Monthly Archives: August 2007

Police May Inquire as to Immigration Status following DWI Arrests – A.G. Directive 2007-03

Yesterday, Attorney General Anne Milgram issued a directive to state law enforcement agencies regarding their relationship with federal immigration authorities. Milgram said local police must inquire about immigration status after an officer has arrested an individual on serious criminal charges, and shall notify Immigration Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), the prosecuting agency, and the court if there is a reason to believe that the arrestee may be an undocumented immigrant.

The directive includes arrests for all indictable offenses and driving while intoxicated as offenses for which a police officer should ask about an individual’s citizenship, nationality, and immigration status after an arrest.

The directive also declares that no law enforcement officer shall inquire about or investigate the immigration status of any victim, witness or person requesting assistance from the police. “The overriding mission of law enforcement officers in this state is to enforce the state’s criminal laws and to protect the community that they serve,” Milgram stated. “This requires the cooperation of, and positive relationships with, all members of the community. Public safety suffers if individuals believe that they cannot come forward to report a crime or cooperate with law enforcement.”

In addition to the use of the immigration status information for federal law enforcement purposes, the arresting agency may also report the immigration status to the judiciary for consideration in the setting of bail. However, at this point, the Rules of Court do not authorize the preparation of an arrest warrant in drunk driving cases. Moreover, immigration status is not including in the various criteria that judicial officers consider under the Rules of Court when determining whether to authorize the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Download a copy of Attorney General Directive 2007-03.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Driver in Fatal Accident Must Identify Himself to Police – State v. Fisher

In this morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Fisher, the Court upheld the constitutionality of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1. This criminal statute requires that the driver of a motor vehicle who is involved in a fatal accident and knowingly leaves the scene in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 is guilty of a crime of the third degree. The Court also went on to rule that such a driver has an affirmative duty to identify himself to the police at the accident scene, notwithstanding his right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Download a copy of State v. Fisher.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive

Police Must Read Entire Paragraph 36 – State v. Spell

In this morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Spell, the Appellate division established a new rule of police procedure in DWI cases by requiring that the police read both parts of the advisory refusal statement (commonly known as paragraph 36) to a defendant who has been arrested for drunk driving when the defendant in any way manifests a refusal to provide a breath sample after being read the first portion of the statement. The new rule of procedure will go into effect statewide on October 1, 2007

Download a copy of State v. Spell.

Category: Muni-Mail Archive