Category: Pre Trial Intervention

Should I hire a Real Estate Attorney when buying or selling a property?

Having a real estate attorney involved in the negotiation process before the New Jersey State Contract is signed by both the seller and the buyer is essential.

Should I hire a Real Estate Attorney when buyng or selling a property?According to New Jersey law, a home buyer must have an attorney. This is because the state requires that all residential transactions utilize the New Jersey State Contract for a home sale, and to enter into a contract, you must have the support of a lawyer. Home sales refer to residential properties, defined as single-family homes, condos, land on which a single-family home will be built, or small group homes (one to four houses).

The New Jersey State Contract is the official means through which the buyer makes an offer. It includes much essential information about the sale of the property. It requires that some back work like having an inspector look at the house to determine whether any outstanding repairs need to be completed or any other contingencies to the contract’s completion need to be met for sale to be finalized.

After negotiations, the seller signed this finalized form, and it becomes a binding contract the two parties will use to complete the residential transaction. A copy of this contract is reviewed by both the seller’s attorney and the buyer’s attorney in an Attorney Review process. This contract includes a lot of essential information for the sale, which each party’s attorney must review. It includes how much money will be put down as a cash down payment to close the purchase deal, also called ‘earnest money.’ The purchase contract also includes an outline of contingencies that both parties must meet for the contract to stand. Such contingencies could be house repairs that the seller must complete, the buyer’s current home’s sale before the sale is finalized, and other contingencies. These contingencies protect both the buyer and the seller and ensure that the transaction can be clear and final without catch-ups. Additionally, the legal purchase contract the attorney’s review includes the official closing date of sale, which is the point at which the new owner may move in.

Having a real estate attorney involved in the negotiation process before the New Jersey State Contract is signed by both the seller and the buyer is essential because as elements of the home sale and contingencies surface, such as the findings of a home inspector, a buyer’s attorney can ensure that such specifics agreed upon by the buyer and seller make it into the official contract, where it becomes a legally binding agreement.

The attorney review of the New Jersey state purchase contract signals the beginning of the property sale’s home stretch.

Obtaining Title Insurance and Filing With the County

Obtaining Title Insurance and Filing With the CountyIf you have taken out a mortgage with a lending institution to purchase the house, the institution will require that you purchase title insurance for the property. The institution will also require that you do your research, ensuring that no other outstanding titles exist for the property, as would be the case if there were multiple owners or outstanding debts tied to the house. Title insurance protects if any outstanding debts on the house surface you weren’t aware of when you made the purchase.

The obtaining of title insurance and receipt of the actual funds to purchase the house from your mortgage lender are processes that the real estate attorney must attend, as there is several legal jargons that must be sifted through to ensure that the entirety of the settlement with your mortgage lender and the closing of the home sale is up to legal New Jersey real estate law standards.

Assuming that all goes well in the final processes, you’ll receive the clean deed to your new home, which signifies that you are now the legal owner of the property. Congratulations! Some final steps that your real estate attorney can facilitate are submitting appropriate documents to the New Jersey county of your new residence. With these final documents’ submission to the county, you will be set to pay property taxes and consider yourself a law-abiding and contributing citizen of your new residence. Welcome home!

Contact our Seasoned Real Estate Attorney in Monmouth and Ocean County Today

Our experienced real estate attorneys serve clients across New Jersey at Bronzino Law Firm, including Ocean and Monmouth counties, throughout the home-buying process.

To meet with a member of our team today regarding closing on your dream home, please call 7328123102 today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.

Ocean County Lawyers Discuss Plea Bargains 

Serving Families in Ocean and Monmouth County towns including Toms River, Wall, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant, and Brick, NJ

Ocean County Lawyers Discuss Plea Bargains In New Jersey criminal trials, accepting a plea bargain or plea agreement is an option for defendants who may wish to avoid the possibility of a harsh sentence. This bargaining process is basically an arrangement between the prosecution and the defendant where some concession is made in exchange for a guilty plea. In the interest of saving the government time and money, prosecutors may offer incentives to avoid having to invest extensive resources into cases that might otherwise take longer to resolve. These offers might result in certain charges being reduced to a lesser offense in exchange for a guilty plea, other charges being dismissed, or an overall sentence reduction.

In some cases, it may not even include jail time and the defendant will have to pay a fine or be subject to some other manageable punishment.

Although prosecutors can file numerous charges to gain leverage during plea bargaining, defendants still have some leverage. They are presumed to be innocent and have the right to cross examine witnesses produced against them. Defendants may elect whether they testify on their own behalf or remain silent to prevent self-incrimination.

Types of Plea Bargains in NJ

A plea bargain is an admission of guilt on the part of the defendant for a known outcome in terms of punishment or a reduced charge. The different types include:

  • pleading guilty to one charge as other charges against the defendant are dismissed
  • the prosecutor’s sentence recommendation to the judge as a result of the defendant’s guilty plea
  • the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser offense than the original charge

A judge is not obligated to accept a plea agreement. Some initial agreements may require making minor changes to make it agreeable for both sides and acceptable to the court.

