Defendants are entitled to video & audio discovery

[07/19/2016, 3:10 p.m.] In a holding released this morning, the Supreme Court has ruled that defendants are entitled to receive video and audio discovery in a DWI case.   See State v. Stein – PDF of the opinion available here.

SCOTUS approves breath test as search incident to arrest

[06/23/2016 – 11:40 a.m.] This morning, the US Supreme Court ruled that states may conduct breath tests on people who have been arrested for drunk driving. The Justices noted that such searches are consistent with the so-called “search incident to arrest” exception to the warrant requirement. The Court also noted that this exception does not… Read More

Gap time credit for DWI & traffic offenses allowed

[2:40 P.M., 6/17/2016] The Appellate Division ruled this morning that the gap time credits against jail sentences required under NJSA 2C:44-5(b)(2) also apply to jail terms imposed for drunk driving and other traffic offenses. See State v. Walters – PDF of the opinion is here.

Supremes: Still no jury trial in muni court for 3rd offense drunk drivers (but we’re close..)

[05/12/2016, 11:29 a.m.]  In the State v. Denelsbeck opinion released just moments ago, regarding 3rd offense drunk drivers in New Jersey, the Supreme Court emphasized that “the Legislature has reached the outer limit of what is permitted without a jury trial and that any additional penalties would cause this Court to reach a different conclusion.”… Read More

Mistake of Law can justify NJ MV Stop – Muni-mail

[05/05/2016, 1:44 p.m.]  The Appellate Division ruled this morning in State v. Sutherland that a reasonable, good faith mistake of law by a police officer can serve as a justification for a motor vehicle stop. This holding is in conformity with the United States Supreme Court decision in Heine v. North Carolina, 135 S. Ct…. Read More

Supremes: Three defenses to stealing trust account $$$

[05/03/2016; 7:14 p.m.]  In an opinion released this morning, the New Jersey Supreme Court clarified the specific psychiatric defenses that it will consider in cases of “knowing” misappropriation of client funds under the standards of In re Wilson, 81 NJ 451 (1979). The Justices ruled in In re Cozzarelli, that there are three possible psychiatric… Read More

Drunk driving conviction anywhere in U.S. will expose you to 2C:40-26

[04/27/2016, 3:38 p.m.]  In today’s published Appellate Court opinion in State v. Luzhak, the Appellate Division construed NJSA 2C:40-26 (Operating motor vehicle during period of license suspension, fourth degree crime) to apply anywhere in the United States. Your clients need to know a drunk driving conviction anywhere in the U.S. will expose them to 2C:40-26… Read More

New AG Firearms Regulation Dramatically Changes the Law

[04/12/2016, 3:50 p.m.]  On Friday, April 8, at a press conference with the Attorney General, the Governor announced new guidelines for firearms in New Jersey. The changes include a new “serious threats” standard (hinging on a written certification of “justifiable need” to expedite the permitting process to carry a handgun); further overhaul of the permitting… Read More

No Madatory Jail for Leaving the Scene with Injuries

[03/29/2016; 1:14 p.m.]  In the opinion published yesterday in the appellate division case State v. Frank, there are two very important take-aways for NJ attorneys. The most salient take-away involves leaving the scene of an accident (N.J.S.A. 39:4-129), as the opinion states “the trial court erred in concluding that N.J.S.A. 39:4-129(a) mandates a custodial sentence.”… Read More

Atty General Admits there was Lab Fraud at State Police

[03/02/2016, 4:07 p.m.]  Following up on yesterday’s Muni-mail featuring the memo from Passaic County Deputy Public Defender Judith Fallon, we have a letter from the Office of the Attorney General confirming the allegations of fraud at the State Police Forensic Lab in Little Falls. This letter, signed by Director of the Division of Criminal Justice Elie Honig, was… Read More

Allegations of Fraud at State Police Forensic Lab

[03/01/2016, 9:37 a.m.]  A memo released yesterday from Passaic County Deputy Public Defender Judith Fallon details allegations of fraud at the State Police Forensic Lab in Little Falls, a laboratory that is likely used by many law enforcement agencies across multiple NJ counties. Here is an excerpt from the memo.. “Laboratory Technician II Kamalkant Shah… Read More

ICYMI – Jurors absolutely barred from testifying at sentencing

[02/22/2016, 12:32 P.M.]  In a case published this morning, State v. Mahoney, the Appellate Division ruled that jurors are not permitted to appear at the sentencing of the defendant in an effort to testify.   To review the PDF of today’s State v. Mahoney opinion, click here.

Guv signs Amendments to Expungement Statute

The following is an analysis of the amendments to NJSA 2C:52-2 et. seq. Amendments to Expungement Statute effective April 18, 2016 NJSA 2C:52-2(a) – Simultaneous Expungement of criminal and disorderly persons person convictions. Ten years after completion of a criminal sentence, a petitioner who has one criminal conviction and no more than 2 disorderly persons… Read More

Supremes: Borrowing $$ from clients is bad

On December 16, the Supreme Court announced a new rule of disciplinary law related to attorney-clients relations. In In re Torre, a unanimous Court suspended the respondent for one year based upon his act of borrowing a large sum of money from a vulnerable, elderly client and then failing to repay it. The Chief Justice… Read More

Muni-mail – Gov Christie signs bill allowing cannabis oil in schools

Earlier this month, Gov. Christie signed a bill (A4587) requiring schools to adopt polices that will permit the use of edible cannabis for qualifying patients under CUMMA (New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:6I-1 to -16).  This bill requires school boards and facilities serving developmentally-disabled students to establish guidelines allowing registered patients with the… Read More

Muni-mail – Finally! Powdered alcohol & bestiality illegal in NJ for 1st time

[1:05 p.m., 11/30/2015] On November 9th, Governor Christie signed into law statutory amendments that make both bestiality and powdered alcohol illegal in New Jersey… for the first time! Here are the amendments: NJSA 33:1-2(f) f. No person shall sell, offer for sale, or deliver, receive or purchase for resale in this State, any product consisting… Read More

No contact needed to leave the scene of an accident

[12:02 p.m., 11/25/2015]  This morning in State v. Sene, the Appellate Division ruled that both the motor vehicle and criminal ‘leaving the scene of an accident’ statutes do not require any actual contact between the defendant driver and the accident victim. Simply put, a person can be involved in an accident without striking anyone or… Read More

Supremes Totally Revamp Auto Exception Under NJ Constitution

From today’s opinion in State v. Witt, released moments ago: “The exigent-circumstances standard set forth in Pena-Flores is unsound in principle and unworkable in practice. Citing Article I, Paragraph 7 of New Jersey’s State Constitution, the Court returns to the standard articulated in State v. Alston, 88 N.J. 211 (1981), for warrantless searches of automobiles… Read More

ICYMI – No Arrest for Medical Marijuana

[9/9/2015, 1:51 P.M.]   In today’s Appellate Division holding in State v. Myers, the Court ruled that although the smell of marijuana can create probable cause to search a vehicle, the Attorney General Guidelines suggest that a person who lawfully possesses medical marijuana should generally not be subject to arrest or a seizure of his… Read More

ICYMI – You ARE the father of only ONE of the twins

[8/27/2015, 12:47 P.M.]  ICYMI – Who knew that twins could have TWO different fathers? Well, it happened in New Jersey (is this a great state, or what?) and according to this published Law Division opinion, TM v. AS, DNA paternity testing is now deemed to be sufficiently reliable in NJ to reach this conclusion. Check… Read More