Bergen County Criminal Lawyer with Offices in Paramus, New Jersey
Travis J. Tormey is an experienced defense attorney who serves on behalf of clients facing a vast array of charges, ranging from marijuana distribution to domestic violence. With centrally located offices in Paramus and Morristown, he appears in courts throughout Northern New Jersey, including Leonia, North Arlington, and Saddle Brook.
Having represented clients in such a wide variety of cases, Mr. Tormey has a great deal of experience navigating the complex legal process in both Superior and Municipal courts. Mr. Tormey’s practice concentrates on criminal law, which has facilitated him in developing a breadth of knowledge in the area of criminal defense. This repository of information regarding New Jersey law enables him to identify the nuances involved in each case and thus, to best represent his clients. In fact, Mr. Tormey has been cited as a legal resource in a number of publications, including The Daily Record and The Bergen Record, as well as the AOL News. Feel free to contact him at his office at (201) 556-1570, as he provides free legal consultations.
Stages of a Criminal Case: Complaint and Arrest
The initial phase of the criminal process in New Jersey is known as the complaint stage. At this juncture, a law enforcement officer or citizen files a complaint against a defendant, charging him or her with a criminal offense. Law enforcement officers are generally the parties responsible for filing complaints. More uncommonly, in a case in which a citizen files a complaint against the defendant, called a citizen complaint, a judge must review the case in order to determine if probable cause exists for the issuance of the initial complaint. If said complaint is issued, the defendant will then be arrested, formally charged, and processed. Processing occurs at the police station in the municipality in which the charges have been filed and involves personal documentation, fingerprinting, and obtaining a photograph, commonly referred to as a “mugshot.”
At this point, a judge will determine a bail amount for the defendant based on the nature of the charge or charges against him or her, the degree of these charges, the defendant’s criminal record (if one exists), and applicable bail guidelines. In addition, the date of the defendant’s first appearance in court will be included on the complaint itself. This initial court date, called the “first appearance” occurs in the municipal court associated with the location of the alleged offense.
During the first appearance, the presiding judge will inform the defendant of the charges against him or her, as well as the potential penalties associated with a conviction. In addition, the judge will enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty” on behalf of the defendant. In the majority of cases, the judge will enter plea of “not guilty” and schedule the next date upon which the case will be heard. If the defendant has been charged with an indictable offense, also known as a felony, the case will be transferred to the County Prosecutor’s office to be reviewed.
After examining all of the evidence, members of the prosecutor’s office will determine whether the case should be adjudicated in the Superior Court, which requires the filing of an indictment, or if it should be remanded to be heard in the municipal court. If the case is remanded, the charge is then downgraded to a disorderly persons offense, which is considered a less serious crime according to the New Jersey Criminal Code. The degree of the charges ultimately determined by the prosecutor’s office significantly impacts the penalties associated with a conviction for the offense.
Finding An Experienced Attorney to Represent Your Case
If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Bergen County, New Jersey, the Tormey Law Firm can provide you with the information and assistance you need to best address each step of the legal process. Contact Mr. Tormey at (201)-556-1570 for a free consultation regarding your case.