Stop Criminalizing Mental Illness

Elyn Saks

A Tale of Mental Illenss—From The Inside




mental health, elyn saks, TEDTalks
Corral de Locos
(Courtyard with Lunatics)

Francisco de Goya (1746 - 1828)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
We must stop
criminalizing
mental illness. It's
a national tragedy and scandal that
the L.A. County Jail is the biggest
psychiatric facility in the
United States. American
prisons and jails
are filled with people
who suffer from
severe mental illness, and many
of them are there because
they never
received
adequate
treatment. I could have
easily ended
up there
or on the streets
myself.


--Elyn Saks



South Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Michael A. Smolensky, Esq., on the World Wide Web.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

How To Use A Paper Towel




Incentives

Joe Smith promised his audience would never forget the mantra, "Shake! Fold!" But I had other reasons to test his method. Mr. Smith had caused me to reflect.

I recollected learning the importance of personal hygiene from my parents—one of many reasons I am grateful to them. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) I also recalled articles about wintertime hand-washing to prevent sickness. Additionally, I remembered care providers describing intentionally obsessive hand-washing habits in hospital and clinic settings.

But I could not recall a single discussion, article, or paper-towel-hand-drying-experience involving the use of just one. All this provided an overwhelming personal incentive to test this method.

On a grander scale, this seemed the least I could do personally to reduce paper waste.

Results

I am happy to report my test results support Joe Smith's method. And, I might add, my test conditions did not provide the benefit of "interstitial suspension."

Observations

The most impressive aspect of this method is its simplicity. This infinitesimal lifestyle change offers tremendous benefits. Indeed, this is “brilliant.”

For all these reasons, I will remember Joe Smith's hand-drying method.

Questions

  • In what condition do you want to leave the world for the next generation?
  • Do you aspire to improve our world during your lifetime?
  • What task would you recommend?
  • Is this task similar in simplicity to Joe Smith's method?

NJ Lawyer Michael A. Smolensky, Esquire, on the World Wide Web.

New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-29.

Why Google won't protect you
from big brother




New Jersey Wiretapping and
Electronic Surveillance Control Act


Christopher Soghoian described the power of law enforcement officials to obtain electronically stored evidence from providers of either electronic communication services or remote computing services.

Indeed, New Jersey law addresses this. Additionally, law enforcement authorities in New Jersey may also use wiretaps to obtain electronic evidence "in real time."*

Communication Data Warrants


To search and seize electronically stored evidence as described by Soghoian, New Jersey law requires police to get a Communication Data Warrant (CDW).

No CDW shall issue unless the law enforcement agency provides:
  1. specific and articulable facts
  2. showing reasonable grounds to believe
  3. the record or other information
  4. pertaining to a customer
  5. of an electronic communication service, remote computing service or communication common carrier
  6. is relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.
Armed with either a warrant, a customer's consent to disclose, or a court order for disclosure, police may compel service providers as well as communication common carriers to supply law enforcement agencies with:
  • a record,
  • location data for a customer's mobile/wireless communications device, or
  • other information pertaining to a customer of the service.
Alternatively, if a law enforcement agency in good faith believes an emergency involving danger of death or serious bodily injury to the customer requires disclosure of information relating to the emergency without delay, then the service provider must provide location information for a customer's mobile or wireless communications device, but not a record or other customer information.

New Jersey law empowers law enforcement authorities to get this information under these circumstances without notification to the individual.

Furthermore, the law generally shields any service provider, officer, employee, agent and other specified person who cooperates with the government from civil liability.

A service provider may move before the court to quash or modify the order if:
  • the information or records requested are unusually voluminous, or
  • compliance would otherwise cause an undue burden.

Subpoenas


If a grand jury or trial subpoena is issued, or when the State Commission of Investigation issues a subpoena, then service providers must provide the customer's:
  1. name;
  2. address;
  3. telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address;
  4. local and long distance telephone connection records or records of session times and durations;
  5. length of service, including start date, and types of services utilized; and
  6. means and source of payment for such service, including any credit card or bank account number,
Upon the request of a law enforcement agency, a provider of wire or electronic communication service or a remote computing service must take all necessary steps to preserve, for a period of 90 days, records and other evidence in its possession pending the issuance of a court order or other legal process. The preservation period will be extended for an additional 90 days upon the request of the law enforcement agency.

* A wiretap order permits the interception by law enforcement of a communication contemporaneous with the transmission.

New Jersey Trial Advocate Michael Smolensky, Esq., knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases involving Communication Data Warrants and Subpoenas. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

James Cameron: Before Avatar ... a curious boy.



James Cameron spoke about curiosity and creativity during this TED presentation in 2010. In addition to Avatar, Aliens, Titanic, and The Terminator--just to name a few--Cameron described his work on a series of underwater documentaries. If Cameron's portfolio on imdb.com is any indication, his imagination is long from exhausted.

How to "poke and pry with a purpose.*"

  • Which subject stimulates your curiosity?
    About which subject would you like to know more?
  • What activities challenge your intellect?
    How can you advance your knowledge of this subject?
  • How well do you understand the new knowledge?
    How much have you pondered the newly acquired knowledge?
  • Does new knowledge prompt you to ask more questions?
    Which questions remain unanswered?
  • How do you foster your creative thinking?
  • When do you find time to pursue these interests?
  • How do you unite your intellect with your creativity?

* Zora Neale Hurston

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Pay-To-Play Penalties, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.1; Record Falsifying and Tampering, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4

Pay-To-Play Penalties, N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.1, Record Falsifying and Tampering, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4, New Jersey, NJ, Election Law Enforcement Commission, ELEC, Hamilton Township, Mercer County, Ocean County, Monmouth County, Criminal Defense, Lawyer, Attorney
Avaricia
(Avarice)

Jesus Solana, Madrid, Spain
[CC-BY-2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons

Narrative

On November 30, 2012, Philip Angarone pleaded guilty to third-degree tampering with public records or information, and fourth-degree prohibited corporation contributions through employees, according to njtoday.net.

