If you are accused of a drug possession charge in Pleasantville, protecting your finances and your reputation can be daunting. Hiring an experienced Pleasantville NJ Drug Possession Attorney is the best way to go about it. Below we discuss some of the main reasons why hiring an experienced lawyer is such a vital part of your defense.
Helping You to Avoid Jail Time
You probably have many missions in life; going to jail is not one of them. Even a conviction of a less-serious crime may result in a jail sentence, while felony convictions can result in an extended period of incarceration. Consider the following sentencing guidelines for some of the crimes that a defendant may be charged within New Jersey:
- First-degree felony: Between 10 and 20 years
- Second-degree felony: Between 5 and 10 years
- Third-degree felony: Between 3 and 5 years
- Fourth-degree crime: Not to exceed 18 months
- Disorderly person offenses: Term not to exceed 6 months
- Petty disorderly person offenses: Term not to exceed 30 days
Furthermore, New Jersey courts follow enhanced sentencing terms for certain crimes, including:
- Murder: 30-year minimum and life without parole if the victim was a law enforcement officer, a child under the age of 18 and the murder took place during a sexual assault, or the defendant committed the crime intentionally or knowingly or hired someone to commit the crime.
- First-degree aggravated manslaughter: Between 10 and 30 years.
- First-degree kidnapping: If the victim is 16 or older, between 15 and 30 years in prison. If the victim is younger than 16, 25 years in prison without parole eligibility, or between 25 years to life without parole eligibility for at least 25 years if the victim was subjected to sexual assault.
- Human trafficking: 20 years without parole eligibility, or 20 years to life with no parole eligibility for 20 years.
An experienced Pleasantville NJ drug possession attorney provides you with your best chance of avoiding a lengthy jail sentence. Using your attorney’s knowledge of the law and skill in negotiation, and persuasion may result in the following:
- Having your case dropped due to a lack of evidence, or a violation of your Constitutional rights by the arresting officers
- Having your charges reduced, which may mean less jail time
- Finding alternative sentencing options—such as probation—that the prosecution will accept
Help Clear Your Criminal Record
If you have been arrested and charged for drug possession, an arrest record will be created even if you were never convicted. This means that the problems mentioned above associated with having a criminal record may be true even without a conviction. The expungement process in New Jersey can prevent casual access to your criminal record by prospective employers, landlords, and others. The criminal records still exist, but they are extracted from public view. Here are some highlights of the expungement process:
- Anyone who was arrested, charged, and found not guilty, or had criminal charges filed against them dismissed, may apply for expungement of his or her criminal record.
- A person can only expunge one adult felony conviction, three disorderly conduct convictions, and as many local ordinance convictions as they would like. An individual can also apply to have any arrest that did not result in a criminal conviction expunged.
- Not all felony convictions can be expunged. Some examples of convictions that don’t qualify for expungement include murder or aggravated sexual assault.
- The New Jersey court system is unable to expunge convictions from another state.
- The most common reason for an expungement to be denied is due to a failure to disclose all prior convictions in the expungement petition.
Contact Us if You Face Criminal Charges in Pleasantville
If you are arrested and charged for drug possession, getting a knowledgeable Pleasantville NJ drug possession attorney on your side. Our work is to protect your rights, defend your freedoms, and keep the consequences of that charge as minimal as possible. Contact the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, today to get a free consultation and case review.