Frequently Asked Questions

  • Criminal/Municipal/DUI
  • Personal Injury
  • Wills And Estates

Do I need a criminal defense lawyer if I have been falsely accused?

Yes. Absolutely yes. There are many cases that are resolved with police closing their files because the evidence of a crime is simply insufficient. The court system does not get involved. However, as with many things in life, the world is not perfect and police officers do make mistakes. The attorneys at Pustay & Wells have had personal experience with representing clients who are simply innocent — these have proven to be some of our most difficult cases. In sum, someone who is completely innocent may be in the greatest need of representation. We have experience with clients who have been arrested and jailed pending a trial, who we have ultimately proven did not commit the offense at all. Cases have been dismissed after the attorneys at Pustay & Wells have proven their clients have been falsely accused of crimes they did not commit.

The person that called the police does not want to prosecute, does that mean that no charges will be filed and that I will be released from custody?

Not necessarily. There are many reasons why the alleged victim or reporting party may have a change of heart. It may be that the report of crime (violence, theft, or other violation) may have been false or inaccurate. It may also be that the person is scared to proceed with a prosecution. The police and the prosecutor's office are aware of all the reasons, and do not just "drop charges" especially in domestic violence cases. The decision as to whether or not to proceed with the case is up to the prosecutor’s office. They can still proceed even if the “victim” does not want to go forward..

What happens at the first court hearing after charges are filed? What is an arraignment?

Arraignment is the initial court proceeding where a defendant is advised of his charges, and usually enters a "Not Guilty" plea. Normally the state provides the defense with discovery and any available police reports, and the defense is given time to examine those items. The court will then set a “status conference” date to come back to court and check in on the progress of the case.

In a DUI case, should I go and plead guilty without a lawyer?

The U.S. Constitution has been interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court as giving everyone to right to act "pro-se," or, in other words, to represent him/herself without an attorney. However, our courtroom experience has shown that individuals representing themselves cannot do nearly as good of a job defending themselves as an experienced criminal defense attorney can. Pustay & Wells has the experience necessary to protect your rights. A DUI carries with it serious consequences that can affect your livelihood and your family. Understanding that fact, we would not advise anyone to represent themselves in this type of matter.

What if I feel that the police violated my constitutional rights?

If your constitutional rights were violated, the Attorneys at Pustay & Wells will aggressively seek to exclude evidence obtained as a result of police misconduct. At times, police misconduct occurs in searches that take place during ordinary traffic stops or in a suspect's home. Additionally, if law enforcement is too aggressive in trying to obtain an incriminating statement from a suspect, it may violate the suspect's Miranda rights. Litigation in the criminal court allows a defense lawyer to protect his client's rights by submitting motions to the judge seeking to exclude the recovered evidence or received statements from trial. Often a successful motion to suppress evidence cripples the prosecutor's case, causing the case to either be dismissed or substantially reduced in plea negotiations.

If the defendant is not a U.S. citizen, how will the immigration status be affected by an arrest?

Criminal convictions may cause direct and grave consequences to someone's immigration status, often leading to deportation proceedings. The INS guidelines are often very complex and the attorneys at Pustay & Wells frequently confer with immigration lawyers to properly advise clients. Before going to court, our attorneys discuss with clients their immigration status. Often our attorneys seek charges that are not considered by the INS as moral turpitude offenses (which are subject to deportation); this is done in an effort to protect our clients' immigration consequences.

Why should I hire Pustay & Wells?

At Pustay & Wells, our legal team is comprised of aggressive defense attorneys that are former prosecutors. We are well-versed in all criminal law and defense matters, and are very experienced working within the New Jersey criminal justice system. When we work with our clients, we do everything possible to make sure that they receive the very best possible outcome.

What types of cases does Pustay & Wells handle?

