Criminal Defense Articles

President Commutes Sentences Of Eight Convicted By "Unfair System"

Those who are convicted of drug crimes in the United States can face harsh sentences. Critics of the system abound, but arguably the most powerful critic is the president himself. President Barack Obama's most recent step towards expressing his displeasure with the system involved commuting the sentences of eight federal inmates.

Flaws In Lineup Procedures Could Lead To Wrongful Convictions

Eyewitness misidentification has played a role in a number of cases where an innocent person is found guilty of committing a crime.

During many criminal investigations, eyewitnesses are asked to choose the suspect out of a physical or photo lineup. The results of these lineup procedures often lead New Jersey law enforcement officers to investigate certain people. Eyewitness identifications may be used as evidence in a court trial and can result in a criminal conviction. The problem with this lies in the fact that eyewitness identification is not always reliable and flaws in lineup procedures can result to inaccurate eyewitness identifications. According to the Innocence Project, approximately 330 innocent people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. In at least 70 percent of those cases, the innocent person was the victim of eyewitness misidentification.

Attorney General Reveals Drug-Crime Reform Resembling New Jersey Law

In 2012, the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, signed a new drug-reform bill into action for drug-offenders. This new legislation requires low-level drug offenders to spend time getting treatment instead of paying for their crimes in prison. In order for drug offenders to be eligible for the state's drug court program, they must have a drug addiction, be open to treatment and be deemed as a good candidate for this type of treatment, says

New Jersey Poised To Expand Drug Court Programming

The truth of our criminal justice system - both in New Jersey and throughout the United States - is that most people who commit nonviolent crimes are not hardened criminals. Many end up turning to crime to survive after an addiction to alcohol or drugs grows out of control.

Too often, these individuals are sentenced to long terms of incarceration when what they really need is access to treatment and rehabilitation. Starting with the so-called "crack epidemic" of the 1980s, both federal and state lawmakers took an increasingly punitive approach toward drug crimes. The most notable of these approaches were "mandatory minimum" sentencing schemes and "three-strikes" laws that mandated life sentences after a third felony conviction.

Bill Would Require Sex Offender Status Be Clear On Social Media

It is no secret that those convicted of certain sex offenses face a long and difficult road returning to normal life. Most jurisdictions have strict rules requiring sex offenders to register with the authorities and, in many cases, a conviction can make it difficult to even find a place to live. In recent years, some jurisdictions have begun considering whether to further restrict the rights of convicted sex offenders by requiring them to identify themselves on social media. Earlier this year, this type of legislation was introduced in New Jersey.

Convictions For Internet Crimes Can Bring Long Sentences

In the past few weeks, reports have emerged of data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers. Most of these reports have focused on how these events impact consumers, with little attention paid to possible penalties for those convicted of these sorts of crimes. As demonstrated by several cases in 2013, a conviction for some Internet crimes can carry the possibility of years behind bars.

New Jersey Bill Would Aid Ex-Offenders In Finding Employment

If you have been convicted of a crime, you know that it can have serious repercussions. You may also know that the consequences of a conviction can continue to punish ex-offenders even long after the fines have been paid and the jail sentence has been served.

FBI Arrest Figures Show 1 Drug Arrest Made Every 42 Seconds In US

Marijuana laws are changing throughout the country. Many states are attempting to ease drug enforcement efforts, yet a recent report by the FBI shows that the agency made the same number of arrests based on drug charges in 2011 as it did in 2012. According to the FBI, an estimated 1,531,251 arrests were made in 2011 for drug abuse violations and US News reports the number of arrests made in 2012 was estimated at 1,552,432.

Will Online Gambling Come To New Jersey? Probably.

People involved in illegal online gambling operations may find the market for their services shrinking in New Jersey if the state legalizes online gaming. Numerous bills have been entered in an effort to recoup some of the losses experienced by the state when neighboring Pennsylvania and nearby Connecticut legalized some forms of gambling. Competition has not been good for New Jersey, and many state officials hope that legal online gambling will help fill the gap created by other gambling venues. | READ MORE

Crackdown on Cybercrime

Law enforcement has become more interested in cybercrime, especially organized schemes that often cross national boundaries and involve many people. Recent arrests, charges and convictions have been widely publicized to warn potential victims of the risk of cyberattacks. Recent stories illustrate the risk of engaging in online business schemes that could be viewed negatively by organizations such as the FBI, Interpol and U.S. attorney's offices. | READ MORE

Internet Pharmacy Fraud

A Warren Township, New Jersey, pharmacist was recently charged in federal court with operating an Internet pharmacy fraud scheme. The specific charges included narcotics conspiracy, narcotics distribution, conspiracy to misbrand, misbranding, mail and wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. The pharmacist was one of 10 people, three of whom were physicians, charged around the U.S. | READ MORE

Sex Crime Cases Don't Always Fit Stereotypes

People are often shocked when a friend, neighbor or relative is charged with a sex crime, partly because the culture has developed a stereotype of sex offenders. However, many sex offenders are like most people. They work, have families and participate in their communities and are not dirty old men in raincoats. Recent New Jersey sex crime cases illustrate the inadequacy of stereotyping. | READ MORE

Felony Drug Charges in New Jersey

New Jersey arrests and charges on felony drug crimes have made news in recent months. Whether these cases ever go to trial will depend on the quality of the police work and the ability of defense lawyers. | READ MORE

Under Investigation for a Crime or Professional Violation?

