Innocent unless proven guilty is “the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law.”
Our legal system is based on this presumption of innocence. When a criminal defense lawyer walks into a negotiation session or a Camden County courtroom, he or she walks in with an innocent client by his or her side—a client who does not have to prove anything.
In criminal law cases, the burden of proof always rests with the prosecution, who must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Aggression and determination are powerful tools. As he has for over two decades, attorney Matthew V. Portella will continue to aggressively defend the rights and protections of those Camden County citizens who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. The depth and quality Mr. Portella’s expertise, combined with his outstanding courtroom skills provides each client with the most effective resolutions for his or her particular situation.
Mistakes happen. We can put them behind us, and they need not define us. The entire staff at the law firm of Matthew V. Portella understands the fear and frustration of those facing serious and long-term consequences as the result of their actions. We are laser-focused on protecting your rights, and we are dedicated to preserving your freedom.
What Sets Us Apart
At The Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, we feel there is nothing more important than a close working relationship and effective and timely communication. We understand this is a confusing time and we stand firm on our promise to keep each client fully informed about each step of the legal process.
We offer a free initial consultation to every client with a new case. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call our offices in Haddon Heights or Pleasantville at (856) 310-9800 to discuss your legal issues.
We welcome the opportunity to explain how we leverage thorough preparation and in-depth research and investigation, combined with proven legal strategy and top-notch courtroom skills to ensure the best possible outcome.
You Have Nothing to Lose When You Hire a Defense Attorney in Camden County
However, you have plenty to lose if you don’t. The time to contact a defense attorney is before life starts going in the wrong direction. Remember, when law enforcement contacts you “Just to talk”, you can be certain they are already considering you a suspect. It is never just a chat – it is a fishing expedition. The detectives and investigators are hoping you will say something that can be used as evidence against you – and the chances are good that you will.
Once you have retained legal representation, knowing what to say when being questioned by the police becomes easier. The standard line is, “Please contact my lawyer.” It is your constitutional Sixth Amendment right. Why would you forfeit it?
Planning And Preparation Can Sometimes Save The Day
Once the police have gathered sufficient evidence against you, the state’s attorney will be asked to issue a warrant for your arrest.
Having a defense attorney on your side, before you are formally charged with a crime, can often prevent further action, and prevent you from having a criminal record. When things are about to get serious, plan ahead and give yourself the best possible chance for a favorable outcome.
Having a criminal record can have lifelong collateral damages. Without the help of a defense attorney, a single lapse in judgment can impact your ability to pursue a professional career, prevent you from adopting a child, and even limit or restrict civil liberties like the right to vote or the right to possess a firearm.
If you are arrested, that becomes a matter of public record and part of any number of national databases. This dissemination of private information happens due to:
- Mug shot
- DNA collection, mandated by New Jersey statute S-737/A-2594
- Information contained on warrants
A New Jersey criminal record can contain information from local, county, and state reports, as well as details of court proceedings and correctional facilities. Most of these records are stored online and available to the public
The Consequences of Convictions
In addition to losing your job, your reputation, and possibly civil liberties, the costs of a criminal conviction in New Jersey can be considerable. A few examples include:
- Loss of driving privileges
- A substantial fine
- An annual automobile insurance surcharge for three years
- Possible Ignition Interlock requirement
- Alcohol/substance abuse assessment
- Mandatory alcohol classes
- Second degree – Five to 10 years in prison, and a fine up to $150,000
- Third degree – Three to five years in prison, and a fine up to $15,000
- Fourth degree – Up to 18 months in prison, and a fine up to $10,000
Credit Card Theft
- Up to 18 months in state prison, and a $10,000 fine
- Fourth-degree weapons offenses – Up to 18 months in prison, and up to $7,500 in fines
- Third-degree weapons offenses – Up to 5 years in prison, and up to $15,000 in fines
- Second-degree weapons offenses – Up to 10 years in prison with a mandatory period of parole ineligibility, and a fine of up to $150,000
Help When You Need It Most
At The Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, we leverage our expertise and tenacity do formulate the best possible defense strategy. We carefully investigate even the smallest details of each case to determine if situations such as self-defense, the defense of others, constitutional violations, duress, coercion, or simply being unaware of the law might be pertinent.
In the event we do end up in a courtroom, together we may decide you should tell your story. Our staff will work with you as you prepare to take the stand in your own defense. We know from experience body language, facial expressions, and physical appearance carry a lot of weight with a judge and a jury.
You Do Not Have to Stand Alone—Call Our Camden County Criminal Defense Lawyers Now
Protect your rights and defend your freedom. Call the Law Office Matthew V. Portella at (856) 310-9800 for a free case review, or send us a confidential email through our online contact form.