The 40-year-old entered his plea to fraudulently avoiding the restrictions of New Jersey’s Pay-to-Play Act before Hon. Wendel E. Daniels, J.S.C., in Ocean County, reported njtoday.net.

Pay-to-Play governs political contributions by businesses that are party to or are attempting to win contracts with State government entities, according to New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), available at wwwnet1.state.nj.us/lpd/elec/ptp/p2p.html (last visited Dec. 6, 2012).

The Hamilton Township resident worked for Birdsall Services Group, as reported by courierpostonline.com.

Angarone joined an existing scheme to make illegal contributions when he began working at the Monmouth County firm in 2008, reported courierpostonline.com.

According to courierpostonline.com the former marketing director, Angarone together with other employees contributed amounts under $300, the threshold for reporting them.

Birdsall reimbursed contributors with bonuses that the company did not report to the Election Law Enforcement Commission and with government agencies that awarded the firm contracts, according to njtoday.net.

Angarone admitted in court, according to njtoday.net, that he and others at the firm fraudulently failed to disclose the illegally reimbursed political contributions to ELEC.

Under the plea agreement, according to njtoday.net, at the sentencing listed for April 26, 2013, the State will recommend the court sentence Angarone to:
  • Up to 364 days county jail as a condition of a term of probation;
  • Forfeiture of $26,775 for illegal contributions;
  • Forfeiture of any contributions subsequently returned to him; and
  • Disqualification from participating in public contracts for five years.

Pay-To-Play Penalties,
N.J.S.A 19:44A-20.1

The New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act proscribes the following conduct:
  • No corporation or labor organization of any kind shall provide any of its
    • officers,
    • directors,
    • attorneys,
    • agents or
    • other employees
  • any additional increment of
    • salary,
    • bonus or
    • monetary remuneration of any kind
  • which, in whole or in part, is intended by that corporation or labor organization to be used for the express purpose of
    • paying or making a contribution,
    • either directly or indirectly,
    • of money or other thing of value
  • to any
    • candidate,
    • candidate committee,
    • joint candidates committee,
    • political party committee,
    • legislative leadership committee,
    • political committee or
    • continuing political committee.
N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.1(a).

The Pay-to-Play law designates this as a fourth degree crime for:
  • Any
    • officer,
    • director,
    • attorney,
    • agent or
    • other employee of a corporation or labor organization
  • to provide another employee of that corporation or labor organization
  • any additional increment of
    • salary,
    • bonus or
    • monetary remuneration of any kind
  • for the purpose described in this subsection
Ibid.

Falsifying or Tampering with Records, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4

New Jersey Law sets forth the following proscribed conduct for issuing a false financial statement, a third-degree crime:
  • when a person with purpose to
    • deceive or injure anyone or
    • to conceal any wrongdoing;
  • he by oath or affirmation
  • knowingly makes or utters a written instrument
    • that purports to describe
    • the financial condition or ability to pay
    • of some person and
    • which is inaccurate in some substantial respect; or
  • Represents in writing
  • that a written instrument purporting to describe a person's
    • financial condition or ability to pay
    • as of a prior date
    • is accurate with respect to such person's financial condition or ability to pay,
  • whereas, he knows it is substantially inaccurate in that respect.
N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4(b).

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases alleging fraud. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Thomas Jefferson in His Own Time

  1. What factors do historians use to rate and rank Presidents?
  2. Has history treated Jefferson similarly to how his contemporaries treated him?
  3. For what strategic reason did Jefferson maintain secrecy about his authorship of the Declaration of Independence?
  4. How does the political atmosphere today mirror Jefferson's Day?
  5. What did Jefferson accomplish during his presidency?
  6. How would politicians today perform if they exhibited the same attitude toward public office common in Jefferson's day?
Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Thomas Barnett: Rethinking America's military strategy

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, HI.
The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Of these eight damaged, two were raised, and with four repaired, six battleships returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

"Attack on Pearl Harbor," available at Wikipedia, http://bit.ly/Sy4uuX (last visited Dec. 1, 2012)
This post is dedicated to the memory of these events. Please note the time of the post in the footer. On this date in 1941 at 7:48 a.m. in Hawaii the air raid began, which was 12:48 p.m. on the east coast of the United States.



Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Annie Lennox: Why I am an HIV/AIDS activist



Annie Lennox described the SING campaign in this TED video recorded in 2010. SING raises awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. That women and children were the front-line victims in South Africa motivated Lennox to take action. Among other things, SING seeks to eradicate the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child by 2015.

Think globally, act locally.

  • What issue do you care about?
  • Why is this issue important to you?
  • How long has this issue concerned you?
  • How has this issue impacted your life?
  • In what ways has this issue degraded the world?
  • If resolved, how would a more perfect world appear?
  • In your town, what can you do about this issue?
  • In your town, do you know others who share your views?

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn't know about orgasm

  1. You don't need genitals.
  2. You can have them when you're dead.
  3. Orgasm can cause bad breath.
  4. And cure the hiccups.
  5. Doctors once prescribed orgasm for fertility.
  6. Pig farmers still do.
  7. Female animals are having more fun than you think.
  8. Studying human orgasm in a lab is not easy.
  9. But it sure is entertaining.
  10. Freud might say watching this TED video involves the ego's cathexis and withdrawal of the libido. Put in plain English, "You know you want to click it."


Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Maud Muller

Maud Muller, Poem by  John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), Painting by George Elgar Hicks, New Jersey, NJ, Criminal Defense, Municipal Court, Juvenile, Lawyer, Attorney, Woodbury, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, Salem County, Atlantic County, Camden County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Ocean County, Monmouth County, Essex County, Union County
Maud Muller
George Elgar Hicks (1824 - 1914)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)


Maud Muller, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadows sweet with hay.

Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

But, when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast--

A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.

The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,

And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,

And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

"Thanks!" said the Judge, "a sweeter draught
From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

And Maud forgot her briar-torn gown,
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

And listened, while a pleasant surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away,

Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah, me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!

