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Criminal Law FAQs

When you are charged with a crime, it may feel like the entire world is against you. At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, I stand by the accused to ensure they are treated fairly by the criminal justice system.

When you have questions, I have answers. Below are some of the answers to common criminal defense questions in New Jersey. For answers to more specific criminal law questions, view these other FAQ pages below:

For more help in your unique case, schedule a free consultation by calling 908-643-6801 or reaching out online.

What are my Miranda Rights?

When you are under police custody, you must be read your Miranda Rights before you are interrogated in any way. These rights guarantee the following under the U.S. Constitution:

  • Your right to remain silent
  • Your right to a lawyer

When police ask you any questions, you have the right to remain silent rather than answering – and this is especially advised, as any answers may be used against you in court. You also have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one of your own, one will be assigned to you. You should never speak to police without an attorney by your side.

If law enforcement interrogates you without informing you of your Miranda Rights, answers you give cannot be used against you during your case.

Can I appeal a criminal conviction in New Jersey?

Yes, if you were convicted of a crime in New Jersey, you are able to file for an appeal. You must do so quickly, however – in New Jersey, you have 45 days from the date of your sentence to file for an appeal. For traffic offenses and other municipal court convictions, you only have 20 days.

If you believe you were treated unfairly in court, or you believe you were convicted in error, it may be a good idea to appeal your conviction. You may also want to search for a new attorney to handle your appeal. A fresh perspective may help you overcome your charges the second time around.

Do I have to allow police to search my home?

You do not have to allow police into your home unless they have a search warrant. When police ask to search your home, you should always answer no. If you do answer yes and give permission for them to enter, anything they find inside may be used against you in your case. Without permission or a search warrant, any evidence they find could be dismissed.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however. If there is an emergency, such as a fire or a medical emergency, they may enter in order to provide immediate assistance to protect the people inside. In cases of domestic violence, they may also enter to protect a victim of abuse. To learn more about whether or not police entered your home unlawfully, reach out to my office so I can more thoroughly evaluate your case.

Should I hire a criminal defense attorney if I’m pleading guilty?

You should always have a criminal defense attorney, even if you plan on pleading guilty to the charges against you.

Law enforcement will always try to charge you with the highest possible offense. If you are caught speeding, for example, the prosecution may try to argue that you were speeding at levels that endangered the lives of those around you, and you could be facing even higher penalties than you should realistically be facing.

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is the first step toward ensuring you are treated fairly under the law. In some cases, even if you planned on pleading guilty from the outset, an attorney can help uncover unlawful police practices, which could result in your case getting dismissed entirely.