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- Gabriel V.

Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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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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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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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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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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We’ve sometimes got trouble, right here in Holmdel township, with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for the PNC Bank Art Center. This popular music venue in Holmdel has provided a venue for musical acts from symphonies to Sinatra to Springsteen to Phish to Sting over the years – but the festival environment has also spawned more than a little bit of trouble in the form of dozens of drug arrests, underage drinking, DUI arrests, fights, shootings.

If you’re a music fan who gets into trouble with a capital T, the first person you should talk to is Holmdel criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa. She is experienced with a capital E and can reduce possible sentences, fines and future consequences for anyone arrested around the PNC Bank Center.

PLEASANT VALLEY

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Monmouth County Assault Defense Lawyer Tara Breslow-Testa Knows the Different Degrees of Assault. Speak to Tara Before Speaking to Anyone.

SIMPLE AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

The differences between simple and aggravated assault are both subtle and significant – but those differences can mean the difference between liberty and a lifetime of trouble: years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Monmouth County Assault Defense Attorney Tara Breslow-Testa understands the subtleties and significances. Anyone accused of assault – simple or aggravated: second, third or fourth degree – should consult with Tara before speaking to anyone else – including law enforcement. Contact the law offices of Tara Breslow-Testa at  (732) 784-2880.

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Monmouth Mall is one of the most popular spots in Eatontown, not just for shoppers but for shoplifters. Jersey Outlets in Tinton Falls is an outdoor outlet that attracts shoppers from all over New Jersey, and many are arrested for shoplifting each year.  Unfortunately for those who give in to the temptation of a “five-finger discount,” the mall and outlet do not have much forgiveness when it comes to prosecuting those who steal goods while pretending to be a customer.

If you have recently been arrested for shoplifting at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown or Jersey Gardens Outlet in Tinton Falls, there are several things you should know.

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In the past, when a person was arrested, they were often released “on bail” while awaiting trial or other required appearances before the court. This allowed the defendant to retain their freedom until they were acquitted, a jury declared them guilty of a crime, or they entered into a plea bargain agreement with the State.

Bail usually took the form of money paid to the court or property (such as land) pledged to secure the defendant’s appearance at later proceedings. If the defendant did not appear, the bail money (or property) was forfeited; additionally, the defendant could be charged with the separate crime of failure to appear in court.

Although this basic system was followed in New Jersey for many years, the state legislature passed bail reform legislation in 2014 that significantly changed the existing bail system.

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An addiction to a controlled substance is like a ticking bomb in many ways. Without an effective intervention, there will eventually be an explosive consequence for the user’s health, freedom, or both. Often, this consequence comes in the form of an arrest for a drug crime.

Fortunately for people facing such charges, there are some programs that can help defuse the addiction and put the accused on a path toward a brighter future.

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A group of law enforcement agencies dubbed “Operation Justice Served”, consisting of many federal, state, county, and local officials, arrested 42 individuals over the last month for their involvement in a drug trafficking network.

Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced that the arrests were connected to a distribution network operating out of Freehold, New Jersey. The charges include possession and distribution of a number of different controlled substances including: heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription pain medications classified as opiates, such as Oxycodone and Percocet.

“The joint efforts of these multiple law enforcement agencies involved in OPERATION JUSTICE SERVED have accomplished the mission of taking down this local drug trafficking network responsible for bringing drugs into the county and threatening quality of life and the safety of residents.” Gramiccioni said.

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