Archive for May 2013

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