Free Consultation: (908) 210-9755Tap to Call This Lawyer
James A. Abate
  • Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, DUI & DWI...
  • New Jersey
Rate This Lawyer
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

15 years of practice have taught me that what clients want most off all is for someone to listen to their side of the story. Going through the process, no one seems to want to listen to you. They have probably treated you like a number that is being prosecuted by a machine. It almost sounds like a science fiction story. But its not. Its what you are going through. The last thing you need is to have your attorney take your case like it is like every other case.

My office was founded on the principal of putting our selves in the shoes of a first time defendant that is scared and needs answers.

You will receive a consultation that focuses on your unique experience, while bringing our training and experience having handled hundreds of cases. In a world of computers, data bases and gas chromatography, there is still a place for visiting the scene of the arrest and seeing things as you the defendant has seen them. Often getting a hands on view is what triumphs over bureaucracy and exonerates our clients.

After a client finds someone to listen to their side of the story, they want that person to fight for them. You donât hire a lawyer to get you a result, you hire a lawyer to fight for you and make the system listen to you. My office has the experience to listen to you, find the crucial issues in your case and apply our knowledge and experience to advocate for you. I am a member of the National College of DWI Defense and the Association of Criminal Lawyers of New Jersey.

I have been practicing for over 15 years, starting my legal career as an intern in the United States Attorneys Office and also for United States District Court Judge David Trager. I then litigated complex matters throughout the United States, appearing Pro Hac Vice in numerous states as trial counsel. After gaining my experience with the government and with large national law firms, I opened the Law offices of James A. Abate, where I have successfully advocated for Criminal and DUI clients since 2008.

A dedicated criminal defense lawyer with offices in Bridgewater and Westfield, James A. Abate forms strong relationships when advocating for his clients. Mr. Abate works with clients on a one-on-one basis and personally sees their cases through to their ultimate resolution.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI & DWI
  • Real Estate Law
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New Jersey
Professional Experience
Brooklyn Law School
J.D. | Law
Honors: cum laude Markhoff Scholar Trial Team — 1998 semifinalist Dean's List Achieved awards in Constitutional Law, Legal Writing, Civil Procedure and Trial Advocacy Cornelius T. Wickersham award
City University of New York - Brooklyn College
BFA | Theatre
Honors: Departmental Honors in Theatre
Professional Associations
Sommerset County Bar Association
Activities: Municipal Court and Criminal Practice Committee
National College of DUI Defense
General Member
- Current
Activities: The National College for DUI Defense®, Inc. (NCDD) is a professional, non-profit corporation dedicated to the improvement of the criminal defense bar, and to the dissemination of information to the public about DUI Defense Law as a specialty area of law practice. The National College is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.It consists of a governing Board of Regents, a Founding Membership, a Sustaining Membership and a General Membership. College members represent the most experienced DUI defense attorneys in the country. The original Founding Members funded the establishment of the college, and are among the top DUI practitioners in the United States. Since its founding, the College continues to recognize, as Sustaining Members, defense lawyers who have demonstrated the skill and experience of the original Founding Members, as well as the generosity to financially sustain the growth of the NCDD. General Members are the backbone of the college—capable, experienced attorneys who dedicate a portion of their practice to the defense of DUI cases throughout the country. When the National College for DUI Defense® was founded, the Board of Regents envisioned a Board Certification program as the culmination of its program of education. In 1999, the Board instituted Board Certification as a means of recognizing lawyers within the college who exemplify the program’s standards, and who meet the criteria established by the Board of Regents: extensive experience trying DUI cases and litigating pre-trial issues, a broad knowledge of the science involved in testing for intoxicants, and a command of the legal process on which DUI cases are framed.
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey
- Current
Union County Bar Association
General Member
- Current
New Jersey State Bar # 020512001
- Current
Activities: Municipal Court Practice Section Criminal Law Section
Websites & Blogs
The Law Offices of James A. Abate LLC Website
James A. Abate's Website Profile
Legal Answers
77 Questions Answered

Q. can i obtain a restraining order against my abuser if the innocent happened 6 years ago? also can i press charges?
A: It depends. Why did you wait 6 years? The second prong under State v. Silver is the urgent need to be protected. If it took so long to seek protection or contact the police that would indicate there is not an urgent need to be protected. If something new has occurred then there could be an argument which incorporates the prior occasion.
Q. What rights do I have in NJ as residentialparent when ex husband received a DUI, 2nd offense in four years?
A: This depends on the wording of your MSA. You can seek to alter the considerations of custody.
Q. Is there law suit for a person posting a police report on facebook? Threatening messages were made in the comments area.
A: If the report was posted with the intent to Harass, possibly. But just the act of publishing a police report does not provide a cause of action.
Q. Is someone’s mental health or lack there of reason to get a restraining order against them? There’s a child involved
A: Unless something has been done to you, a TRO is not appropriate. Involving Child Prevention and Permanency should be called if you suspect neglect or danger to a child.
Q. Are the penalties worse if you get a DUI with kids in the car?
A: § 2C:24-4. Endangering the Welfare of a Child Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child who engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or who causes the child harm that would make the child an abused or neglected child as defined in R.S. 9:6-1, R.S. 9:6-3 and P.L. 1974, c. 119, § 1 is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this subsection to a child under the age of 16 is guilty of a crime of the third degree. DWI with children in the vehicle can result in a serious indictable crime. A second degree crime is punishable by five (5) to ten (10) years in New Jersey state prison and there is a presumption of incarceration (meaning a minimum five (5) year prison sentence) even if you have no prior criminal record.
Q. What are some results of a police officer lying on an affidavit This pertains to federal law
A: 18 U.S. Code § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law
Q. 2C:52-11B(1) charges amended question. PLEASE ANSWER IF YOU CAN. THANK YOU!
A: I thoroughly respect the opinion of Mr. Cheser. I would add that you should bring the specifics of your case to a lawyer and have them review the question and your record.
Q. Harassment Charge. 2c:33-4
A: You would need to petition the Superior Court to expunge your arrest record. While you say "i was never arrested", the appearance of a charge is synonymous with an arrest.
Q. what is the difference betweek possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon?
A: Unlawful possession simply means you do not have the right to posses the weapon. Illegal gun. Possession with weapon with unlawful purpose means that the weapon (not limited to guns) with a specific intent to perform an unlawful act.
Click here to see all answers
Social Media
Contact & Map
7 E. High St., First fl.
Somerville, NJ 08876
Telephone: (908) 210-9755
Westfield Office
376 South Avenue E.
Westfield, NJ 07090
Telephone: (908) 210-9755
Cell: (732) 412-2364
Fax: (732) 626-6165