Charles Block Works to Reduce the Growing Shoplifting Epidemic

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

There are approximately 27 million people convicted of shoplifting in the world today, and then span a wide range of ages, gender and other demographics. In fact, 25 percent of shoplifters today are children and many older shoplifters have admitted they started shoplifting when they were younger. That is why there are dedicated criminal attorneys, like me, who work to avoid these statistics from growing.

If you are convicted of shoplifting, you can incur up to $1,000 in fines, almost $200 in court costs, a minimum of ten days of community services and up to 6 months in jail. What many shoplifters don’t know is that if you are a repeat offender, you will be facing a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail.

Why Shoplifting is So Prevalent

The problem with shoplifting is that you do not always get caught, which makes you want to continue shoplifting. There is a sort of excitement that comes from stealing and getting away with it, so you continue to shoplift in riskier ways until you eventually get caught.  Chasing this high will keep you from stopping, just like a drug addict feels when they are chasing their elusive highs.

Shoplifters need rehabilitation and not incarceration. In jail, they would not be getting the help they so desperately need. Attorneys like me will work hard to make sure your first-time mistakes do not repeat themselves and end up with you serving hard jail time.

Your Civil Rights in New Jersey

In the State of New Jersey, individuals accused of shoplifting are protected by certain civil rights. In some states a store employee has the right to search a suspected shoplifter, but in New Jersey, store employees do not have the right to perform unwarranted searches. Also, the police can only arrest an individual suspected of shoplifting if they have probable cause.

I will make sure my clients’ rights are not violated and do my best to insure that their charges are significantly reduced or dropped. I have been working in criminal law for over 32 years and have gained experience in working with clients accused of all types criminal offenses, including shoplifting.

Why You Should Act Now

Shoplifting occurs daily and continues to grow amongst children and adults. Shoplifting does not discriminate when it comes to age, race or gender and needs to be addressed head on before the epidemic grows even bigger. That is why I inform my clients that their mistakes are not their undoing and their lives can improve dramatically if the right steps are taken.

Don’t wait to accumulate more offenses and end up incarcerated.  By making sure you contact a criminal attorney immediately, you significantly improve your chances of a reduced sentence and another chance at a fulfilled life.

How to Contact Me

I, Charles Block, will work with my clients to reduce or expunge their criminal charges. I not only deal with criminal charges, but I am one of the most experienced traffic attorneys in New Jersey. Whatever mistake you made, I will work with you and the judicial system to clean it up.

For more information on my law firm and my services, including my work with clients who are facing shoplifting charges and DWI and DUI charges in the New Jersey area, continue to browse my website. To receive a consultation, call me at 856-741-1495.

3 Tips to Remember When Getting Your Record Expunged

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Life is difficult, and sometimes you make mistakes that hurt others and yourself. Your life does not have to be over just because you made a mistake. Re-evaluating your situation can help you gain perspective on how you want the rest of your life to turn out. You might find that the first step in improving your life would be to find a qualified expungement lawyer to remove those mistakes from your public record.

At Charles Block, we work with clients in New Jersey on their expungements. An expungement is essentially wiping the criminal charges off your record, so that they do not affect things like your future employment opportunities, buying a home or getting a loan. Having a clean slate will allow you to stop focusing on the past and start focusing on your bright future.

Are you interested in getting your criminal record expunged, but you do not know how to prove to the judicial system that you are no longer a criminal? Here are three tips to remember before you file for expungement

Tip # 1 – Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me: Show that you are not a career criminal

You want to show the judicial system that you are not going to continue a life of crime. Having a job, going to school and volunteering all show the judicial system that you are not a career criminal. You want to show them that you made mistakes, but that you are truly remorseful. This is the first step on your road to recovery and renewment.

Tip # 2 – Finish all of the terms of your sentence

In many states, your record will not be expunged unless you show the judicial system that you have completed all the terms of your sentence. This could include fines, probation, fees, community service and restitution. Completing all the terms of your sentence shows the judicial system that you are responsible, remorseful and dedicated to moving on with your life.

Tip # 3 – Get a full and accurate background check

Having all of the correct information about you on record is important to see before filing for an expungement. In order to obtain an expungement, you will need to provide the judicial system with a case number, dates and additional information on your background check.

