Archive for November 2012

NEW JERSEY LAWYER BRINGS APPEAL THAT RESULTS IN NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT ESTABLISHING GUIDELINES CONCERNING MOTOR VEHICLE SENTENCING

The defendant received a reckless-driving conviction in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96 for using the left-turn lane at an intersection as a passing lane. In municipal court, the defendant was charged with a reckless driving conviction and received a 45-day license suspension sentence   The defendant’s New Jersey lawyer argued that the suspension statute, N.J.S.A. 39:5-31, is “obscure, vague, and overbroad and gives the judge unbridled discretion.” In the appeal, the defendant denied fair notice of the sentence she was facing and challenged the constitutionality of the suspension statute.  Justice Barry Albin asserted that “the license-suspension provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:5-31 are not ‘hidden’ and all motorists are presumed to know the law.” Despite rejecting defendant’s challenge, the New Jersey Supreme Court established guidelines to ensure the uniformity and fairness concerning motor vehicle sentencing.    For more information on criminal law in the State of New Jersey, please visit the website of NJ Criminal Attorney John F. Renner.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“Every opinion tends to become a law”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Locher v.New York, 198U.S.45, 75 (1905)

 

 

NEW JERSEY LAWYERS STUDY SUPREME COURT’S RULINGS CONCERNING DESTROYING CONTEMPORANEOUS NOTES AND CSAAS EXPERT TESTIMONY

After the defendant made a videotaped confession to sexually abusing his 14-year old stepdaughter, a Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office detective made her final report and destroyed her notes. In the case against the defendant, the prosecution psychiatrist and Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome expert testified about the syndrome and explained that the syndrome “outlines frequently observed victim behaviors.”

The Appellate Division was left to determine whether destroying contemporaneous notes would require the imposition of an ‘appropriate sanction.’ The Appellate Division also examined the guidelines of expert testimony on CSAAS.

As a result of this case, the state Supreme Court notified law enforcement to abandon the practice of destroying contemporaneous notes taken during an investigation. If the notes are not preserved the defendant may be entitled to an adverse-inference charge. The Court also ruled that the expert testimony on CSAAS may only be used as “a map to understanding the impact of the crime.”    Please visit the website of New Jersey Criminal Attorney, John F.  Renner for more information.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“The dependence of the average citizen on the police is evident in daily life. Let almost anything happen that is out of the ordinary and their first reaction is ‘call a cop’”

Burr W. Leyson