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 F├╝ssli
(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.