Archive for April 2012

New Jersey Lawyer Appeals Ruling On Refusal Conviction As Prior Violation In Third-Time Offender Conviction

In 1979 the defendant was convicted of DWI, in 2006 the defendant was convicted of refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, and in 2008 the defendant pleaded guilty to DWI. In 2008, the defendant was sentenced as a third-time offender. The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney argued that the 2006 refusal conviction could not be considered the same as a prior DWI violation and that since the defendant’s DWI conviction was more than 10 years earlier, the defendant should be sentenced as a first-time offender.

The state appealed the Law Division’s sentencing the defendant as a first-time offender.

The Appellate Division ruled that a prior conviction for refusing a Breathalyzer test is considered a prior “violation” or “offense” for purposes of the DWI statute. The defendant’s case was remanded to the Law Division for re-instatement of the sentence imposed by the municipal court.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“Let him who sins when drunk, be punished when sober”

Anonymous, Kendrick v. Hopkins (1590), Cary’s, Rep. 133

Visit the website of New Jersey Criminal Attorney John F. Renner for more information on your rights when charged with an offense on the state or federal levels.


New Jersey Criminal Attorney Appeals District Court Ruling In Illegal Reentry Case

In 1994 the defendant entered theUnited StatesfromMexico. Later that year he plead guilty to robbery charges, received a prison sentence, and was eventually deported. In 2001, the defendant reentered theUnited States, was apprehended, and deported. In 2005, the defendant again returned to theUnited Statesand worked in a restaurant until he was arrested and charged with illegally reentering theUnited Statessubsequent to a conviction for the commission of an aggravated felony.

The applicable guidelines range for the defendant was 46-57 months imprisonment. The defendant was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release. The defendant’s New Jersey attorney appealed the sentence.

The Third Circuit court affirmed the judgment of the District Court, ruling that the District Court has the discretion to impose a sentence outside of the guidelines but had no obligation to exercise that discretion. The court ruled that sentencing the defendant to the bottom of the range was reasonable in light of the offense level of 21.

John F. Renner, Esquire-  New Jersey Criminal Attorney– practices both in the federal and state courts in the State of New Jersey.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“Absolute freedom balks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom.”

Albert Camus

New Jersey Attorney Wins Reversal For Murder Conviction After Judge Violates Principles Of Due Process set forth by the NJ Supreme Court.

The defendant was charged with inter alia, murder in connection with the shooting deaths of his parents. During the trial, the trial judge questioned the defendant, the defendant’s expert witness, and two of the state’s witnesses. The trial judge also challenged the defendant’s expert witness. At the end of the trial the jury’s request for the judge’s instructions in writing were denied.

The defendant was convicted and the Appellate Division affirmed. The defendant’s New Jersey criminal attorney argued that the judge’s questioning of witnesses was improper and denied the defendant a fair trial.

The Supreme Court ruled that the judge’s questioning of witnesses violated the principles of State v. Taffaro, which established that the judge must refrain from any action that would suggest that he favors one side over the other or has a view regarding the credibility of a party or a witness. The defendant’s conviction for murder was reversed.

Visit the website of New Jersey Criminal Attorney John F. Renner to learn more about your rights in the state and federal courts of New Jersey.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“When a judge departs from the letter of the law he becomes the law-breaker”

Francis Bacon, De Argumentis Scientiarum, 1623