The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, is a statewide criminal defense firm with twelve offices throughout New Jersey. Our team includes ten (10) attorneys that dedicate their practices exclusively to defending the accused, making it a unique commodity in the state. The qualifications of the lawyers are also impressive and include:

• Over 200 Years of Combined Experience Representing Clients Charged With Indictable Crimes, Disorderly Persons Offenses and Serious Motor Vehicle Violations
• Former County Prosecutors Who Have Served At The Highest Levels Such As Director Of Major Crimes, Juvenile, Domestic Violence, Special Operations, Homicide, Drug Task Force, Guns, and Even An Entire Trial Division
• Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys
• Recognition as Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Top 10 Defense Lawyers in New Jersey by the National Academy, Ten Leaders in both Criminal Defense & DWI in New Jersey and Superlawyers

Free consultations with an attorney at the firm are always free. You can reach us 24/7 at 877-450-8301.


Under State and Federal law, criminal defendants are not required to offer a defense at any point during their proceedings. They have the privilege to set forth a defense if they choose to do so, though, and if a judge denies them that privilege, it may constitute a violation of the right to a fair trial. The right is not boundless, however, and any evidence a defendant wishes to set forth in his or her defense must be reasonably related to a critical element of the State’s case. A defendant’s right to offer a defense was the subject of a recent New Jersey ruling in which the defendant argued the court erred in failing to introduce evidence suggesting that another party committed the aggravated assault out of which his charges arose. If you are accused of assault or another crime, it is prudent to meet with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.

The Alleged Assault

It is reported that a physical altercation occurred outside of a New Jersey bar. Video surveillance footage of the incident showed the victim struggling with a man. The man was wearing similar clothing to what the defendant was wearing when he was arrested moments later. The man was then shown taking an object out of the waistband of his pants and striking the victim repeatedly. The man and the victim move off-camera, and the victim is seen seconds later walking into the street to hail a police car.

It is alleged that the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The defendant was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including aggravated assault. During the trial, the court prohibited the defendant from questioning the bar owner regarding his confrontation with the victim on the night of the victim, noting he had not provided notice he would argue he was acting in self-defense and the purpose of the questioning was unclear. The jury convicted the defendant, after which he appealed.

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In New Jersey, there are certain behaviors that are illegal, such as underage drinking, possession of illicit substances, and shoplifting, and people who engage in such activity may be charged with a crime. In some instances, though, the actual criminal activity will be deemed so insignificant in terms of risk of harm that it will be deemed a de minimis offense, and the charges arising out of the activity will be dismissed. What constitutes a de minimis offense was the subject of a ruling recently set forth by a New Jersey court in a case in which the defendants were charged with crimes after being caught with a small amount of marijuana. If you are charged with possession of marijuana or any other crime, it is advisable to speak to a capable New Jersey drug crime defense attorney to determine what defenses you may be able to assert.

The Alleged Crime

It is reported that the defendants were sitting on a beach in New Jersey when they were approached by a police officer. The officer noted that the male defendant had a lighter in his hand, and, as smoking on the beach was illegal, he questioned the defendants regarding their behavior. The officer ultimately discovered that the male defendant was in possession of approximately 8.4 grams of marijuana and a marijuana pipe.

Allegedly, both defendants were charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The defendants both moved to have their charges dismissed as de minimis violations, partially due to the small amount of marijuana that was seized. The trial court granted the motion, and the charges against the defendants were dismissed, after which the State appealed.

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In criminal matters, the State bears the burden of proving a defendant’s guilt. In contrast, while criminal defendants can set forth evidence if they choose to, they are not required to prove their innocence. Recently, a New Jersey court addressed a defendant’s challenge that a jury instruction regarding flight from the scene impermissibly shifted the burden of proof from the State to the defendant, in a matter in which the defendant was convicted of numerous crimes, including aggravated assault. If you are charged with assault or another serious offense, it is wise to talk to a skillful New Jersey assault defense attorney regarding what evidence the State may try to produce against you at trial.

The Alleged Criminal Acts and Trial

It is reported that an altercation broke out at a bar in New Jersey. The fight spilled into the street, and multiple gunshots were fired. Three people died, and numerous other people suffered injuries. During their investigation, the police identified the defendant as the individual who fired the shots. He was charged with multiple crimes, including kidnapping, first-degree murder, and aggravated assault.