To obtain this information, you can contact the local courthouse where your charges took place, reach out to other state agencies or visit the FBI website. Another way is to have your expungement lawyer, like Charles Block, obtain all the information on your behalf.

If you reside in New Jersey and your criminal offense involves drug charges, a conditional discharge may be available to you. A conditional discharge is a diversionary treatment program for drug offenders. You would attend this treatment program instead of facing a jail sentence.

For more information about the top expungement attorney in Haddonfield, NJ, as well as other parts of New Jersey, browse our website. You can also call 856-741-1495 for a consultation.

What Should I Do if I’ve Received a DUI or a DWI?

Friday, May 6th, 2016

We’ve all made mistakes, right? But the more important question is, “what can you do to make things right again?” It’s actually pretty easy for someone to go a little wild after a few beers, to think that they’re fine, so they end up driving, and then *WHAM*, they’re hit with a DUI. For those of you who have received a DWI or DUI in Gloucester County, NJ, as well as other local areas in New Jersey, the only thing you need to think about is how to make things right again and put your life back on the proper track.

What Can Happen?

Individuals found with a BAC over 0.08% will be charged with a DUI or DWI in New Jersey. And those who are found guilty are faced with possible fines and penalties including community service, jail time, counseling at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center, loss of driving privileges, interlock, and increased insurance costs. And if previous drunk driving charges are found, the penalties will be even more severe. For the best defense possible and to reduce or even eliminate these penalties, the best thing you can do is to contact Charles Block, one of New Jersey’s top Attorneys at Law. Charles Block is dedicated to protecting an individual’s rights who has been charged with drunk driving.

What Should I Do About It?

Although it is not possible to receive expungement for a DUI or DWI in Camden County, as well as the entire state of New Jersey, Charles Block will provide legal guidance for any individual who has received a charge regarding intoxication. Whether you were charged with being drunk and disorderly, publicly intoxicated, or drunk driving, Charles Block will aggressively fight by your side to ensure that you get the representation you deserve. This experienced defense attorney will do everything in his power to help you get your life back on the right track.

For more information about how to receive the proper representation for a DWI or DUI, contact Charles Block at 856-741-1495.

How do Adult Criminal and Juvenile Courts Differ?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

If your child is accused of a crime, one of the first things you will want to do is acquaint yourself with the differences between the adult criminal system and that which exclusively tries children (minors younger than age 18). Understanding how these systems are designed to suit specific crimes, yet share some overlapping traits and rights can help better inform you on how to proceed in the event that your child is being prosecuted for a crime.

Differences

Despite charges that juvenile and adult courts are becoming increasingly similar (i.e., that courts are becoming harder on children, and that children are increasingly tried as adults – usually reserved for cases that are especially violent or sexual in nature), there remains many significant differences between the two.

Different terminology. To reflect some of the differences in procedure, terms unique to the juvenile court system are employed during trials and in legal files. Some differences include “Minor” in place of “Defendant”, “Adjudication” in place of “Trial”, “Delinquent act” for “crime”, and “Petition” rather than “Complaint”, amongst others.

No jury trials in juvenile court. In perhaps the biggest difference between the two systems, juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury – instead, they will take their case to a judge or a bench officer, who will adjudicate the case in Family Court.

No right to bail. Rather than posting bail to get your child out of jail, you must wait to see if a court decides whether or not your child will be released.

Private hearings. Unlike most adult trials, hearings in Juvenile Court are closed off to the public, with the exception of offenses deemed serious and/or violent. This helps protect a minor later, if their record is expunged upon reaching age 18.

Parental/guardian questioning. Parents or guardians of a minor accused of a crime will very likely be questioned in court during a hearing, regarding their child’s behavior, home life, and other information. These responses can change the way a court handles a case, and it is wise to consult with a defense attorney prior to a hearing.

Greater opportunities for probation or diversionary programs. While theaim of adult jail is to punish, juvenile courts exist to help rehabilitate children, as well as provide them with a second chance to get their life on a productive path. Accordingly, many plans exist to keep a child out of a juvenile detention facility and, in turn, out of jail in their future; but oftentimes, it requires the skills of an experienced attorney to advocate for these alternative programs.

