Representing Out-of-State Clients on New Jersey Criminal and Disorderly Persons Charges
With a practice focused on the needs of clients in Ocean and Monmouth counties since 1996, the criminal defense lawyers of Villani & DeLuca also represent people from other states who have been arrested while visiting or vacationing on the Jersey Shore. If you need advice about the fastest and most certain ways of resolving disorderly persons, criminal or motor vehicle charges in our area, contact us at our main office in Point Pleasant Beach for a free consultation.
Every summer and holiday weekend, the beaches and coastal communities of the Jersey Shore attract thousands of visitors from just about everywhere, especially the neighboring states of Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. In addition we see many people who have left NJ to live in Florida or the Carolinas. While most people enjoy their time here without any unpleasant incidents, problems do sometimes come up in the form of motor vehicle tickets or worse, disorderly conduct, DWIs, underage drinking, marijuana possession, and other criminal offenses.
If you’re from or now live out of state and have been arrested or cited on a New Jersey charge, our attorneys can help you put the matter behind you. In many cases, we can represent you all the way to conclusion of the case without the need for you to return to New Jersey.
Understanding New Jersey Criminal Terms and Procedures
Our state has its own terminology and procedures related to criminal offenses of all kinds. While you are probably familiar with the terms felony and misdemeanor to describe major and minor offenses, we use our own terms: indictable offenses in superior court are the more serious criminal offenses, while disorderly persons offenses in municipal court are the less serious offenses. At Villani & DeLuca, several of our lawyers have served as municipal prosecutors in many of the towns in our area, so we are very familiar with what it takes to prove a given charge. That’s a big advantage for the client who needs to defend one.
If you’ve been charged with a serious offense in superior court, we will work hard to get the charge reduced or transferred to municipal court, where your risk of punishment is much more limited and the consequences of a conviction are significantly more manageable. If the charge remains in a superior court we will use our skills to challenge the charge.
Defendants without prior criminal records stand an excellent chance of dismissal of criminal charges if they qualify and take advantage of the various pre-trial diversionary programs. Counseling is often required to address substance abuse in drug cases or anger management in cases involving violence. Successful completion of these programs without any arrests in the meantime will generally help get the best possible result in a criminal or disorderly persons offense, depending on the specific offense charged.
Don’t Ignore a New Jersey Municipal Court Summons
Examples of the kinds of problems we handle most frequently for out-of-state clients include the following:
• Drunk driving, including DWI and DUID
• Possession of minor quantities of marijuana or hashish
• Public intoxication or disorderly conduct charges
• Underage drinking and fake ID charges
• assault or harassment
• Serious traffic violations
• Trespassing or damage to property
• Suspended license
It is not advisable to ignore a New Jersey court summons or warrant, even if you live far away. The arrest record will remain public and could cost you job opportunities or access to important benefits. Some people forget about their summonses or warrant until they apply for something years later, when the old charge turns up and bites them. This happens quite frequently when individuals attempt to renew drivers or professional licenses out of state. At Villani & DeLuca, we help out-of-state residents resolve old New Jersey warrants and summonses so that these will no longer serve as obstacles. We also help eligible out-of-state residents obtain expungement of New Jersey criminal records.
To learn more about our approach to client service for people who reside in other states, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.