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New Jersey Criminal Attorney - Blog Archives
 

May 1, 2013

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEY APPEALS STATE’S WITHDRAW FROM PLEA BARGAIN WITHOUT CONDITIONS IN WRITTEN PLEA AGREEMENT

The defendant appealed from a judgment of conviction for second-degree eluding, second degree certain persons not to have weapons, other lower-degree offenses, as well as an appeal from the aggregate sentence of 15 years subject to the No Early Release Act. Before the defendant’s trial commenced, the defendant entered into a plea agreement allowing the defendant to plead guilty to eluding, and certain persons not to have weapons, in return for a maximum possible sentence of 10 years with five-year parole bar.

The defendant attempted to condition his plea on an understanding that he and his co-defendants would all be entering into plea agreements. The state’s only promise was that the defendant would not be required to testify against the co-defendants. The defendant offered his sworn admission to eluding the police and possession of the firearm. The judge accepted the plea agreement; but a month later, one of the co-defendants opted to go to trial and the state filed a motion to vacate the defendant’s plea agreement. The defendant’s New Jersey criminal lawyer argued that the defendant did not want to vacate the plea agreement and the trial judge granted the motion.

The Appellate Division ruled that it was error for the trial court to permit the state to withdraw from a plea bargain, over the defendant’s objection. The panel stated that the state should have explicitly stated those conditions in the written plea agreement.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Pleading is an exact setting forth of the truth”
Sir Robert Atkyns, English jurist, Trial of Sir Edward Hales (1686), 11 How. St. Tr. 1243


March 25, 2013

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS ARGUE INVALIDITY OF THE HONEST-SERVICES-FRAUD JURY INSTRUCTION

The executives of Hollinger International Inc. were indicted for mail fraud and other federal crimes for fraudulent stealing millions from the company in bogus fees and failure to disclose those fees. Before jury deliberations began, the government proposed special-verdict forms that would reveal, if the jury voted to convict on a mail-fraud count, the particular theory or theories accounting for the verdict. The defendants resisted and the government acquiesced. The District Court instructed the jury on alternative theories, including a description of the honest-services fraud.

The jury returned general verdicts of “guilty” on the mail-fraud counts. The defendant’s New Jersey criminal lawyers appealed, urging the invalidity of the honest-services-fraud jury instruction. The Appellate Division reasoned that the defendants forfeited their objection to the instructions when they opposed the government proposed special-verdict forms.

The Supreme Court held that the honest-services instructions given in this case were incorrect and reversed and remanded. The Court expressed no opinion on whether the honest-services instructional error was harmless, but left the matter for consideration on remand.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“He is not cheated who knows he is being cheated”
Sir Edward Coke


March 4, 2013

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY APPEALS DEFENDANT’S SENTENCE IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE

The defendant was charged with one count of receiving and distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography but declined a plea agreement. Two weeks before his trial date, the defendant was charged with six additional counts involving child pornography. The defendant was sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment as well as three years of supervised release; and the court offered a lengthy opinion in support of the sentence.

The government appealed the District Court’s decision and the defendant’s New Jersey lawyer cross-appealed. The government argued that the District Court did not “adequately address the rationale for the penalties counseled.”

The Third Circuit ruled that the District Court adequately explained the ruling and why it varied from the sentencing range to the sentence it imposed and thus did not commit any significant procedural error requiring remand. The Third Circuit denied the defendant’s appeal ruling that the District Court was statutorily bound to impose the sentence of at least 5 years imprisonment.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Let nothing which is disgraceful to be spoken of, or to be seen, approach this place where a child is”
Juvenal, Satires, c. 120


January 14, 2013

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY MOVES TO REASSERT DEFENDANT’S RIGHT TO JURY TRIAL AFTER MISTRIAL

The defendant was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering, health-care fraud, tax fraud, and deception arising out of an elaborate conspiracy to commit health-care claims and tax fraud. Scheduled to be tried with five co-defendants, all six waived their right to a jury trial due to the slow pace of jury selection. The defendant’s attorney suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm and the judge declared a mistrial for the defendant.

The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney moved to reassert her right to a jury trial, arguing that the mistrial nullified the previous bench trial proceedings and restored her right to trial by jury. The trial judge denied the defendant’s motion to reassert her right to a jury trial.

