Law Office of Charles Dawkins Jr.
(908) 962-9929

1139 E Jersey St., Suite 317 Elizabeth, NJ 07201

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Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers
Charles Dawkins Jr.Reviewsout of 11 reviews
10.0Charles Dawkins Jr.
Top 100 Trial Lawyers - The National Trial Lawyers

Also Serving Newark, Plainfield, Somerset & All Of New Jersey!

About Charles Dawkins Jr.

 Charles Dawkins Jr. was raised in Ohio by great parents. He received his undergraduate degree from Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College ("Religio, Doctrina Civilitas, Prae Omnibus Virtus"). Subsequent to receiving his degree from the Honors Tutorial College, he attended American University's Washington College of Law. He was fortunate to have not only great teachers at Ohio University and American University but also great faculty mentors. 

 He practices law in the current areas: Federal and State Criminal Defense, Immigration Law,  New Jersey State Appellate Law, Third Circuit Court of Appeals Criminal and Civil Appeals, Appeals to the United States Supreme Court, Habeas Corpus Briefs and serious injury Personal Injury Law. 

    PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Has Served as a Former Assistant Municipal Prosecutor for the City of Newark, New Jersey
  • Is Currently on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals Criminal Panel Attorneys List
  • Has experience in trying State and Federal Criminal Cases
  • Has successfully argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court  I consider arguing before the New Jersey Supreme Court the highlight of my career.   The client never gave up!  The lawyers never gave up!
  • Has Appealed Case to the United States Supreme Court
  • Has Argued Civil Cases in New Jersey Federal District Court
  • Has experience obtaining Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Convention Against Torture and Cancellation of Removal for citizens of Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe.
  • Has experience obtaining Acquittals or Dismissals in New Jersey State Court, New Jersey Federal District Criminal Court, and New Jersey Family Court.
  • Has experience in Appeals decided by the Board of Immigration Appeal
  • Has experience representing many clients charged with Immigration Aggravated Felonies and he has obtained relief from Deportation---rare case but happens.
  • AWARDS: 2016 receipient of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers and Who's Who Top Attorneys  

Currently Avvo rated '10" 14 reviews

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION MEMBER:  Immigration law is a specialty. I consider membership in this organization to be a requirement to stay on top of my game; keep my library updated; and to get updates on significant issues that a person will only know if he is getting updated New Jersey chapter information.

NEW JERSEY STATE BAR ASSOCIATION MEMBER: New Jersey requires private attorneys to take a certain amount of Continuing Legal Education Courses.  Membership gives me a discount on courses and helps me stay abreast of the law.  Membership also permits me to conduct legal research on the site. I take as many as time and money will permit.

CLIENTS

   Criminal Defense:  A third party may pay the fee, but I only discuss the facts of the case and the strategy of the case with the Adult client.  If I discuss the case with another party present --- I may lose attorney client privilege.  Clients who are not married to their girlfriends/boyfriends are instructed to refrain from speaking about the case to them or family members.  Paying money for the client fails to affect me or give the third party any special rights.

Juveniles:  I always inform the parents about the case when a juvenile is being charged with a crime.  If the person is a young adult, I will talk to the parents as it relates to the plea but not the facts of the case.

Immigration Clients: In immigration court I will speak with girlfriends and relatives.  I often need their support to get supporting documents and in some cases, the citizen relative is essential for immigration relief. I have represented people from all parts of the continent and many different religions. 

Appeals Clients:  The trial record and decision legal basis are the most important documents for an appeal. I will discuss with the client and family members their opinions as it relates to the trial.  Usually both parties want to attack the lawyer, the judge, prosecutor or all.  You are entitled to a fair trial but not a perfect trial.

APPEALS PRACTICE

      Attorney recently successfully argued S.T. v. 1515 Broad Street L.L.C. 241 NJ. 257 (N.J. 2020) before the New Jersey Supreme Court.  New Jersey Supreme Court Practice is complicated in which the proper pleadings must be filed on time and in the proper format. The Attorney must be prepared in Oral Argument  with a clear plan as to the relief that is sought.  The Attorney was highly impressed with the New Jersey Supreme Court Justices.