Similarities
There are several extremely important similarities between the two systems that every individual whose child has been accused of a crime should know. Police and investigators will not make these or other aspects of the system abundantly clear, meaning parents may not know when their child’s rights are being violated.

Right to an attorney. Unlike adult criminal court, every child must be represented by an attorney throughout the Juvenile Court Process, once the child has been charged with a crime. You also have the right at any time in the process to change from a public defender to a defense attorney who specializes in juvenile law.

The right against self-incrimination, i.e. the ability to plead the 5th. Children, like adults, can invoke the 5th amendment in order to protect themselves from self-incrimination both on the witness stand and off.

The right to cross-examine witnesses. While adjudications in juvenile court are not, as mentioned, trials by jury, defense lawyers still have the right to cross-examine witnesses for the prosecution, giving the opportunity to show both sides of a situation as it may have occurred.

Juvenile law is a complicated and emotional field, and it takes a lawyer who has spent years working with minors to ensure that your child will receive the personalized attention they deserve. Leaving your child in the hands of the public legal system can have dire consequences. If you are concerned about your child’s future due to a recent brush with the law, contact Charles Block today.

Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Real Estate Transaction?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Purchasing a house is usually the largest single expenditure that you’ll make in a lifetime. Many people view the home-buying process as a transaction but, in reality, it is just as much a legal procedure as it is an exchange of funds for property. It is important to obtain the services of a lawyer in order to protect your assets and make sure that the purchase agreement is executed in a manner that corresponds with your requirements for your new home. We’ve outlined just a few of the reasons why hiring a lawyer to assist you in the purchase of your home is a wise investment in your future.

1)      Advice and Guidance. While a real estate broker will explain the process of home buying and your agency will do the best to make a sale, a lawyer is hired specifically for the purpose of handling your affairs and taking your side should a legal dispute arise. An attorney specializing in real estate can explain the terms of an agreement in plain English, as well as revise the agreement if it becomes necessary, and make sure it was properly signed. Lawyers with expertise in real estate law are also able to answer important questions surrounding the purchase of a home and their legal rights and responsibilities.

2)      Special Circumstances. A purchase agreement is often made to fit a generic format that might not apply to the home you are looking to buy or sell. Hiring a lawyer to review this type of “standard form” and amend it if need be will make the end agreement better fit your desires. “Special circumstances” are not rare, and would apply to any sale of a property where anything is not perfectly in order. Some purchase agreement topics that may require legal assistance include: legal or illegal alteration of property, dangerous conditions such as hazardous waste, pests, asbestos or lead paint discovered after inspection, and deciding how a buyer will ultimately pay for their new home.

3)      You are buying or selling a home in an unfamiliar place. If you are buying a home far from your current location (especially out-of-state), or selling one that is not nearby (perhaps belonging to a deceased relative), the home buying or selling process will be complicated even further. A real estate attorney will have more information on the inter-state purchasing process than a realtor, whose licensing education is mostly based on the contracts used in the state where they are holding their license.

4)      Peacekeeping.  Ultimately, a real estate attorney’s job is to make a contract come together, and to work through any issues the buyer, seller and broker may encounter in coming to an agreement. As the lawyer enters the picture after the price and terms are set by realtors, their job is mainly to negotiate and collaborate with the parties involved in the home inspection, contract and title company.

For more information about what a qualified real estate attorney can do for you during the home buying process, give us a call. 

What You Need to Know about Cyberbullying

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Bullying in schools – or outside of them, for that matter – is hardly a new problem, and is moreover one that teachers, parents and the courts have long been torn on how to combat. The advent of the internet and the ubiquitous use of social media amongst teenagers and even younger children has opened the floodgates for bullying to take on an online persona; we call this use of the internet to harass, intimidate or generally cause harm to another person “cyberbullying.” Below is some information on the current legal status of this form of bullying.

Is cyberbullying against the law?