"He would dress me up in silks so fine,
And praise and toast me at his wine.

"My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
My brother should sail a painted boat.

"I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
And the baby should have a new toy each day.

"And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,
And all should bless me who left our door."

The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
And saw Maud Muller standing still.

"A form more fair, a face more sweet,
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

"And her modest answer and graceful air
Show her wise and good as she is fair.

"Would she were mine, and I to-day,
Like her, a harvester of hay:

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

"But low of cattle, and song of birds,
And health, and quiet, and loving words."

But he thought of his sisters, proud and cold,
And his mother, vain of her rank and gold.

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

And the young girl mused beside the well,
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go:

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.

Oft when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;

And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms,
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain,
"Ah, that I were free again!

"Free as when I rode that day,
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.

But care and sorrow, and child-birth pain,
Left their traces on heart and brain.

And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall,

In the shade of the apple-tree again
She saw a rider draw his rein,

And, gazing down with timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;

The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned;

And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

A manly form at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.

Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been."

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!

God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall;

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;

And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

"Maud Muller" is reprinted from One Hundred Choice Selections. Ed. Phineas Garrett. Philadelphia: Penn Publishing Co., 1897.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Reduction of Points, N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.9

Reduction of Points, N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.9, New Jersey, NJ, Criminal Defense, Lawyer, Attorney, Municipal Court, Driving While Intoxicated, DWI, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
At the Café
Édouard Manet (1832 - 1883)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Narrative

On November 9, 2012, Bridgeton police arrested Adriel Perez-Salas for Driving While Intoxicated, reported nj.com.

The police responded to the 100 block of East Myrtle Street Friday night about 8:30 p.m., according to the news site.

A hit-and-run victim identified the alleged striking vehicle, reported nj.com.

According to press reports, the accident allegedly occurred at Broad and Fayette Streets.

The victim's passenger reported alleged pain, but refused medical attention, according to nj.com.

Reduction of Points, N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.9

New Jersey law requires driver's license points to be reduced as follows:
  • Rate: 3 points for each 12 consecutive month period
    • in which the licensee has not committed any violation either
      • resulting in the assessment of points or
      • in the suspension of driving privileges.
  • Attend and satisfactorily complete
    • License Improvement Course (every two years): 3 points
    • Defensive Driving Course (every five years): 2 points
  • No point totals shall be reduced below zero.
  • Computation of the time periods used in granting point reduction credits shall in all cases be based upon the respective dates of commission of the offenses for which the licensee was convicted and assessed points.
  • N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.9
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding driver's license point reduction. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Guilty Plea, Authority to Vacate, and Defendant's Right to Withdraw

La justice
by Bernard d'Agesci
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Narrative

On November 7, 2012, Hon. James W. Palmer, J.S.C., rejected a plea agreement between the State of New Jersey and defendant Stephen Headley, according to courierpostonline.com.

On June 5, 2012, Headley pleaded guilty to the murder of Nicole Ayres, according to philly.com.

At the guilty plea, Judge Palmer indicated he would likely sentence Headley to 30 years State Prison without parole, as reported by philly.com.

But Judge Palmer changed his mind, and instead rejected the deal brought before him by the State and the defense.

Sources of Authority

New Jersey Rules of Court

Courts in the Garden State may vacate a defendant's guilty plea. If this happens, the defendant has the right to withdraw the plea. New Jersey Rules of Court provide:
If at the time of sentencing the court determines that the interests of justice would not be served by effectuating the agreement reached by the prosecutor and defense counsel or by imposing sentence in accordance with the court's previous indications of sentence, the court may vacate the plea or the defendant shall be permitted to withdraw the plea.

R. 3:9-3(e) (2012).

New Jersey Rules of Evidence

Any defendant who exercises his right to trial under these circumstances will not face the evidence of the guilty plea at trial. New Jersey Rules of Evidence provide:
[E]vidence
  • of a plea of guilty which was later withdrawn,
  • of any statement made in the course of that plea proceeding, and
  • of any statement made during plea negotiations
when either
  • no guilty plea resulted or
  • a guilty plea was later withdrawn,
is not admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding against the person who made the plea or statement or who was the subject of the plea negotiations.

N.J.R.E. 410 (2012).
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on any case regarding pleading guilty and withdrawal. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Restitution, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2

Gleaning
Arthur Hughes (1832 - 1915)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Narrative

On November 9, 2012, Hon. M. Christine Allen-Jackson, J.S.C., ordered Terri Frymyer and Lamont Morrison to pay $25,175.00 restitution, according to nj.com.

According to courierpostonline.com, Frymyer pleaded guilty to burglary charges in June.

During the three-hour restitution hearing at the Gloucester County Justice Complex on November 9, Frymer's lawyer told Judge Allen-Jackson the separated mother of four lacked employment and, additionally, the means to pay, according to nj.com.

Nevertheless, Judge Allen-Jackson ordered Frymyer, a Mantua resident, to work two jobs, if necessary, to repay the burglary victims, according to courierpostonline.com.

Judge Allen-Jackson also noted Frymer graduated high school, and with six credits she will earn an associate's degree, according to press reports.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Frymer will be sentenced to probation on November 16, 2012, according to courierpostonline.com

Restitution, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3, N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2

New Jersey law provides, "A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both . . . Any restitution imposed on a person shall be in addition to any fine which may be imposed pursuant to this section." N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.

