Wednesday, December 4, 2019

No Expungement for Endangering Convictions in New Jersey (sexual or non-sexual convictions).


In the recent decision, State of New Jersey v. N.T. (December 4, 2019), the Appellate Division in a decision affirmed the denial of a petitioner seeking an expungement for an endangering the welfare of a child (Title 9, non-sexual conviction).  The denial of an expungement is pursuant to statute, and until the New Jersey legislature amends the law, persons convicted of these offenses are barred from obtaining an expungment of the conviction.

The decision is troubling because it also bars the expungement of a non-sexual endangering conviction (Title 9), as well as sexual endangering convictions.  In this case the defendant was intoxicated on the beach and went into the water where she was having trouble in the water because of her intoxication.  The prosecutor charged her with endangering because her intoxication and her inability to swim without assistance, caused her “child distress.”  Hence, the basis of the endangering charge. (Give me a break what a frivolous charge by the county prosecutor).

The defendant entered the drug court program which allows expungement of arrest and conviction after successful graduation of the program, the trial court denied the expungement which was affirmed by the appellate court in this decision.

This criminal law information was provided as a public service by the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.  A competent and experiences New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney and trial lawyer with proven results for dismissals and acquittals, and not guilty verdicts.  Providing best practices legal defense and serving all counties in federal, state and municipal court.  Elizabeth, Newark, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Paterson, Hackensack, Trenton, Toms River, Freehold, Somerville, Mount Holly.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
(908) 354-7006

Monday, April 8, 2019

Jury Selections are Open to the Family and Public

The trial judge cannot bar the public or family members or friends from criminal jury trials during jury selections, and if so, calls for automatic reversal.

The New Jersey appellate division has held repeatedly that barring the public from the court room, even during jury selections is impermissible and calls for an automatic reversal in the event of a conviction.  In numerous occasions, criminal convictions have been reversed when this happens.  State v. Cuccio, State v. Clark Simon, (which was a case which I tried and was reversed for this reason by the appellate division) to name a few.

Rule 1:8-3(g) provides that the trial judge must allow the public access to the court room during all stages of the proceedings.  The rule provides in pertinent part:
(g) Jury Selection Must be Conducted in Open Court. Subject to (1) and (2) below, the public must be provided reasonable access to the courtroom during the jury selection portion of the trial. (1) Exclusion of Public from Courtroom; Compelling Reasons; Alternatives. The trial judge may not exclude the public from the courtroom unless there is a compelling need to do so. In making that determination, the trial judge shall first consider reasonable alternatives, such as holding jury selection in a larger courtroom, if one is available. If there are compelling reasons to exclude the public from the courtroom, the judge shall consider alternative ways to permit observation, including electronic means. The trial judge shall issue a statement of reasons for limiting or denying public access to jury selection. (2) Voir Dire of Individual Jurors. The requirement of public access.

Prepared as a public service by the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq. Fighting for the criminal accused for 29-years.

Possession with intent, aggregation of amounts no longer permitted in federal prosecutions

Prepared as a public service from the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Elizabeth, New Jersey, a criminal defense attorney fighting for your acquittal.
(Telephone, 908-354-7006)

In United States v. Rowe, a federal appeals court reversed a 1,000 grams of heroin case based on the fact that the defendant was engaged in numerous smaller sales.
The Third Circuit held that the Prosecutor can no longer aggregate the sales.  In this case the court held that it was improper for the government to add up several smaller possessions and distributions to reach the 1,000 gram level.

In order to convict the defendant for possession with intent to distribute the thousand grams the defendant had to possess and intent to distribute this amount at a single time.

Although this law does not apply in New Jersey it should because many prosecutions of larger quantities of CDS is made by the State adding up all the quantities to reach the over 5 ounce level.

The court turned to the reasoning in U.S. v. Benjamin (possession of handgun case), and held “we conclude that possession of 1,000 grams of heroin begins when a defendant has the power and intention to exercise dominion and control over all 1,000 grams, and ends when his possession is interrupted by a complete dispossession or by a reduction of that quantity to less than 1,000 grams.”

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., practicing criminal defense for 29 years.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

New Jersey Supreme Court-Elements of Obstruction the Administration of Justice

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
(908) 354-70076

March 13, 2019, State v. Fede, New Jersey Supreme Court.

The court reversed the defendant’s conviction for the D.P. charge of obstruction the administration of justice.  Specifically, in this case, the tenant living in a multi-family residential building refused to unchain his front door upon demand by the police.  In this case the police did not have a warrant, but were dispatched to the location when police dispatch reported a call of domestic violence in that apartment. 

The police attempted to gain entry to search the apartment under the “community caretaker” exception to the warrant requirement.  When tenant refused to unchain the front door the police knocked the door in, and arrested the tenant.

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the municipal court conviction for obstruction to the administration of justice.  Note, there was nobody else in the apartment when the police searched the apartment.

The court held that the police did have the right to break down the door under the community caretaker exception, however, the charge and conviction of obstruction to the administration of justice could not be affirmed because in order to be found guilty of that statute the defendant must take an affirmative step in obstruction the administration of justice.  The court held that the failure to act, to wit, removal of the chain lock, was not an affirmative step. 

