State Criminal Defense
It is said that experience is the greatest teacher. Our experience has been an education. We have defended criminal cases since 1983, and during those 30 years, we have defended nearly every felony and misdemeanor charge on the books, including crimes of violence, drug possession and distribution, assault, sexual offenses, mail fraud, wire fraud, fraud, theft, conspiracy, bid-rigging, public corruption cases, as well as misdemeanors such as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol (DUI) , shoplifting, disorderly conduct, and obstruction. We have represented individuals already convicted of crimes, and individuals charged with violating their parole and probation. We have handled numerous direct appeals to the Superior Court Appellate Division and petitions for Post-Conviction Relief.
An important aspect of our state-wide white collar criminal defense experience is the representation of witnesses and subjects who are subpoenaed to produce documents and to testify before a State grand jury.
As New Jersey criminal defense lawyers, our initial goal is to prevent the filing of criminal charges against you, and to provide a vigorous defense if and when you are charged. Because we are a smaller firm, we provide our clients with the personalized service that they deserve, beginning at the time in the case where early action might prevent charges from being filed. Our attorneys know the entire State Court system well, and we work to put your case in the best possible light – at the earliest appropriate time.
Most often, however, charges have already been filed against you before you seek the services of an attorney. In those cases, we will immediately advise you of certain steps to take to eliminate the chance that your own conduct and statements will help the prosecution build its case against you. For example, it is extremely unlikely that speaking with a law enforcement official or prosecutor will help your case. You need to know your rights. In particular, you have the right to remain silent. An individual never has an obligation to speak to a police officer, detective or investigator. If it is determined that speaking with law enforcement investigators is in your best interests, our attorneys will represent you in all interactions with law enforcement. Experienced criminal defense counsel can do this in a manner that will be perceived by law enforcement as good management of your case, not as having “lawyered up.”
Success in a criminal case may often depend on the effectiveness of the investigation conducted on your behalf. We work with experienced criminal investigators and will start our investigation process as soon as possible. If an opportunity to develop your own defenses is lost, a witness may disappear, or a memory may fade. The availability of key documents which may support your defense must be obtained at the earliest possible moment, or the document may be lost. Cell phone records are particularly difficult to obtain after several months due to a cellular carrier’s short record retention times. In a criminal case, timing can be everything. Our investigators know how to “hit the street” and find witnesses. We will run a full background check on the witnesses who have accused you of criminal activity to develop impeachment evidence.
DISCOVERY AND MOTION PRACTICE
It is critical to pursue discovery diligently and to make a comprehensive written discovery request, with an assertive follow-up strategy. We will obtain the documents and materials in the State’s possession which may lead to your exoneration.
Motion practice serves a very important role in the defense of criminal cases. Our firm believes that criminal motion practice helps to shape a criminal case to create a level playing field, which improves your chance of receiving a fair trial; enhancing your chance to win. The motions filed in a criminal case are designed to shape the case to facilitate your ultimate chance of a positive outcome. Motions we may file in your case include a motion to dismiss the indictment, motion to suppress physical evidence, statements, and identifications, a motion to compel discovery and to compel the identity of informants, a motion for a bill of particulars, and motions to sever charges and/or co-defendants from your case.
Expert witnesses continue to play a critical role in both the prosecution and defense of criminal cases. In any case involving forensic evidence such as DNA, blood samples, or hair and fiber evidence, the prosecution will present an expert who will attempt to link that evidence to you. The defense of any case involving forensic evidence will require that the defense present its own expert witnesses to refute the State’s proofs. We work with experts, all of whom are superbly qualified in their respective fields, including criminologists, computer and internet experts, experts in ballistics, medical pathologists, and psychologists and psychiatrists. In many cases, our experts have made the difference between a conviction for an offense and charges being dismissed.
Trial is where the hard work taken in the early stages of your criminal case through early intervention, investigation, discovery, and motion practice really pays off. With Schwartz & Posnock, you will receive all of the benefits of early investigation, motions previously filed, full and complete discovery, expert testimony, and our 30 years of criminal defense trial experience. You can rely on our firm to provide a vigorous and aggressive defense and the best possible result.
Having an experienced, aggressive criminal lawyer is critical to the success of defending a criminal case, where your liberty, job, and reputation are at stake.