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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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:
  • 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

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


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

According to, 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

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

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

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

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

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, ran stories about former Deputy Attorney General Keith Costill.

The Pennington resident, according to, 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, 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.