Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Court - Mahwah, NJ - Michael J. Beatrice, P.C.

Understanding the Charges

Criminal cases involve an action that is considered to be harmful to society as a whole. When you are charged with a federal crime, the government, on behalf of the people of the United States, prosecutes the case through the United States Attorney General’s Office. The New Jersey Attorney General prosecutes state crimes, and the County Prosecutor’s Office prosecutes crimes in their county. If you are summoned to appear in a local township’s court, then the Municipal Prosecutor prosecutes your case.

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Criminal defense cases require skilled and dedicated legal representation. Michael J. Beatrice served in the Bergen County NJ Prosecutor’s Office (6 years) and was the Special Prosecutor for the Borough of Fort Lee (1 year), and then Municipal Prosecutor for the Township of Mahwah (16 years). He has been successful repeatedly in achieving his clients’ goals in criminal cases at the trial level or on appeal.

Mr. Beatrice has successfully defended clients accused of:

  • Arson
  • Armed Robbery
  • Assault / Aggravated Assault
  • Bribery
  • Child Abuse / Endangerment / Pornography
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Criminal Restraint
  • Disorderly-Persons Offense
  • Drug Charges / Possession / Trafficking
  • False Imprisonment
  • Harassment / Coercion
  • Homicide / Murder / Attempted Murder
  • Immigration Violations
  • Juvenile Arrests
  • Kidnapping
  • Molestation
  • Narcotics Distribution
  • Possession of a Weapon
  • Rape
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Sexual Assault / Sexual Misconduct
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft / Theft-by-Deception
  • Traffic Violations
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Violations of Restraining Orders
  • White-Collar Crime
  • Appeals & More
I shudder to think what would have happened if … the 7,000 ounces of cocaine would have hit the streets of New York, and the damage it could have caused, the amount of deaths it could have caused … It’s mind-boggling. But this lenient plea deal worked out by Michael Beatrice is the best I’ve ever seen in this courtroom. [Possession with intent to distribute 200 kilos (7,000 ounces) of cocaine case] Superior Court Judge

Sample Cases: Criminal Defense

Kidnapping & Assault Case: A man was charged with Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault, Possession of Cocaine, and Attempted Murder of his former girlfriend. After a lengthy trial, the jury found the man not guilty of kidnapping, criminal restraint, or aggravated assault, and the drug charges were suppressed.

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Theft Case: The case of a supermarket cashier charged with bilking a store by over-processing coupons and refunds was dismissed and cashier exonerated in Bergen County Superior Court during a jury trial. Mr. Beatrice proved that the prosecution failed to provide advance notice of evidence (so-called “Brady violation”) so the evidence was not admissible.

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Bribery Case: A physician charged with accepting illegal referral fees (bribes) in exchange for sending blood tests to a lab was sentenced to 24 months in prison, instead of five years, as part of plea agreement negotiated by Mr. Beatrice.

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Theft-by-Deception Case: A municipal court administrator was charged with writing receipts for $1,904 cash payments that were never deposited. Penalties for conviction on the third-degree crime are three to five years in jail and a $15,000 fine. As part of an agreement negotiated by Mr. Beatrice, charges were dismissed after completion of a Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program.

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Theft & Misconduct Case: A local police officer, President of the PBA, was charged with theft and misconduct in office. Mr. Beatrice argued at trial that the activities of the officer were not criminal and were, in fact, justified. The court agreed, and the officer was found Not Guilty.

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Theft & Criminal Mischief Case: A man accused of following a wealthy property owner’s orders to clear a 1.5-acre swath behind the owner’s mansion was charged with theft, criminal mischief, and other charges for clearing public parkland to build a private tennis court. The theft charge carried a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. After extensive motion practice and challenges by Mr. Beatrice, the indictment was dismissed.

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Criminal Mischief & Theft: A woman was charged with removing political signs for a candidate running for town council. Mr. Beatrice argued that this wasn’t a criminal act and should not be treated as such. As a result, the charges were dismissed.

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Vehicular Homicide Case: In 2009 an Iraq War veteran was charged with Death-by-Auto for a drunk-driving crash that killed two men who were changing a tire on the roadside, a charge that carried with it a maximum of 20 years with a mandatory minimum of 17 years without parole. As a result of his arguments that the blood tests were taken in violation of the man’s constitutional rights, Mr. Beatrice was able to get the charges reduced, saving his client about 15 years of prison time and eliminating the no-parole provisions.

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Resisting Arrest & Attempted Bribery Case: A man from Villa Marcone, Italy, who had built a successful concrete business in New Jersey but had never applied for U.S. citizenship, was charged with resisting arrest and attempted bribery and was facing prison and deportation. As part of a plea agreement negotiated by Mr. Beatrice, he got a five-year probationary sentence and a $2,500 fine. Deportation charges were dismissed.

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Attempted Murder & Aggravated Assault Case: In 1997 a Korean woman was accused of slashing another woman repeatedly with a box cutter. Mr. Beatrice argued that his client knew nothing about the incident, nor did she take part in the attack. Then, in 2000, the woman was injured in a car accident. Medical experts obtained by Mr. Beatrice for the defense all agreed that her injuries prevented her from being able to assist in her own defense. In 2002 the court ruled that the injuries sustained in a car accident had rendered the woman incompetent to stand trial and the indictment was dismissed.

Case 1   Case 2   Case 3

Narcotics Possession Case: A man accused of transporting 200 kilos of cocaine was sentenced to eight years in prison as a result of a plea bargain, instead of 20 years. The Presiding Judge R.S. referred to the lenient plea deal worked out by defense attorney Michael J. Beatrice as, “the best I’ve ever seen in this courtroom.”

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Sexual Misconduct & Child Endangerment Case: A clergyman / teacher pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child by touching a student’s genitals through his clothing. The teacher admitted there was truth to the allegations and was dismissed from his position. In a plea bargain negotiated by Mr. Beatrice, the clergyman received a non-prison sentence of probation and was required to undergo psychiatric treatment.

Case 1   Case 2

Assault Case: In 1987, a man known as the “Cobra King” was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault by putting two timber rattlesnakes inside a woman’s apartment as a favor to a friend who was feuding with this woman. After soliciting experts and challenging the State’s evidence, Mr. Beatrice got the attempted murder and assault charges against his client dismissed, and his client pleaded to possession of the snakes.

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Criminal Harassment & Coercion Case: An IRS agent/volunteer fireman was accused of threatening to order an audit of a policeman’s tax returns. The policeman had investigated complaints about firemen driving firetrucks recklessly, an accusation that the fire department denied. Despite strained relations between the police and fire departments in the borough, Mr. Beatrice was able to reach a plea agreement for the IRS agent, sparing his client an 18-month prison sentence.

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