New Jersey Personal Injury and Business Lawyer

Legal Representation for Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation in New Jersey

Whether you are injured in an accident or charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help you through this stressful time. Somerville personal injury lawyer Raymond A. Grimes has helped victims in the tri-state area pursue compensation for injuries for over 25 years. He also helps criminal defendants fight charges of misdemeanors and felonies, protecting their rights against the prosecution. Some of the other practice areas in which we represent clients include municipal court matters, business law, real estate, securities litigation, and estate planning and probate. We know how important your legal situation is to you, so it is important to our firm as well. We provide personalized legal services to each of our clients.

Criminal Defense

You have rights when you are arrested or charged with a crime. It is very important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are being investigated for a crime such as assault, a drug crime, domestic violence, or theft. These crimes require prosecutors to prove specific elements, and certain crimes can be established in several different ways. For instance, domestic violence includes many offenses that are committed when the victim and the perpetrator have a household, spousal, or co-parenting relationship. Crimes that can be considered domestic violence based on the relationship of the victim and the perpetrator include assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault, harassment, and stalking.

DUI

Driving under the influence is a common charge in New Jersey. It is unlawful to operate your car with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. You can also be charged with DUI if you are under the influence of alcohol while operating your car. In other words, even if your BAC is less than .08%, you can face a DUI charge. As with criminal charges, the state needs to prove a DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, we can raise a reasonable doubt about whether a driver was intoxicated, or we may be able to raise procedural errors as part of our defense strategy.

Personal Injury

Various types of accidents can give rise to a personal injury lawsuit, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, construction accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice. Most personal injury lawsuits are pursued under a theory of negligence. To establish negligence, a Somerville personal injury attorney will need to prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant acted carelessly under the circumstances and thus caused the victim’s injuries. If you are able to establish liability, you can recover compensatory damages. These are damages such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. When a defendant has behaved egregiously, it may be possible to recover punitive damages.

Car Accidents

In New Jersey, you have the option of buying either no-fault car insurance or ordinary car insurance. If you buy the former, you would first need to seek compensation from your own carrier after a car accident, regardless of who was to blame, and you would only go outside the no-fault coverage if you suffered a serious injury. If you buy ordinary car insurance coverage, you can sue the driver whose negligence or misconduct caused the accident. Drivers can breach the duty to use reasonable care by texting, driving while fatigued, drunk driving, speeding, and failing to follow traffic signals and signs, among other examples. New Jersey follows a doctrine of modified comparative fault, which means that you can recover compensation only if you were 50% or less at fault, and your damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault, if any. A skilled personal injury attorney can help Somerville residents and other victims battle allegations of comparative fault.

Municipal Court Matters

There are four types of cases heard in New Jersey municipal courts. These are motor vehicle and traffic offenses, disorderly and petty disorderly person offenses, violations of certain regulations and laws (such as Fish & Game Laws or boating regulations), and violations of municipal ordinances. Consequences for municipal court matters include DMV points, significant fines, a potential license loss or suspension, and even jail time. As with criminal matters, there is a presumption of innocence, but due to the potential consequences, it is still important to hire experienced counsel. Plea agreements can be made within the municipal courts unless you are charged with drunk driving or certain drug-related offenses.

Real Estate

Often, buying a home, a rental property, or commercial property is one of the largest investments made during a lifetime. It is important to retain experienced legal counsel, whether you are a buyer or a seller, to make sure that you understand the deal and to make sure that the contract is appropriately drafted and executed. When a mistake is made during a real estate transaction, expensive litigation and losses may ensue. The real estate contract needs to include the identities of the parties, the purchase price and method of payment, a property description, the type of deed and title, the date when a buyer can take possession, and a lead paint warning and disclosure. In New Jersey, there is a review period of three days from the date of the last signature, during which time the parties can have an executed contract reviewed and approved by their attorneys.

Business Law

An owner of a business should retain an experienced attorney to make sure that they have chosen the appropriate structure and to draft and review contracts. Businesses sometimes start out as sole proprietorships, and then they may grow to a point at which it is appropriate to structure them differently for tax and liability reasons. Other structures that may be appropriate include corporations, partnerships, and LLCs. Each of these structures offers different levels of liability protection, tax consequences, and business formalities. An experienced attorney can make sure that you choose the right form to accomplish your business objectives.

Securities Litigation

Stock fraud or negligence by financial professionals can be devastating. Investors who are harmed by a financial professional or investment firm may have legal recourse under federal and state laws. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 created the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has promulgated many of the rules that financial professionals handling securities must follow. For example, under SEC Rule 10b-5, it may be possible to sue for securities fraud. Other federal and state laws and regulations may also affect securities litigation in New Jersey, such as the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) and the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law and Regulations.

Estate Planning and Probate

In addition to helping victims who need a Somerville personal injury lawyer or representation in other civil disputes, we handle estate planning and probate matters. Many people incorporate a will in their estate plan. In order to draft a valid will in New Jersey, the will needs to be signed in front of two witnesses who also sign the will. Often, estate planning also includes the drafting of trusts and a durable power of attorney or living will, which expresses preferences about health care. Our firm also handles will contests, which are challenges to the validity of a will. One basis for will contests is undue influence. Undue influence may be found if there were suspicious circumstances or if there was a confidential relationship between the decedent and the proponent of the will.

Consult an Experienced Attorney to Address Your Legal Needs

At the Grimes Law Firm, we handle a wide range of matters for New Jersey clients, including those arising from accidents, property transactions, business formation, wills and trusts, criminal and DUI charges, and securities fraud. We serve clients in Somerset County and across the tri-state area. Call us at (908) 371-1066 or use our online form to set up a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in the Somerville area or seek guidance in another legal matter.

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