The Appellate Division reversed the trial court’s ruling, stating that the effect of a mistrial is to start anew, the right to a jury trial is fundamental to the judicial system, and one cannot unknowingly waive rights to in connection with an unanticipated second trial.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“A jury verdict is a quotient of the prejudices of twelve people”
Kenneth P. Grubb, American jurist, “False Fears,” Insurance Counsel Journal, October 1959


January 7, 2013

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEY APPEALS FROM THE JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION IN FOURTH-DEGREE ABUSE OF A MINOR CASE

After slapping his girlfriend’s 4-year-old child, leaving “red marks” on his face, the defendant pleaded guilty to fourth-degree abuse of a minor. The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney appealed from the judgment of conviction following his plea, arguing that the plea and the factual basis for the plea should not be admissible in any subsequent proceedings.

The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer expressed concern that DYFS might try to use the plea against him, as a statement of a party in DYFS proceedings, or by the affirmative use of collateral estoppel, and by others in actions before the Family Part.

The Appellate Division ruled that the defendant has no right to withdraw his plea since there is no suggestion that a preclusion was part of the defendant’s negotiated plea. The Appellate Division stated that an action commenced by DYFS is designed to protect a child’s best interest. The admission of the plea, when not subject to “non-evidential” preclusion, is subject to the rules of evidence.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it”
Harold S. Hulbert


January 1, 2013

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS CONSIDER SUPREME COURTRULING DETERMINING LATE ALCOTEST CALIBRATION DOES NOT VOID BAC READINGS

On May 15, 2008 the defendant was charged with drunk-driving. His blood-alcohol content reading, taken with an Alcotest machine, was .18 percent, far above the .08 percent legal limit. The New Jersey Supreme Court had previously ordered that Alcotest machines be recalibrated every six months. The Alcotest machine used in the defendant’s case had last been calibrated eight months before his arrest, violating the six-month calibration deadline.

The defendant moved to suppress the reading based on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Alcotest recalibration deadline. The judge denied the motion, holding that the six month requirement was precatory and that the software provided a safeguard against deterioration. The defendant entered a guilty plea, but appealed the denial of the motion. In a de novo hearing, the Superior Court granted the motion to suppress, holding that the six month requirement was mandatory.

The New Jersey Appellate court ruled that, due to a built-in algorithm, the Alcotest provides a sufficient corrective calculation that defends against the possible inaccuracies caused by deterioration of the machine’s fuel cells between calibrations. After the court’s ruling the defendant entered a guilty plea.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Facts are stubborn things”
Ebenezer Elliot, 1791-1849, Field Husbandry


November 5, 2012

NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS DRUNK-DRIVING STATUTE PROHIBITING/ BOTH VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY MOTORIST INTOXICATION AFTER NEW JERSEY LAWYER CHALLENGES STATUTE

On November 3, 2006 the defendant was found asleep or passed out in his company’s vehicle with the engine running. The defendant performed poorly on two sobriety tests, slurred his speech, and emitted an odor of alcohol on his breath. After refusing a breath test, the defendant was convicted of DWI, refusal, and driving with a suspended license. The defendant argued that his work environment the previous day led to his intoxication. The defendant explained that he had been working for the first time with the chemical Limonene, a chemical found in Pledge furniture polish.

The appeals court was faced with determining whether the defendant’s involuntary intoxication was a defense to his DWI charge, an argument presented by defendant’s New Jersey lawyer. The case was likened to State v. Hammond, 118 N.J. 306 (1990) in which a man requested juice at a party but was given three drinks of vodka and cranberry juice as a “practical joke.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the decision made in State v. Hammond, 118 N.J. 306 (1990) explaining that “the drunk driving statute prohibits operating a vehicle under the influence of any substance that influences intoxication, whether voluntary or not.” The defendant was sentenced as a third-time offender on the DWI in addition to sentences for the refusal charge and the driving while suspended.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“In law it is a good policy never to plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you cannot”
Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Usher F. Linder, February 20, 1848


October 5, 2012

SUPREME COURT REVERSES JUDGMENT OF APPELLATE DIVISION AFTER NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY MOVES TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE IN WEAPON OFFENSES

Police responding to a radio call of a “man with a gun,” approached a double-parked van containing five occupants. One of the occupants, the defendant, matched the description of the “man with a gun” and was ordered to step outside the van. The police officers observed a firearm on the floor of the van where the passenger had been seated. The passenger was arrested and a search revealed a gun holster and a loaded ammunition magazine. The defendant was charged with two weapons offenses.

The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer moved to suppress the evidence. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress ruling that the police acted lawfully. The Appellate Division reversed the ruling, stating that the circumstances did not suggest a basis for the officers’ expressed concern for their safety.

