ICYMI – Jail & ONLY Jail for 2C:40-26

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)… February 5, 2015 – 11:24 a.m. — On Wednesday, the Appellate Division ruled that SLAP, home confinement and other alternative programs are illegal in cases involving 2C:40-26. Those sentences may only served in jail. State v. Harris – Driving on the revoked list under NJSA 2C:40-26 “Because N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26c… Read More

ICYMI – D/L Loss for 1st Offender DWI Sentencing Could Be a Thing of the Past

ICYMI – On February 5, 2015, the State Senate will vote on S-385. This bill, which has already been passed by the Assembly, would eliminate most license suspensions for first offenders who secure an ignition interlock device for their vehicles.  The bill is expected to pass.  The governor has not yet indicated whether he will sign… Read More

Muni-mail – Supremes Rule on Alcotest Challenge

[09/18/2013, 12:44 P.M.]  This morning, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an Order of the Court resulting in a big win for the State.  Today’s Order concludes that “the Alcotest 7110, utilizing Firmware version 3.11, remains scientifically reliable”.  The Court absolved the State from the obligations at issue in the March 17, 2008 Chun… Read More

Muni-mail – Governor Signs Muni Court PTI Into Law

[09-09-2013, 3:01 P.M.]  This morning, Gov. Christie signed into law the provisions of assembly bill A3598 (Identical Bill Number: S2588) which creates for the first time a diversionary program for certain first offenders in municipal court.  Those first offenders that have been charged with a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense can enter conditional pleas… Read More

Muni-mail – Muni Trial Certification Deadline Now Sept 30

[08/26/2013 – 03:25 P.M.]  The Board on Attorney Certification has announced an extension of the deadline for all attorneys applying for municipal court trial certification.  The application must now be submitted by September 30, 2013. If you want to apply, the link below will take you directly to the up-to-date 16-page application (in PDF form)…. Read More

Muni-mail – No More Ping! Cops Need a Warrant After Major Decision in State v. Earls

[07/18/2013 – 2:58 p.m.]  Today, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held in State v. Earls that individuals have the expectation of privacy in cell phone pings.   This landmark decision establishes a Constitutional right to a reasonable expectation of location privacy under the NJ state constitution. After Earls, police cannot track your public movements based… Read More

Muni-mail – Mistaken directed verdict invokes double jeopardy

[2/25/13 03:13 PM] Last week’s judgment in Evans v. Michigan in the U.S. Supreme Court presents a relevant wrinkle for New Jersey attorneys.   In Evans, the judge made a mistake about state law that resulted in acquittal. In the 8-1 opinion by Justice Sotomayor (with the lone dissent filed by Justice Alito), the Court says… Read More

Muni-mail – Even a Stupid Dog Can Provide PC to Search: SCOTUS

[2/19/2013 2:39 PM] This morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled that even a stupid, incompetent, drug-sniffing dog who makes lots of mistakes can provide probable cause to search a motor vehicle. In a case captioned Florida v. Harris, the Justices ruled that a dog’s track record, training and experience are simply part of the… Read More

Muni-Mail – Head-smash flashlight is protected from discovery – State v. Kelsey

[2/13/13 3:28pm]  In this morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Kelsey, the Court ruled that a court order requiring a criminal defendant to turn over a piece of physical evidence to the prosecutor violates the right to remain silent.  In the case, a brawl at a local bar resulted in an assault where the… Read More

Muni-Mail – More New Muni & Crim Rules Proposed

[2/12/13 03:48pm] The New Jersey Supreme Court has released reports from the Criminal Practice and Municipal Court Practice committees.  The reports detail proposed new rules for these two practice areas.  If adopted, they will go into effect on Sept. 1 of this year.  The Supreme Court invites comment by email or direct mail, which must… Read More

Muni-Mail – Judge’s Trial Error Voids DWI Conviction – State v. Gibson

[2/7/12 – 4:41 pm] This morning, the Appellate Division ruled that a fact-finder in a quasi-criminal matter cannot convict “solely on the basis of evidence elicited at a pre-trial [suppression] hearing”.  This is a deprivation of the defendant’s right to due process unless defense counsel consents to the court’s procedure. In the Gibson case, the… Read More

Muni-mail – TOP SECRET! – No Inspection of Police Station in DWI Cases – State v. Carrero

10/23/12 – 1:55 pm – This morning, in a case captioned State v. Carrero, the Appellate Division of Superior Court ruled that a defendant in a DWI case does not have an unqualified right under Rule 7:7-7 to inspect and photograph the room at the police station where his Alcotest examination was administered. The Court… Read More

Muni-mail – No more punishment after sentence is over – State v. Schubert

10/22/12 – 3:45 pm – This morning, in a 5-2 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that once an illegal criminal sentence has been completely served, the defendant may not be re-setenced to any additional punishment, even to correct the illegal aspect of the sentence under both state and federal double jeopardy principles. Writing… Read More

Muni-mail – DWI/Allowing Case, Silence not evidence of guilt – State v. Stas

[09/12/12 – 10:11 am] A few moments ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that silence by a defendant at or near the time of his arrest for DWI/Allowing cannot be used as evidence of guilt or for impeachment purposes at trial. In both the municipal court and Law Division, the judges had drawn an… Read More

Muni-mail – App. Div: No Seatbelt can be a 3rd degree crime – State v. Lenihan

[08/15/12 – 9:25 am] On Monday, the Appellate Division ruled that the failure of a driver to make sure that a minor passenger is properly using a seatbelt can support a prosecution for the crime of knowingly failing to perform a duty imposed by law intended to protect public safety, as set forth under N.J.S.A…. Read More

Muni-mail: DV testimony now admissible in Criminal Trials – State v. Duprey

 [08/01/12 – 10:27 am] This morning, in a case captioned State v. Duprey, the Appellate Division ruled that testimony from either a complainant or defendant in a domestic violence case heard in Family Court can now be used for impeachment purposes in a subsequent criminal trial in the law Division. A statute barring the use… Read More

Muni-mail – New Paragraph 36 Released by A.G. eff July 1st

[July 3, 2012 – 11:40 am] In response to the Supreme Court’s recommendation in State v. Schmidt, 206 NJ 71 (2010), the Attorney General has released an updated version of the DWI standard statement usually referred to as “Paragraph 36.” The new form is the first significant change to the standard statement since 2004. Among… Read More

Muni-mail – Jail Term for Careless Driving – State v. De Palma

[07/02/12 – 12:29 pm] Last week, the Appellate Division ruled that the aggravating and mitigating sentencing factors that the Supreme Court listed in State v. Moran, 202 NJ 311 (2010) apply when sentencing a defendant who has been convicted of careless driving involving a homicide. [Note – vehicular homicide involving careless conduct does not constitute a criminal… Read More

Muni-mail – NO SLAP for revoked list offenders third time around – State v. Ayton

[06/25/12 – 12:29 pm] For the third time, the Committee on Opinion has approved for publication a decision written by municipal court Judge Richard A. Bowe, JMC of the Byram Township (Sussex) Municipal Court. In the opinion, captioned State v. Ayton, Judge Bowe ruled that SLAP is not available as a sanction for thrid or… Read More

Muni-mail: Supreme Court retains exigency in Automobile Searches – State v. Minitee

[06/14/12 – 10:27 am] This morning, in a case captioned State v. Minitee, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that police acted reasonably under the automobile exception when they searched a van that they had towed to the police station. In the 6-1 decision (Justice Albin dissenting), the Court held that the exigent circumstances the… Read More