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New Jersey's new expungement law

When a court convicted you of a minor crime, the judge or your attorney may have explained the consequences. You may have served a short time in jail, paid a fine or spent time on probation. You may have made restitution or completed a drug rehabilitation program. It was not easy, and in fact, some of your obligations may have been inconvenient and challenging.

Nevertheless, you may feel you paid your debt to society, and perhaps you learned something along the way about making choices. What you may not have learned during this time was that your conviction would haunt you for the rest of your life. A criminal conviction, even for minor crimes, can have a devastating effect on your options for the future. Fortunately, a new law in New Jersey is trying to change that for people like you.

Are you facing theft allegations in New Jersey?

Facing any type of criminal charge can come with serious consequences in the event of a conviction. However, each charge and type of crime is different, which means that the repercussions and possible sentences are also different. When charged with a crime, it is important that New Jersey residents understand what is at stake.

Authorities may have recently accused you of some type of theft crime. You may think that the entire matter is a misunderstanding or that the police have wrongfully accused you, but nonetheless, you are in a situation where you must defend against serious allegations in efforts to work toward a favorable outcome.

Don't give police any more ammunition than they already have

If you are like most people, your first inclination when accused of doing something wrong is to defend yourself. You may feel that, if you could just explain your circumstances, the situation would resolve itself. This may work in some instances, but when it comes to potentially facing criminal charges, trying to provide an explanation would probably not serve your interests.

Most people understand from television and movies that they have the right to remain silent. However, they may not know how to make sure they protect that right when faced with questions from police. It's not as simple as staying quiet.

Already have 1 DUI on your record?

Do you have a driving under the influence conviction on your record? If you do, you know you need to tread lightly. One DUI is a serious thing; more than one is even more so.

What may happen to New Jersey residents convicted of multiple DUI offenses? Is there any way to fight a DUI charge if one has a history of committing such crimes? The answers to these questions might surprise you.

The specific ways that a DUI or DWI can affect your entire life

Perhaps you were driving home after a night out with friends, or maybe you had a few beers at home while watching television. You hop behind the wheel to head home or run a quick errand, and next thing you know, you see flashing flights behind you. You know that a drunk driving arrest and DUI or DWI charge in New Jersey is serious, but what's going to happen now? 

A suspected DUI traffic stop is scary, and any criminal charge against you is a threat to your future. It's important to fight back, but where should you start? How can you start the process of building a strong defense? The place you may want to begin is learning more about what to expect after a DUI and the potential consequences that may affect your life.

How do police get an arrest warrant?

Since the founding of the country, U.S. lawmakers have sought to protect the rights of citizens by placing limits on the actions of law enforcement. Police may not walk into your home whenever they want or search your vehicle without a reason to believe you have committed a crime. These constitutional rights often mean officers must take certain administrative steps before they can act against you.

This includes placing you under arrest. Unless police witness you committing a crime, they must obtain a warrant to arrest you. You may have seen this process dramatized on TV where detectives make a phone call and moments later have authorization to make an arrest. In reality, there is more to the process.

A fake ID is not worth the trouble

It may be several years before you are old enough to drink alcohol. Now that New Jersey is raising the age for buying tobacco products to 21, you may wonder how you will be able to purchase cigarettes. You may think that getting a fake ID will get you access to places where you are too young to be. You may plan on using your fake ID to buy beer at a liquor store this summer or to get a busy bartender to serve you alcohol.

While these may seem like harmless plans, law enforcement is dealing with more serious issues involving fake IDs. They are relatively easy to get, and many are rather difficult to identify as fraudulent. More people are using fake IDs to commit identity theft, credit card fraud and other white collar crimes. Because of this, the penalties for making, possessing or using a fake ID are quite severe.

Are you ready to pay the price for a DUI?

Skating by with a slap on the wrist following a drunk driving arrest is fast becoming a thing of the past. In New Jersey and other states, lawmakers are listening to safety advocates who urge them to tighten the laws and heighten the penalties for DUI convictions. As a result, sentences that were optional or reserved for more serious cases are now becoming the norm.

In fact, time behind bars is mandatory in some cases, and judges have no option for converting this to alternative sentencing. If you are facing DUI charges, even a first-offense, you have a lot at stake and much to prepare for.

Ignition interlock devices: What are they and who may need one?

The state of New Jersey does not treat drunk driving lightly. If a criminal court convicts you on a DUI charge, you may face fines, incarceration, license suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

An ignition interlock device prevents you from starting your vehicle if the device reads you have alcohol in your system. This piece of equipment allows DUI offenders the ability to drive if they are able to stay sober. Without this option, DUI offenders would just have to wait until their license suspension periods are up before they can drive again.

There are different types of assault charges in New Jersey

Sometimes a night on the town may get a bit more raucous than expected. Unfortunately, even though you may not plan to end up in an altercation, it could happen.

Scenarios can escalate quickly, and if threats of harm or unwanted physical contact take place, the possibility exists that law enforcement officers could get involved. As a result, you, and possibly others involved in an altercation, could wind up facing criminal charges.

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