Allegedly, during the trial, evidence was presented that after the incident, the defendant went to Florida, despite previously having no plans to do so. The trial court set forth a jury charge regarding flight as consciousness of guilt, and the defendant did not object to the substance of the charge at trial. He was convicted of many of the charges and sentenced to ninety-nine years in prison. He then appealed, arguing in part that the jury charge improperly shifted the burden of proof from the State onto him.

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In New Jersey, the law dictates that certain sentences should be issued for certain crimes. A sentencing court is not always required to comply with sentencing guidelines, though, and can issue downgraded sentences in certain situations. A New Jersey court discussed when downgraded sentences are appropriate in a recent case in which the defendant was sentenced to probation following a conviction for a drug offense. If you are charged with drug trafficking or another drug crime, it is prudent to confer with an assertive New Jersey drug charge defense attorney to discuss what evidence you may be able to set forth in your favor.

The Alleged Crimes

It is reported that the defendant was arrested at an airport after it was revealed that two drug containers in his suitcase that were marked as laxatives actually contained cocaine. He stated a relative asked him to carry the drugs back into the country from the Dominican Republic and to deliver them to an individual in his town. He was charged with third-degree possession of a dangerous controlled substance and first-degree possession of a dangerous controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

Allegedly, the third-degree charge was dismissed, and the first-degree charge was reduced to a second-degree offense in exchange for a guilty plea. Additionally, the prosecution recommended a five-year prison term. During the sentencing hearing, the defendant’s attorney cited multiple mitigating factors and asked that the defendant be sentenced as a third-degree offender to a non-custodial probationary sentence. The court found the defense’s reasoning to be appropriate and sentenced the defendant to probation. The State appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in sentencing the defendant. The appellate court agreed and reversed the trial court ruling.

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In many instances in which people are assaulted, they do not know their attackers. As such, they will typically have to identify the assailant through other means. There is a high risk of unreliable results with many types of identification methods, however. Thus, the New Jersey courts have developed strict parameters for when out of court identifications of criminal defendants may be admitted into evidence at trial. The test for determining such admissibility was discussed in a recent New Jersey case in which the defendant was charged with robbery. If you are accused of a crime, you may be able to have the State’s evidence against you precluded at trial, and you should speak to a trusted New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the victim was assaulted by three men while he was leaving a convenience store. One of the men pointed a gun at the victim and took his cellphone. Five days after the attack, the victim went to the police station. Detectives showed him pictures of several suspects, including the defendant, but the victim could not identify his attackers. He was then shown surveillance video from a nearby store and identified his attacker.

Allegedly, the victim then advised that he could identify his attacker in the pictures he was shown earlier but declined to do so out of fear of retaliation. He identified the defendant, and after an investigation, the defendant was charged with robbery, conspiracy, and unlawful possession of a weapon. The defendant was convicted, after which he appealed on several grounds, including the assertion that the police used inappropriately suggestive methods to obtain the victim’s identification of the defendant.

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In criminal trials, the judge will offer instructions or charges to the jurors, explaining things such as the elements of the charged offenses and providing directives on how the evidence should be evaluated. Thus, if a judge improperly instructs a jury, a defendant may be unjustly convicted, and the improper instruction may provide a basis for an appeal. Recently, in a New Jersey case in which the defendant was charged with aggravated assault, an appellate court discussed the evaluation of jury charges, ultimately determining the trial court properly instructed the jury. If you are charged with a violent crime such as assault, it is critical to retain a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney to help you offer a compelling defense.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant physically attacked a man who was working in the salon of his ex-girlfriend. The girlfriend fled the salon, after which the defendant followed her, allowing the victim to escape. When the defendant realized both the victim and his ex-girlfriend were gone, he fled from the scene in a white van. He was subsequently charged with aggravated assault and making terroristic threats. Following a trial, he was found guilty of aggravated assault. He appealed, arguing in part that the trial judge erred in providing the jury with a flight charge.

Evaluating Jury Charges

Under New Jersey law, when a defendant argues a jury charge was erroneous, the charge must be reviewed as a whole. As a person’s freedom is at stake, proper charges are critical to a fair trial, and erroneous charges on material issues are presumed to constitute reversible errors. If a defendant’s attorney fails to object to a charge, though, it is reviewed for plain error.

