Specific Criminal Offenses
EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY REPRESENTING INDIVIDUALS WITH CRIMINAL CHARGES IN THE NEW JERSEY SUPERIOR COURT, THE NEW YORK STATE CRIMINAL COURTS IN MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN, ALL FEDERAL COURTS IN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK CITY, AND ALL NEW JERSEY MUNICIPAL COURTS.People frequently ask why is something a “crime”?
Simply put, a given act or set of actions is a crime because a statute says so. Either Congress or a state legislature has decided that certain activities are criminal in nature, must be prosecuted in a criminal court, and have enacted a statute making the conduct in question a crime.
Oftentimes, Congress and the states will determine that a particular activity should be criminalized, but will define the crime differently in their respective statutes. This means that what is necessary to prove that the crime occurred will vary with whether the prosecution is being handled on the federal or state level.
Federal and state courts also have very different sentencing criteria. If the court hearing the case ultimately determines that a crime was committed, either by way of guilty plea or trial, any sentence imposed can vary dramatically between federal and state court, even if the crime is defined similarly on both levels. Generally speaking, state criminal statutes set the sentences for state crimes. On the federal level, however, sentences are determined both by statutes and the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
Further, certain crimes can frequently be prosecuted in either federal or state court, but may “go federal” because of a paramount federal interest in that type of case. A good example of this is bank robbery which, as a general matter, can be prosecuted in either federal or state court, but is almost always handled at the federal level.
Additionally, the states will often decide to criminalize certain conduct while Congress remains silent on the same issue. This occurs when the state governments have a strong interest in a given area, but the federal government does not. As to these crimes, there will be a state-level criminal statute but no federal analog. A prosecution for such a crime will occur in state court.
Finally, different states may also criminalize the same conduct, but the evidence required to prove the crime occurred, as well as any sentence ultimately imposed, can vary from state to state, even for what appears to be the same activity. This is because criminal statutes – even those that address the same or similar activity – can differ from state to state.
Sound confusing? It really is not. Rather, it all boils down to three basic questions:
- What court is hearing the case?
- What does the applicable statute in that jurisdiction say about the relevant conduct?
- What sentences can be imposed in the event of a conviction?
We represent defendants charged with the following offenses in federal and state courts throughout New Jersey and New York City:
- Adult Criminal Charges
- Juvenile Charges
- Federal Criminal Charges
- Federal Drug Crimes
- Federal Child Pornography Charges
- State Criminal Charges
- State Drug Charges
- Violent Crimes (Murder/Homicide, Robbery, Carjacking, Assault, and Kidnapping)
- Sex Offenses
- White Collar Crimes
- Internet and Computer Crimes
- Insurance Fraud
- Healthcare Claims Fraud
- Tax Crimes
- Theft Offenses
- Weapons Offenses
- Obstruction of Justice and Related Offenses
We are a diverse criminal defense firm with offices centrally located in New Brunswick, New Jersey. If you have been charged with a crime in the Superior Court of New Jersey, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, or any municipal court in New Jersey, do not speak to the police or prosecutors, except to state very clearly that you want a lawyer. Then, contact us to learn about your options, and to start building your defense.