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A New Jersey Case Laid a Foundation for Cyber Harassment/Stalking Law

“…the Internet and related technology have also become new mediums for misconduct, in that communications via the Internet can be used to threaten, harass, intimidate, and cause harm to others.”

– Patricia R. Recupero, JD, MD (2008)

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Sexual harassment is something no worker should have to tolerate. Your job is to do your job, not be your boss’ sexual conquest or target for inappropriate, crude language or physical contact. You should be given respect at work, not a work atmosphere that turns your stomach. If severe enough, sexual harassment can be the subject of a civil lawsuit against a current or former employer.

The #MeToo movement is the most recent public push to publicize and end sexual harassment. It started with the exposure of Hollywood executives’ desire to manipulate and sexually exploit actresses and spread to high ranking members of the media and other industries.

Though this effort is relatively new, discrimination based on sex in the workplace was forbidden by federal law (known as Title VII) in 1964 and sexual harassment was recognized as a cause of action by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986. Sexual harassment is considered to be a type of sex discrimination.

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Prior to 2017, every criminal defendant in the state had a constitutional right to pre-conviction bail. After an arrest, a judge would set a monetary bail amount in each case. The defendant could post bail with cash or with a bond. If the person couldn’t afford either, he or she would stay in jail until the resolution of their trial. This resulted in people stuck in jail, not because they were a danger to society but because they were poor.

New Jersey’s Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act changed this system. This act gives significant importance to the risk to the community when a determination on releasing the defendant is made. Additionally, the court takes into account:

  • The offense
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New Jersey’s highest court has determined that juvenile sex offenders will no longer be held on the state’s sex offender registry for life.  New Jersey, which pioneered the sex offender registry, intended on utilizing this tool in an effort to protect community members and their families from potential harm. The Supreme Court unanimously determined that placing such requirements on individuals directly violates their due process rights under the Constitution. It was determined that requiring a juvenile offender to remain on the state’s sex offender registry greatly inhibits their ability to rehabilitate and integrate back into society as they make their way into adulthood.

The landmark Megan’s Law, which initiated the sex offender registry, was enacted in 1994. In 2002, New Jersey adopted federal law which placed much more stringent punishments upon sex offenders including the lifetime registry requirement. The new legislation requires all sex offenders to register as a sex offender; however, it also allows the individual the ability to appeal if they were convicted as a juvenile. In these cases, the individual will appear in front of a judge who will determine if the offender “has been offense-free and does not likely pose a societal risk” after 15 years. In revising the 2002 additions to Megan’s Law, it became apparent that by not allowing juvenile offenders to be removed from the registry, it assumed that they posed a threat to society indefinitely. Many who had been branded by their previous actions would suffer a great deal of trouble traveling and advancing in their career. Attorneys have argued that this is a mental health issue as research suggests a low recidivism rate for those who commit these crimes at a young age.

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When You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney For Belmar and Lake Como

Summertime, and the living is frenzied. Belmar is jumping, and spirits in Lake Como are high. Maybe a little too high, and that can lead to municipal or superior court, and that can lead to a need for representation – to keep the summer fun flowing.

During the summer, Belmar and Lake Como are two places along the Jersey Shore where many citizens get away from the hot inland turf and get loose near the sunny surf. Some people eat, drink and get a little too merry, and the local police are kept busy with arrests for underage drinking, fake identification, ordinance violations, simple and aggravated assault, criminal trespass, outstanding warrants and interference with business.

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When your child is arrested in NJ, it can be a frightening time.  

From working with countless parents, I know how unsettling it is to receive a phone call informing you that your child has been arrested or the police are asking for them to be questioned regarding a criminal charge. A tornado of thoughts and concerns are sure to grip the parent as well as the child.

Juveniles can be charged with the same statutory offenses as adults and the seriousness of the offense dictates where the matter is heard.  Often times an experienced criminal lawyer can avoid the matter being presented to a judge in a formal proceeding and instead have a referee or the Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC) hear the matter.  If your son or daughter is charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(a)(4), it may be possible to avoid a record and enter into a deferred disposition. If your child has been charged with shoplifting there are ways an experienced criminal lawyer can avoid serious consequences.  It is not uncommon for good kids to get into a fight and be charged with simple or aggravated assault. In these and other matters, a deferred disposition is oftentimes a good way for a child to be given a second chance.

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New Jersey’s New and Lenient Expungement Laws Help You Clear Your Record

If you are worried that your criminal record is holding you back in applying for schools, applying for jobs, applying for the military – you could be right. Your past is messing with your future. What can you do in the present to fix that?

A Petition for Expungement can erase or remove completely your criminal record –  and that process just got quite a bit easier and more lenient, thanks to former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

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Detention Hearings and Risk Assessment Hearings


NEW JERSEY’S BAIL REFORM AND SPEED TRIAL ACT

Since January 1, 2017, New Jersey took a major step to transform its bail system, moving it from what some considered an unfair monetary-based system – which favored the wealthy and punished the poor – to a new deal, based on risk: This new calculation factors in arguments from prosecutors, defenders and a computer algorithm to let a judge decide whether or not an accused citizen will show up for court, or repeat their crimes if let out on bail. This bail reform has had a profound effect on how domestic violence cases are handled in New Jersey.  This new system is proving to be efficient, but it still has its complications.

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MEDICAL = YES, WITH RESTRICTIONS.

RECREATIONAL = NOW, NO! BUT COMING SOON IN 2018, MAYBE.

Marijuana advocates in Vancouver, Canada send a message resonating all the way to New Jersey.

Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since 2010 – with restrictions.

Recreational marijuana is not (yet) legal in New Jersey. And offenders who possess or distribute marijuana are dealt with harshly. But that could all change when New Jersey undergoes a regime change from the Christie Dynasty to whatever is coming next.

It is important to know the differences and the laws, because the difference could lead to arrest and conviction for possession or distribution of marijuana – which could lead to years to decades of prison time, harsh fines and a permanent criminal record.

And if you’re in the slammer when the rules (possibly) change a couple of months from now, you’ll miss out on all the legal fun.

Continue reading →

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DISORDERLY CONDUCT ALONG THE JERSEY SHORE

As seen on TV: Underage drinking and public intoxication are rampant in Seaside Heights and all along the New Jersey shore during the summer months. Public safety officials are vigilant in enforcing the local and state laws, and the time and money investment involved in arrest and courts, and the possible fines, can be alarming.

If arrested for any alcohol-related crime in Seaside Heights, you would be wise to talk to Tara Breslow-Testa, a Seaside Heights public intoxication lawyer who can help anyone accused of open container, drinking in public, underage drinking and public intoxication in Seaside Heights.