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There are many acts that may constitute “white-collar crimes,” which are offenses that are financially motivated and usually committed by business professionals. For example, engaging in insider trading will often lead to criminal charges. Recently, a New Jersey court refuted a defendant’s claims that insider trading is not a crime under any state or federal statute, and therefore the charges brought against him must be dismissed. If you are charged with insider trading or another white-collar crime, it is advisable to speak to a practiced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant worked as an attorney at a publicly-traded technology company. He was a member of the company’s disclosure committee and therefore had access to the company’s SEC filings. The Government alleged that from 2011 through 2016, the defendant engaged in an insider trading scheme to defraud both the company and its shareholders. Specifically, he used private information he received as a member of the disclosure committee to make trades before the information was made public. In doing so, the defendant realized a benefit of over half a million dollars. He was subsequently charged with twelve counts of securities and wire fraud. He then filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the criminal insider trading laws were unconstitutional because no statute explicitly defined insider trading as a crime.

The Crime of Insider Trading Under Federal Law

15 U.S.C. 78j prohibits the use of any deceptive or manipulative device in violation of the regulations and rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that were enacted to protect investors and the public interest. The court explained that insider trading is considered a deceptive trade practice under the classical theory of interpretation of section 78j. In other words, courts have interpreted a deceptive or manipulative device to include trades made by a corporate insider based on information that is material and not disclosed to the public.

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Generally, when a person is tried on criminal charges, the court will instruct the jury as to the elements of the crime, to help the jurors to accurately determine whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. Thus, if a judge fails to adequately instruct a jury on a charged offense and the defendant is convicted regardless, it may constitute a violation of the defendant’s right to due process and a fair trial. The method for determining the sufficiency of jury instructions was recently discussed in a New Jersey case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for burglary, arguing that the instructions were inadequate. If you are accused of burglary or another crime, it is prudent to consult a trusted New Jersey criminal defense attorney to assess your charges and possible defenses.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant broke into his neighbor’s home via the window, along with an accomplice. The defendant dragged the neighbor through the home, threatening her, and physically assaulted her before leaving. The accomplice physically attacked the neighbor’s friend, who was staying at her home that evening as well. The defendant did not take anything from the home, but the neighbor suffered injuries due to the attack.

Reportedly, the defendant was charged with numerous crimes, including burglary. He was convicted as charged, after which he appealed on several grounds. As to the burglary charge, he argued the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury as to the elements of the crime, thereby violating his rights to due process and a fair trial.

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When a defendant is convicted of a crime, the sentencing court will typically assess his or her prior criminal record to determine an appropriate sentence. Further, while the courts often must adhere to sentencing guidelines, they can issue a reduced sentence if they find there are mitigating factors that warrant leniency. Thus, if a court relies on inaccurate information regarding a defendant’s background and history, it can result in a sentencing error and may provide a basis for asking the sentence to be vacated. This was demonstrated in a recent New Jersey case in which the court issued a sentence to a defendant convicted of illegal reentry into the United States based on facts that were inaccurate. If you are charged with a state or federal crime, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to consider what defenses you may be able to assert.

Factual and Procedural History  

It is reported that the defendant was arrested in 2018 for illegal reentry into the United States. He pled guilty to his charges. Prior to his 2018 arrest, he had been convicted in March 2001 on drug charges, after which he was removed from the country. He reentered illegally and was convicted of state and federal drug crimes in 2007, after which he was once again deported in 2013. His most recent arrest was after his 2013 return.

Allegedly, during the sentencing hearing, the defendant argued that his most recent return was not to engage in criminal activity, but so that he could assist his wife with their children. The judge, in recounting the defendant’s criminal history, improperly stated that the defendant was convicted of drug crimes after the birth of his children and that he was deported three times for such crimes, rather than two. After his sentence was issued, the defendant appealed, arguing that the errors undermined his request for leniency.

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If a criminal defendant is charged with multiple offenses stemming from different incidents, the State will often try the defendant separately for each event. In some instances, though, the State may join multiple indictments for trial. While this is generally permissible, it may be barred in certain circumstances. Recently, a New Jersey court discussed when multiple indictments can be combined at trial, in a case in which the defendant was charged with two separate acts of shoplifting. If you are accused of committing one or more crimes, it is critical to retain an aggressive New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant took merchandise from a video game store in January of 2014. Then, in September 2015, he reportedly stole merchandise from a second video game store. The police used surveillance footage from the second incident to investigate both crimes, after which the defendant was indicted for two separate counts of third-degree shoplifting, one for each incident.

The State moved to join the indictments for trial, arguing in part that evidence relating to each crime would be admissible in both trials if the cases were tried separately. The court granted the motion, and the defendant was convicted of third-degree and fourth-degree shoplifting. He appealed, arguing in part that the joinder of the indictments for trial was improper as the evidence of either event would not have been admissible if there were separate hearings.

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