ Law?
Generally, infractions are the least serious type of crime. Put simply, an infraction is the violation of a rule, ordinance or law. In most cases, there is no jail time associated with an infraction and it, depending on the jurisdiction, will not appear on a criminal record. In the majority of cases, payment of a fine will be the only punishment. However, it is important to note that federal law classifies an infraction as a crime with a jail sentence of not more than five days. The most common example of an infraction is a traffic ticket, but other offenses can also be categorized as infractions, such as trespassing, littering, disturbing the peace as well as other petty offenses.
Though in cases of infractions police officers will usually just write a ticket and hand it to the person, however, infractions can turn into a more serious crime if left unaddressed or unpaid.
Commonly infractions have different classes (i.e. moving violations, non-moving violations, and other petty offenses). The law provides for an increasing range of fines and potential penalties for the different classes within the infraction category.
What is a Misdemeanor in NJ Criminal and Municipal Courts?
It is important to know that misdemeanors are more serious than infractions. Under federal law and in New Jersey, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense that carries a potential jail term of less than one year in county jail.
As with infractions, misdemeanors are sorted into classes as well. Federal sentencing guidelines divide the classes based on the maximum imprisonment for the offense.
- Class A misdemeanor – less than one year but more than six months
- Class B misdemeanor – more than 30 days but less than 6 months
- Class C misdemeanor – more than 5 days but less than 30 days
Once again, the jail time is served in a local county jail as opposed to a high-security prison. It is usual for prosecutors to have a great degree of flexibility in deciding what crimes to charge, how to punish them as well as what kinds of plea bargains will be offered to the defendant.
What is a Felony Charge in NJ Criminal Court?
There is no debate that a felony is the most serious type of crime. Generally, these are the crimes that can hurt the public, such as drug distribution or violent behavior. Consequences may range from massive fines of over a thousand dollars to going to prison for at least a year. However, the term felony is not uniform throughout the United States. The federal government defines a felony as a crime with a punishment of more than one year but states are less strict about the definition. New Jersey does not classify their criminal offenses at all. However, typically a sentence of more than one year that will be served in a state or federal prison will be considered a felony. As is the case with misdemeanors, Federal law breaks down classifications for felonies using sentencing guidelines by the amount of prison time.
- Class A Felony – life imprisonment or the death penalty.
- Class B Felony – twenty-five or more years of imprisonment.
- Class C Felony – less than twenty-five years, but more than ten years of imprisonment.
- Class D Felony – less than ten years, but more than five years of imprisonment.
- Class E Felony – less than five years, but more than one year of imprisonment.
Felonies are usually crimes that are viewed severely by society and given that the punishments are so impactful, a criminal procedure must be strictly observed in order to ensure that the defendants’ rights stay protected. Felonies are usually crimes that include crimes such as murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping and arson to name but a few. However, felonies can also be punished in a range of ways so that the actual punishment matches the severity of the crime.
Contact a Toms River Misdemeanor, Infraction, and Felony Criminal Attorney Today
Being charged with any crime is a serious matter. At Peter J. Bronzino, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights of our clients across Neptune, Spring Lake, Brielle, and Toms River in all types’ criminal cases and infraction.
If you have been charged with a crime, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us at (732) 812-3102; or visit our access our online form we look forward to representing your legal rights.
Blood Test and DUI Charges Attorneys in Brick and Sea Girt NJ
If facing DUI Charges in Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, or Brick know your rights and hire an experienced trial lawyer
It is important to know that even if you have broken the law, as a citizen of the United States and a resident of the state of New Jersey, you are afforded certain rights. Many have found themselves facing the legal system in cases that involve DUI. When stopped by police it is natural to want to assert your rights especially if you feel that you are being treated unfairly. A common question is whether or not the police need a warrant in order to draw blood for the purpose of checking blood alcohol level. In short, a warrant is not always needed in this situation.
A short time ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court passed a ruling (State v. Shayna Zalcberg) that law enforcement officers do not always need a warrant before drawing blood from a person suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. The rationale is that alcohol is metabolized rather quickly by the body and as a result, the BAC can be lower if the test is delayed and may not accurately reflect the actual BAC of the driver while they were driving.
It is the totality of the circumstances surrounding the accident that can present exigent circumstances that relax the requirement for the police to obtain a warrant prior to drawing blood from a motorist.
The Life-Altering Consequences of a DUI Conviction
In the State of New Jersey, DUI laws are strict and can be unforgiving. All convictions become part of a driver’s permanent record with the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles, which will impose a mandatory insurance surcharge on those drivers that have been convicted. That surcharge amounts to between $3,000 and $5,000 on average. Being that insurance is mandatory in New Jersey this extra charge can be an avoidable and costly lifetime expense.
When it comes to penalties, if you are a first time offender with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between .08 percent and .10 percent then you will be facing a fine between $250 and $400. Moreover, you will also be detained for up to 48 hours and can be sentenced to jail time of up to 30 days in addition to having your license suspended for up to one year.
If you have a BAC higher than .10 the penalties get worse with fines increasing to between $300 and $500 as well as jail time of up to 30 days, in addition to a loss of driving privileges for between seven months and a year.
Should you become a repeat offender, the penalties will increase exponentially. However, even one DUI conviction can have a long-lasting impact on your life. If you are facing a DUI in New Jersey there is no doubt that you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Why you need an experienced attorney if you are facing DUI charges
If you’ve been arrested for Driving Under the Influence, or any other drunk driving-related offense, it is highly recommended that you seek the legal advice of an experienced DUI lawyer. A good DUI attorney can help to minimize or help you avoid severe penalties and consequences often associated with DUI. In short, an experienced DUI attorney can make the difference between going to jail, losing your license, and getting a non-guilty or a reduction of the charges.
In New Jersey, a DUI arrest is a serious matter. For anyone who has been arrested for driving under the influence, there’s a good chance they will be facing jail time, having their license suspended, and/or paying hefty fines. In addition, there may be potential hardships they may encounter at work especially if their job involves driving.
Though some legal matters can be handled alone, a DUI arrest warrants the legal advice of a qualified DUI attorney who knows how to handle the intricacies of your DUI case. Due to the fact that DUI laws are highly centralized and specific, DUI cases are best handled by experienced DUI attorneys who have specialized knowledge in this area, including knowledge of traffic laws and motor vehicle laws. Moreover, a good DUI attorney will have the knowledge of how to challenge certain aspects of your DUI charge based on his or her specialized knowledge of breathalyzers, blood test, and chemical testing procedures.
Contact a Monmouth and Ocean County Drunk Driving Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Being charged with DUI is no small matter. At Peter J. Bronzino Law Firm, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights of our clients arrested for DUI across Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey.
If you have been charged with a DUI, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us at (732) 812-3102; we look forward to representing your legal rights.