The attorneys at Pustay & Wells handle all disorderly persons offenses (Municipal Court matters) and felony cases involving: DUI, sex crimes, white collar crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, domestic violence, theft crimes, property crimes, internet crimes, hit & run, and probation violation. Additionally, we are able to help clients with their warrants, DMV suspension, and expungement matters.

Can you guarantee a result?

To be clear… NO.

No lawyer can ethically guarantee a result.

If a lawyer guarantees a result, ask them to put it in writing. If they will not reduce it to writing, they lied to you.

You need an attorney that will be straight with you, one who will give you the bad news as well as the good. You need a lawyer who will fight for you and keep you informed of the law and the likely outcome of your case. Your lawyer works for you.

Pustay & Wells will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision, the good and the bad. We are dedicated to providing our clients the very best criminal defense possible.

What is this going to cost me?

A Free Initial Consultation. Every prospective client is entitled to a free initial consultation with someone from our firm without any kind of charge or obligation. During this free consultation, we will gather facts from which we can make an initial assessment of your case. Based on this assessment, we may agree to represent you, or we may refer you to other competent counsel if we have a professional conflict of interest or if you have a case that we do not customarily handle. It is also possible that we might advise you that your harm is not compensable or that based on our assessment, your chances of recovery are slim.

A Contingent Fee Agreement. This is an arrangement whereby the client will not have to pay any attorneys’ fees, unless there is a recovery by settlement or verdict from the defendant(s). In other words, you “Don’t Pay Until You Win”. In fact, we receive payment for our services – only after we recover money for you. Under this kind of agreement, we receive compensation for our work on a case based on a percentage of the total recovery. The amount you would have to pay as a client would be equal to a specified percentage of your total recovery, consistent with applicable law and regulations.

Court Costs and Expert’s Fees. Costs customarily are payable at the conclusion of your case, and are separate and distinct from our attorneys’ fees. These are costs we must pay to file cases, serve defendants with notice, take other actions involving the courts , and hire appropriate experts. Expert fees are also paid only at the conclusion of your case.

Do I Have a Legal Claim?

The first thing that many individuals wonder when they are hurt in an accident is if they have a legal claim. It is often difficult to parse through the specifics of a case to understand who might be at fault and whether a third-party acted inappropriately such that they will be held accountable, in full or in part, for the harm caused.

Negligence is by far the most common form of civil suit filed. It arises in many situations. In a car accident, one driver may be negligent when they are speeding, run a red light, fail to yield appropriately, or in any other way do not act carefully.

Be mindful, injured parties have legal claims in many different situations, even when the claim might not be self-evident. Because every situation is very fact-specific, the best bet is to always visit a personal injury attorney and share you story. The attorneys at Pustay & Wells, LLC offer a no obligation- free consultation. Therefore, there is nothing to lose by explaining how you were injured and learning how the law applies in your specific case.

Can I Handle The Case on My Own, Or Do I Need an Attorney?

Following an accident it is understandable for individuals to want to settle the matter quickly and move on with their lives as soon as possible. As a result, some may be tempted to try to take care of all issues—including legal issues—without getting professional representation.

In virtually all cases, an attorney can work on your case to ensure your recovery is full. You can be sure that those representing the negligent party—usually an insurance company—will be lawyers working to pay out as little as possible.

There is simply no good reason to try to handle things on your own. A legal professional from Pustay & Wells, LLC will take your injury case on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay any money up front—our lawyers are only compensated following successful recovery. As a result, there is truly nothing to lose by having a legal professional in your corner fighting for your rights.

Should I Accept the Insurance Company Settlement?

It cannot be reiterated enough that insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts to maximize company profits. No matter how nice the insurance adjuster seems or how many details they give you regarding your compensation, the adjuster’s goal is to pay you as little as possible. In fact, the adjuster is usually rewarded for resolving claims for as little as possible and as quickly as possible.

