Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Where causation was a critical factor in a felony-murder
prosecution and trial, the omission of the language "or too
dependant on another's volitional acts" was plain error
warranting a reversal and a new trial. The issue of the
probable consequences and involvement and actions of third-party
participants in the crime required that the jury be informed
that "another's volitional acts" would impact on the element of
The failure to define "attempt" was not plain error.
The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, N.J.S.A. 26:3D-55 to -
64, is neither unconstitutionally vague nor overbroad as applied
to defendant's hookah bar. In the absence of constitutional
infirmity, the question whether the Act should be amended to
explicitly include or exclude defendant's conduct is left to the
In this case involving an Internet investigation by
officers representing themselves as a thirteen-year-old child,
we address the application of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and a(3).
STATE OF NEW JERSEY V. QUINN M. LATNEY A-6208-06T4 08-06-10
We consider defendant's objection to a flight instruction,
and conclude the instruction was unwarranted and that the
evidence of flight should not have been admitted at trial.
Defendant was on trial for robbery and related crimes. Two days
before the robbery defendant had stolen a car from a dealership,
and the day following the robbery, defendant was pursued by the
police while driving the stolen car. He pled guilty to theft of
the car prior to this trial.
The State did not introduce evidence that the car was
stolen and neither did defendant. We conclude that under these
circumstances, the evidence of flight should have been excluded
This appeal required us to determine whether evidence
concerning gang membership and rivalry is admissible to prove
motive in a murder case. Basing our review on N.J.R.E. 404(b)
and State v. Cofield, 127 N.J. 328 (1992), we concluded that
such evidence was properly admitted. We also upheld the
admission of consciousness-of-guilt evidence, again analyzing
the issue using N.J.R.E. 404(b) and Cofield.
Where victim was killed by one of four bullets shot from a
passing car at close range, the defendant's conviction for
murder was affirmed notwithstanding the judge's decision, agreed
to by defendant, that aggravated manslaughter and manslaughter
not be charged as lesser-included offenses.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY V. ALNESHA MINITEE AND
STATE OF NEW JERSEY V. DARNELL BLAND A-5002-06T4/A-6213-06T4 (consolidated)08-16-10
In these back-to-back appeals concerning the warrantless
search of a motor vehicle, we harmonize the seemingly
inconsistent holdings in State v. Martin, 87 N.J. 561 (1981) and
State v. Pena-Flores, 198 N.J. 6 (2009), by finding that the
exigent circumstances that existed at the scene only permitted
the police to seize the vehicle. Under our State's
Constitution, once impounded, the police were required to obtain
a warrant before searching the vehicle.
The trial court fairly concluded that the police had
reasonable and articulable suspicion to support an
investigatory stop of defendant and that the seizure
of drugs from both locations was lawful.
The State’s demand for permanent disqualification was
not supported on this record; the offense to which
Hupka pled does not compel his forfeiture of office
and permanent disqualification under N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Upon consideration of the totality of the
circumstances, A.S.’s confession was not knowingly,
intelligently, and voluntarily given. In addition,
the confession by far was the most damning piece of
evidence against A.S. and thus the court cannot say
that there was no reasonable possibility that its
introduction into evidence contributed to the
delinquency adjudication, and so, in the particular
circumstances presented in this case, the Court is
constrained to reverse
Sunday, August 01, 2010
August 9th Monday,
4:30 p.m. MCBA Office - 87 Bayard Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates – Edison
William G. Brigiani, Esq. BRIGIANI & Cohen - East Brunswick William G. Brigiani, Esq. BRIGIANI & Cohen - East Brunswick
Some of the featured cases will include:
-State v. Handy (suppression granted where search based on dispatcher error)
-State v. Marquez (refusal does not stand if driver doesn’t understand English)
-State v. Moran (Judge can suspend Drivers License for Traffic Offense)
-State v. Tsetsekas (DWI dismissed where more than 360 days lapsed)
-State v. Ugrovics (State must prove 20-minute observation prior to breathtest by clear and convincing evidence, but arresting officer can testify to observation)
-State v. Ciancaglini (prior refusal counts for 3rd DWI)
The cost to attend is $20 for Young Lawyers, $25 for MCBA Members and $50 for all others. Light refreshments will be provided.
This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 2.0 hours of total CLE credit.
To reserve online, click on the "Register for Event Now" button above. To reserve by mail, print out a meeting reservation form (see link below) and return with payment to: MCBA, 87 Bayard Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
August 9th Municipal Court Seminar Reservation Form (pdf)
Info call 732-828-3433, x.102