Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

Experience — Integrity — Results

August 2011 Archives

Proof of Operation Necessary to Convict for DWI, Leaving the Scene

In order for a prosecutor to convict someone of DWI, or any moving violation for that matter, the first thing he or she must prove is the essential element of operation. In other words, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a defendant accused of DWI and related offenses actually operated a motor vehicle on the roadways of the State of New Jersey. Failure to prove operation will result in an acquittal and dismissal of the charges.

Warrantless Search Improper-- Evidence Suppressed

In October 2009, police responded to noise complaints coming from a house party held by Monmouth University students. Although conflicting accounts of the events emerged, the underlying scenario is apparent; five police officers were granted entry into the common area of the house whereupon they conducted a search for the responsible residents. The officers combed the main living room as well as the rest of the house, including the bedrooms located on the second and third floors. One officer entered defendant's unoccupied third floor bedroom and located a controlled dangerous substance, specifically ecstasy, on a countertop, even though the defendant was not present during the party. Meanwhile, the other officers had in fact located three of the residents and issued them summonses for violating noise ordinances.

Insufficient Readings on Alcotest Amounts to Refusal

A case concerning whether a Defendant consented to a breath-based alcohol test ("Alcotest") was decided in May by the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. After being brought to police headquarters for suspected drunk driving, the Defendant was read his Miranda warnings as well as the Standard Statement, which is required to be read to suspected drunk drivers. The Standard Statement informs defendants that the law requires them to give breath samples to test for blood alcohol concentration. Furthermore, the Standard Statement provides that if a defendant refuses to submit to an Alcotest, such defendant will be issued a separate summons for refusal, which carries its own penalties such as automatic loss of driving privileges.

"Cops in Shops" Program Steps Up During Summer in Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Underage drinking is considered New Jersey's number one problem during the summer months, especially in towns within the Jersey shore. To combat underage purchase of alcohol, police across the Jersey Shore will be participating in the comprehensive law enforcement and public awareness program called Cops in Shops. For fifteen years, undercover police officers in New Jersey have posed as store employees or positioned themselves outside retail stores to arrest adults who purchase alcohol for minors or underage kids attempting to purchase alcohol illegally. The Cops in Shops program has so far been a success, limiting underage access to alcohol since the program's inception in 1996; more than 9,000 people have been apprehended in New Jersey as a result of the program.

Lack of Miranda Warnings Prevents Statements from Being Introduced as Evidence

In Miranda v. Arizona, 384, U.S. 436 (1966), the United States Supreme Court held that a person questioned by law enforcement officers after being "taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way" must first "be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed." Stansbury v. California, 511 U.S. 318, 322 (1994)(quoting Miranda, 384 U.S. at 444).

Summer Weather... Summer Problems

With summer already underway, many are welcoming the arrival of nice weather and visitors to the Jersey Shore. Although quaint and quiet during winter, towns like Point Pleasant, Manasquan, Brick, Toms River, Avon, Belmar, Manasquan, Seaside Heights and others within Monmouth and Ocean Counties are now crowded with vacationers eager to enjoy the sun and local events. Local businesses have also been eagerly awaiting the influx of revenue that the busy summer brings. However, businesses like bars and restaurants aren't the only ones keeping busy this summer. Police departments and courthouses within Ocean and Monmouth Counties are once again scrambling to handle the seasonal spike in criminal activity.

Appellate Court Reverses Restraining Order for Lack of Purpose to Harass

Michael Nolan recently represented a client on appeal from a Final Restraining Order entered against him by a Trial Court on the grounds of harassment in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4. The Final Restraining Order was entered as a result of a culmination of communications made by our client to his previous girlfriend, the triggering communication being a non-threatening text message. In particular, the text message pronounced an apology and his intention to end further attempts to revive their relationship.

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When you are facing criminal charges, it can feel like everyone is against you. Prosecutors work hard to paint you as a villain, and even friends can turn away. When that happens, it is critically important to have a criminal defense attorney you can trust to protect your rights and restore your reputation.

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Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.
514 Brick Boulevard, Suite 6
Brick, NJ 08723

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