Note, if the tenant had got in the officers way, or pushed the officer, or attempted to stop them physically from entering, the conviction would have been affirmed.

If you are charged with a Superior Court or Municipal Court criminal charge seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney who has been practicing for 29-years.  Experienced, qualified, integrity, and dedication to the practice of criminal defense.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Relentless Criminal Defense in New Jersey

Relentless Criminal Defense (908) 354-7006

For 29-years experienced criminal defense attorney, Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.,  has been representing defendants in criminal cases in almost every county in New Jersey.

Although no attorney can ethically make any guarantees about the final disposition of any criminal case, each prospective person seeking to hire an attorney for his or her criminal case must ask the attorney that he or she is seeking to hire the following questions.

1.  How many criminal jury trials has the attorney tried in his or her career?
2.  How many complete acquittals, not guilty verdicts,, has the attorney obtained?
3.  If acquittals were obtained, the type of cases and charges in which acquittals were obtained?
4.  Counties and judges in which the jury trials were tried?
5.  How many jury trials have they done in cases that are similar to yours?
6.  Whether they have any published appellate or supreme court opinions in the field of criminal defense in which there client was successful on appeal?

If the attorney becomes evasive to any of these important questions, that attorney is not for you.

Remember a prospective client should not be guided by a cheap fee.  Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone recommends that if you cannot afford to hire a private experienced competent criminal defense, that you are better off attempting to obtain the services of a public defender.  Also, almost every competent and experienced criminal defense attorney will charge for consultation fee.  (Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., consultation fee is $250.00 for one-hour.)  Remember, the consultation fee is being charged by an experienced attorney because his time is valuable, and valuable to you in the long run.  If the attorney gives free consultation, that is normally a red flag as well.

Be aware that there are a lot of attorneys that are claiming that they have experience in the area of criminal defense.  However, before you place your future and possible freedom in the hands of one of these lawyers, it is important that you do your homework.  Also, be aware of attorneys who claim to be certified.  Being certified does not mean that they can try a criminal case, only that they passed a written exam.  Passing a written exam does not equate to winning at trial before a jury.

Lastly, like any other professional it is important to do a google search on the attorney that you are thinking of hiring to find out whether they have any bad reviews, have been disciplined, or simply do not have the experience necessary to handle or case.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
277 North Broad Street
Raymond Bldg. Second Floor
Elizabeth, N.J. 07208
Office:  (908) 354-7006
Cell:     (201) 240-5716

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Republican Senators made a Big Mistake Letting a Prosecutor Question Judge Kavanuagh's accuser, Ms. Ford.

Republican Senators made a Big Mistake Letting a Prosecutor Question Ms. Ford.

Why did the senators retain a prosecutor (Ms. Mitchell) to question Ms. Ford, and not a competent criminal defense attorney to cross-examine Ms. Ford?

As soon as I learned a few days ago that the republican senators retained a state prosecutor to cross-examine Ms. Ford, I knew it was a big mistake. And after watching the hearings and her performance it is apparent that I was right.

Prosecutors are excellent with direct examination, but most are horrible at cross-examination, because in reality with most trials they have little opportunity and experience with cross-examining witnesses. Cross-examination is the art and the bread and butter of CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, in which their cases rise or fall on their ability to discredit the state's or government's witnesses.

The republicans with their competent legal staffs could have framed vigorous and cutting questions, much better than prosecutor Mitchell, who is basically only asking direct questions, which are not exposing her inconsistencies and bias towards Judge Kavanaugh.

If I was cross-examining Ms. Ford the first question I would ask is why in her opening statement she repeatedly called him Mr. Kavanaugh and not Judge Kavanaugh. Further, knowing what she allegedly claims he did to her, why did she not follow his career, or look him up, google him, and knowing that he seat on the DC Circuit, never raised this issues with the authorities. The little admission or omission by Ms. Ford could have opened the door with probing questions as her level of prejudice and hatred against Judge Kavanaugh, in which she did NOTHING ABOUT FOR 36 YEARS.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr. Esq.
3 mins

Ms. Ford is a registered Democrat and is a viral supporter of killing the unborn at any stage of the pregnancy, including partial birth abortion.
Ms. Ford traveled all the way from California to Washington D.C. to attend the anti-Trump Women's March on January 21, 2017, to advocate LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, identity politics and the feminist radical agenda.
Do we forget what Ms. Ford's heroes (and organizers of the march) yelled on the stage that day, the obscenities and outrageous remarks about the United States and our beloved President Trump.
This woman would do or say anything to stop this devout pro-life Catholic from being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and someday voting to stop the genocide of the unborn.
The abortion industry will do anything to continue killing the unborn, and they might be behind her directly. However, I do not think she needs any encouragement from them.
Let us hope some of our pro-life senators have the courage to cross-examine this radical pro abortion woman, and expose her for what she is, and what she really believes. That being that she hates Judge Kavanaugh for who he is, has become, what he believes,and all the things which she and her democratic party despises.
In the court of law, motive is always relevant and never collateral.
Vincent James Sanzone, Jr., Esq., September 19, 2018