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“Thanks Tara for always believing in me and making me feel like I was your only client. You made the impossible possible. Forever grateful.”

- Gabriel V.
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Under NJSA 2C:7-2(f), a Registrant can petition to be removed from Megan’s Law after 15 years if they have not committed a new offense, and they are found not to be a threat to the community.  Prior to a recent Supreme Court ruling, if a registrant committed a subsequent offense after being placed on Megan’s Law, the 15 years time period would simply commence again after the subsequent  new offense.  However, in March of 2020, in State in the Interest of HD and JM, the Supreme Court ruled that the Registrant must remain completely offense free during the 15 year period in order to qualify for registrant relief commencing upon conviction, adjudication or release from confinement. 

The procedural history of JM and HD are as follows. In 1994, J.M. pled guilty to third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and it 1997, H.D. pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.  Both JM and HD were sentenced to probation and required to register as sex offenders. Subsequent to being placed on Megan’s Law, HD pled guilty to failure to register as a convicted sex offender in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(a) and (e). JM pled guilty in 2001 to a computer crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-29.  Both were sentenced to probation and neither has been convicted of anything since those dates.  

In 2017, after 15 years had passed they both filed for Removal from Megan’s Law Registration, and their motions were denied at the Superior Court level.  They both appealed and the Appellate court reversed the State Court’s decision, determining  that subsection(f) is ambiguous as to whether its requirement of fifteen years of offense-free conduct resets following an offender’s subsequent criminal conviction.  The Supreme Court reversed the Appellate decision, which essentially means that JM and HD are now barred from removal from Megan’s Law. 

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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) IS REAL BUT LIFE CONTINUES: CONTACT ATTORNEY TARA BRESLOW-TESTA FROM THE SHELTER OF YOUR PLACE.

March 18, 2020 by the Law Office of Tara Breslow

The nationwide quarantine inspired by Coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented in the experience of most New Jersey residents. Citizens of New Jersey have been encouraged to shelter in place, to stay home and avoid social contact to prevent transmitting and/or contracting the respiratory disease that is proving fatal.  Unfortunately, several of our residents both in Freehold, as well as Red Bank, have been affected by the virus.   

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What is Pre-Trial Intervention and More Importantly Is it The Right Choice?

Pre Trial Intervention, often referred to as “PTI,” is a diversionary probationary program offered at the Superior Court level in the county courts.  It can be a way to avoid a criminal record.  Most of the time, you enter the program without ever pleading guilty and even if a guilty plea is a contingency to acceptance, you will never be sentenced or convicted of a crime if you successfully complete the program.

Pursuant to the statute, the minimum length of time for probation imposed is a one year time period.  However, per the statutory guidelines, you can ask your probation officer for an early release from the program as early as six months.  The judge determines the length of time that is initially imposed, and usually community service is a condition, although sometimes this condition can be waived.   Upon acceptance into the program, you are to remain arrest free and if all other conditions are met you will successfully complete the program.

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https://www.monmouthcountycriminaldefenselawyer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/409/2019/09/Tara-See.hear_.now--240x300.jpgAsbury Park criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa

Over the weekend of September 21-22, the sea.hear.now Festival welcomed more than 35,000 people to Asbury Park. From sea to Shore, Asbury Park rocked and resonated with music from dozens of bands headlined by the B52s, the Dropkick Murphys, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and the Dave Matthews Band. Lots of live music, but also a surf contest, art demonstrations, food and drink. 

The sea.hear.now Festival was the place to eat, drink, rock out and be merry – say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.

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DISORDERLY CONDUCT AT THE JERSEY SHORE CAN HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES. 

Sea Girt is a popular Jersey Shore place to eat drink and be merry. But if you get too merry and cross the line into behavior that is considered disorderly conduct you might need the services of a lawyer.

Sea Girt, Belmar, Lake Como disorderly conduct attorney Tara Breslow-Testa is who you should call if cited or arrested for “causing public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or  recklessly creating a risk thereof.” All disorderly conduct cases go to court and some end up better than others.

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In this two-minute video, Monmouth County drug court attorney Tara Breslow-Testa discusses the pros and cons of Drug Court and explains it’s for those who are serious about escaping their drug addiction – and not just for someone evading jail.

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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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