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Criminal Defense Focused On You

Facing criminal charges of any type can change your life. Whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony, you should have a criminal defense lawyer you can trust by your side. The attorneys at Law Offices of James A. Abate are dedicated to making a difference for people accused of committing a crime. When you trust your case to us, we focus on your needs and your legal goals. We assist clients throughout New Jersey, including Somerset County, Middlesex County, and Union County.

Why You Should Make Us Your First Call

An experienced, dedicated criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference in your case. Our attorneys are professionals with both the knowledge that comes with over 30 years of combined legal experience and the passion to fight for your legal rights. With your future on the line, you need an attorney focused only on you, willing to put in the time and effort it takes to build a strong defense. Common cases we handle include:

  • DUI and DWI – Attorney James A. Abate is a member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and is certified in the administration of the NHTSA standardized field sobriety tests and drug recognition evaluations.
  • Drug-related charges – From minor possession charges to trafficking, we help clients in both state and federal court.
  • White collar crimes – These often include money and fraud-related charges, many of which are federal felonies.
  • Sex crimes – We represent clients with all levels of sex crimes, whether they happen in a home, on a college campus, or even over the internet.
  • Domestic violence – This can include assault, kidnapping, harassment, stalking, and violating a restraining order.
  • Violent felonies – These crimes can include assault, weapons offenses, burglary, and homicide, and can carry the harshest penalties.

Some of these cases are heard in the municipal court system, while others go to the superior courts, or the federal court. We also assist with post-conviction relief, such as expungements, and appeals.

The Criminal Process In New Jersey

Many people do not know what to expect after their arrest. We will help you understand what may happen next in your particular situation. The process depends on whether you are going through the municipal court, superior court, or federal court system. We have experience at all levels.

At the superior court level, after your arrest and intake, you will appear in court within 48 hours. The judge will decide on pretrial release, bail, or holding you in custody. At this point, the prosecutor may decide whether to offer a plea bargain or you could apply for a pretrial intervention program (PTI) to avoid conviction. The judge may also order a substance abuse evaluation.

If a grand jury indicts you, your next step will be an arraignment, where the court will formally tell you your charges and you enter a plea. If you have not entered a plea bargain or a PTI, your case will go to trial. Both sides will present evidence and either the judge or jury will issue a verdict. The judge will set a sentencing date if you are convicted. If not, you will be free to go.

Although this process may seem long and complicated, we will be by your side the entire time to help you understand your options at each step. We will also fight for a dismissal or lowered charges whenever possible. If the worst happens and you are convicted, we will discuss post-conviction motions and appeals.

Start Building Your Defense Today

The sooner we receive your call, the sooner we can start building a strong legal defense on your behalf. Your first conversation with us is free. To schedule an initial consultation, call our Somerville office at 908-643-7005 or send us an email.