     The New Jersey Supreme Court hears a very small percentage of cases every year and a N.J. Appellate Lawyer can practice a lifetime and never appear before the N.J. Supreme Court.  Appearing before the N.J. Supreme Court is the highlight of my career.  However, more importantly the New Jersey Supreme Court in its ruling defined the procedures that lower courts must follow to take property rights (Settlement) and self-determination from an alleged incompetent person. This was a very important decision for all New Jersey residents.

     The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Court ruling to render a de novo opinion as to the relevant statutory law.  Credit must also be given to the late Robert Vort  who was a highly respected Appellate Lawyer who spent his legal career arguing on behalf of appellants.  Robert Vort wrote the brief at the Appellate level but unfortunately became incapacitated, consequently he was unable to appeal to the Supreme Court for discretionary Certification.      

IMMIGRATION COURT

   Counsel has successfully  obtained relief for clients for Asylum, Convention Against Torture (person committed aggravated felonies)(rare), and Cancellation of Removal.  Counsel has also reopened case through Appeal to the BIA and obtained Stay of Deportation through DHS (Difficult).  

   Moreover, Counsel has represented or consulted and  is familiar with the country conditions of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica,Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala , Guyana, Haiti, India , Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon ,Liberia, Lithuania, Maccedonia, Mexico, Morrocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Poland, Romani  people,  Russia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruaguay, Vietnam and Trinidad Tobago.

   The Attorney must conduct research, affidavits, brief writing, motion practice, and sometimes investigations to effectively represent a person in Immigration court.  The Judge is the trier of fact , authority regarding application of  law to fact, and sole decision maker regarding relief.   Judges hear a lot of cases and are knowledgeable.

    The lawyer must be well-prepared or the client will certainly lose.  You can not wing an immigration proceeding. If a client does not show up for hearing---he/she can be deported in absentia. Statistically, clients with lawyers stand a better chance of winning then those without lawyers.  However, ultimately the compelling facts of the case as it relates to the legal underpinnings of Immigration law are the deteminative factor. 

     The easiest way to lose an immigration case is to lie.  Judges have heard most of them and they are likely to apprehend the insincerity. Never underestimate DHS---they have many research techniques at their disposal. The lawyer can help assure the integrity of the client.  Many people who are seeking relief are desperate, and the incentive to fabricate is understandable and human.

    The United States Immigration laws have myriad ways that a person without status can obtain status.  However, obtaining a criminal record complicates the process for not only undocumented people but also permanent residents.

    TRIAL AND PLEA PHILOSOPHY FOR CRIMINAL AND CIVIL COURT

    My high school American history teacher who was also a very confident but humble lawyer taught me a lesson at an early age.  He was a World War II purple heart combat veteran, but he defended conscientious objectors  during the Vietnam War Era.  He was courageous and intelligent, but not a braggadocio.

     On a historical note former President John Adams defended British Soldiers accused of perpetrating the Boston Massacre---he was the only lawyer who would take the case.   

   My values are antithetical to some of the people who I have defended in Criminal Court Immigration Court,  and Civil Practice  It is not my duty to judge people but to assure that people are effectively represented as supported by the United States Constitution.  In most cases, a trial occurs because the State's evidence is inconsistent with investigative truth, I am unable to get a factual basis from the client, apparent procedural due process issues, or an immigrant will be deported with a guilty plea.  

    In civil Practice, the Defendant may have a scorched earth policy.  Where the evidence does not matter as to the injury.  The companies that I have sued all have a lot of money and they can hire the best Law Firms money can buy.  On the other hand the client may be unwilling to accept a settlement that many peope would consider fair; and the company will not budge.

