Law Division decision banning plea bargaining in DWI cases on appeal was approved today for publication. In State v. Rastogi, the county prosecutor sought to enforce a negotiated plea disposition on a DWI case that had been appealed from municipal court. The prosecutor contended that, due to perceived weaknesses in the State’s DWI case on appeal, it would offer the defendant an opportunity to plead guilty to a different offense. The prosecutor also maintained that the proscription against plea bargaining contained in the Guidelines to the Part VII (municipal court) Rules do not apply to county prosecutors and their activities in the Superior Court. The Law Division judge rejected the prosecutor’s argument and ruled that the policy considerations behind the plea bargaining ban in municipal court also apply to cases that are appealed to the Superior Court, Law Division for a trial de novo from municipal court.
Download a copy of State v. Rastogi.
In this morning’s Appellate Division decision, Patel v. New Jersey MVC, the Court construed, for the first time, the five-year point forgiveness component of NJSA 39:4-97.2, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. The Court held that the five-year time period between offenses does not apply to third offenses, regardless of how long a time goes by between the 2nd and 3rd offense. Rather, the point forgiveness part of the statute only applies when there is a period of 5 years or more between a 3rd and subsequent offense. Thus, a first and second offender are not assessed points. A third offender will receive 4 points. Thereafter, if 5 years go by following the 3rd offense, the defendant may once again plead guilty without the assessment of points.
Download a copy of Patel v. MVC.
Drager Safety Diagnostics, Inc. has announced that it will be holding training sessions in December for New Jersey attorneys and their experts on the operation of the Alcotest 7110. This training was mandated by our Supreme Court in State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 (2008). The cost of the two-day session is $925. The training will take place during the week of December 15 thru 19 at Newark and Mount Laurel. Registration applications can be obtained via e-mail: Loretta.firstname.lastname@example.org