We recently defended a client who had been charged with shoplifting from a convenience store. Our client had no prior record and was adamant about avoid a conviction and any possible jail. However, shoplifting cases can be very tough since almost all major stores employ their own security, referred to a Loss Prevention Officers, who are trained on what type of suspicious activity to look for and to document it properly. Moreover, it is standard for them to record all alleged acts or attempts to shoplift and to introduce these videotapes in court to use against the defendant. In order to secure a victorious outcome for our client, our attorneys had to use an aggressive defense strategy and attack the State’s case and challenge whether they could actually meet their burden of proof to convict our client. Eventually, after the matter could not be worked out, it was set for a trial. On the trial date, the State was unprepared to try the case because they still could not meet their burden and requested an adjournment. However, our criminal attorneys made an application to dismiss based on the fact that our client and the State each had ample time to prepare for trial. After some consideration, the Judge granted our motion and all charges were dismissed. Our client was able to walk out of court with their record intact and without having to pay any fines or fees to the court.
State v. S.C.
Our office had the opportunity to help out another one of the our clients who had been charged with a DWI and 3rd degree drug possession of prescription drugs. Our client was a hard working family man who had no prior record and had a great job which could have been easily lost if he was convicted of the felony drug possession or couldn’t drive to work for an extended period of time from a DWI conviction.
His case was sent to CJP in Hudson County Superior Court since he was charged with a 3rd degree felony which could carry up 3 – 5 years in state prison if convicted. At CJP our criminal defense attorney was able to speak with the prosecutor about the circumstances of the case and the state agreed to downgrade the charges from an indictable crime down to a disorderly persons offense and send the case back down to municipal court. This was a huge win right from the beginning because now our client was no longer facing the possibility of a felony conviction.
Once at municipal court we began challenging the evidence against our client as it pertained to the drugs and DWI. We were able to put forth a compelling argument and convince the judge to sign an order demanding that the state produce certain evidence against our client by a certain date or in the alternative that those missing pieces be suppressed. Ultimately, we were able successfully argue that the judge dismiss the DWI charges based on several items of missing evidence and the fact that the state may have trouble proving that the defendant actually had the intent to operate the vehicle. As for the drug charges – our client was admitted into the conditional discharge program which will result in a dismissal of the case after 12 months with no violations. To learn more about how a Kearny NJ DWI attorney may be able to help you, contact our office today for a free consultation.
State v. L.B. decided August 30, 2016
Our Hoboken DWI defense attorneys recently represented a client who was arrested for drunk driving and DWI in a School Zone after Hoboken Police found him passed out unconscious behind the wheel in the middle of the road around 5:44 A.M. Upon approaching the car the police noticed all the doors were locked and there was loud music blasting from inside the car. According to their report, the police could see our client seated inside with his eyes closed but he was completely unresponsive to their commands and it actually took them several minutes of knocking on the windows and physically shaking the car to wake our client from his slumber.
When he finally woke up and rolled down the window, the police smelt an odor of alcoholic beverages emanating from inside the car. According to the report, after speaking with the police, he appeared to be disoriented and did not know where he was at first. The police also noted that he had slow speech and glassy eyes. Based on the circumstances, an ambulance had been called to make sure our client did not need medical attention. When they asked him to step out of the car to be checked by the EMTs he was also observed to be stumbling and had to be guided with the assistance of the medical personnel. Lastly, he was heard making open admissions to the EMTs that he had been consuming alcohol throughout the night.
Based on these observations, the police arrested our client for DWI and DWI in a School Zone and transported him to the police station where he was administered the breathalyzer which showed he was in fact above the legal limit. This was our client’s first time in trouble and he was obviously very distraught about the situation, especially since he faced up to a 2 year loss of his driver’s license, if convicted. In order to challenge the State’s case against him, our defense lawyers began combing through the evidence looking for inconsistencies or potential issues with the police officer’s procedures and the breathalyzer machine itself. Based on the information we uncovered, we brought in a retired state trooper breath test coordinator, as a DWI expert, to challenge the validity of the breathalyzer reading. In the end, our attorneys made a motion to dismiss based on the deficiencies in the State’s evidence and the court dismissed both the DWI and DWI in the School Zone against our client.
