New Jersey Criminal Lawyer

Being charged with a crime is one of life's most frightening experiences. Once you are arrested, your freedom is in jeopardy. People in this situation feel that they are at the mercy of the arresting officer and criminal court system. Most people do not know or understand how the process will proceed or what happens next. Unfortunately, for many people, this situation results in a bad plea deal, an excessive sentence, high fines, or even worse a wrongful conviction. If you are charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is imperative that you retain a criminal lawyer immediately. Attorney John B. Fabriele is here to help and aggressively protect the accused throughout our state. Call today for your initial consultation.

John will answer your questions and begin planning a defense strategy the instant that he is retained. He knows that this is the worst moment of your life, and he is committed to taking as much fear out of the process as possible. Once hired, he will immediately appear on your behalf, assist with the bail process, and begin any necessary investigation. Our office will keep you up to date on your case, and John is easily accessible so that he may answer your questions and deal with your concerns. John has been defending the rights of the accused for almost 20 years. He possesses the knowledge, passion, and dedication to protect your rights and freedom. His office is located in East Brunswick, and he is easily accessible to all counties in the state of New Jersey.

Criminal Defense Overview

All crimes need to be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Crimes may be charged as misdemeanors or “indictable offenses,” which are called felonies in other states. Indictable offenses are more serious than misdemeanors, and they come in four degrees of varying severity. First-degree indictable offenses in New Jersey, for example, are the most serious and include murder, manslaughter, and rape. Certain crimes cannot be expunged from your record, including homicide, kidnapping, robbery, false imprisonment, DWI, and first- and second-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. This makes it especially important to retain a criminal attorney in New Jersey who will fight to keep your record clean.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is violence between family members or people in a close or intimate relationship. A perpetrator who lives in the same household as the victim of the violence and who is neither a spouse nor a family member of the victim also can be charged with domestic violence. There are several kinds of domestic violence, including physical assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, and physical threats. If you are accused of domestic violence in New Jersey, the police will make a mandatory arrest and take you into custody under certain circumstances, such as when the victim shows signs of injuries caused by an act of domestic violence. Similarly, the police must make a mandatory arrest if there is probable cause to think that the terms of a no contact order were violated, if a warrant is in effect, or if there is probable cause to believe that certain weapons were involved in committing domestic violence.


There are three types of assault, and a New Jersey criminal attorney can explain the differences among them. Simple assault can be charged if you cause a bodily injury to someone knowingly, purposely, or recklessly, or if you place another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm. You can also be charged with aggravated assault if you commit simple assault, and certain elements are present. For example, if you commit simple assault with a deadly weapon, such as a knife, you could be charged with aggravated assault. Similarly, if you assault certain people, such as a police officer, a first-aid worker, a school bus driver, or a fire fighter who was performing job duties, you can be charged with aggravated assault.

Drug Crimes

In New Jersey, you can face substantial penalties for drug crimes. These penalties vary based on the kind of drug at issue and the amount at issue. For example, it is a first-degree offense to sell or possess with intent to sell five or more ounces of coca leaves or heroin. If you are convicted, you could face a fine of up to $500,000 and 25 years to life in prison. By contrast, you can be charged with a third-degree offense for selling or possessing with intent to sell 5-100 dosages of a prescription drug that was lawfully obtained. This could result in a sentence of 5-10 years in prison and a $200,000 fine. Defenses that a criminal lawyer in New Jersey might raise often involve arguing that law enforcement violated the defendant’s constitutional rights.

Marijuana Crimes

Marijuana possession is still a crime in New Jersey. If you are caught in possession of less than 50 grams, you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense. A conviction can result in a sentence that involves a maximum of six months in prison, a fine of $1,000, driver’s license revocation, and drug rehabilitation. N.J.S.A. 2C:35:5 prohibits possessing with intent to sell, distributing, and manufacturing marijuana, and a conviction can result in harsh penalties. The amount of marijuana involved will determine the degree of offense charged. If more than 25 pounds was involved, for example, you could face a first-degree charge.

Theft Crimes

A theft crime is committed if someone deprives another party of their property rights. Theft includes the crimes of shoplifting, extortion, and deception. New Jersey theft crimes are classified according to the value of what was stolen. When the property stolen was less than $200, the crime can be a disorderly persons theft or a petty disorderly persons crime. Even though this is a relatively minor offense, you still should consult a New Jersey criminal lawyer who can develop a strategy to keep your record clean. Second-degree theft, which is the most serious theft crime, involves property worth $75,000 or more.


Shoplifting occurs when someone takes an item while intending not to pay for it or paying less than its full price. Altering price tags, hiding an item on your body, or walking out of a store with an item while intending to steal it are all considered shoplifting. The value of what was stolen will determine the severity of the penalties for the shoplifting charge, as with other theft crimes. You can be charged with a fourth-degree offense, for example, if you shoplifted something that was worth $200-$500. First offenders convicted of shoplifting something that was worth less than $200 will not face more than 10 days in jail.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are treated seriously by prosecutors. They include rape, sexual assault, child pornography, luring and enticing, and prostitution. What a prosecutor must prove depends on the particular sex crime charged. For example, you can be charged with sexual assault if the prosecutor can show that you had sexual contact with somebody under age 13 if you are over 17. A conviction of a sex crime often results in a requirement to register as a sex offender, which can affect the rest of your life. This is one reason why it is vital to consult a criminal attorney in New Jersey if you are facing this type of charge.

White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are usually economically motivated, nonviolent crimes. They can be committed by government officials, office workers, or businesses. Examples of white collar crimes include embezzling, cybercrimes, insider trading, bribery, extortion, labor racketeering, counterfeiting, money laundering, and fraud. Fraud and deceitful conduct are criminalized under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1. You could be charged under this law, for example, if you are caught committing identity theft.


In New Jersey, a DUI is classified as a motor vehicle violation rather than a crime. However, the penalties for a drunk driving conviction can be serious. DUI penalties are increasingly serious for each subsequent conviction. They can include jail time and a driver’s license suspension. The penalties for a first offense depend on how intoxicated you were. If your blood alcohol content was between .08% and .10%, for example, you may need to pay fines between $250 and $400, lose your driving privileges for three months, spend up to 30 days in the county jail, and go through mandatory alcohol classes. Even if a driver registered .08 or higher in a breath test, there are often many ways to fight a DWI charge, so you should retain a criminal lawyer in New Jersey who is experienced in these cases.

Traffic Tickets

Traffic tickets may seem minor, but they can affect your driving record and your insurance rates. You can get a traffic ticket for speeding, driving on a suspended license, failing to register your car, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, failing to yield, endangering pedestrians, or improperly changing lanes, among other offenses. Moving violations can result in your getting points on your driving record. There are ways to get points deducted from your record. However, if you collect 12 points within two years, you can face a driver’s license suspension.

Consult an Experienced New Jersey Attorney

Being charged with a crime can result in the loss of your freedom. With so much potentially at stake, you should consult an aggressive, experienced criminal attorney who can mount a strong defense that is tailored to your circumstances. Mr. Fabriele represents people throughout Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union Counties. Call us at (732) 246-0888 to start discussing your situation with a criminal attorney in New Jersey.