In this morning’s Appellate Division opinion in State v. Pollock, the Court held that the Supreme Court’s order in State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 (2008) requiring recalibration of Alcotests by the State Police every six months was intended by the Justices to be prospective only. Prior to the publication of Chun last year, State Police procedure included a recalibration of all Alcotest instruments in use in the state on a yearly basis. In Chun, the Supreme Court directed that the recalibration procedure occur every six months. Six-months calibrations are now the current practice by the State Police.
Today’s decision by the Appellate Division is the first time a published decision has interpreted one of the open legal questions raised in the Chun decision. In addition, by its very nature, the decision in Pollock deals with a problem that will eventually disappear simply by the passage of time as the older Alcotest cases that came on line prior to the decision in Chun are resolved in court.
Download a copy of State v. Pollock.
This morning’s Appellate Division decision in State v. Mosner makes it clear that a county prosecutor may properly condition a defendant’s admittance into pre-trial intervention (PTI) upon a plea of guilty to a traffic offense that is factually related to the criminal charges against the defendant, even when the traffic violation carries a mandatory jail term.
In Mosner, the defendant was charged with a variety of criminal and traffic offenses related to a snowmobile accident involving serious bodily injury. The county prosecutor conditioned the defendant admittance into PTI based upon a plea to the traffic offense of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving injuries (NJSA 39:4-129(a)). Moreover, the defendant would have to agree to be sentenced to a 180-day jail term for the traffic offense. The defendant rejected the offer and argued that the jail term would defeat the purpose of the PTI diversion.
Following his conviction at trial, the defendant appealed the PTI conditions. The Appellate Division held that motor vehicle offenses do not apply to PTI and a county prosecutor may properly condition PTI on a plea of guilty to a traffic offense arising out of the same of facts that gave rise to the criminal charges.
Download a copy of State v. Mosner.