For these reasons, it is not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to visit you very soon after an accident. To entice you to accept a settlement for far less than you could recover, the adjuster often comes ready to make a payment immediately. This is an underhanded tactic used to end a matter right away when an injured party is at their most vulnerable and has not had time to fully evaluate their options. It is important not to fall for this trap. There is no reason to make rash decisions about a settlement or offer from an insurance company. It is prudent to fully think through all legal decisions and not to sign away legal rights without being fully appraised of the consequences.

What Is my Case Worth?

It is impossible to make generalizations about the value of any case without knowing the details of the harm caused and the manner in which it was caused. One of the most important jobs that your attorney will conduct is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to detailing all possible losses that will translate into a legal recovery. The law allows recovery for a wide range of situations, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. This includes past medical bills, future medical and rehabilitation costs, therapy, lost past wages, lost future income, pain and suffering, and more.

In addition, an attorney can explain how your family members might recover on their own. When someone is injured, other members of the family are often adversely affected as well. Those harms can often be recovered separately from the damages awarded to the individual hurt. Your attorney will explain whether that applies in your case.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process for dividing the deceased’s assets. Probate typically includes that includes:

• Evaluating and deciding on the validity of your will (if you have one).

• Gathering all of your assets, making an inventory of those assets, and having the assets appraised.

• Paying your outstanding expenses, debts, and taxes. These are generally paid in the following order: costs and expenses involved with the administration of your estate, funeral expenses, debts and taxes, then all other claims, including will distributions.

• Distributing the remaining assets to the person(s) entitled to them.

What Assets Are Included In My Probate Estate?

The assets that are included in your estate for purposes of probate are called your probate estate. Probate assets include solely owned property as well as your interest in jointly-owned property, collections, antiques, other miscellaneous household items, including cars, and the value of any life insurance policies, trusts, annuities, and/or retirement plans payable to the estate. The fact that your probate estate is small does not necessarily mean that your taxable estate will be as well. Remember, just because an asset is not part of your probate estate does not mean that it is not part of your taxable estate.

Do I need a Lawyer to Draft My Will or Trust?

While having a lawyer is not required, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. Certain formalities must be followed when making a will or drafting a trust. Failure to follow those formalities can cause inconvenience, additional costs or even invalidation of the will or trust. In addition, there are often complex tax issues to consider when designing your estate plan. An experienced attorney can help you to sort through these issues and make the right decisions for you, your estate, and your heirs.

Who Should Not Be an Executor of My Estate?

An executor cannot be a felon or a minor. Your executor must be a citizen of the United States. Some states also require that the executor be a resident of the state. To avoid any perceived conflicts of interest, it is sometimes recommended that your executor not be a beneficiary under your will.

How Do I Choose a Guardian For My Children?

A guardian should be an adult with similar values and good parenting skills that you trust to raise your children to age 18. Guardians are legally responsible for the physical care, health, education, and welfare of the child or children under their care. The guardian you choose will not be paid for his/her services, nor will he/she be required to meet your child’s financial needs. You should ensure that there are adequate funds available for these needs.

What is the International Court of Justice?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Who may submit cases to the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Why are some disputes between States not considered by the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Are decisions of the Court binding?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

How does one attend hearings of the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Is it possible to visit the Peace Palace, seat of the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

How does one apply for a job at the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

What is the International Court of Justice?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Who may submit cases to the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Are decisions of the Court binding?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

How does one attend hearings of the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Is it possible to visit the Peace Palace, seat of the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

How does one apply for a job at the Court?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.

Is this the best major for me if I want to work in law enforcement?

Only States are eligible to appear before the Court in contentious cases. At present, this isbasically means the 192 United Nations Member States. The Court has no jurisdiction to deal with applications from individuals, non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. It cannot provide them with legal counselling or help them in their sedsw dealings with the authorities of any State whatever. non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity.non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity non-governmental organizations, corporations or any other private entity. .

However, a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter; the dispute then becomes one between States. a State may take up the case of one of its nationals and invoke against another State the wrongs which its national claims to have suffered at the hands of the latter.