     In the  Supreme Court case that I argued S.T. v 1515 Broad St., LLC 241 N.J. 257 (N.J. 2020), the injury occurred over a decade ago, settlement was offered, the client just does not want to settle for that amount of money and chose to fight all the way to the NJ Supreme Court which took years and three different appellate Attorneys.  The Trial Judge on the case has retired but to my knowledge the case is still going on!

     Some of the injuries and particularly wrongful death actions---no amount of money will adequately compensate for the loss.

Some decisions are reserved for the client---notably whether to plead guilty, waive the right to a jury trial, testify in one's own behalf, and forego an appeal. McCoy v. Louisiana, 584 U.S. ____,_____, (2018) Slip Op., at 6.  

    If a person wants to plea guilty I attempt to assure that the guilty plea is voluntary, knowing, and with a full understanding of the consequences.  The person must be guilty.  The system fails when innocent people plea guilty.  If a person is in fact guilty, a plea bargain is an excellent means to reduce his/her exposure to the penalties of the law.  In reality approximately 95 percent of State and 97 percent of federal cases are resolved through plea bargains. The statistics vary according to State, County, crime, and financial class.

JURY SELECTION

     In New Jersey if you can afford a trial you put your future in the hands of a jury and judge. You are "guaranteed a fair trial but not a perfect trial." (Justice Rhenquist)  Judges and lawyers do their best to obtain a fair and balanced jury, but there is no guarantee.  I recently tried a case where amazingly the juror after the trial verdict was so bold as to put her real name in the comment section of the online Star Ledger  Article,  state that she was a juror and opine regarding jury deliberations and other relevant issues first in the Star Ledger and later on her public facebook page.  If I recall correctly the juror mentioned the movie "12 Angry Men" explaining jury functions in her facebook page.

     I personally do not want juries to operate like the movie "12 Angry men".  It is however a good movie.

         A trial lawyer must be more than a lawyer he must understand juries, and that takes time and practice.  The  client should hire jury specialist who investigates jurors and are experts in weeding out jurors with predisposed views, inclined to disregard jury instructions, or worst of all want to be on juries because they have an ax to grind.  

    The ethics laws are evolving regarding how much investigation that an Attorney is required to investigate a sitting or prospective juror.  However, 17 states currently have incorporated into their ethical rules a general duty of technology competence, which arguably concerns conducting Internet research of prospective and sitting juries. New Jersey Law Journal "Could Failing to Google Potential Jurors Land You in Trouble?" (May 23, 2016)

    A person can be an excellent lawyer but if he is naive as to selecting jurors, all of his education and legal knowledge will be for nought.  Perhaps he will win on appeal but meanwhile the client will be languishing in jail! The goal is to win the trial.

         The most recent trial I had the juror called in on the first or second day of deliberation and told the court she was sick and the Judge held up the total trial to wait for her.  Prosecution and I objected to the hold up. 

    When I was a Third year Law Student I served on a Jury in Washington, D.C. .  I will not discuss the details but it was a facinating experience in juror tactics, negotiations, and other things.     

 Lawyers can not and should not control what a Trial Judge rules in court but Lawyers have a professional obligation to do their best in to select a fair and unbiased jury .  In my opinion selecting a fair and unbiased jury is one if not the most important function in trial practice.

            Technology has in many cases outpaced the malefactor's intellectual ability to commit crimes without consequences. Fortunately, technology has also exonerated wrongfully convicted people.    

  I personally believe and practice all the precepts of the Christian Faith, but I also believe in defending traditional notions of fundamental fairness and Due Process guarantees of the United States Constitution for ALL people.  

                                                                      Quote of the Day:

                            "The things that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that                                           which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

                             Ecclesiastes 1:9

                               "To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society."

                                 Theodore Roosevelt

                                  "If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert. 

                                   David Ben-Gurion (son of the lion)

                                        

Call me. I give free consultations for most criminal law matters and  personal injury cases, but I charge a   fee for most Immigration and Appeals consultations.

Contact Charles Dawkins Jr. in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and hire a dedicated Criminal Defense Attorney, Deportation Lawyer, and Criminal Appeals Lawyer today.