Under New Jersey law, state courts are obligated to order restitution in addition to a sentence of imprisonment or probation that may be imposed if:
  1. The victim, or in the case of a homicide, the nearest relative of the victim, suffered a loss; and
  2. The defendant is able to pay or, given a fair opportunity, will be able to pay restitution.
  3. N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2(b).
For purposes of determining the amount and method of payment of restitution, New Jersey law requires the court to
  • Take into account all financial resources of the defendant, including the defendant's likely future earnings, and
  • Set the amount of restitution so as to provide the victim with the fullest compensation for loss that is consistent with the defendant's ability to pay.
  • N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2(c)(2).
Under New Jersey law, state courts
  • Must not reduce a restitution award by any amount that the victim has received from the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.
  • Must order a defendant to pay any restitution ordered for a loss previously compensated by the Board to the Violent Crimes Compensation Board.
  • Ibid.
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases that involve restitution. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Opinions, Perceptions, and Misconceptions

Devant le miroir
(Before the Mirror)

Édouard Manet (1832-1883)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Jargget Washington

On October 21, 2012, Jargget Washington allegedly tried gnawing off his own wrist, defecated in the back of a police cruiser, and bit off and swallowed his own finger at the Hudson County jail, according to nj.com.

All this unfolded after Washington's failed attempt at an alleged carjacking while naked, according to courierpostonline.com.

Authorities have said Washington was brought twice to Jersey City Medical Center for evaluation before he allegedly swallowed his finger, according to the media.

Press reports also indicate authorities believe the 29-year-old was allegedly under the influence of PCP.

Keith Costill

On October 15, 2012, and again on October 25, 2012, nj.com ran stories about former Deputy Attorney General Keith Costill.

The Pennington resident, according to nj.com, previously plead guilty to a July 2010 incident when his SUV jumped a curb, struck, injured, and killed Hikema George.

As reported by the press, authorities initially charged Costill with vehicular homicide--a second-degree crime with a State Prison sentence between five years and ten years.

The news reported, however, Costill received five years probation last June after pleading to assault by an automobile--a lesser crime with up to 18 months Prison.

A few days after sentencing, according to the press, Hopewell police arrested Costill for alleged public intoxication and 0.14% blood alcohol content (BAC).

On a separate occasion, according to the news, Costill allegedly had a 0.20% BAC.

According to nj.com, Costill plead guilty in 2001 to fourth-degree child abuse and neglect. The news indicated Costill left his 2-year-old twin daughters alone in a locked car and asleep for approximately an hour while he drank at a Cherry Hill hotel.

Opinions, Perceptions, and Misconceptions

Without intending any disrespect, these news items suggest Messrs. Washington and Costill have problems and require help.

Like many people, I read the news. I am familiar with the various reactions stories like these may evoke.

The experience of law abiding individuals as to crime is probably and, to be frank, hopefully limited to the media.

Accordingly, law abiding individuals frequently, and understandably, do not know or comprehend why one would choose to be a criminal defense lawyer. I expect most people will not understand my reasons.

Many, if not all, of the same people also question the morals and ethics of criminal defense lawyers based on this professional choice. Some do this privately, and others openly ask.

None of this offends me because I know who I am.

My profession provides an opportunity to help people. To do this effectively requires seeing a set of facts both the same as most others, and at the same time differently than most others. To do this professionally requires experience and proper analysis.

In academic terms, specific and general deterrence figure prominently among justifications for punishment. And rehabilitation plays an equally significant role. The justice system does not exist only to stop offenders by imposing penalties. It also assists an offender become a productive member of society.

I expect many folks wonder why one, such as me, would choose to help people in the criminal justice system as opposed to those involved in, say, real estate transactions, wills, estates, or any of the myriad areas of legal practice.

Life is unpredictable. We as humans may try to control our lives' circumstances, but this is not always possible. For example, none of us are immune from sickness.

In addition, people can make mistakes. No human is immune because we all possess an unlimited capacity to make errors.

One cannot predict with any degree of accuracy when stressful circumstances will arise, how one may act under those circumstances, the mistakes one may make under those circumstances, or the long term personal impact of them.

Society has decided some mistakes are forgivable, while others may have far reaching legal consequences.

My clients may have made more mistakes than other people. Alternatively, my clients' mistakes may be more significant than those committed by others.

It seems to me, however, that anyone could commit an error that requires the legal assistance I provide.

The Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC does not represent either Jargget Washington or Keith Costill.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations for all cases. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Search and Seizure: Warrant Exceptions

The Meeting
Marie Bashkirtseff (1858 - 1884)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
On September 13, 2012, Bayonne police charged two men with various drug-related offenses, as reported by nj.com. Press reports indicate a silver four-door BMW allegedly stopped at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway at about 6:15 p.m. Plainclothes detectives allegedly saw the driver, later identified as Andrew Harrison, and a suspect on the corner, later identified as Dino Defino, engage in a hand-to-hand drug transaction, according to nj.com.

After stopping Harrison at the corner of 32nd Street and Avenue E, police searched the thirty-seven year old and his silver BMW, reported nj.com. The police seized an alleged 51 pills of suspected oxycodone, according to nj.com.

Meanwhile police also stopped Defino while walking on 12th Street. A search of the thirty-three year old resulted in the seizure of an alleged bag of vegetation suspected to be marijuana, and suspected oxycodone pills, as reported by nj.com.

Law enforcement authorities filed charges against Harrison for possession of oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute, according to the media.

Defino was charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession with intent to sell, possession of oxycodone, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, and possession within a 1,000 feet of a school.

New Jersey law presumes a search by police of Constitutionally protected areas without a warrant to be invalid. The remedy for an invalid search is suppression of the evidence. When the facts fall within an exception to the warrant requirement, however, the court allows the state to use the evidence at trial.

Some questions to rule out any exceptions to the warrant requirement might include:
  • What actions did police observe before arresting both men?
  • Where were the police positioned when they observed these things?
  • What direction were the police facing?
  • How far apart were the police and the two men?
  • What other surrounding circumstances were present?
  • Did police obtain a warrant before searching the BMW?
  • How many police stopped Harrison?
  • What circumstances lead up to the search of the BMW?
  • How many police stopped Defino?
  • What else did the police seize as evidence?

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding Search and Seizure. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Law Office of Michael A. Smolensky LLC on the World Wide Web.

