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New Jersey Strengthens Already Tough Gun Laws

September 17, 2019 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, which have undergone a number of overhauls since Gov. Phil Murphy took the helm. The most recent one to go into effect, on December 1, 2020, is aimed at protecting family members who are at risk from an individual suffering from mental health issues.

Under the new law, the “Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018,” a family member or an individual who shares a person’s home can file a petition with the Superior Court if they think an individual is a danger to themselves or others. This law also allows law enforcement agencies to file petitions at the request of a law enforcement officer or other concerned individual. If you do not live with the individual and are not a family member your request for a petition must go through a law enforcement agency.

This law, according to its sponsors, focus is on mental health concerns. It provides a mechanism to permit family members and others who are concerned about a gun owner’s mental health to have a court determine their capability to safely own a weapon.

Once a judge enters an Order pursuant to this law, a warrant can then be issued to seize the firearms if the individual fails to surrender the firearms in the appropriate time as ordered. The individual also has the ability to transfer the ownership of any weapons or ammunition that are in the custody of law enforcement to a federally licensed firearms dealer. Read More »

New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Vote Today

March 25, 2019 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

Today could be the day that we in the Criminal Defense bar have been waiting for. After promises of a vote for over a year now, we are scheduled for a vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana in both the Senate and General Assembly, on Monday, March 25.

It is unclear whether it will pass. It appears that the General Assembly has enough votes, but the Senate is still up in the air. It is also unclear as to whether the bills to voted on will include expansions for medical marijuana and the automatic expungement of prior marijuana arrests.

Governor Murphy campaigned on the promise of the legalization of recreational marijuana and the expansion of medical marijuana in New Jersey. Today could be the day that recreational marijuana is legalized, making New Jersey the 11th state to do so. This can have an impact on your current and past marijuana arrests.

We will continue to keep you updated as the issue is voted on and debated in the Statehouse. If you have any questions or concerns while we wait, please do not hesitate to call and speak to one of our attorneys at (732) 741-4448.

New Marijuana Decriminalization Policy

August 2, 2018 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

The New Jersey Attorney General, Gurbir S. Grewal, issued a memorandum on July 24, 2018 to all municipal prosecutors. This memorandum directs all municipal and county prosecutors to seek adjournments on marijuana related offenses until after September 4, 2018.

This directive comes after the Chief Municipal Prosecutor for Jersey City, Jake Hudnut, issued a memorandum, which the Attorney General has deemed unconstitutional, titled “New Marijuana Decriminalization Policy.” It has been understood that the Jersey City Memorandum, was creating a charge likened to a traffic ticket, where the possession of marijuana would be punished with a fine and no criminal record. The Attorney General has convened a working group to determine guidelines which should be set for the prosecution of marijuana charges in New Jersey going forward.

It has been anticipated since the inauguration of Governor Murphy, that New Jersey would be legalizing marijuana. This working group could be the beginning of the end for the criminalization of marijuana possession in New Jersey. While it is still unclear what Attorney General Grewal intends to do, it is known that he had discussions with the Chief Municipal Prosecutor for Jersey City regarding decriminalization and this working group is going to address the concerns raised during those discussions. Governor Murphy has expressed his position is that marijuana should become legalized and taxed, rather than decriminalized.

We have had several cases postponed on the basis of this memorandum and are hopeful that we can eventually obtain complete dismissals of marijuana possession cases that are currently pending but have not been resolved. Please contact the Law Offices of Randolph H. Wolf at 732-741-4448 or email us at Info@RandolphWolf.com for more information.

Removal From Sex Offenders List – Additional Offenses

May 30, 2017 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

DOES COMMISSION OF ANY OFFENSE BAR REMOVAL FROM MEGAN’S LAW SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION UNDER 2C:7-2(f) AFTER 15 YEARS OR DOES THIS ONLY APPLY TO COMMISSION OF ADDITIONAL SEX OFFENSES?

