Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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Ocean County Criminal Law Blog

Man arrested for drug crimes near park and school

Before a New Jersey resident can be arrested and charged with a crime, officers must be able to show that there is probable cause to support such action. This probably cause can come in a variety of forms. For one man from View Court, reports indicate that the witness of police officers was part of what was put forth as probable cause to arrest him recently.

No real details are given as to what the officers witnessed but it is said that during a traffic stop, items were found in the defendant's vehicle that constituted evidence. This evidence was also part of the probable cause that led to his arrest in Jersey City. The evidence includes 30 containers that had a substance in them believed to be cocaine. Also found were paper wax folds that authorities suggest contained heroin.

What is nystagmus?

Have you been arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in New Jersey? If so, you may well have been asked to participate in field sobriety tests. Even if you completed them, did you fully understand them? Many people do not and they also do not realize that these tests are not 100-percent accurate in terms of determining intoxication. 

According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, one of the tests is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. A nystagmus is a jerking or bouncing of the eyeballs that is not voluntarily controllable. When under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the jerking may be more pronounced, especially as your eye moves from looking forward to looking out the side of your eye socket.

Can I buy an antique gun in New Jersey?

If you are gun collector and enthusiast in New Jersey, you may seek out historical firearms to add to your collection. Many of these items can be rare and valuable and even those that are not associated with a high dollar value, they may be a great perk to you personally just because of your interest in them and their associated historical periods. But, do you know what weapons you may or may not need an identification card in hand in order to purchase?

As explained by the State of New Jersey, in order to buy many weapons legally in the state, you may need a firearms purchaser identification card. This card can be obtained at a retailer that sells guns, at any State Police station or at a city police department. When it comes to antique weapons, you will need an identification card for some but not for others. Those that fall into the category of antique cannons with the ability to fire over a .60 caliber projectile, the card will be required.

Man avoids persistent offender sentence

Among the many concerns that New Jersey residents may face when arrested for crimes after they have been convicted of other offenses previously is the designation as a persistent offender. This label may result in harsher sentences and even lifetime supervision depending upon the circumstances.

The identification as a persistent offender was something that prosecutors were seeking for one man who was convicted of three offenses in Clinton County in late 2016. However, the judge in the case refused to grant the prosecution's request in this area. The judge also handed down a sentence that was lesser than the one sought by prosecutors. Instead of 12 years in prison and fines as high as $60,000, the defendant has been ordered to serve 10 years in prison and pay absolutely no fines. Upon completion of the 10-year sentence, the man will be subject to a period of supervision lasting three years.

Understanding indictments in New Jersey

If you have ever been confused about the criminal justice process or terms you hear related to it, you are not alone. Many New Jersey residents are also unsure about how this process works and that lack of understanding can be a scary thing when all of a sudden faced with a criminal charge. Getting a bit of clarity about what might happen is important at this time.

In some cases, a grand jury is established. Just how does a grand jury differ from a trial jury? According to the New Jersey Courts, one of the biggest differences between the two is that a grand jury does not at all determine a defendant's guilt or lack thereof. In fact, a grand jury is presented with information about a case before a trial ever takes place. The whole purpose of a grand jury is actually to ascertain whether or not a trial or further prosecution should take place.

New law may help some stay out of jail

People in New Jersey might be pleased that a new year has finally begun. No matter the circumstances, it seems that people all over often seek a fresh start. This may be due to financial problems, relationship challenges or even legal issues. For those in New Jersey who find themselves facing criminal charges, this new year might be a bit more positive than last year.

In 2014, the New Jersey Governor signed into law a new bill relating to bail for some defendants. The bill just took effect as of Jan. 1, 2017. One of the provisions of this new law is that people who are accused of crimes that are considered not violent need not pay bail in order to be released from jail. Bail costs can be so high that many people are unable to pay it. This results in a lot of people staying in jail simply due to the lack of financial resources, not really because they should be there.

Defense motion in drunk driving case denied

People in New Jersey who are arrested for suspected drunk driving should know that no two cases are alike. Many factors can change the exact charges that a person may face as well as alter the potential consequences if ultimately convicted. Some of this is inherent in the criminal defense process.

An example of the type of variances in impaired driving charges can be seen in a case stemming from a crash in 2015. A former police office in Lindon, New Jersey, was driving with three other people in his car. Two of his passengers were also police officers. He is said to have crashed into a semi truck in the early morning hours. He and another officer were seriously injured while the third officer and fourth passenger both died in the wreck. In addition to losing two of his friends, he has subsequently been charged with vehicular manslaughter and aggravated vehicular homicide among other offenses.

Increase in alleged murders in 2016

New Jersey residents who are charged with murder, homicide, manslaughter or other serious crimes can face a challenging road when it comes to their defense processes. Many things contribute to this and public sentiment may well be one of those things. Stereotypes and group thinking about cracking down on crime can make it seem like justice takes a back seat to calming angry people. However, defendants should know that they do have the right to proper defenses when accused of these serious crimes.

A look at recently reports might suggest that public opinion about some crime figures could continue to make life hard for criminal defendants. According to statistics, the number of people allegedly murdered in 2016 went up by as much as 14 percent as compared to 2015. While Charlotte, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois represent a large percentage of the overall increase in murders, the effect may be felt nationwide.

New forms of IID technology being tested

One of the penalties that New Jersey residents who are convicted of driving under the influence may experience is the required use of an ignition interlock device. This is a device that must be hardwired into a vehicle and requires drivers to successfully pass alcohol breath tests before being allowed to start vehicles. It is an attempt to prevent repeat instances of drunk driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that since 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety have been working together on a new system that could actually be built into new vehicles that may negate the need for IIDs altogether. Referred to as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, it would be able to be used to track the acohol consumption of any driver, not just someone convicted of drunk driving.

Shoplifting charges in New Jersey

When considering the range of theft-related criminal charges that are possible, New Jersey residents may consider shoplifting to be relatively insignificant. While certainly it may be a lesser offense than some other charges, it is nothing to take lightly or ignore. There may still be serious penalties for a shoftlifting conviction depending upon the circumstances.

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, there are several things that fit within the definition of shoplifting in New Jersey. One of these is when a shopping cart itself is taken from an establishment's property. If a person can be shown to have taken items from a store with the clear intent of not paying for them or of preventing the merchant from benefitting from the items, shoplifting charges may result. The same is true if a person can be found to have facilitated items to be taken with the presence of such intent.

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Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.
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Brick, NJ 08723

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