Investigations into alleged illegal behavior are not limited to police cases. Many other agencies conduct investigations in New Jersey, and although these investigations may eventually lead to criminal charges, they can also result in noncriminal sanctions as well. | READ MORE

Rethinking HIV Transmission: Is it a Crime?

States throughout the U.S. are struggling with the legal issue of HIV transmission. The most frequent question among the many that demand answers is, "When is knowingly exposing another person to the HIV virus without telling them a crime?" A recent case in New York illustrates the dilemmas faced by the courts and law enforcement. | READ MORE

Peer-to-Peer Networking and Pornography Charges

A major pornography sweep by New Jersey law enforcement recently resulted in the arrest of 27 people throughout the state. They face charges of owning and sharing child pornography by downloading material through peer-to-peer networks. New Jersey's attorney general, Jeffrey Chiesa, reported that more than 100 law enforcement officers were involved in the sting, nicknamed "Operation Watchdog." | READ MORE

New Jersey Police Enforcing Ban on Synthetic Marijuana

New Jersey has joined the growing ranks of states taking aggressive action against sellers of synthetic marijuana. A new state law enacts a comprehensive ban of the drug, targeting all possible chemical combinations designed to mimic the effects of natural marijuana. | READ MORE

DSK Seeks Diplomatic Immunity in Sex Crime Civil Lawsuit

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was so well known in France that he went by his initials, DSK. When he was accused of a crime in New York City it made world news and appeared to put an abrupt end to his political career. | READ MORE

Is Sex Offender Registration Actually Keeping New Jersey's Kids Safer?

Sex offender registries - like those required under "Megan's Law" in New Jersey, the federal Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act - were once embraced by law enforcement and the public alike. | READ MORE

Are Federal Definitions of Rape Realistic?

A recent study revealed that the definition of rape used by federal statistical reports may not reflect the true number of incidents. This illustrates at a very high level the challenges in dealing with any type of sex crime. | READ MORE

Is Monitoring Sex Offenders Legal?

Electronic monitoring of convicted sex offenders on probation or parole has been a common practice in New Jersey for some time. Since August 2005, individuals convicted of the most serious sex crimes face required GPS monitoring when they are not incarcerated or subject to civil commitment. | READ MORE

New Jersey Has Not Complied with Federal Sex Offender Law

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 set forth uniform standards for tracking sex offenders in all 50 states. As the July 2009 implementation deadline approached, only one state, Ohio, had complied. | READ MORE

False Identity Theft Can Have Devastating Financial Consequences

With increasingly sophisticated methods of stealing identities, a growing number of people are potential victims of identity theft. In a typical instance of identity theft, someone obtains the personal information of another, such as a Social Security or bank account number, and assumes that person's identity to gain access to credit or other resources. Consequently, victims of identity theft can end up with financial problems that can be difficult to overcome. | READ MORE

TV Show Inspires White Collar Criminals

A New Jersey stock trader recently pled guilty to an insider trading scheme that netted approximately $37 million over 17 years of illegal activity.

Insider trading is not uncommon among securities dealers, but what makes this incident unique are its ties to a television program, "The Wire," a crime drama set in Baltimore. | READ MORE

Do New Jersey Anti-Bullying Laws Go Too Far?

Most of us are familiar with the bullying of school-age children and may have even experienced it ourselves. With the advent of the Internet and social media, bullying has gone high-tech. | READ MORE

Wiretaps and Admissibility in Drug Cases

An increasingly relied upon tool in police surveillance and prosecution of drug cases is the wiretap. Wiretapping is usually seen as a method of intercepting telephone conversations, but it can also monitor text messages, Internet-related conversations and e-mail. To use a wiretap, authorities must provide evidence to the court of potential illegality and a judge's approval is required. | READ MORE

Former employees of Ponzi scheme master mind were unaware of fraud

Bernie Madoff was the head of what the New York Times calls the largest Ponzi scheme that has ever been recorded. These types of financial schemes require investors to recruit new investors so that there is a continual flow of cash and often fail when individuals want to get the money they invested in the scheme back. | READ MORE

The Role of Eyewitness Testimony

It's right out of Perry Mason: A witness goes to the stand, points at the defendant and says, "He's the one I saw beating Mr. Smith with a tire iron," or words to that effect. How much weight should be given to eyewitness testimony? | READ MORE

For more information about criminal defense issues anywhere in New Jersey, including Toms River, Asbury Park, Atlantic City and New Brunswick, contact our law firm today.

Academics tackle the correlation between crime and wages

New Jersey recently raised its minimum wage, and this is spurring conversation regarding the link between crime and earnings. Academics are very interested in this issue, as research has suggested very conflicting findings regarding the correlation between wages and criminal activity. A new study recently took on this matter, but unfortunately, questions remain. READ MORE

New Jersey lacks jurisdiction to prosecute alleged sexual assault

According to the New Jersey Supreme Court, having "supervisory or disciplinary power" or "assum[ing] responsibility for the care of a child" are not "conduct" for purposes of obtaining territorial jurisdiction over a defendant.