Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Prey for Me: New Jersey Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

How can a sexual abuse charge impact your life and reputation?

Sexual offenses, which are non-consensual acts, may include inappropriate/offensive touching, sexual battery, unlawful sexual contact, and rape.

The sexual assault of children is universally considered one of the most deplorable of all crimes, but when the alleged perpetrator is a priest, the reaction is kicked up to lynch mob proportions.

Recently, an investigation was launched against a former Hudson County priest with respect to allegations of sexual abuse dating back twenty years to when the priest was ministering at St.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

NJ High Court Rules Sleeping Juror Not Enough for New Trial

What happens if a juror sleeps or does not pay attention during your trial?

Your trial is one of the most important days of your life.  You expect that the jurors charged with making the critical decision of your guilt or innocence will behave impartially and pay close attention.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered a defendant’s request for a new trial based on his assertion that a juror was sleeping.  The court laid important ground rules for trial courts to follow in future cases involving inattentive jurors.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Jersey Doctors: Trails of Blood Money, Bribery, and Healthcare Fraud

Q: Can a doctor accept compensation or kickbacks for referring business to a laboratory?

First, do no harm. It’s the oath physicians take when they get their medical licenses and promise to take care of their patients--to do right by them.

While it’s not uncommon to hear of doctors defending medical malpractice suits, the number of New Jersey physicians recently accused of such white collar crimes as bribery and healthcare fraud is alarming.

Read more . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Intentional Torts Of Assault And Battery

Under the category of personal injury suits, there are the intentional torts, or wrongs, that are categorized as an assault or a battery.  Either tort may be present independently.

One may be found civilly liable for the intentional tort of assault if the offender acted with the intent to “cause a harmful or offensive contact” or the “imminent apprehension of such contact” to another person.  Sometimes, a mere threat might be enough if it would cause a “reasonable person” to believe he or she would be attacked.

Read more . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Criminally Charged—Do You Need An Attorney?

Have you been charged with a crime or crimes in the state of New Jersey?  The damage stemming from a criminal conviction can have life-long repercussions, especially when seeking employment.  A conviction is typically a permanent part of your criminal record and will be revealed during standard background checks. 

This is the reality for several New Jersey residents mentioned in a recent news article.   Police stopped a vehicle because the driver did not have a license and the smell of marijuana was apparent.

Read more . . .

Monday, June 27, 2016

Burlington NJ Marijuana Case Will Not Go to High Court

Can civil rights and religious freedom arguments succeed when appealing a marijuana conviction?

After his arrest and conviction on a number of charges relating to the sale of marijuana, lawyers for the "NJ Weedman" hoped their appeal would transform their case into an important argument over constitutional rights. The United States Supreme Court, however, has declined to review the Burlington, New Jersey man's conviction.

Arrests on Thirteen Drug Counts

The defendant had been charged with numerous counts of marijuana possession and distribution, as well as having "fortified premises," owning drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a "narcotics nuisance." His conviction was the culmination of a long investigation of his Trenton restaurant and the Rastafarian Temple he ran next door.

Read more . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2016

When a Traffic Stop Leads to a Search, Seizure & Criminal Charges

In New Jersey, motor vehicle stops can easily escalate into something more severe.  For example, a subsequent investigation after a traffic stop could result in an arrest and criminal charges if weapons and narcotics are found.  This situation occurred in Cranford, New Jersey, for two young men in their twenties.  The charges for the accused ranged from Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes, Distribution of Marijuana, and Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes.

Read more . . .

Monday, May 23, 2016

Little Leniency for Woman Who Burned Her Newborn

What role does mental illness play in criminal sentencing?

Women go through a lot during and after pregnancy. One can experience all types of positive and negative feelings during this time. But, the urge to hurt a child is usually linked to some type of mental illness. If a woman has this urge and succeeds in injuring or killing her child, she will likely face criminal charges. What role will her mental illness in her criminal case? We might find answers in a recent case coming out of the State of New Jersey.

Read more . . .

Sunday, May 22, 2016

You Have a Right to Celebrate the Miranda Warning

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, the court will provide one.” You have probably heard police officers say this on a TV show or in a movie, but do you know where this warning comes from and why Hollywood always seems to work it into scripts?

This month we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a United States Supreme Court decision called Miranda v. Arizona.

Read more . . .

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Conviction Vacated Because of Police Destruction of Video

What happens when a law enforcement officer testifies about evidence without revealing that it no longer exists?

When a jury learns that a defendant was caught on video, a conviction seems inevitable. But not when a prosecution witness testifies about the video without mentioning that it was destroyed. A New Jersey man convicted of cocaine possession and sentenced to five years in jail is now a free man because of mistaken police testimony and the police's failure to preserve recorded evidence. 

The defendant, who had more than twenty different aliases, was suspected of being a drug dealer and was arrested in 2010, when detectives said they saw him selling drugs. At the police station, the suspect protested his innocence.

Read more . . .

Friday, April 22, 2016

Forensic Scientist Caught Falsifying Test Results Could Have Huge Impact on Criminal Cases in New Jersey

What kind of implications could the illegal actions of one forensic scientist have on open and closed criminal cases?

When physical evidence needs to undergo analysis in a criminal case, litigants usually rely on the jurisdictions crime lab. But what happens when it turns out that the crime labs, or the people working in them, are not as reliable as previously thought? This can create doubt that can have a serious effect on open and closed cases. This is exactly what is happening right now in the State of New Jersey.

Kamalkant Shah, a forensic scientist at the New Jersey State Police Office of Sciences North Regional Laboratory, is suspected of falsifying lab results. Specifically, he is believed to have falsified records claiming that various substances were marijuana without completing the necessary tests.

Read more . . .

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