State v. G.S. decided on October 24, 2017 resulted in Reckless Driving with 60 day loss of license
Our DWI attorneys recently defended a client who was charged with driving while intoxicated after he rear-ended a car near the Holland Tunnel. Port Authority Police were called to the scene because of the accident and after speaking with our client they smelled alcohol on his breath and decided to arrest him for DWI. He was brought to the Port Authority Police Station so they could conduct the breathalyzer, also known as the Alcotest machine. However, the Alcotest failed after the machine had an internal error so the officers had to again transfer our client to another police station to conduct the test where he eventually gave a breath sample of 0.12% which was over the legal limit.
As part of our representation, we requested all the relevant evidence pertaining to our client’s case be produced in court. In particular we wanted to see the first breath sample from the Alcotest that failed earlier in the day in order to what level of alcohol it registered and also to set up a detailed timeline after the defendant’s arrest to see if the police officer’s followed the correct protocols, in particular the required 20 minute observation period before the breathalyzer. However, the prosecutor could not produce the results from the earlier test because, according to the police, they had destroyed it. Based on this information, our attorneys filed a motion to suppress the breathalyzer reading from evidence and successfully argued the motion before the municipal judge who suppressed the breathalyzer reading. This meant that the prosecutor could no longer rely on the 0.12% alcohol reading to prove our client guilty of the DWI and instead could only use the standard field sobriety tests such as walking a straight to try and prove he was drunk at the time of the accident. On the day of trial, our attorneys were able to convince of the police officer and the prosecutor that they could not prove the DWI simply based on the field sobriety tests because the defendant had performed them very well. Therefore, the court dismissed the DWI charges against our client.
State v. J.Z. decided April 10, 2017
Our Jersey City DWI attorneys recently defended a client who had been stopped and arrested for DWI in Jersey City after officers found him sleeping inside his car with the engine running. Based on the prevailing law in New Jersey, even if you are sleeping inside your car you can still get charged and convicted for drunk driving. After awakening him, the police claimed that a struggle ensued and they found our client carrying a gun. Based on the serious felony charges, the case was sent up to the Hudson County Superior Court when the defendant ended up receiving a Pre-Trial Intervention which resulted in the criminal charges being dismissed once he successfully completed the program.
However, there was one big problem – the DWI and other motor vehicle charges were never sent back down to the Jersey City municipal court to be disposed of. To make matters worse, the New Jersey DMV had suspended our client’s license and would not reinstate even though a bench warrant was never imposed in his case because the motor vehicle tickets appeared to be frozen in this transfer status and unresolved for so many years. After years of trying to clear this up on his own and spending countless hours dealing with DMV, and court staff at Jersey City Municipal Court and Hudson County Superior Court he was at his wit’s end. He came to the conclusion that there was no way he could do this any longer by himself so he called our office to explain what exactly had been going on for the last 3 years. At first even our attorneys found it hard to believe that such a major case involving a DWI could “fall through the cracks” and result in such a hardship for someone. But based on the facts, we agreed to take on the case and assured him we would get to the bottom of it. After conducting our own investigation we were able to track down the prosecutor who originally handled the case and quickly figured out that through an error in the system the case was never actually sent back down to the municipal court 3 years ago like it should have been.
Based on this new information we had the case sent back down to Jersey City Municipal Court to finally be disposed of. Once we appeared in court, our DUI defense lawyers quickly asserted our client’s speedy trial rights and made motion to dismiss the case based on the fact that it had been approximately 36 months since our client’s case was resolved at the Superior Court and based on State v. Cahill, 213 N.J. 253 (2013) that time period pending a remand does not “toll” or stop the speedy trial clock from ticking. At first the prosecutor opposed the dismissal because of the original set of facts involving the gun and the fact that our client’s BAC reading was so high at 0.24% effectively making him 3 times the legal limit However, after a lengthy oral argument before the judge it became clear that the law was on the defendant’s side and the prosecutor had no choice but to agree to dismiss the case. Our client was able to walk out of court with no license suspension and no fines and now can finally get his license back after all these years.
