From shoplifting to drunk driving, the police in Essex County target local residents for various crimes during the holiday season. Getting arrested can have severe consequences regardless of the time of year; and, if you’ve been arrested during the holidays, there are some costly mistakes you need to avoid. Essex County criminal defense attorney Scott Gorman explains:
What Not To Do if You’ve Been Arrested During the Holidays
In New Jersey, all crimes carry the potential for fines and jail time. Even though jail time may be unlikely if you’ve been charged with a relatively low-level offense such as shoplifting, this is not a risk you can simply ignore. Similarly, even though DUI is technically considered a “traffic offense” rather than a “crime,” a conviction can still lead to fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and other penalties.
With this in mind, here are five mistakes to avoid if you’ve been arrested in Essex County during the holidays:
1. Ignore Your Arrest Until After the Holidays
As much as you might like to ignore your case until after the holidays are over, this is not something you can afford to do. You need to deal with your situation, and you may need to appear in court relatively soon (potentially within the next few days). To avoid facing the risk of additional consequences due to a “failure to appear,” you should discuss your case with an Essex County criminal defense attorney right away.
2. Plead Guilty To Get Your Case Over With
Under no circumstances should you plead guilty without first speaking to a defense attorney. Once you plead guilty, there is no going back. You will be sentenced and have a conviction on your record. While you might be tempted to plead guilty so that you can put your case behind you and enjoy the holidays, this is the wrong decision.
3. Assume There is Nothing You (or a Lawyer) Can Do
If you are pretty sure you committed a crime, you might be thinking that there is nothing you (or a lawyer) can do to protect you. But, there are several potential defenses to all types of charges, and a lawyer may also be able to help reduce your sentence or secure pretrial intervention if necessary.
4. Prioritize Your Holiday Celebrations Over Your Defense
Just as you cannot afford to ignore your arrest until after the holidays, you cannot afford to prioritize your holiday celebrations over your defense. You need to plan to be in court on your scheduled court date, and you need to work with your attorney to build the strongest defense possible.
5. Assume the Judge Will Go Easy On You Because It’s the Holiday Season
Finally, you should not assume the judge will go easy on you because it’s the holiday season. This will not happen. Judges do not take the holidays into consideration when administering justice according to New Jersey law.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Essex County Criminal Defense Attorney
Arrested during the holidays? Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with Essex County criminal defense attorney Scott Gorman in confidence, call 201-489-9199 or get in touch online now.
Published in Categories: Criminal Defense