Thursday, January 9, 2020


The Supreme Court of New Jersey in State v. Luis Melendez, reaffirmed the defendant’s right to fight civil forfeiture proceedings while criminal charges are pending, and preventing any statements made by the defendant in those proceedings to be used against him in a subsequent criminal trial.

In light of this decision the Supreme Court has mandated the following language be used in all future civil forfeiture complaints filed by the county prosecutors.

“Defendants should be advised of the following: (1) they may wish to consult with a lawyer about how best to proceed; (2) the State may not use any statements made in an answer to a forfeiture complaint in its case in chief in a related criminal case; and (3) defendants may file a motion to stay the civil forfeiture action under N.J.S.A. 2C:64-3(f). Also, the Court held that whenever practicable, the State should also serve a courtesy copy of the forfeiture complaint on defense counsel when a companion criminal case is pending, so that counsel can offer basic legal advice or make a referral.”

This is a good decision because a defendant should never be asked to choose between his Fourteenth Constitutional rights of due process over his Fifth Amendment rights during his criminal trial.  One cautionary note, this case is limited to evidence that the state will use in its case-in-chief, and does not apply to if the defendant takes the witness stand and contradicts his statements or pleadings in the civil forfeiture case.

If you are facing a criminal forfeiture proceedings or criminal case contact the Law Office Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq., to discuss your case.

Before you retain an attorney you must carefully consider the qualifications and track record of the attorney you are considering to hire and find out whether he or she is truly qualified to handle your case. Having a fancy and high tech website does not necessarily mean the attorney has enough experience to take on your case.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr. 277 North Broad Street, Raymond Building, Second Floor, Elizabeth, N.J. 07208
Telephone No. 908-354-7006

Monday, December 9, 2019

IG Report Deep State Attempted to Overturn the Election of Donald J. Trump with the Fake FISA Application of Carter Page.

The Inspector Report is finally released today which confirms that the deep state attempted to overturn the election of Donald J. Trump through the Carter Page phony/fake FISA application.
Buried on Pages 360-366 of the report, and Page 419 in the Appendix we learn the following.

That the FISA application on Carter Page was “Inaccurate, Incomplete, or Undocumented Information in the FISA Applications.”
“1. Omitted information from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application;

2. Included a source characterization statement asserting that Steele's prior reporting had been "corroborated and used in criminal proceedings," which overstated the significance of Steele's past reporting and was not approved by Steele's FBI handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures;

3. Omitted information relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who, as previously noted, was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 relied upon in the application), namely that (1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a "boaster" and an "embellishment".

4. Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article, based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared his election-related research with the FBI and Simpson; this premise was factually incorrect (Steele had provided direct information to Yahoo News) and also contradicted by documentation in the Woods File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the State department;

5. Omitted Papadopoulos's statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was
collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like WikiLeaks in the release of emails;

6. Omitted Page's statements to an FBI CHS in August 2016 that Page had "literally never met" or "said one word to" Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page's emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Steele's Report 95 that Page was participating in a "conspiracy" with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and 7. Selectively included Page's statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made, including denying
having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Steele's Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton. We found no indication that NSD officials were aware of these issues at the
time they prepared or reviewed the first FISA application. Regarding the third listed item above, the 01 Attorney who drafted the application had received an email from Case Agent 1 before the first application was filed containing the
information about Steele's "boaster" and "embellishment" characterization of Person 1, whom the FBI believed to be Source E in Report 95 and the source of other allegations in the application derived from Reports 80 and 102. This information was part of a lengthy email that included descriptions of various individuals in Steele's source network and other information Steele provided to the Crossfire Hurricane team in early October 2016. The 01 Attorney told us that he
did not recall the Crossfire Hurricane team flagging this issue for him or that he independently made the connection between this sub-source and Steele's characterization of Person 1 as an embellisher. We believe Case Agent 1 should have specifically discussed with the 01 Attorney the FBI's assessment that this subsource was Person 1 that Steele had provided the information so that Person 1 could have assessed how these facts might impact the FISA application. As described in Chapter Five, Evans and the 01 Attorney told us that they would have wanted to discuss this information internally within NSD and with the FBI and likely would have, at a minimum, disclosed the information to the court.

Prepared as a Public Service by the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
(908) 354-7006

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