Criminal Law Blog

DESTROYED INVESTIGATOR NOTES RESULTS IN REVERSAL OF CONVICTION

Cases like the one I am about to describe highlight the need for good legal representation.

In State v. Samander S. Dabas , a case decided by the New Jersey Supreme Court on July 30, 2013, the Court held that a prosecutor’s office violated its post-indictment discovery obligations under Rule 3:13-3, when its investigator destroyed his notes of a two-hour pre-interview of defendant. The State’s error resulted in a reversal of the Defendant’s (Mr. Dabas) conviction.

You May NOT Have The Right To Remain Silent!

On June 17, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Salinas v. Texas, a case involving the Fifth Amendment and “Miranda” rights that has sent ripples across the internet, albeit, because many people simply do not understand what Miranda is – and what is it not. For example, a Slate Magazine article mentions “the Supreme Court held that you remain silent at your peril.” A Cato Institute article calls the decision a “bad day for the Bill of Rights”. These articles are, in a word, overreactions.

Official Misconduct at the New Brunswick Parking Authority

As I set forth in detail in a prior blog post, the criminal charge of “Official Misconduct” in New Jersey has serious consequences ranging from 3-10 years, depending on the allegations (or the degree of the Official Misconduct charge). In addition, unlike most other non-violent crimes, a conviction for Official Misconduct carries a period of parole ineligibility – meaning that you will be in State Prison without the possibility of parole for a lengthy period of time.

New Jersey Appellate Division “Saves” Portion of New Jersey’s Bias Intimidation Statute.

The New Jersey Appellate Division decided, and in the process “saved,” a very important piece of legislation in New Jersey – the bias intimidation statute. In State v. Pomianek, decided on January 31, 2013, the defendant David Pomianek, a public employee, was convicted by a jury of harassment by communication, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4(a), and harassment by alarming conduct, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4(c) for his conduct towards an African-American co-worker. Based on those two predicate offenses, the jury convicted defendant of bias intimidation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1(a)(3).

Violation of Seatbelt Law Can Result in 3-10 Years in Prison. (Yes, You Read that Correctly).

The facts are as follows: The then eighteen-year-old defendant, Ms. Lenihan, was driving her 1999 Hyundai southbound on Route 519 in Hampton Township, with her sixteen year-old friend, K.G., in the front passenger seat. Defendant lost control of the vehicle and it veered to the right, crossing the shoulder of the road, striking the guardrail head-on. Both defendant and K.G. were seriously injured and transported to a local hospital. K.G. died the following day.

Be The Host With The Most. . . Smarts

In addition to the criminal exposure set forth above, on the civil side, there are pitfalls and exposure for those who throw private parties under New Jersey statute 2A: 15-5.6. This law, commonly known as the “social host liability law” is related to the service of alcoholic beverages to persons who have attained the legal age to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.