Cocaine Possession With Intent To Distribute, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

cocaine, crack cocaine, coke, drugs, blow, snow, yayo, llello, nose candy, powder, white,
Mad Hatter, by Walt Disney
(Original Trailer (1951))
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
On August 23, 2012, Monroe Township police charged Joseph Pinizzotto, Jr., and Amber Currywith with various crimes, according to nj.com. Among the charges is possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, according to courierpostonline.com.

Law enforcement officials seized the alleged crack cocaine during the execution of a search warrant at a residence near the 900 block of North Beecham Road in Monroe's Williamstown section, according to news reports.

Press reports indicate authorities lodged Pinizzotto in the Gloucester County Jail on $150,000.00 bail, and released Curry when she posted $2,500.00 bail.

New Jersey law prohibits controlled dangerous substance (CDS) possession with intent to distribute, defined as any person who knowingly or purposely:
  1. manufactures, distributes, or dispenses, or possesses or has under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, CDS or CDS analog, or
  2. creates, distributes, or possesses or has under his control with intent to distribute counterfeit CDS.
The degree of crime and penalties for cocaine possession with intent to distribute, based on N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, depend on the amount of cocaine, including any adulterants or dilutants.

  • FIRST DEGREE CRIME (FELONY)
    • Quantity: Five ounces or more
    • State Prison: Between ten years and twenty years
    • Mandatory minimum: One-half to one-third of sentence
    • Fines: Between $200,000.00 and $500,000.00
    • DEDR Penalty*: $3,000.00

  • SECOND DEGREE CRIME (FELONY)
    • Quantity: One-half ounce but less than five ounces
    • State Prison: Between five years and ten years
    • Fines: Up to $150,000.00
    • DEDR Penalty*: $2,000.00

  • THIRD DEGREE CRIME (FELONY)
    • Quantity: less than one-half ounce
    • State Prison: Between three years and five years
    • Fines: Between $15,000.00 and $75,000.00
    • DEDR Penalty*: $1,000.00

  • ADDITIONAL PENALTIES
    • Drug Court for qualified applicants
    • Victims of Crime Compensation Assessment (VCCA): $50
    • Law Enforcement Officer Training & Equipment Fund: $30
    • Safe Neighborhood Services Fund Assessment: $75
    • Drug Abuse Education Fund: $50
    • Lab Fee: $50
    • Driver's License Suspension: Six months to twenty-four months
    • Court Costs

*DEDR stands for Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding CDS Possession With Intent to Distribute. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Shoplifting, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
By Elisabeth Keyser (1851 - 1898)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
On August 7, 2012, news site nj.com reported the arrest of Lester Williams for Shoplifting.

The Jersey City resident allegedly tried to leave a Bayonne Walmart with two flat-screen televisions in his shopping cart without paying.

Police arrived to find Williams in the custody of store security. The merchandise, according to nj.com, had an alleged value of $556.00.

New Jersey law criminalizes the conduct of any person who purposely takes possession of, carries away, transfers or causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.

With some similarities to Theft, Shoplifting is graded as follows:

SECOND DEGREE:
  • Full retail value at least $75,000; or
  • In furtherance of or in conjunction with organized retail theft enterprise and full retail value is $1,000.00 or more
  • Sentencing exposure five to ten years New Jersey State Prison
THIRD DEGREE:
  • Full retail value greater than $500 and less than $75,000; or
  • In furtherance of or in conjunction with organized retail theft enterprise and full retail value is less than $1,000.00
  • Sentencing exposure three to five years New Jersey State Prison
FOURTH DEGREE:
  • Full retail value between $200 and $500, inclusive;
  • Sentencing exposure eighteen months New Jersey State Prison
DISORDERLY PERSON:
  • Full retail value less than $200.
  • Sentencing exposure six months county jail

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on any case regarding Shoplifting. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Aggravated Assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(f)

Assault, Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, New Jersey
On August 23, 2012, police in Bridgeton, New Jersey, charged April Lacey with Aggravated Assault, according to nj.com.

After allegedly grabbing a Midget Football League cheerleading coach by the hair, press reports indicate Lacey threw her nearly to the ground.

Lacey, as reported by the news site, said the altercation arose out of a verbal argument with the cheerleading coach about league funds.

Witnesses, according to the news, consisted of a group of cheerleaders and parents. Bridgeton Police Chief Mark Ott said Lacey was charged with Aggravated Assault because this took place in front of children, according to nj.com.

N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a) provides a person is guilty of Simple Assault if she:
  1. Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
  2. Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
  3. Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Simple Assault in the presence of a child under 16 at a school or community sponsored youth sports event is guilty of, and strictly liable for, a fourth degree crime. N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(f).

It is not a defense that defendant did not know the child was present. Similarly, it is not a defense that the defendant reasonably believed that the child was 16 years of age or older. These limitations apply because the Code expressly states this is a strict liability crime.

"School or community sponsored youth sports event" means:
  • competition, practice or instructional event
  • involving one or more interscholastic sports teams or youth sports teams
  • organized pursuant to a nonprofit or similar charter
  • or which are member teams in a youth league
  • organized by or affiliated with a county or municipal recreation department
  • excluding collegiate, semi-professional or professional sporting events.
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding Aggravated Assault. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2(d) and N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2(e)

Three Monkeys Stealing Fruit
By Frans Snyders (1579-1657)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Conspiracy Conviction

Following a conviction for second degree conspiracy, ex-Newark policeman Darius Smith must serve three years probation, pay a $5,000.00 fine, and is barred from future New Jersey public employment, according to nj.com.

Overt Act Exception

General Rule
No person may be convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime other than:
  1. a crime of the first or second degree, or
  2. distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.
Exception
A person may not be convicted of conspiracy to commit any other crime unless upon
  1. proof of an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy
  2. to have been done by him or
  3. by a person with whom he conspired.

