Joseph A. Lombardo
Being charged with a crime is a scary experience, and navigating the justice system can be very difficult. The situation becomes even more challenging when you are charged in a state where you do not live.
If you are charged with a crime in New Jersey but live in a different state, you should contact a New Jersey attorney for help. Many laws and criminal proceedings differ across states, and you need someone with experience with New Jersey’s criminal justice system. In some cases, you might be allowed to return to your home state while your case is pending, but this is not guaranteed. If you are permitted to return home, you may need to return to New Jersey for various court hearings, and missing these hearings might lead to more legal trouble. If you are convicted in New Jersey, you may have to serve your sentence in New Jersey, depending on how you are sentenced.
Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you handle your charges whether you return to your home state or stay here. For a free case review, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 445-4300.
What to Do if You Are Charged with a Crime in New Jersey But Are from Out of State?
Being charged with a crime is often very confusing, and the criminal justice system is often very complex and difficult to navigate. This is especially true for defendants charged in New Jersey living in other states. You might be unsure of whether you can leave and, if not, where you can go. Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers can help you determine your next steps after arrest.
The first thing you should do after being arrested in New Jersey, even if you have not been formally charged, is contacting a New Jersey attorney. Although the criminal justice system can feel slow, lumbering, and complicated, it moves faster than people realize. After your arrest, you may be taken before a judge very quickly to determine things like bail and advise you of your rights.
Bail is one of the most significant parts of the criminal justice process and is especially important to defendants who do not want to sit in jail until their trial. Bail is granted to most but not all defendants. Bail is often granted unless the court believes the defendant is a flight risk or poses a serious threat to the safety of the community if released. Also, certain offenses are categorically barred from being bailed. Our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers can help you argue for the least restrictive bail possible so you do not end up waiting in jail far from home while you wait for your trial.
Once out on bail, you should probably plan to remain in the state for a bit until we can figure out our next steps. Depending on the terms of your bail, you might be allowed to return home as long as you promise to return for important hearings.
Can I Go Home if I am Charged with a Crime in New Jersey But Live in Another State?
As mentioned above, it might be possible for you to return home after being charged with a crime in New Jersey. Courts are sometimes hesitant to let defendants leave the state, especially if the court doubts the defendant will return of their own free will. However, our Cherry Hill criminal defense lawyers can help assure the court that you will return and should be allowed to return home.
Depending on the terms and conditions of your bail, you might be allowed to leave the state and return home. If your charges are less serious, perhaps for disorderly persons offenses, you will more likely be allowed to return home. If you are charged with more serious indictable crimes, the court might be reluctant to let you leave without some incentive to ensure your return. For example, the court might make cash bail part of the conditions of your pretrial release.
Whether you return home might also come down to the court’s schedule. In very busy jurisdictions, courts might have to schedule trials and other hearings farther out, and defendants must wait a while before returning to court. In such cases, we might be able to convince a judge that you should be allowed to leave the state while we wait for the next hearing. If the court is not busy and your case can be heard sooner, there might not be a need to leave as you would end up returning very soon.
Going to Court if You Are Charged in New Jersey but Live Out of State
Another hurdle to overcome is getting to court after you return to your home state. While some hearings may be conducted in your absence, many other hearings require that you be there. This is often difficult for defendants who live not only out of state but also in a very far away state. It can be very expensive, perhaps even impossible, to book a flight or make a long drive every time you have to return to court.
We will conduct as many hearings as possible in your absence, depending on the situation. However, you might be required to return for each hearing. Small hearings for relatively minor offenses might be conducted without you, but trials typically must be conducted with the defendant present.
What Happens if I Live Out of State But am Convicted in New Jersey?
If you are convicted of a crime in New Jersey but live out of state, you will likely end up serving your sentence within New Jersey. However, exceptions might be made depending on the sentence. Generally, defendants facing jail time serve their sentences in New Jersey prisons or jails. However, not all defendants face incarceration.
You can probably return home shortly if you are sentenced to something more lenient, like probation. According to the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, probation and parole can be transferred between states. This means that you might be sentenced to probation in New Jersey, but you can serve that sentence in your home state. Our Gloucester County criminal defense attorneys can help you try to get your sentence transferred home where you can be close to your family.
Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help
If you were arrested for a crime in New Jersey but live out of state, our Haddonfield criminal defense attorneys can help you fight the charges and hopefully get you home soon. For a free case review, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 445-4300.
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