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Charles Dawkins

Charles Dawkins Jr. was raised in Ohio by great parents. He received his undergraduate degree from Ohio University' ("Religio, Doctrina Civilitas, Prae Omnibus Virtus"). Subsequent to receiving his degree from Ohio University, 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 recipient of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers and Who's Who Top Attorneys  
  • Currently Avvo rated '10" 16 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 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, the 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 for a lifetime and never appear before the N.J. Supreme Court. However, more importantly, the New Jersey Supreme Court in the S.T. 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. One of the criterion that the New Jersey Supreme Court considers in hearing cases is whether the case affects a large class of people.

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Court ruling to render a de novo opinion as to the relevant statutory law. The goal in all cases is to dispose of the case before trial or at trial---the higher up the Appellate chain the case goes, the more money and time is spent and statistically the less probability that a person has that the case the ruling will be favorable.

In many cases at the Appellate level the Court renders opinions without Oral argument; unless you reach the New Jersey Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court when all cases must be heard through Oral argument.      

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 the 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, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romani people,  Russia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay, 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 the 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 a hearing---he/she can be deported in absentia. Statistically, clients with lawyers stand a better chance of winning than those without lawyers.  However, ultimately the compelling facts of the case as it relates to the legal underpinnings of Immigration law are the determinative 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. COUNSEL NO LONGER TAKES MOST IMMIGRATION CASES.. 

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. Most of those British Soldiers were acquitted or received light sentences. Similar to some contemporary events a lot of questionable propaganda attempted to influence the Criminal Justice system.   

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.  Myriad reasons cause: 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,  Immigration consequences, and some people just want to be innocent.  

In civil Practice, the Defendant may have a  policy that if no paper trail exists; the event never happened. The gathering of information, willingness for the client to finance the case or firm to spend money, and the ability to work with objective Experts is very important.    The corporations or Insurance Companies  that I have sued all have a lot of money and they can hire effective Law Firms..  On the other hand, the client may be unwilling to accept a settlement that many people 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, the settlement was offered , the client just did not want to settle for that amount of money. She 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. She is financing her total case. If she lacked money I would have been unable to write highly researched N.J. Supreme Court briefs .This case would have most likely ended at the N.J. Appellate level which ruled against her after writing a 30 page well researched and well-written opinion. 

I have represented people who I thought had a better case than S.T. v 1515 Broad St., LLC 241 N.J. 257 (N.J. 2020).  The cases stalled in Civil Appeals court because they lacked the money. 

Some of the injuries and particularly wrongful death actions---no amount of money will adequately compensate for the loss. However, civil justice is not criminal justice. Basically,  Criminal Justice punishes, and civil justice compensates for loss. A figure must be maintained for economic and noneconomic damages.  Economic damages are quantifiable and noneconomic damages such as  pain and suffering are not quantifiable but on the other hand no humane person wants significant pain and suffering of the decedent.   

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 face book page.  Sometimes in a trial and case what the client does not see is more important then what they do.

I personally do not want juries to operate like the movie "12 Angry men", but the above juror may have something. The movie is good.    

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.  Part of the reason trials take so long is because case law over the years have put in many procedural safeguards that should be followed in selecting juries. The effective representation of the client is the only thing that should matter to the Defense lawyer. 

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)

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

"The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character. . . .It must be of the Spirit if we are to save the Flesh.

 

General Douglas MacArthur

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Albert Einstein

                                        

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. today at 908-962-9929 or online and hire a dedicated Criminal Defense Attorney, Deportation Lawyer, and Criminal Appeals Lawyer today.

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

The Law Firm represents clients in all New Jersey Counties and municipalities including the following counties: Union County, Essex County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, Morris County, and Bergen County.

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