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Friday, July 20, 2007

NJ Laws Newsletter E161 September 6, 2004

In this issue:

1. The New Jersey Supreme Court has revised Court Rules effective September 1, 2004 for Municipal Court, traffic and DWI cases .
2. Know Your Rights- In the Event that You or a Member of Your Family Suffers Serious Injury
3. Defiant trespass can be in a road.
4. Failure by officer to sign ticket is not a defense to DWI.
5. 911 permitted warrantless search.
6. Recent civil, Criminal, Elder, litigation articles added to website www.njlaws.com

1. The New Jersey Supreme Court has revised Court Rules effective September 1, 2004 for Municipal Court, traffic and DWI cases .
7:2-2(a)(2) - A police officer may now personally serve a summons charging a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense upon a defendant without effecting a custodial arrest. The police are not required to bring a defendant to the police station. They can hand write a criminal summons on the scene.

7:6-2(d)(5) - Plea Agreements- This revision to the Rule now mandates that the prosecutor personally appear in the courtroom and place on the record the terms and factual basis that supports the charges in a plea agreement on the record. The only exception for this procedure involves minor offenses that are contained on a violations schedule. (See revised Guideline 3 to plea bargaining procedures in Appendix 1)

7:12-3 - Plea by affidavit - The revision to this Rule eliminates the use of an affidavit and substitutes certifications in its place. The certification language from Rule 1:4-4(b) is also incorporated into the Rule. The change will make it easier for persons outside New Jersey to resolve their cases utilizing this Rule.
Appendix I to Rule VII - The Court has made two major changes to the Guidelines for controlling plea bargaining in Municipal Court. First, under the revised Guideline 3, a municipal prosecutor must appear in person in court to set forth every plea agreement except in those cases where the offense is listed on a violations schedule. In those cases, the prosecutor may use a form approved by the Administrative Director to communicate the plea agreement to the Court.

Drug Offenses - Guideline 4 now permits the judge to dismiss, as part of a plea agreement, drug offenses under Chapters 35 and 36 of Title 2C when a defendant has been charged with multiple drug offenses arising from the same incident. If the defendant pleads guilty to one offense, the plea agreement may allow that any remaining drug offenses arising from the same incident be dismissed. The same procedure may be used if the defendant seeks a conditional discharge on one of several drug offenses arising from the same incident.

2. Know Your Rights- In the Event that You or a Member of Your Family Suffers Serious Injury Due to the Negligence of Others....

Some insurance industry figures estimate that over 20% of drivers are driving on our roads with no liability coverage! Many other drivers are underinsured for cases involving serious injuries. In New Jersey, you have the right to obtain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage which protects you in the event that the at fault driver is not adequately insured. An attorney can explain the rights and obligations associated with each type of coverage, and can assist you in discovering all available insurance.

New Jersey law requires a victim to bring a claim within a specific time period, or legal action is barred forever. It is also critical to document and preserve important evidence related to a potential claim as soon as possible. An attorney can offer advice to ensure that your rights will not be jeopardized by the passage of time.

If an insurance adjuster asks you to sign a release or other legal document, attempts to obtain a recorded statement in person or by telephone, offers you legal advice or discourages you from speaking with a lawyer, BE CAUTIOUS! Insurance adjusters are not permitted to engage in the unauthorized practice of law. An injury attorney will offer advice that protects you, not the insurance company.

3. Defiant trespass can be in a road. State v. Hamilton 368 NJ Super. 151 (App. Div. 2004).
Defiant trespass, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3b, may be committed on a public road when a person fails to comply with the reasonable directions of a police officer. A misdescription of the property in the complaint, indicating a trespass on municipal property rather than on the right-of-way of a country road, was not material under the present facts.

4. Failure by officer to sign ticket is not a defense to DWI.
State v. Fisher __ NJ __ (2004). The unsigned ticket, which provided the defendant with adequate notice of the nature of the alleged offense and the date, time, and location of his required court appearance, does not require dismissal of the DWI
charge. The ticket not only contained all of the vital information, but also the evidence does not suggest that the officer acted in bad faith in issuing it. Based on those facts, the absence of the officer’s signature is an amendable defect under Rules 7:2-4 and 7:14-2. Although there is no reason to doubt that the officer had probable cause to issue the DWI ticket, the matter is remanded to the municipal court to allow the State to supplement the record by having the officer submit an affidavit or provide testimony indicating his belief that probable cause existed, or by offering into evidence a signed copy of the traffic ticket.

5. 911 permitted warrantless search. State v. Frankel 179 NJ 586 (2004).
Under the emergency-aid doctrine, the totality of the circumstances justified the officer's warrantless entry into the residence that originated the open-line 9-1-1 call. The Court affirms the judgment of the Appellate Division reversing the grant of the motion to suppress evidence.

6. Recent civil, Criminal, Elder, litigation articles added to website www.njlaws.com
Default and Vacating Default to a Civil Complaint in the Superior Court- Law Division Civil. (Suits over $15,000)

Estate Planning for Multiple Sclerosis Patients & Guardianship of Disabled Adults

Reduction of Sentence in Criminal Cases

Subpoenas in a Court Case

Juvenile Delinquency in New Jersey
Thank you for reading our newsletter! God Bless America USA #1
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
NEW PHONE 732-572-0500
New (Fax) 732-572-0030
website: www.njlaws.com

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Always schedule an office appointment with an experienced attorney when you have a legal matter. The Rules of Court limit an attorney's ability to discuss matters over the phone. If you have legal questions, you should schedule an in- office consultation.

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