In this issue:
1. New statute Broadens definition of “toxic chemical” in the drug statutes to include nitrous oxide and other substances
2. New statute Imposes criminal penalties for certain actions concerning disposition of decedent’s body parts.
3 Recent cases: Confession made after arrest warrant admissible.
4. The need for Self- Proving Wills
5. Upcoming Community Events
1. New statute Broadens definition of “toxic chemical” in the drug statutes to include nitrous oxide and other substances.
Governor Jon S. Corzine took action on the following legislation. S-1280/A-3083 (Bryant/Fisher, Burzichelli) – This bill strengthens the prohibition on inhalation abuse, known as "huffing," by broadening the definition of "toxic chemical" in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.4.
Under current law, it is a disorderly persons offense to inhale the fumes of any toxic chemical for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication or to possess any toxic chemical for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
The bill defines "toxic chemical" as "any chemical or substance having the property of releasing toxic fumes," and provides that the term "toxic chemical" includes but is not limited to nitrous oxide, and any glue, cement, adhesive, paint remover or other substance containing a chemical capable of releasing vapors or fumes causing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction, or dulling of the brain or nervous system.
The bill specifically provides that it does not apply to the lawful possession and use of nitrous oxide for the purpose of medical, surgical, or dental care by a person duly licensed to administer nitrous oxide, or to the lawful sale of nitrous oxide for non medical use.
The bill amends N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1 through N.J.S.A. 2C:36-3, the drug paraphernalia statutes, to include objects commonly associated with inhalation abuse, such as the following: compressed gas containers, such as tanks, cartridges or canisters, that contain food grade or pharmaceutical grade nitrous oxide as a principal ingredient; chargers or charging bottles, meaning metal, ceramic or plastic devices that contain an interior pin that may be used to expel compressed gas from a cartridge or canister; and tubes, balloons, bags, fabrics, bottles or other containers used to concentrate or hold in suspension a toxic chemical or the fumes of a toxic chemical. Use or possession of a toxic chemical under N.J.S. 2C:36-2 would be a disorderly persons offense. Distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute or manufacture a toxic chemical under N.J.S. 2C:36-3 would be a crime of the fourth degree punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
2. New statute Imposes criminal penalties for certain actions concerning disposition of decedent’s body parts. S-2032/A-3016 (Buono, Vitale/Vainieri Huttle, Conaway, Bodine, Quigley, Greenstein) –
As amended by the committee, this bill imposes criminal penalties for certain actions concerning the disposition of a human decedent’s body parts. Specifically:
A person who knowingly, for valuable consideration, purchases or sells a human body part for transplantation or therapy that was intended by the decedent to be donated after death, is guilty of a crime of the third degree (punishable by a fine of up to $50,000, three to five years imprisonment, or both).
This bill does not preclude a person from charging a reasonable amount for removing, processing, disposing, preserving, maintaining quality control, storing, transporting, or implanting a human body part.
A person who intentionally falsifies, forges, conceals, defaces, or obliterates a document by which a gift of all or part of a human body may be made pursuant to the “Uniform Anatomical Gift Act” (N.J.S.A. 26:6-57 et seq.), amends or revokes such a document, or any death record or document of medical or social history pertaining to the body or part of the donor, or a refuses to make a gift, in order to obtain a financial benefit or gain, is guilty of a crime of the second degree (punishable by a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for five to 10 years, or both).
· The bill also amends N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2 to make it a crime of the first degree (punishable by a fine of up to $200,000, imprisonment for 10 to 20 years, or both) to steal human remains by deception or falsification of a document by which a gift of all or part of a human body may be made pursuant to the “Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.”
3 Recent cases: Confession made after arrest warrant admissible. State v. Bell 388 N.J. Super. 629 (App. Div. 2006)
Where police arrested defendant pursuant to an arrest warrant but without a search warrant for the third party's residence in which they found him, his confession, made later at the police station, need not be suppressed. Source: NJ Law Journal November 27, 2006
4. The need for Self- Proving Wills
During the past year we have enjoyed providing information and advice to you and many friends and client.
The old New Jersey Probate Rules required one of the two witnesses to a Will to travel and appear in the Surrogate’s office and sign an affidavit to certify they were a witness. This often created problems when the witness was deceased, moved away, or simply could not be located. Some witnesses would require a $500 fee to simply sign a surrogate paper.
The New Jersey Legislature passed a law to create a new type of Will called a “Self-Proving Will.” In such a Will, the person for whom the Will is made must sign. Then two witnesses sign. Then the attorney or notary must sign; with certain statutory language to indicate the Will is self proving. When done properly, the executor does not have to locate any witnesses. This usually saves time and money. If your Will is not “self-proving” or if you are unsure, schedule an appointment with an elder law attorney. Some law offices ignore the revised law, and fail to prepare self proving Wills.
As 76 million Baby Boomers age and begin to focus on estate planning considerations, an estimated 10.4 trillion dollars in wealth will be transferred over the next 20 years. By the year 2020, over 100 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and can expect to spend 4 to 20 years in retirement. Estate planning is important for all Americans, not just the rich.
NJ Elder Law blog: http://elder-law.blogspot.com/
5. Upcoming Community Events
Feb. 10 ABA Elder Law meeting, Miami
Feb. 11 Cynthia’s birthday
Feb. 10 JSRC Party
March 4 Belmar Parade
March 9 Friendly Sons Friday This year's dinner will be at the DoubleTree Hotel in Somerset, NJ The recipient of "Irishman of the Year" will be Assemblyman Patrick Deignan. The dinner will be a black tie, men only. Tickets will be $100.00 and made payable to Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. Call Kenneth Vercammen if interested. We are trying to set up a table.
March 11 St Patrick Parade - Woodbridge
March 19 Edison Will / Probate
March 21 Middlesex Bar Awards Dinner - Law Center
6. Erase old criminal arrests and guilty pleas- New legal service available
ERASE/EXPUNGEMENT OF OLD ARRESTS TODAY TO AVOID EMBARRASSMENT AND DISCLOSURE
by KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN, ESQ.
Thousands of citizens in New Jersey over the past 20 years have been arrested for criminal, disorderly, and municipal ordinance offenses. They may include your neighbors, friends and loyal church worshipers. The courts and police must keep a record of all arrests and convictions, even if 20 years old. These "secrets of the past" could be open to anyone in New Jersey including credit agencies. Under one proposal, for a $15.00 fee, someone could ask the state police for a person's criminal record, even arrests with not guilty findings. Allowing access to a person's old criminal conviction or arrest record could open the door for discrimination against someone who now is a productive, respected, and law abiding citizen. Many employers often do a criminal background check on new and promoted employees.
Fortunately, if you are a law abiding citizen, you can now have old arrests or convictions erased from public records and police folders. Under NJSA 2C:52-1 et seq. past criminal convictions can be expunged/ erased under certain instances.
If someone has been arrested or even had a private criminal complaint signed against them in the Municipal Court, they have a criminal record, even if the charges were dismissed.
Under NJSA 2C:52-1 et seq. past criminal arrests and convictions can be expunged/ erased under certain instances. We always recommend individuals hire an attorney to obtain an expungement. The process for all expungements are held in the Superior Court. It takes a minimum of three months for the court to grant the expungement. The requirements are very formal. There can be a waiting period between 6 months up to 10 years after the criminal cases is finished.
When retaining the attorney, obtain a "certified disposition" of the court's decision, from the Court itself. Court costs and Legal fees for expungement range from $1,500- $2,500.
Our law blog- http://njlaws1.blogspot.com/
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KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817