94% of New Jersey Defendants Plead Guilty 

According to a recent op-ed by the Innocence Project, an Albert Kelly article was cited which stated that in 94% of New Jersey cases, the defendant took a plea bargain. It’s interesting to note that the defendant in most of those cases may have pleaded guilty to a crime they did not commit to avoid the possibility of jail time.

If you are innocent you should not be intimidated or coerced into pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit. You have the right to an aggressive and competent defense.

Why Do Innocent People Plead Guilty & Accept a Plea Deal in NJ?

Kelly cites court-appointed attorneys “often overwhelmed with casework and short on time and resources” as the reasons why defendants usually follow their advice to take plea deals.

In Why Innocent People Plead Guilty Jed S. Rakeoff says, “in actuality, our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone. In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial. The plea bargains largely determined the sentences imposed.”

Other Reasons Defendants May Accept Plea Bargains in Brick, NJ

The uncertainty of a trial’s outcome and the time it may take, even for those who profess their innocence of the crimes, can seem too lengthy and risky.  Aside from the stigma of a criminal conviction, the possibility of even a minimal jail sentence can be distressing and emotionally traumatic for employed people if they think it may result in the loss of:

  • employment
  • child custody 
  • their home or apartment due to missed rent/mortgage payments
  • their significant other or spouse

In Which Cases Should One Consider a Plea Bargain in NJ?

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and/or driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Traffic violations
  • Drug possession
  • Drug distribution
  • Theft
  • Violent crimes, such as assault
  • Threat crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Juvenile crimes
  • White collar offenses
  • Internet-related crimes

Negotiating a Plea Deal to Avoid Jail Time in Ocean County, NJ

The most important element in getting a good plea bargain is having an aggressive defense.  Prosecutors are not going to give you a good deal unless they think that your defense attorney is able to find holes in their case.  An experienced and dedicated attorney is key to securing the best deal for you.

If you have a substance abuse problem, your attorney might be able to negotiate a plea deal that allows you to enter an alternative sentencing program, such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), Conditional Discharge, or Drug Court. Since these programs are focused on rehabilitation, the defendant is usually able to stay out of jail as long as they meet certain requirements. A major benefit to alternative sentencing is that the defendant avoids getting a criminal conviction on their permanent record.

CONTACT A BRICK, NJ CRIMINAL ATTORNEY TODAY

The lawyers at the The Bronzino Law Firm are dedicated to ensuring a defendant’s rights are protected under the rules of the law, and to making sure that police and prosecutors are held accountable to those rules. You want an attorney that will fight for you by your side from arrest to sentencing – if your case does go that far.

We believe that by communicating honestly with our clients and keeping them well informed, we can find realistic and effective solutions for any legal matter. Our smaller law firm allows us to build personal relationships with our clients, and give them the attentive care they deserve.

Peter Bronzino and his legal team understand and have experience with the system in towns like Brick, Toms River, Lakewood, Jackson and across Ocean County. They utilize tools to divert your case to Drug Court, or Pre-Trial Intervention, or have the charges dropped completely because of Probable Cause, Illegal Search and Seizure or other legal technicalities.

Do not wait to contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our Brick or Sea Girt offices anytime at  (732) 812-3102, or use the online contact form.

Failing to Appear in Ocean or Monmouth County Courts

Serving Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, and Wall Township and across the Jersey Shore

failure to appear arrest warrant jail court oder failure to respond to summons bench warrant court fine contempt of court Bronzino Law Firm LLCIn New Jersey, a notice to appear is an official court order and should not be ignored. There can be serious consequences for failing to appear in court on a scheduled court date or to respond to a summons in a criminal offense or motor vehicle violation.  What could have initially seemed to have been a simple parking ticket, traffic violation, or minor civil disturbance matter can evolve into a loss of driving privileges, court fees, the issuance of a warrant, revocation of bail, contempt of court charges, and even detention while you await trial. 

No matter the reason, once a summons date has passed the issue is escalated, and the court or the judge has a greater amount of discretion to take. This includes issuing a bench warrant that authorizes police to make an immediate arrest. In addition, as part of the court record, bench warrants will likely show up on future background checks, even if the defendant is found guilty of failing to appear in a criminal matter, and is later acquitted of the underlying criminal charges.

Significant and unexpected events can happen in life, which may prevent someone from being able to make their court appearance. Open and honest communication with one´s legal counsel can help prevent any misunderstandings, arrest warrants, contempt fines, or jail time away from their loved ones.

Failure to Appear in Court: New Jersey Court Rule 7:8-9

Under New Jersey Court Rule 7:8-9, a judge can convict someone for failing to appear or respond to a court summons if:

  • there is sufficient evidence that the person had proper notice of the trial date, and
  • the court determines that the person intentionally did not come to court.

Potential Defenses for Failing to Appear in Court in Monmouth County, NJ

You will need to prove to the judge that a serious emergency physically prevented you from getting to court or responding to your summons. Potentially acceptable reasons may include:

  • not being notified of the court date and time
  • a previously scheduled court appearance
  • a serious accident or illness
  • a natural disaster
  • a death in the family

Invalid Reasons for Failure to Appear in Court in Toms River, NJ

You:

  • moved and did not notify the court of your address change.
  • forgot.
  • thought the judge waived your appearance.
  • had to work.
  • were stuck in traffic.