Cyberbullying currently rests in a legal “gray area,” with some recent high-profile court decisions seeming to indicate that the law is coming down hard on children (and adults) accused of using the internet to harm others. Cyberbullying itself is not a crime, much as there is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying; rather, in serious cases of bullying, a child can be charged with harassment, assault and other misdemeanor crimes and even felonies. Although cyberbullying is an inherently non-physical crime and thus unlikely to bring assault charges, criminal harassment statutes can provide a pathway to prosecution in serious cases. More recently, due to several highly visible stories of suicides occurring after online harassment, suicides by children and teens that were ruled to have had a root cause in cyberbullying have led to the arrest of the alleged cyberbullies, the implication being that the death was in some way caused by their actions. In the case of 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, her alleged bullies were arrested on charges of aggravated stalking, a 3rd degree felony.

Furthermore, in cases in which a sexualized photo of an underage victim is distributed online as a form of harassment and/or intimidation (and even in cases where the intent was not necessarily malicious), charges can include not just harassment but possession and distribution of child pornography, regardless of the age of the possessor.

What Can I Do If My Child Is Accused of Cyberbullying?

Schools and courts are beginning to crack down on defendants accused of cyberbullying, in part because of a widespread movement to acknowledge the emotional and physical harm that bullying of any form can lead to. Because of so many recent high-publicity incidents, including suicides and school shootings, in which bullying is suspected to have played a key role in causing the tragedies, the judicial trend has been towards greater accountability on the part of the accused. In short, accusations of cyberbullying are not to be taken lightly.

Contacting a lawyer who specializes in juvenile law immediately upon learning of accusations is the best first measure you can take to protect your child. The process of trying a juvenile is substantially different than that of an adult, and it’s well-advised to work with a lawyer who is experienced and skilled in this department. This can mean the difference between years in a state facility vs. rehabilitation and a second chance.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you and your child may need legal services because of cyberbullying or other cybercrimes, contact us to work with the law office of Charles J. Block to give your child the opportunity for a second chance. If your child has been ACCUSED BUT NOT YET CHARGED with a crime, we may be able to prevent the filing of formal charges.

Top Ten Reasons to Hire an Attorney for Your Criminal Charge

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, such as shoplifting or burglary, you are probably wondering if you should hire an attorney to represent you. With a court date looming up ahead and a sentencing to follow, you may be wondering and whether hiring an attorney is worth the investment. As an experienced attorney, I have represented numerous criminal cases and have succeeded in having robbery charges dropped or lowered in the New Jersey state. Rather than rely on a public defender to help you with your case, my legal services will assist you with handling and negotiating all aspects of your criminal charge.

 

There are a variety of reasons that you should opt for the professional legal services of an experienced defense attorney. Allowing an attorney to represent your case will benefit you greatly and may help you obtain a better outcome for your situation. Don’t take the chance of having a criminal charge marked on your record, spending time in jail and having to pay large fines. Give yourself the opportunity to have favorable results in your criminal charge. Below I have listed the top ten reasons why you should consider hiring a defense attorney to represent your criminal case.

 

  1. Evidence Errors – A lawyer will find issues with the evidence presented that may otherwise be unrecognizable.
  2. Paperwork Duty – In order to fill out paperwork correctly, a lawyer will help you. Administrative clerks do not help with this aspect, leaving you to do it on your own.
  3. Achieve a More Positive Outcome – With your assistance, your attorney will work with the prosecution to determine a decreased charge and plea deal.
  4. Witnesses – You may not know how to get in touch with a witness, but your lawyer will. A witness can help you in your case.
  5. Keep a Clean Record – Without a lawyer, you will not be able to have your criminal record eliminated.
  6. Submission and Deadlines – A legal professional will ensure that your paperwork is turned in on time.
  7. Expert Advice – The lawyer will provide you with all the information you need and can answer all of your questions.
  8. Save Money – Because your charges may be dropped or lowered, a lawyer on your side can prevent you from having to pay a bail and expensive fines.
  9. Less Stress and Worry – The amount of time it takes to handle a criminal case alone can take a toll on the emotional state of mind. A lawyer will take away this burden.
  10. Educate Yourself – Your attorney will make sure that you understand your rights and know what is happening in your case.

 

I, Charles Block, devote my time and energy to my clients. I will make sure that your rights are not violated, despite your accusation. Once you consult with me regarding your New Jersey burglary charges for the first time, I will help you understand the seriousness of your charges and devise a legal strategy to achieve a better outcome under your circumstance. Contact me today for a meeting by filling out the online form on my website, emailing me at Charles@CharlesBlock.com, or by calling 856-741-1495.