The Supreme Court found that the officers had sufficient reasonable suspicion to detain the van. The officer’s actions following opening the van door were lawful. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Appellate Division and the trial court’s judgment of conviction and sentencing were reinstated.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”
Robert F. Kennedy


October 1, 2012

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS REFLECT ON WHETHER REFUSAL CONVICTION COUNTS AS PREVIOUS DWI

On May 1, 2008, the defendant was stopped for reckless driving and registered a blood-alcohol concentration of .17 percent, an amount exceeding the .08 percent legal limit. The defendant had previously been convicted of a DWI on March 29, 1979 and of refusal on May 18, 2006.

The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney argued that she should be treated as a first time offender because the 2006 conviction was a refusal. The prosecutor argued that State v. Cummings, 184 N.J. 84 (2005), ruled that the burden of proof was changed from a preponderance of the evidence to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The Municipal Court held that the defendant was a third offender and sentenced her accordingly.

The Supreme Court ruled that based on the 2006 case State v. DiSomma, 262 N.J. Super: 375 (1993), that a refusal conviction was not a prior violation under the drunken-driving statute. The Court said that the N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 contains no reference to the refusal statute and the penalties reflect the exclusion of the refusal statute. The defendant was sentenced to a 30-day jail term and a one year license suspension.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Let him who sins when drunk, be punished when sober”
Anonymous, Kendrick v. Hopkins (1580), Cary’s, Rep. 133


May 28, 2012

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEY MOVES TO SUPPRESS CONFESSION DUE TO DEFENDANT’S RIGHT TO COUNSEL

After being arrested as part of a murder investigation, the defendant acknowledged his understanding of his rights both orally and in writing. Immediately after signing the waiver the defendant inquired concerning his right to have a lawyer present at the time of questioning. The police detective did not responded to the defendant’s requests directly, instead he informed the defendant “that’s on you.” The defendant ultimately decided to continue questioning without the presence of a New Jersey attorney because he was already waist deep, about to drown so there was no need for a lawyer until court. Following the exchange, the defendant confessed.

The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney moved to suppress the confession after the defendant was indicted for murder and other charges. The trial court found that the police had failed to honor the defendant’s request for a New Jersey attorney and misinformed the defendant about his right. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion to suppress. The Appellate Division concluded that the exchange between the defendant and the detective clarified the defendant’s waiver of his rights.

On appeal, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the defendant’s waiver of his rights was “knowing, voluntary, and intelligent” because his statements were not an assertion of his right to counsel. Furthermore, the court held that the officer’s questions did not exceed the scope of permissible clarification.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much”
Simone Weil, The Need for Roots, 1949


April 23, 2012

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY APPEALS RESULTS IN REVERSAL OF DWI CONVICTION AFTER JUDGE ADMITS ‘REASONABLE DOUBT’

The defendant was pulled over after a police officer observed her driving very slowly, hitting a curb, and running a red light. After failing field sobriety tests, but passing a breath test, a urine test revealed the presence of codeine and butalbital, a barbiturate. The defendant was convicted in municipal court. On appeal, the defendant presented the testimony of her neurologist, who explained the medical conditions responsible for the defendant’s behavior. The neurologist also testified that drugs he prescribed, those found in the urine, would not affect her driving because her brain had adjusted to the drugs through long term use.

The Superior Court judge stated that the testimony from the neurologist presented a “reasonable doubt,” yet the judge still convicted her.

The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney appealed the decision and the defendant’s convictions were reversed. The panel held that the medical explanations were enough to provide a reasonable doubt, thus putting the burden back on the state to prove its case.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“An honest man can never surrender an honest doubt”
Walter Malone, 1866-1915, Bergen Evans, Dictionary of Quotations, 1968


April 9, 2012

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS EXAMINE STATE’S DECISION THAT VACATING A CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE DOES NOT REMOVE BAR TO PTI

In 1990, the defendant was granted a conditional discharge for her possession of marijuana charge. 18 years later, the defendant was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and sought to be admitted to pretrial intervention (PTI). Since the court bars anyone conditionally discharged from criminal prosecution from PTI, the defendant requested that the judge vacate her 1990 conditional discharge. The conditional discharge statute is codified at N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1. By vacating the discharge, the defendant reinstated the marijuana charge, to which she plead guilty and was fined.

A Monmouth County Superior Court judge admitted the defendant to PTI on the advocacy of the defendants New Jersey attorney and in spite of the prosecutor’s objection.

The state argued that the PTI statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12g, “bars PTI admission for anyone who previously received supervisory treatment under N.J.S.A. 24:21-27,” prevails over court rule. The Appellate Division reversed, stating that “while it may be that, as a matter of law, defendant’s conditional discharge for possession of marijuana ‘never happened,’ it does not follow that it never happened as a matter of fact.” The Appellate Division also held that “the PTI statute’s ineligibility provisions prevail over those of R. 3:28.”

