NJ Laws Email Newsletter E271
April 7, 2008
In This Issue
1. Car Insurance coverage liberally applied to victim of shooting.
2. Guilty plea permitted to be withdrawn where defendant not advised of plea consequences.
3. Contractors Must Register With Consumer Affairs.
4. Police May need to give 2nd Miranda Warnings.
5. Upcoming Charity Running Events.
6. Kenneth Vercammen, Edison Attorney was selected a 2008 NJ Super Lawyer.
1. Car Insurance coverage liberally applied to victim of shooting Livsey v. Mercury Insurance Group 396 NJ Super. 373 (App. Div. 2007).
Uninsured motorist benefits are available to a plaintiff in a random, drive-by shooting.
2. Guilty plea permitted to be withdrawn where defendant not advised of plea consequences. State v. J.J. ___ NJ Super. ___ (Decided December 11, 2007) A-2777-05T5.
When, as part of a guilty plea, defendant is subject to community supervision under Megan's Law, the court must ensure that defendant understands the particular consequences of such supervision. In this case, defendant was not informed that Megan's Law would prevent him from living with his new wife and her child. Therefore, defendant should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and proceed to trial on all the charges contained in the indictments.
3. Contractors Must Register With Consumer Affairs. State v. Rowland 396 NJ Super. 126 (App. Div. 2007).
The Contractors' Registration Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-136 to -152, includes provisions under which knowingly engaging in the business of making or selling home improvements without having registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs is a fourth degree crime. Although the Act states that "a person who knowingly violates any of the provisions of this act is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree," the underlined phrase does not mean that the State must prove defendant knew about the Act and its provisions. In short, when used in a statute, the underlined phrase does not make knowledge of the law an element of the crime.
4. Police May need to give 2nd Miranda Warnings. State v. Nyhammer 396 NJ Super. 72 (App. Div. 2007).
The Court reversed a conviction for aggravated sexual assault on a girl, then nine years old, concluding that each of two rulings constituted reversible error. First, the judge should not have admitted defendant's confession. An investigator called defendant and explained he was conducting an investigation against another man in connection with the abuse of another child as well as the victim in this case. The investigator did not indicate to defendant that the victim in this case had made allegations of abuse by defendants. Defendant went to the police station. The investigator gave defendant the Miranda warnings. After defendant gave a formal statement regarding the incident of abuse by the other man, the investigator told him that the victim had made accusations against defendant as well. Defendant became distraught. Miranda warnings were not given a second time. Defendant confessed. The Court concludes that defendant did not make a knowing and voluntary waiver of his right to remain silent. Therefore, his confession was admissible.
Second, the Court concluded that the victim's hearsay videotape, which was the sole substantive evidence proving defendant's conduct, should have been excluded from evidence, pursuant to confrontation clause. The videotaped statement was "testimonial," there was no prior opportunity for defendant to cross-examine the victim, and there was no opportunity for an adequate and meaningful cross-examination at trial because the victim was unresponsive to many questions. At trial, she did not recollect questions going to the heart of the charges. Therefore, the videotape was the sole substantive evidence at trial.
5. Upcoming Charity Running Events.
April 19 - Jersey Shore Relay For Special Olympics 5,4,3,2,1 teams 26 miles, 9am From Seaside Hts To Asbury Park 732-681-9464 If you cant run, you can still help by contributing or buying a ticket for the post run party
April 26 - CASA Kids 5K Run 9am Princeton Pike Corporate Center, 1009 Lenox Drive Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, Race Hotline: 609 631-9211, Great race organized by Gerry Fennelly. When you register, write down under the team category- "RVRR Ken V."
May 3 - Farmlands 50 mile bike- Central Jersey Bike Club Middletown.
6. Kenneth Vercammen, Edison Attorney was selected a 2008 NJ Super Lawyer in the Criminal Law - DWI section for the third year in a row.
HOW SUPER LAWYERS ARE SELECTED:
Law & Politics performs the polling, research and selection of Super Lawyers in a process designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers is a comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas, firm sizes and geographic locations. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in each state or region are named Super Lawyers
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KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
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Edison, NJ 08817
Admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court