Law Enforcement Errors Made in a DUI or DWI Charge

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

One of the largest advantages to reducing and avoiding a DUI or DWI conviction is the errors made by a police officer during the investigation. Some of the DUI cases I have handled throughout New Jersey had charges dismissed or reduced due to a cop’s mistakes in the arrest. I work with my clients who have been charged with a DUI or DWI in the Camden County NJ area to determine the best evidence that will defend their case. There are various mistakes that cops can make when charging a citizen with a DUI or DWI. Being aware of the faults of law enforcement officers can help determine an effective strategy for your DUI case.

 

An Unjustified Traffic Stop

If the police officer didn’t have a valid reason for pulling the driver over, it is considered an illegal stop. If this mistake occurs, all of the violations that were recorded could be suppressed by a written motion filed by my law service.

 

Sobriety Checkpoint Errors

Occasionally some officers do not adhere to the strict rules and regulations of the DUI checkpoint. This mistake alone can be challenged in the court of law.

 

Sobriety Test Misconduct

When a driver is asked to perform a sobriety test, sometimes the cop on duty may not consider the weather conditions, medical issues of the individual, fatigue, or pavement structure.

 

Breath Test Administration Faultiness

In some cases, the breath test is not administered correctly or police paperwork is filed wrong. The breathalyzer may be susceptible to producing skewed results. If this incident occurs, I can argue in your case that the DUI check was not conducted correctly.

 

If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI in the Gloucester County NJ area, consult with me today to determine your case.

 

The Steps of Expungement

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

So you’ve made a mistake with the law in the past and now you are ready to put it behind you. However, your criminal record is getting in the way of your new beginning. You want to get a job but the criminal record keeps popping up, causing employers to turn you away. You are trying to buy a home but the record makes it impossible. Fortunately, there is a legal solution called an expungement that can seal your record and make it clean again. As an expungement attorney that serves the Camden County area, Charles Block can assist you with handling the process of clearing your record.

 

Charles Block has won numerous expungement cases for clients. When Clients hire Charles Block, they can expect to be represented by an experienced professional attorney who will fight for them to gain the clean record they need. There are a number of steps in the expungement process that must be taken to achieve a clean record, of which an attorney can assist you.

 

  1. Find out if you are eligible. Certain criminal records cannot be cleared, even through an expungement. In addition, if you have more than one criminal record they may not be subject to expungement.
  2. Gather and locate your record. You will need the information from your record to file an expungement. The documents will contain key information needed such as date of arrest, offenses, and date of conviction.
  3. Fill out and complete all the forms. These forms are used to file the petition to seal your record.
  4. File and serve the forms you completed to the court.
  5. Attend your hearing.
  6. Present the expungement order signed by the judge to all parties, including the chief of police, the warden, and the country prosecutor.

 

If you are looking to clear your record and are in search of an expungement attorney in the Gloucester area, contact Charles Block! Check out his website for more information.

 

What to Expect in Selling a Short Sale Property

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

So, you’ve come to the conclusion that you want to sell your home via a short sale. What comes next? If you’ve decided that a short sale is right for you, the most important aspect of the process is to close the transaction. While our real estate attorneys at Charles Block can assist you with your short sale, it is good to know what you should expect throughout the procedure. Of course, the main objective is to avoid foreclosure and put an end to paying for an expensive mortgage.

 

Negotiations Entail

A short sale will allow you to put your property on the market. When the transaction is complete, the lender will have agreed to release the loan on your home.  Keep in mind that short sales don’t always cancel the debt of a mortgage. Sometimes they request the deficiency to be paid or for the loan to continue in repayments. This where our attorneys come in to help – to conduct negotiations and represent you and your needs.

 

Selling the Short Sale

Even with a short sale transaction, you will still need plenty of time to sell your property. A short sale can take months to close. Once your property is sold, you will have to move immediately, so be prepared. In addition, approval from all parties involved in your property is needed in order to close. We also suggest educating yourself on short sale frauds so that you can be aware of it and protect yourself from being a victim.

 

For more information on short sales real estate cases, please feel free to explore our website!