State v. D.B. decided September 22, 2017
Our New Jersey traffic defense attorneys recently represented a client who was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after a car crash on the turnpike. To make matters worse, it was alleged that the car accident resulted from a road rage incident between our client and the other driver after one cut the other off and stopped short.
Our client was adamant that he did not do anything wrong and that there was no accident or damage to either vehicle. Based on this he did not want to take any type of plea deal or admit to doing anything wrong. In order to secure such an outcome we had to appear multiple times in court over several months eventually setting the case for a trial. At the time of trial our attorney made a motion to dismiss the charge for leaving the scene of an accident based on the lack of prosecution because the state was still missing crucial evidence that they would require to prove the charges. In the end, our client was able to walk out of court without admitting any guilt or paying any fines. If you are facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident like the above example, then contact our office today for a free consultation where we can discuss the facts of your case and possible defenses.
State v. W.S. decided June 12, 2017
Our Hudson County criminal attorneys recently defended a client who was charged with lewdness after being arrested by Hoboken police in the early morning hours. Our client was very concerned when he contacted us for help because he was currently serving a suspended sentence for a charge of criminal sexual contact that had been recently downgraded to harassment. To make matters worse our client was not a U.S. citizen and is in the country on a work visa and another criminal conviction for an alleged sex crime could further complicate his immigration status.
The case originated after Hoboken police allegedly spotted our client urinating between two cars on the street after a night out at the bars. Urinating in public citations are common place in Hoboken, although they are normally not charged as criminal lewdness. This is because defendants charged with urinating in public will normally try and be discreet by peeing in an alley-way or side of a building. However, the circumstances alleged in this case seemed to be more egregious because the defendant was between two cars positioned between the sidewalk and the street so he could easily be viewed by pedestrians or traffic driving by. And that’s exactly what the police alleged when they drove by and said they saw the defendant’s penis clearly exposed to the public with no intention to hide what he was doing. Based on these facts, the police charged our client with a crime of Lewdness under 2c:14-4 and gave him a summons to appear in court. This meant that the police felt he had exposed his genitals in a manner likely to be seen by others. Now this could have been chalked up to just a bad night, which would allow for an argument that the defendant was just so intoxicated that he didn’t realize what he was doing. However, given his recent past discretion, our client was concerned that the police and court would simply assume the worst and quickly jump to the conclusion this was a continuing pattern of sexual deviant behavior.
One of our primary defense arguments in this case was that our client shouldn’t be treated any different from any of the other countless offenders ticketed for urinating in public in Hoboken just because he had a prior record. At court we were able to convince the prosecutor to give our client the benefit of the doubt even though the circumstances appeared a bit inordinary or “fishy”. Therefore, in the court agreed to amend the criminal charge to a municipal ordinance and our client was able to walk out of court without a criminal conviction and only had to pay a fine. If you have been charged with lewdness under circumstances similar to the events described above then feel free to contact us for a free consultation at (201) 793-8018.
State v. O.K. decided March 20, 2018
Our Hudson County marijuana defense lawyers recently defended a young father who had been arrested by Harrison police after a concerned citizen called in to report a suspicious vehicle sitting a gravel parking lot off the main road. The gravel parking lot is a municipal lot that is typically used by commuters who park their during the day while at work in the city. However, the caller thought it was suspicious because the car was there on a non-commuting day late a night and they thought someone might be sitting inside the vehicle. When police arrived to investigate the area based on the call, they spotted our client and a passenger sitting in the car, which was running. Police can typically approach a parked vehicle that they deem suspicious based on something we call the “community caretaking” function. This gives them wide latitude to go up to a vehicle and talk to the occupants inside to make sure everyone is okay and that there is nothing illegal taking place. And that is just what this officer did – but when he approached to the car to speak with our client, he smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car which quickly escalated the situation. Courts in New Jersey have decided that the odor of marijuana is evidence of criminal activity taking place and based on that, police can remove you from the car to be detained while they search the vehicle without a warrant to find evidence of marijuana use.