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Make every bargain clear and plain, that none may afterwards complain”
John Ray


April 2, 2012

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY’S APPEAL REVERSES DOMESTIC RESTRAINT BASED ON HARASSMENT DEFINITION

The plaintiff applied for a restraining order against her ex-husband due to several incidents of harassment in July and August 2009. The defendant repeatedly called the plaintiff at work, called her names and gave her a one finger salute. The restraining order was issued.

On appeal, the defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney argued that the defendant had not intended to harass his ex-wife. The lawyer stated that though the defendant had been contacting the plaintiff about their children and argued in situations involving children “people might get excited and raise their voices, but that doesn’t make it harassment.”

The Appellate Division ruled that restraints are ordered when “necessary and to prevent an immediate danger or further abuse,” and that this case did not warrant a domestic abuse restraining order because the discourteous calls and name calling amounted to nothing more than “ordinary domestic contretemps.”

Legal Quote of the Week:
“With children no longer the universally accepted reason for marriage, marriages are going to have to exist on their own merits”
Eleanor Holmes Norton, “For Sadie and Maude,” in Robin Morgan, ed., Sisterhood is Powerful (1970)


March 26, 2012

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY WINS APPEAL AFTER TRIAL JUDGE DENIES DISCOVERY IN DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED CASE

The defendant was arrested for driving while intoxicated after an Alcotest revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.19. The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer moved for discovery related to the arrest. The requests included 1) results from the instrument from date of last calibration to the defendant’s test; 2) the calculation for the purported two breath sample results of the defendant; 3) any repair logs or documentation for the instrument; and 4) information on the fuel cell drift algorithm on the instrument. The municipal court denied 3 of the 4 discovery requests and only granted the discovery of the calculation for the purported two breath samples of the defendant. The defendant entered a guilty plea and was sentenced.

The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer appealed to the Law Division, but the appeal was declined. The defendant’s lawyer again raised the discovery issue and argued that the trial should be remanded. The Law Division judge declined the remand request and denied the discovery.

The Appellate Division ruled that the denial of discovery of records pertaining to the Alcotest device was in error and the matter was remanded. The Appellate Division stated that the foundational documents are required in order to establish the reliability of the Alcotest device used in connection with a particular prosecution.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Questioning is an indispensable instrumentality of justice”
Justice Robert H. Jackson, dissenting opinion in Ashcraft v. Tennessee, 332 US 143, 88 L ed 1192, 64 S Ct 921, 1944


March 19, 2012

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEY APPEALS DWI CHARGE ON DOUBLE JEOPARDY GROUNDS

On December 18, 2007, the defendant was arrested after driving his vehicle on a hockey rink, nearly striking a group of children, and colliding with objects including a concrete barrier, a tree, and two trash receptacles. Laboratory tests revealed the defendant’s blood-alcohol content was .237 and the defendant was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and failure to wear a seatbelt. The defendant pled guilty to a single count of fourth-degree creating a risk of widespread injury or death in exchange for a 365 day prison term. The state remanded the DWI and reckless driving charges to municipal court to handle the charges.

The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer filed a motion to dismiss the DWI and reckless driving charges on double jeopardy grounds. The motion was denied by the municipal court judge. The defendant’s appeal to the Law Division was also denied.

The Appellate Division ruled that because the defendant’s operation of his motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol was the reckless act on which the indictment was based and part of his plea was admitting he operated his vehicle under the influence, his prosecution for DWI was barred on double jeopardy rules.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights”
Indira Gandhi, Last Words, 1984


March 12, 2012

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEY’S MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE APPROVED IN UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCH

After the armed robbery of a spa, witnesses alerted police that the passengers in a SUV leaving the spa were the robbers. After officers stopped the vehicle and ordered the occupants to exit, one individual exited the SUV, dropped a gun, and ran. The SUV drove away; but when police later came upon the vehicle, the defendant and another woman were standing by the driver’s side. No weapons were found on the women. The SUV was taken to police headquarters where a warrantless search occurred and police recovered, among other things, several classified sections of a local paper listing area massage parlors with an asterisk next to some listing while others had the word “no” on them, several rolls of duct tape, and an advertisement for the spa that was robbed with an asterisk.

The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney moved to suppress the evidence, arguing that the warrantless search of the SUV was unconstitutional. The trial judge denied the motion.

The Appellate Division ruled that the warrantless search of the SUV was unconstitutional since the vehicle had already been taken into custody and the police clearly had sufficient time to obtain a warrant before searching the vehicle.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Constitutions are intended to preserve practical and substantial rights, not to maintain theories”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Davis v. Mills, 194 U.S. 451, 457, 1904


March 5, 2012

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY WINS APPEAL AFTER UNFAIR REMARK PERMITTED IN TRIAL

The defendant was observed receiving currency from another individual then riding away on a bike. As two police officers approached the other individual, they observed the defendant getting closer. The police officer identified himself as an officer and claimed that he witnessed the defendant drop an item to the ground.

