Monthly Archives: March 2015

ICYMI – Conditional Veto of new DWI sentencing bill by Guv.

[6:19 p.m., March 24, 2015]  On March 23rd, Governor Christie sent a conditional veto message to the legislature, rejecting the proposed Bill 1368 which would fundamentally change DWI sentencing law. The Governor’s recommendations call for the installation of ignition interlock devices in every instance for longer period. The idea of shortened d/l suspensions periods is eliminated. A copy of the governor’s conditional veto message is below. The bill, along with the suggested changes, now returns to the Assembly and Senate for an up or down vote.
Click here for the PDF of the Governor’s conditional veto message.

ICYMI – New Civil REZ Rules in Muni Court

[7:41 p.m., March 19, 2015]  On March 19th, the Supreme Court clarified the procedures for obtaining a civil reservation in municipal court.  In Maida v. Kuskin, the Justices ruled that person who pleads guilty to a traffic offense may request an order that prevents admission of the plea in any civil proceeding arising from the same occurrence that precipitated the motor vehicle charge and that request must occur in open court.

The prosecutor or a person injured in the accident may object to such an order, but must demonstrate good cause to bar entry thereof. If good cause is demonstrated, or the charge to which a defendant pleads guilty does not arise out of the same occurrence that is the subject of the civil proceeding, a civil reservation order may not be entered. Further, such an order should not be entered when the conduct encompassed by the traffic offense bears no relation to the subsequent civil proceeding. Finally, if the guilty plea is entered without a court appearance, a defendant may not pursue a civil reservation order.

Click here for the PDF copy of the Maida v. Kuskin opinion.

ICYMI – Part of NJ bias crime law ruled unconstitutional

[5:59 p.m., March 18, 2015]  On March 17th, the Supreme Court ruled that section 2C:16-1(a)(3) of the state’s bias crime law is unconstitutional. This statute criminalizes speech based upon the reasonable perceptions of the listener as opposed to the intent of the speaker. As such, the statute is unique in American law. It also violates the due process clause for vagueness.

A PDF of State v. Pomaniek is available here.

ICYMI – Class trip child sex assault in Germany can’t be prosecuted in NJ

[5:40 p.m., March 18, 2015] On March 18th, the Supreme Court ruled that a purported sexual assault perpetrated by teacher/chaperones during a class trip to Germany cannot be prosecuted in New Jersey. In the per curiam opinion, the Court found that the ages of the children and the supervisory duty of the teachers were merely status factual issues and did not create a sufficient connection to New Jersey to establish territorial jurisdiction to prosecute the alleged sexual assault offenses, all of which occurred in Germany.
A PDF of State v. Sumulikoski is available here.

ICYMI – Ethical to withhold NJSA 2C:40-26 info from prosecutors

[1:25 p.m., March 6, 2015]  On February 17th, the Appellate Division ruled in the unpublished decision captioned State v. Kane that a defense attorney has no ethical obligation under RPC 3.3(a)(5) to alert a prosecutor that his client’s plea to driving on the revoked list will foreclose a later criminal prosecution under NJSA 2C:40-26. In so doing, the Court distinguished the holding in In re Seelig, 180 NJ 234 (2004) which held that defense attorneys have an affirmative duty as officers of the court to reveal information to the trial judge that might mislead the court.
Click here for a PDF of State v. Kane.

ICYMI – Smile! You’re On Camera

[3:41 p.m., March 4, 2015] Effective March 1, 2015, NJ law requires that every new or used police vehicle be equipped with a video recording device. The equipment should provide valuable, objective evidence for both prosecutors and defendants. The equipment will be funded thru a $25 increase in DWI penalties. The statute, NJSA 40A:14-118.1 reads as follows:

C.40A:14-118.1 Municipal police vehicles to be equipped with mobile video recording system.
1. Every new or used municipal police vehicle purchased, leased, or otherwise acquired on or after the effective date of P.L.2014, c.54 (C.40A:14-118.1 et al.) which is primarily used for traffic stops shall be equipped with a mobile video recording system.
As used in this section “mobile video recording system” means a device or system installed or used in a police vehicle or worn or otherwise used by an officer that electronically records visual images depicting activities that take place during a motor vehicle stop or other law enforcement action.

ICYMI – New Wrinkle in Prosecutions Under NJSA 2C:4-26.. Important NEW Case

[1:03 p.m., March 3, 2015]  On March 3, 2015, the Appellate Division ruled in State v. Perry that a prosecution under NJSA 2C:4-26 must be pegged to driving conduct that takes place during the determinate license suspension term imposed by the sentencing judge. Administrative suspension time beyond that suspension period does not count under the statute.

To review State v. Perry, click here to download the PDF.

ICYMI – No copy of AIR – NO Problema !

[11:04 a.m., March 2, 2015]  On February 27, 2015, the Appellate Division ruled that the failure of the police to provide a copy of the Alcohol Influence Report to a defendant following breath testing does not require a suppression of the test results. The Court also provides an extensive discussion on double jeopardy issues related to municipal appeals to the Law and Appellate Divisions of Superior Court.

For a PDF of State v. Sorensen, click here.