Multiple Drugs Charges Result in No Criminal Conviction
Based on the smell of the marijuana the police officer removed our client and the passenger from the car and a subsequent search revealed marijuana, a smoking pipe and a pill of MDMA. After finding the drugs, the police officer began to question our client and his passenger as to whose drugs it was that he found in the car. Our client admitted that the marijuana and smoking pipe were his and the passenger took responsibility for the MDMA. He was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana under 2C:35-10a(4), Drug Paraphernalia under 2C:36-2 and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in a Motor Vehicle under 39:4-49.1 and given a court date to report into court. Based on these charges our client was looking at up 6 months in county jail on each criminal charge (although incarceration is unlikely for a first time offender) and a realistic 3 year loss of his driver’s license and a year of probation. This was the first time our client had ever been in trouble and he hired our law firm with the hopes of keeping his record clean and not losing his driver’s license. After receiving and reviewing the evidence, it appeared on the surface that everything was pretty cut and dry and done properly. The police had a reasonable suspicion to approach and investigate the vehicle in the first place and had probable cause to search our client’s vehicle based on the smell of the marijuana. But after further review there was one big thing missing – there was no signed Miranda card by our client proving that he knowingly waived his right to self-incrimination when he spoke to the police and allegedly took responsibility for the marijuana that was found within the car. Based on this issue and the fact that the passenger had already taken responsibility for the pill, the Court agreed to downgrade the criminal charges against our client to a municipal town ordinance which only carried a $300 fine and no criminal conviction. Our client was ecstatic and grateful for all our effort that resulted in no criminal record and we were happy to help a young father who was deserving of a break. To learn more about how our Hudson County criminal attorneys may be able to help you or your loved one, give us a call today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation during which time we can discuss the facts of your particular case and your options.
Our DUI defense attorneys recently represented a client who was charged with a DWI and Refusal after State Police allegedly found her on the shoulder of the Garden State Parkway intoxicated. If convicted, our client would receive a mandatory suspension of upwards of 15 months and be required to install an ignition interlock device in her vehicle. Refusal and DUI cases are some of the hardest offenses to win in Municipal Court because there is absolutely no plea bargaining allowed. In order to secure a downgrade or dismissal of a DWI or Refusal, you have to aggressively attack the State’s case against you. Right from the beginning we began laying the groundwork for a trial and creating leverage for our client’s defense. We did this by challenging the State’s ability to establish operation of the motor vehicle and by identifying crucial discovery issues. In order to exploit the discovery issues, we successfully argued for the Judge to sign an order mandating that the State provide missing discovery and comply within a reasonable amount of time. In the end, upon a motion by our defense attorneys, were able to successfully argue for a dismissal of all the charges against our client including the Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal, and Reckless Driving. This allowed our client to walk out of court without ever losing her license and without paying any fines. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI and Refusal, contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 to see how we may be able to help you during a free consultation with an experienced DUI attorney.
State v. S.C.
Our Hudson County criminal defense lawyers recently represented a client who had been charged with domestic violence simple assault after an alleged fight with his wife. To make matters worse our client was not a U.S. citizen and risked potential immigration consequences such as deportation or prohibition against re-entering the country if he was convicted of an act of domestic violence. By the time we got involved in the case our client had an arrest warrant for failing to appear in court and ever answer the charges. After lifting the warrant we had the case re-listed and made a demand to the prosecutor to provide the evidence and subpoena any witnesses they would need to try and prove the case.
Once we went to court, the prosecutor had trouble producing the evidence and the victim failed to appear to testify after being subpoenaed. After reviewing the information, the prosecutor conceded that there were substantial proof issues with their case. Based on these issues, we were able to make a persuasive argument to the judge for a motion to dismiss based on lack of prosecution. Our client was able to walk out of court with no criminal record after the charges were completely dismissed. Moreover, at the time of the dismissal our lawyers made an argument for the judge to sign an expungement to erase his record of arrest so nothing would come up on a background check. If you or your loved one has been charged with an act of domestic violence or has potential immigration issues like the client referenced above, then feel free to give us a call today for a free consultation so we can explain how we may be able to help.
State v. C.J. decided on August 3, 2017