Renunciation

One conspiracy defense is "Renunciation." This requires a defendant to prove after conspiring to commit a crime
  1. he informed the authority of the existence of the conspiracy and his participation in it;
  2. he thwarted or caused to be thwarted the commission of any offense in furtherance of the conspiracy;
  3. he acted under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of criminal purpose.
The defendant shoulders the burden to prove renunciation by a preponderance of the evidence.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on any case regarding conspiracy. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2(b) and N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2(c)

The Duchess of Gloucester Does Penance
Edmund Evans (1826 - 1905)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Conspiracy Conviction

Hon. Peter Ryan, J.S.C., sentenced ex-Newark policeman Darius Smith on August 10, 2012, according to new site nj.com.

A jury had convicted Smith of second degree conspiracy to steal cash, narcotics, and weapons from drug dealers, according to news reports.

Judge Ryan sentenced Smith to three years probation, a $5,000.00 fine, and barred Smith from future New Jersey public employment, according to the news.

Smith's sentence fell in the third degree range because the jury found he stole less than $200, reported nj.com.

Scope of Conspiracy

If an individual knows that a person with whom he conspired to commit a crime has conspired with another person or persons to commit the same crime, then the individual is guilty of the conspiracy with the other people or persons. This is so even if the individual does not know the identity of the other person or persons.

Multiple Objectives

If a person conspires to commit a number of crimes, he is guilty of only one conspiracy. This is so only if such multiple crimes are the object of the same agreement or continuous conspiratorial relationship.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on any case regarding conspiracy. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Conspiracy, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2(a)

The Conspiracy against Oropastes,
By Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo
(c. 1486 - c. 1542) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Conspiracy Conviction

Convicted at trial by jury of second degree conspiracy to steal cash, narcotics, and weapons from drug dealers, ex-Newark cop Darius Smith was sentenced August 10, 2012, according to nj.com.

Smith must serve three years probation, pay a $5,000.00 fine, and is barred from future New Jersey public employment, according to news reports.

Hon. Peter Ryan, J.S.C., sentenced Smith in the third degree range because the jury found Smith stole less than $200, reported nj.com.

New Jersey law provides two definitions of conspiracy.

A person is guilty of conspiracy if, with the purpose to promote or facilitate a crime, a person either:
  1. agrees with another person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime; or
  2. agrees to aid another person or persons in the planning or commission of such crime or of an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime.
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on any case regarding conspiracy. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Bail, New Jersey Constitution Article I, Paragraph 11

By Daniel Schwen (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5],
via Wikimedia Commons.

Bail - An Individual's Right in New Jersey

The court adjourned an August 15, 2012, bail hearing for Antoinette Pelzer, charged with stabbing two tourists to death in Atlantic City, New Jersey, according to nj.com.

The Philadelphian who has frowned, laughed, and exhibited other uncommon behaviors previously in court allegedly used a 12-inch butcher knife in the incident, according to philly.com.

Pelzer's bail is $1.5 million, nj.com reported.

Bail Factors

Following arrest, regaining freedom occupies an individual's mind. "All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or presumption great." N.J. Const. art. I, ‎¶‎ 11.

New Jersey Courts review the following when considering bail:
  • This Situation's Seriousness
  • Criminal History
  • Character
  • Length of Residence in Community
  • Family Ties and Relationships
  • Employment History
  • Responsible Community Members Vouching For A Defendant's Reliability

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding bail. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Reasonable Suspicion

Auto Stop, Motor Vehicle Stop, Search and Seizure, Investigatory Stop, Stop, Reasonable Suspicion, RAS, Reasonable Articulable Suspicion
Suspect 3
By Augheydmx (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
On August 6, 2012, police arrested Marcus Williams and charged him with Marijuana Possession, according to news site nj.com.

Police stopped Williams allegedly for driving with a broken brake light. According to nj.com, Police arrested Williams based on two outstanding warrants. A contemporaneous search revealed the suspected contraband.

Police must not unjustifiably stop an individual. A mere hunch never justifies a stop. The cops must first observe the conduct of a particular individual leading to the belief that a crime was or is being committed.

Under New ‎Jersey law, a stop happens when a reasonable person would not believe he is free to leave. The cops must not stop a vehicle without a factual basis that the driver or an occupant broke the law.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding stops, searches, seizures, and arrests. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Theft By Failure To Make Required Disposition Of Property Received

The Cunning Thief,
Paul-Charles Chocarne-Moreau
(1855-1931) [Public Domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
The Union County Prosecutor filed charges against Joanne Williams on July 25, 2012. The investigation began during summer 2011 after an accountant allegedly identified irregularities in an elderly woman's financial records.

The grand jury charged Williams, a Linden resident, with theft, theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, and misapplication of entrusted property, according to news site mycentraljersey.com.

The 56-year-old defendant allegedly took at least $160,000.00 from an 88-year-old neighbor's life savings.

New Jersey law prohibits theft by failure to make required disposition of property received when a person purposely obtains or retains property upon agreement or subject to a known legal obligation to make specified payment or other disposition, whether from such property or its proceeds or from his own property to be reserved in equivalent amount, if he deals with the property obtained as his own and fails to make the required payment or disposition.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9, one may have committed this crime even if it is impossible to identify particular property as belonging to the victim at the time of the failure to make the required payment or disposition.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on any case regarding theft. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

Silence by Johann Heinrich Füssli
(1741 - 1825) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Police arrested Tiffany Carpenter, who allegedly confessed to beating her aunt with a pipe wrench, according to courierpostonline.com.

Before a confession may be used, the State must prove the police informed the individual of her rights, and that s‎he knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived them‎.

These warnings negate perceptions related to psychological stress in police-controlled circumstances that might compel a person to ‎speak where she would not have spoken otherwise.

New Jersey law is broader than federal law.

  • BURDERN OF PROOF: New Jersey law requires the Prosecutor to prove waiver beyond a reasonable doubt. Federal law only requires proof or waiver by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • KNOWING CONFESSIONS: State law requires the police to inform suspects when there is already a criminal ‎complaint and arrest warrant. Federal law does not impose this notice requirement.
  • ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK: New Jersey courts consider waiver based on the totality of circumstances. Federal courts apply a bright line rule.
Jurists and scholars may fairly characterize this distinction between New Jersey and Federal law as "Horizontal Federalism" within the context of New Judicial Federalism. New Jersey courts, however, march in lockstep with federal courts as to standing.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding the privilege against self-incrimination.

Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Click "New Judicial Federalism," labeled in the post footer, for more examples and explanations about this topic.

Warrant Exceptions: Emergency Aid and Community Caretaker

Maison blanche, la nuit
(White House at Night)

Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890)
[Public domain]
via Wikimedia Commons

Factual Summary

On July 26, 2012, nj.com reported the New Jersey Supreme Court had suppressed evidence in State v. Shareef Edmonds. Upholding the lower courts, the Supreme Court majority determined the police broke the law when they searched a residence without a warrant and found a weapon.

A 911 call brought police to Kamilah Richardson's Carteret residence, according to the Court's opinion. Allegedly Richardson's brother, the caller said Richardson was a domestic violence victim. The caller also reported a gun in the residence.

After an exchange with Richardson outside her apartment, police entered despite Richardson's disapproval. Police found Shareef Edmonds watching television while seated on a couch, and Richardson's son. But they observed nothing to indicate imminent threat or ongoing danger. Subsequently, the police searched the premises and found a handgun.

Legal Framework Summary

Under the law, the government must pay the greatest degree of respect to an individual's privacy in the home.

Indeed, the New Jersey Constitution and the Fourth Amendment plainly state, "The right of the people to be secure in their . . . houses
. . . against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."

Therefore, the fruit of a warrantless search must be suppressed unless the facts fall within an exception.

Emergency Aid Exception

The Emergency Aid Exception allows warrantless activity in private homes to preserve life or prevent serious injury. Based on common sense, New Jersey courts apply the following factors:

First, the circumstances must provide an objectively reasonable basis about an emergency requiring immediate assistance to protect life or prevent serious injury; and

Second, there must be a reasonable nexus between the emergency and the area or places to searched.

Note: The Court aligned New Jersey and Federal law here, discarding the factor relating to the officer's subjective motivations. This development lightens the State's burden.

Community Caretaker Exception

Separate and apart from law enforcement, police provide social services. Similar to the Emergency Aid Doctrine, police usually provide these caretaking services in emergency situations. Furthermore, this exception applies only in circumstances that are completely removed from the investigation of criminal activity. Importantly, this exception does not provide carte blanche authority to search homes without a warrant.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding searches, seizures, and arrests. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Pretrial Intervention--Legal Criteria to Consider

Eve (Don't Listen to the Liar)
By Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons.
Nineteen year old Michael Conway will apply for Pretrial Intervention. The July 3, 2012, Daily Record reported that the State charged Conway with providing false information to police. When police questioned Conway, the Morristown teenager allegedly denied personal knowledge about a robbery involving Lennon Baldwin. But it seems police later obtained evidence to the contrary. Following the robbery, Baldwin committed suicide. Conway has graduated from Morristown High School.

Successful completion of PTI depends on a variety of factors. First, applicants must exhibit amenability to correction. Next, participants must render responsiveness to ‎rehabilitation. Furthermore, the nature of the offense charged may disqualify willing applicants. Finally, successful PTI is based on a relationship of trust between the applicant and PTI ‎staff.

Some more concrete criteria include, but are not limited to: ‎

1. the offense;
2. the particular facts;
3. the applicant’s age and motive for the crime;
4. the victim’s ‎dispensation with prosecution;
5. the victim’s and society’s needs and interests;
6. the applicant's prior record;
7. ‎whether prosecution would make the problem ‎worse;
8. history of violence to others; and
9. involvement with organized crime.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding Pretrial Intervention. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.


Benefits of PTI--Court Compels Carlstadt Mayor Into Pretrial Intervention

William Roseman
Mayor of Carlstadt, NJ
Source: Carlstadt Website
New Jersey Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi, J.S.C., recently compelled the admission of William Roseman into Pretrial Intervention. Roseman is Mayor of Carlstadt, New Jersey, according to a July 12, 2012, nj.com report. Roseman's attorney emphasized he had always maintained his innocence.

The State filed an indictment, and a superseding indictment, charging Roseman and a co-defendant with Official Misconduct, Theft by Deception, and Conspiracy. The charges allegedly arose because Roseman did not remove his co-defendant from his medical and dental insurance plans provided by the town, according to various news reports from NorthJersey.com and nj.com.

Judge DeAvila-Silebi found no evidence in the record to establish the elements of Theft by Deception. Overruling the State's objection, Judge DeAvila-Silebi based this opinion on more than 2,000 documents and transcripts, according to reports from NorthJersey.com on July 6, and July 12, 2012.

Roseman must perform 25 hours community service.

BENEFITS OF PTI

First, completion of PTI results in dismissal of the charges, which in turn allows the successful participant to avoid a criminal conviction. 
Second, rehabilitative services can begin soon after the alleged offense, allowing early initiation of services geared at correcting the behavior that led to the offense. 
Third, PTI admission eliminates many of the costs of formal court procedures. 
Fourth, PTI enables the victim, the public, and the defendant to put the matter behind them and move forward.
Finally, PTI reduces case loads, allowing courts to focus on more serious criminals.
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding Pretrial Intervention. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

Non-Magic Carpets To Success



Continued From The Previous Post . . .

Marian Wright Edelman
By CDC (PHIL #8416)
(Obtained from CDC Public
Health Image Library.)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
"If you see a need, do not ask why doesn't somebody do something, ask why don't I do something. Hard work and persistence and initiative are still the non-magic carpets to success for most of us."

Marian Wright Edelman, Civil Rights Activist and Lawyer, spoke these words during the commencement address at the Washington University in St. Louis on May 15, 1992. I was present when she delivered that address.

Before departing on March 23, the Go Team advocates asked me to attend their hearing. I apologized, explaining prior professional commitments prevented this. None of the advocates persisted, but I realized the invitation was not a mere formality.