Your car broke down.

The weather was bad.

I Missed My Court Date. What Now?

If you or someone you love in New Jersey, missed a court date for a traffic violation or a criminal offense or is trying to resolve a license suspension, arrest warrant, or an outstanding case, it is vital that you consult an experienced attorney who can best present your unique circumstances and explain your missed court appearance. Thus, possibly minimizing or avoiding any resulting penalties. This attorney should also be someone who can provide a strong defense of the underlying charges and increase the chances of an acquittal or reduction to a lesser charge.

CONTACT US AT OUR BRICK OR SEA GIRT OFFICE LOCATIONS

One of our lawyers is ready to provide a free case evaluation today!

The Bronzino Law Firm has decades of experience defending clients against traffic citations and criminal charges in Ocean and Monmouth County towns such as Wall, Jackson, Point Pleasant, Sea Girt, and the surrounding communities. 

We believe that by communicating honestly with our clients and keeping them well informed, we can find realistic and effective solutions for any legal matter. Attorney Peter J. Bronzino has built his practice based on the belief that each one of his clients deserves compassionate, highly attentive, and effective legal counsel.

Whether you are facing a failure to appear charge related to a traffic violation, a disorderly person offense, or a city ordinance violation, our law firm can help you to negotiate with local courts, protect your rights, and ensure the future of you and your family.

Speak with Peter Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation. Please contact us online, or through either our Brick or Sea Girt, NJ offices at (732) 812-3102.

Ocean and Monmouth County Pre Trial Intervention

Impact of Out of State Convictions

Ocean County PTI Impacted by Out of State ConvictionsA Pre-trial Intervention Program (PTI) is a plan available to certain defendants, generally first time offenders or others with special circumstances, charged with indictable offenses that provides an alternative to ordinary prosecution in the criminal justice system, focusing on rehabilitation needs and services. A question that often arises is whether or not convictions in other states are taken into account by New Jersey courts when deciding if someone is eligible for a PTI. The short answer is yes.

Being indicted on any criminal offense is a serious situation. The legal system can be very intimidating and the potential for loss of rights, finances and freedom is enough to cause anyone worry. The Bronzino Law Firm has more experience defending clients who are facing criminal charges across Morris and Ocean County New Jersey in towns like Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Brick, and Toms River. Our attorneys are experienced at negotiating PTI programs for our clients. We will help you through the often complicated legal process with the goal of defending your freedom, your finances as well as your rights.

Contact us online or call us at (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our experienced and skilled legal team.

Prior Criminal Convictions and Brick, New Jersey Diversionary Programs

New Jersey law enforcement and courts have access to your prior criminal convictions, even if they are from another state. The importance of this is that prior convictions from other states may affect your eligibility for diversionary programs in that are available for first time offenders. A prior conviction in another state can also greatly impact your sentencing if you’re convicted of a crime.

It is important to note that if you have a conviction from another state, it will affect your eligibility for PTI if the crime you were convicted of is similar to a crime that exists in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey. However, if the state does not have any similar law, then you may still be eligible for diversionary programs, despite your previous conviction in another state.

Benefits of a PTI Programs in Ocean County

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of PTI is that upon successful completion of the program, you won’t have a criminal record. Because of the serious effects that a criminal conviction can have on employment and many other areas of your life, the ability to participate in PTI and successfully complete the program is a tremendous benefit.

Also, conditional discharge is another diversionary program available for first time drug offenders. This program may allow you to serve probation and have your charges dismissed with no record of a drug conviction upon successful completion. However, if you have a prior drug conviction from another state that involves marijuana or a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drug, you will not be eligible for the program.

Moreover, conditional dismissal programs permit first time offenders charged with certain disorderly persons offenses such as shoplifting, to participate in a diversion in order to avoid a conviction. Participants have to fulfill all conditions placed on them during a period of supervision. If they successfully complete the program, the charges against them will be dismissed. However, a conviction of an offense or crime in any jurisdiction, including another state, will make you ineligible for the program.

Does a Criminal Record from Another State Affect Sentencing for Monmouth County Charges?

According to the sentencing guidelines in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, if you have been convicted of a prior indictable offense, the court can impose a stiffer sentence on you in a subsequent criminal proceeding. If you have been convicted of a crime in another state, the court will have this information and considers the conviction a prior crime for sentencing purposes if the crime was of a substantially similar nature to a crime in that state.

Contact our Experienced Sea Girt Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

The criminal defense attorneys of the Bronzino Law Firm have extensive experience defending clients charged with all manner of criminal offenses from minor to major in Ocean and Monmouth County towns including Toms River, Brick, Ocean, Point Pleasant, Red Bank, and across the Jersey Shore. Since opening our doors our firm has believed in aggressively and zealously defending our clients charged with criminal offenses and using every possible legal tool to help them retain their freedom. 

For a free and confidential consultation regarding your case, please contact us online or through our Brick and Sea Girt offices by dialing (732) 812-3102 today.