The defendant testified, giving another account of the situation and challenging the validity of the police officer’s testimony. The prosecutor responded to the defendant’s claims explaining that the officer had no stake in the outcome of the proceeding where the defendant did. Upon the defendant’s New Jersey lawyer’s objection, the judge overruled claiming that the comment was fair and when discussing credibility, motivation and bias. The defendant was convicted and appealed the conviction.

The Appellate Division ruled that the prosecutor’s remark had the ability to tilt the outcome in favor of the state. The appellate panel reversed the defendant’s conviction for third-degree possession of a substance and remanded for a new trial.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Judges ought to remember that their office is Ius dicere and not Ius dare: to interpret law, and not to make law”
Francis Bacon, Essays: Of Judicature, 1625


February 27, 2012

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL ATTORNEYS REVIEW NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT UPHOLDING OF WARRANTLESS SEARCH

On June 1, 2005 the defendant pulled up next to the car of a known drug dealer. As a Roselle Park Patrolman approached the defendant’s car, the defendant fled to the restroom of a fast-food restaurant. The Patrolman followed the defendant into the bathroom and recovered three bags of marijuana and ecstasy before the defendant flushed them. Later other drugs were discovered in the defendant’s vehicle.

The New Jersey lawyer representing the defendant argued that the Patrolman acted without reasonable suspicion in the search of the defendant’s person and property. The lawyer moved to suppress the drug evidence seized. The motion was denied and a jury convicted the defendant of multiple drug charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The appellate division reversed, but a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the denial of the motion. The Court ruled that the Roselle Park Patrolman had reasonable suspicion, based on specific and articulable facts, that the subject is involved in criminal activity. Namely, the court noted that the police had a warrant to search the drug dealer’s car; the drug dealer was known to sell drugs out of his car; the defendant pulled up next to the drug dealer’s car and engaged in a brief conversation; the defendant was nervous when the Patrolman approached; the defendant ran when he was told to stop and the Patrolman saw the defendant dump the drugs into the toilet.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth”
Proverbs 28:1


February 20, 2012

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEYS CONTEMPLATE RETROACTIVE RULING ABOUT INFORMING AND WARNING A DEFENDANT OF RIGHTS IN A LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND

In 2007, the defendant was stopped under suspicion of drunk driving. At the time of the arrest, the defendant had only been living in the United States for 11 months and spoke little English. The defendant was not read the main part of the breath-testing instructions in his own language and the warning concerning refusal consequences was not read at all. The defendant was sentenced to a seven-month license suspension based on his refusal.

The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer appealed the decision, citing the holding in State v. Marquez, which required test instructions to be linguistically comprehensible to the driver. The decision in that case was ruled retroactive and stated that it should apply to cases on direct appeal, including this 2007 case.

The Appellate Division overturned the 2007 breath-test refusal conviction and required that drivers must be informed of the testing process and warned of the consequences in a language they can understand.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Against logic there is no armor like ignorance”
Laurence J. Peter


February 13, 2012

State v. McLean , A-98-09

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY’S APPEAL ESTABLISHES RESTRICTIONS ON POLICE OFFERING LAY OPINIONS

On September 7, 2005, a Paterson police officer witnessed the defendant engage in interactions that the police officer believed to be drug deals. Upon the defendant’s arrest, officers retrieved 10 glassine envelopes containing heroin, a plastic bag containing crack cocaine, and almost $400 in small denomination bills. The defendant admitted that the drugs in the car were his but denied any allegations that he intended to sell them. During the trial, the police officer attempted to describe his observations as a drug buy and referred to the defendant by his name instead of answering questions hypothetically.

The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer objected to the police officer’s testimony and requested a mistrial. The request was denied by the Superior Court judge and the defendant was convicted of possession of heroin and cocaine, and possessing heroin with the intent to distribute. The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer appealed.

The Appellate Division upheld the ruling on the defendant’s possession convictions but reversed and remanded for a new trial on the distribution counts. This victory for the New Jersey lawyer recognized that a police officer is not qualified as an expert and thus cannot proffer lay opinions that would go to the issue of the defendant’s guilt.

Legal Quote of the Week:
“Opinion is the exercise of the human will which helps us to make a decision without information”
John Erskine

When fighting for your personal freedom call on New Jersey attorney, John F. Renner,
an experienced and aggressive federal and state criminal attorney.