A very competent and thorough NY attorney recently approached us with an interesting question. He had a client on the N.J. Registry and on the NY Registry for Megan Law Sex Offenses. He wanted to apply in NY to have his risk level reduced from 2 down to 1 however, thought it would be helpful to have him first removed from the NJ Registry as more then 15 years had passed. However, the client had became homeless for a short period of time and failed to register and was convicted in 2011 in NY for failure to register. The issue was whether the term “offense” in 2C:7-2(f) mean another “sex offense” or any “offense.” Read More »

Restraining Orders: Proving Intent to Harass

December 13, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

New Jersey Restraining Orders: Proving Intent to Harass

If you are the defendant in a restraining order case who is being charged with harassment, it is vital that you contact an experienced New Jersey restraining order attorney to discuss your case. The criminal charge of harassment is quite broad and nature and, as a result, is often alleged by the plaintiffs in restraining order contexts.

New Jersey case law, however, requires that the defendant have acted with an actual intent to harass in this context. Many times, the defendant’s alleged harassing conduct was not done with an actual intent to harass the plaintiff, but instead was done for some other reason. As such, the plaintiff’s failure to prove that the defendant acted with an intent to harass can be a winning defense in many of these cases. Read More »

Restraining Orders for Out of State Defendants

November 26, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

NJ Restraining Orders: Do New Jersey Courts Have Personal Jurisdiction Over an Out-of-State Defendant? 

Often times, victims of domestic violence flee their home state in order to escape the violence of their alleged perpetrators.  In these instances, the State of New Jersey does protect victims of domestic violence who come to New Jersey looking for refuge from their alleged abusers.  In this regard, New Jersey’sPrevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-17 to -35, permits fleeing victims of domestic violence to file for a protective order in a place where the plaintiff resides or is sheltered at the time of the filing.  See N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-28 (“[A] plaintiff may apply for relief under this section in a court having jurisdiction over the place where the alleged act of domestic violence occurred, where the defendant resides, or where the plaintiff resides or is sheltered.”)  Read More »

New Jersey Bail Reform

November 16, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

New Jersey Bail Reform – Major Changes Effective January 1, 2017

On January 1, 2017, substantial changes to the processing of criminal cases in New Jersey will go into effect. Although the changes made under New Jersey’s criminal law reform will affect almost all aspects of a New Jersey criminal case, the focus in particular will be on the following two areas of criminal law in New Jersey: (1) pretrial release and bail; and (2) the right to a speedy trial. Read More »

NJ Police Sgt. Suspended – 20,000 DWI’s May be Eligible to be Re-Opened

September 20, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 

On September 19, 2016, it was released that State Police Sgt. Marc Dennis, a former coordinator in the State Police’s Alcohol Drug Testing Unit (“ADTU”), has been suspended pending an investigation into his calibration of Alcotest instruments. Sgt. Dennis was responsible for the calibration of Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C units in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union Counties.

Specifically, the State is alleging that Sgt. Dennis failed to use the proper thermometer to test the simulator solutions prior to starting the calibration of the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C units. This step is necessary under the Supreme Court’s decision in which set forth the necessary steps the State Police must undertake to properly calibrate the Alcotest instrument. Read More »

Early Expungement of Disorderly Persons Theft Conviction Granted

July 19, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 
In April of 2016, the expungement statute was broadened to provide for the “early pathway” expungement of disorderly persons (or misdemeanor) convictions in New Jersey.  While an early pathway expungement had previously been available for felony convictions prior to April of 2016 (making applicants eligible for expungement of their felony convictions five years after completion of their sentence, as opposed to the standard ten year waiting period), a similar provision was not available with respect to the early expungement of disorderly persons convictions.
Under the new expungement law, however, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:52-3(b)(2), an early pathway expungement for disorderly persons convictions is now available.  Although the standard waiting period to expunge a disorderly persons conviction remains five years, you can now apply under the new law for expungement of a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense after only three years –  so long as certain conditions are met.

Read More »

Can a New Jersey Employer Lawfully Ask About Your Criminal Record?

April 22, 2016 · Posted in Blog, Criminal Law Blog 
Individuals looking for employment in New Jersey are often concerned about whether and when potential employers can use inquire into their criminal record during the application process. While New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete (or “Ban the Box”) law prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicant’s background during the initial stages of the application process, nothing – besides an expungement – will prevent an employer from inquiring into your criminal background after an initial interview.

Read More »

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