Thus, I endeavored to rearrange my schedule. Murphy's Law, however, took the upper hand. Despite several phone calls and a visit to the court house that day, too many logistics and not enough time stood in the way. Nevertheless, various people returned favorable reviews about each adult's testimony. I was honored to have contributed to this successful outcome.

My communication continued with Ronnie, the Go Team Sponsor. The honors ceremony remained on the horizon. Therefore, I met the Go Team on May 18. Before meeting, I researched themes and speaking styles.

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with 
Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whitney YoungJames Farmer
By Yoichi R. Okamoto [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons.
Knowing the Go Team advocates yearned for freedom, I studied I Have a Dream by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Additionally, I learned about the history and personal experiences of those who have bravely struggled for freedom and equality.

Furthermore, I researched the structure of compelling speeches.

The most effective speech structure involved describing the harsh reality of life today, proposing a remedy, and contrasting life today with dreams of a more perfect future. Accordingly, it seemed to me the Go Team advocates would make the strongest impression by describing life today in the Developmental Center, and contrasting this with descriptions of the future life each advocate dreamed about when the Developmental Centers will finally be closed.

We prepared for these speeches similarly to the way we prepared for the Task Force testimony. Speaking with the advocates heightened my awareness of various things I take for granted. For example, freedom means the ability to choose how to spend one's time. One may go to the mall, to the beach, or for a bike ride at one's leisure. The advocates, however, are not free to make these kinds of choices.

Freedom includes choosing the people with whom to associate and socialize. In the D.C., however, the advocates are not free to make these kinds of choices. Freedom also means responsibility, like the responsibility to hold a job. At the same time, freedom means having the option to choose one's occupation. Life in the D.C., however, does not include those liberties. Without completely dismissing the general reasons for these restrictions, my discussions deepened my own appreciation for the many freedoms I enjoy.

I found out the ceremony was scheduled to take place on June 21. The Go Team would be competing for the attention of legislators who would certainly be thinking about the end-of-the-month deadline for the State Budget. Even though this decreased the likelihood that the advocates would be able to deliver their complete speeches, we remained undeterred.

Asm. Louis Greenwald & the Go Team
State House, Trenton, NJ
June 21, 2012
On June 21, the road these advocates had been traveling lead to the State House in Trenton for the honor ceremony. Although I had joined them on their travels only a few months earlier, I considered it an honor simply to attend.

Positioned before the Assembly side by side with Assemblyman Greenwald, each adult glowed with pride.

As anticipated, time did not permit the adults to deliver the prepared speeches. Instead, each advocate improvised, and delivered brief, impromptu statements of gratitude. Despite the size of the audience and the stature of its members, not to mention the anxiety the men and women had expressed before the ceremony, all the advocates spoke serenely.

The Go Team sponsors thanked me many times for my service. They have told me these mentally handicapped men and women with whom I worked could not have done this without me. Personally, I wonder what I really did. I had always believed these men and women would exceed all our expectations.

The Go Team, Sponsors, & Michael Smolensky
State House, Trenton, NJ
June 21, 2012

Moving Mountains


. . . Continued From The Previous Post . . .

New Lisbon Developmental Center
New Lisbon, NJ
Having added the March 23 meeting to my calendar, I began to prepare. The Go Team and I were to meet at the New Lisbon Developmental Center. In the days immediately before the first session, however, I learned that members of the Go Team had been invited to testify before the New Jersey Task Force on the Closure of State Developmental Centers (Task Force).

New challenges accompanied this new circumstance. The Task Force, I soon found out, had been formed to evaluate and provide recommendations for closing the Developmental Centers. But I did not know what the Task Force actually hoped to gain from the testimony of these adults. Internet research, a few phone calls, and persistence provided clarity. Based on this, each advocate worked with me to prepare for the hearing during the March 23 meeting.

Naturally, the apprehensive adults wondered whether I, a complete stranger, was going to tell them how to testify. Making certain immediately to dispel this concern, I explained the Task Force needed to know their personal experiences. I proceeded to described my two-fold purpose.

First, I intended to help each adult organize their personal ideas for the Task Force. And second, I intended to assist each advocate with techniques for delivering these ideas at the forthcoming Task Force hearing. Each team member easily came to understand my goal was to help prepare the team to testify both honestly and credibly.

To prepare for the testimony, each adult engaged me in one-on-one interviews. Aware of their anxieties, I knew a formal question-and-answer session would not have yielded authentic answers. Instead, the interviews took the shape of a casual conversation.

Each advocate's comfort progressively increased. I observed each adult move from a protective and guarded posture where they wondered about what I may have expected them to say, to comfort characterized by openness and a desire to share. As we spoke, I noted the comments and thoughts each advocate expressed.

After completing each interview, I read my notes aloud. This reinforced my objective—to help each advocate testify as to their personal experiences and opinions. Similarly, it mitigated any concern whether I might dictate the content of their testimony.

As with any speech, the advocates needed structure for the purpose of effective communication. Therefore, I organized the notes into sentences, grouped the sentences into paragraphs, and formed the paragraphs into an introduction, body, and conclusion.

Additionally, when an advocate struggled to find the right word for an idea, I made recommendations. As before, each advocate reviewed the testimony with me for accuracy. Finally, each advocate had an opportunity to review the structure.

After reducing the testimony to writing, I coached each team member with speaking skills. Knowing each adult was to testify before a Task Force, I assisted the advocates with articulation, vocal projection, pace, eye contact, and the placement of pauses. Most significantly, each advocate practiced smiling. After all, this was to be a landmark occasion. To reinforce the importance of smiling, each advocate repeated exercises that involved relaxing and smiling.

At the end of the session, each advocate grinned. I later learned each advocate testified persuasively before the Task Force. This made me feel both proud and honored, as though I had helped these adults move mountains.

Concluded Here . . .



Go Team, March 23, 2012
New Lisbon Developmental Center
New Lisbon, NJ