New Jersey Attorney, John F. Renner

Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS CONTEMPLATE APPELLATE DIVISION RULING ON DEFINITION OF DISHONESTY WHEN TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE

The defendant, a Department of Public Works employee, was charged with drug possession after he swallowed heroin as a police officer approached him. The defendant plea-bargained his drug possession charge down to one charge of physical evidence tampering.

The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney argued that the offense was unrelated to the defendant’s job and thus did not require his forfeiture. The state appealed, stating that the defendant was subject to the portion of the N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2(a)(1), which requires forfeiture for “an offense involving dishonesty.”

The Appellate Division found that tampering with physical evidence meets the definition of an offense involving dishonesty. The defendant’s plea stated that the defendant had not only concealed evidence but also “engaged in conduct resulting in the permanent alteration, loss or destruction of evidence.” Because he met the definition of dishonesty in the forfeiture statue, the defendant was required to forfeit his public office.   Please visit the website of New Jersey Criminal Attorney John F. Renner for more information regarding the best defense possible against a criminal accusation in the federal or state courts of New Jersey.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“He that loseth his honesty, hath nothing else to lose”

John Lyly

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL LAWYER APPEALS CONVICTIONS FOR FAILURE TO REGISTER UNDER MEGAN’S LAW AFTER INITIAL PLEA IS VACATED

In 1995 the defendant, then age 17, pleaded conduct that as an adult would have constituted first-degree aggravated sexual assault on a 12-year-old. The defendant was subject to Megan’s Law and in 1998 pleaded guilty to the charge of failure to register and was sentenced. In 2000 the defendant again violated the registration requirement. The following year the defendant violated probation and incurred new charges.

The defendant wrote to the prosecutor seeking to have his 1995 plea vacated because he was not informed of its Megan’s Law consequences. After consultation with the victim and defense counsel, the plea was vacated. The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney then moved to have his convictions for failure to register vacated.

The Appellate Division ruled that there was no basis for vacating the defendant’s failure to register convictions under Megan’s Law after vacation of his plea to a Megan’s Law offense.

Contact New Jersey criminal attorney John F. Renner for more information regarding your rights.

Legal Quote of the Week:

[Appeal:] In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw”

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1906

NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL LAWYERS EXAMINE RULING ON RESTRICTIONS OF “QUESTION FIRST, WARN LATER” CONFESSIONS MADE BY NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT

On August 18, 2004 the defendant was arrested by police on outstanding arrest warrants. Investigators questioned the defendant for three hours at the police station in Maple Shade, not realizing that the defendant had not been read his Miranda rights. After a cigarette break the police issued the defendant a Miranda warning. A police statement claimed that that, at that time, the defendant waived his Miranda rights and confessed to his charges. Later, the defendant claimed that he confessed because he felt threatened and coerced; and that the officer who supervised him during the break urged him to confess because he told him that his fingerprints were found at the scene and an eyewitness had identified him.

A New Jersey criminal attorney representing the defendant moved to suppress the defendant’s confession. The Trial judge denied the motion because he found the officer’s testimony credible over the defendant.  The Appellate Division remanded for further presentation of evidence on the defendant’s confession.

After the remand hearing evidence was provided to show that the defendant’s waiver of rights was voluntary. The State Supreme Court held that the trial judge correctly denied the motion to suppress claiming the defendant made no incriminating statements prior to receiving his Miranda rights and afterwards the defendant voluntarily waived his rights.

To learn more about the criminal process in state and federal courts of New Jersey, visit the website of New Jersey criminal attorney John F. Renner, Esquire.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“Like a rough orator, that brings more truth

Than rhetoric, to make good his accusation”

Phillip Massinger, Duke of Florence, 1627 

NEW JERSEY LAWYERS EVALUATE PAIR OF RULINGS ISSUED DISCUSSING WARNING RIGHTS FOR FOREIGN-BORN DEFENDANTS

Two rulings issued recently addressed the appropriate warning of mandatory deportation for foreign-born citizens facing criminal convictions. In State v. Duroseau, A-1740-08, the defendant, a Canadian citizen, pled guilty to CDS possession within 1,000 feet of a school zone and unlawful possession of a weapon, both third degree offenses. The form signed by the defendant stated that the guilty plea “may result in deportation.” After serving his prison term the defendant immediately faced deportation proceedings. In State v. Delgado, A-3276-08, the defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney argued his client was denied permanent residence with the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Services due to a prior conviction.  In both cases, the defendants argued through their respective New Jersey attorneys that the guilty plea neglected to instruct the defendant of the deportation consequences when they entered a guilty plea.

Both cases applied rulings by the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in State v. Nunez-Valdez, 200 N.J. 129 (2009) and the U.S. Supreme Court, in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010) which established that “foreigners must be warned in no uncertain terms about the impact of criminal convictions on their immigration status.” The two cases held that a failure to properly advise of the deportation consequences entitles the defendant to another day in court.    For more information on the criminal process in New Jersey, please visit the website of New Jersey Attorney John F. Renner.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“It is the worst oppression, that is done by the colour of justice.”

Sir Edward Coke, The Institute of the Lawes of England, vol. 2, 1628-1641