Will A Person Receive Penalties for Leaving the Scene of An Auto Accident?

July 8th, 2014

As a traffic law attorney of New Jersey, one thing I’ve come to understand to be true is that car accidents can happen to anyone at any given time. If you’ve been driving for a while, chances are, you’ve either been involved in an automobile accident or have witnessed one occur first-hand. In many cases, drivers do not even realize they have been involved in an accident and drive off without realizing they have caused an accident. However, if you leave the scene of an accident, you could face serious charges in the state of New Jersey.

There are absolutely penalties for leaving the scene of an accident. If you leave the scene of an accident you could face either traffic ticket charges or in worst case scenarios, criminal charges. Penalties can depend on:

  • Whether or not there was damage to the vehicle
  • Whether or not someone was injured as a result of the accident
  • Whether or not someone was killed as a result of the accident

First Offense Penalties Include:

  • Fine from $200 to $400
  • Spend up to 30 days in jail
  • Six-month license suspension
  • 2 motor vehicle points added to license

Second Offense Penalties Include:

  • Fine from $400 to $600
  • From 30 to 90 days spent in jail
  • 1 year licenses suspension
  • 2 motor vehicle points added to license

Injury or Death:

  • From $2,500 to $5,000 fine
  • 180 days spent in county jail
  • 1 year license suspension for a first offense
  • Permanent license forfeiture for a 2nd offense
  • 8 motor vehicle points added to license

As an experienced traffic defense lawyer, I, Charles Block can craft an effective defense to ensure you avoid severe penalties if you leave the scene of the accident. But, to avoid this scenario altogether, always pull over to the side of the road if involved in an accident and wait for assistance.

What are the Weirdest Shoplifted Items?

June 5th, 2014

As a criminal attorney of Haddonfield, I get asked this question a lot. Some of the most expensive things people target are cars, digital devices like cell phones and cash. But, no personal possession is safe! In fact, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), one of the most commonly stolen items is Nutella. This is because it is relatively expensive and high in demand, two of the largest factors in why items are stolen.

But there are many weirder things that people shoplift. According to NRF, here are the 10 weirdest things shoplifted:

Laundry Detergent

Tide, which is an easily recognizable brand of laundry detergent is traded for drugs and other illicit items. This item is difficult to track because of the lack of serial numbers on the packaging.

Allergy Medicine

According to a 2013 crime survey conducted by the NRF, allergy medicine has become a popular item to steal. Allergy medication is typically stolen for recreational use, or re-sold on the streets.

Pregnancy Tests

Young shoplifters choose to steal pregnancy tests to avoid embarrassment of purchasing them in public. But more importantly, they are targeted by groups of thieves for their resale value. They can be sold on the black market for near-retail prices.

Catalytic Converts

These are stolen for their value at scrap yards. The price of such metals as platinum, rhodium and palladium found in a catalytic converter has risen in recent years, which can explain why they are one of the most shoplifted items.

Manhole Covers

At first, you may not consider this item to be a hot commodity, but with the increase in metal prices, manhole covers are stolen frequently. Thieves will go as far as dressing as construction workers when stealing the covers.

Nutella

Certainly the tastiest item on the list, Nutella is reported as being stolen in areas throughout the world.

Sap

It is a labor-intensive process to produce maple syrup. 40 gallons of sap is required to produce a single gallon of syrup, which is why thieves go to great lengths to steal million dollars’ worth of sap.

Shrubbery

Make sure you keep an eye on those porch plants you have in front of your house. In the past year, there have been a number of shrubbery theft cases, with thieves leaving damage to lawns. Plant value can reach extreme highs when traded on the black market.

Small Boats

IT is common for thieves to break into the backyards of homes located on the Ocean in order to steal their boats. Along with small boats, jet skis are also a commonly stolen item.

Steak

Due to the increase in demand for beef overseas, the value for steak has risen greatly. In 2013, it was reported that more than 10,000 cows and horses were stolen. It is clear that steak is no exception for shoplifters.

To learn more about shoplifting, contact the Law Office of Charles Block today.

The Truth about Restraining Orders

May 5th, 2014

As a criminal law attorney, many of the questions I receive are about restraining orders. In fact, one of the most important questions I get asked is, “When can I file for a restraining order?” In order for resident of New Jersey for a restraining order, he or she must have been a victim who was subjected to domestic violence.

What does the term, “victim,” mean?

A victim is anyone who is over the age of 18 who has been subjected to an act of violence caused by a spouse, present household member, or former household member. The term victim also includes anyone, or any age, who has been abused physically by a spouse who he/she is having a child with, or a person who he/she is in a dating relationship with.

Individuals are able to obtain a restraining order against a juvenile if they have a child with the juvenile, and have been subjected to domestic abuse. The steps involved with filing for a restraining order include:

  • ·         Fill out a domestic violence complaint, which is a civil complaint

 

  • ·         Appear before judge who upon reviewing the complaint, will ask questions

 

  • ·         A temporary restraining order will be filed if the judge is satisfied with your answers

 

  • ·         A final restraining order hearing will also be set by the judge

There is a difference between a temporary restraining order and a final restraining order is that the temporary restraining order is issued to the individual based on their input given during the initial hearing. This protects the victim from the defendant until the final restraining order is given.

For more information on criminal law, please contact Charles Block, Attorney at Law, by calling 856-741-1495.

What Constitutes a Simple Assault Charge in New Jersey?

April 3rd, 2014

In the state of New Jersey, there are three ways to commit simple assault.

·         Attempting to/actually causing bodily harm to a person.

·         Injury caused by a deadly weapon

·         Put fear of bodily harm into a person’s mind

When does a bodily injury occur? A person causes bodily injury when the person they are harming is physically injured or in pain. Traditional weapons such as firearms, along with objects or substances that non-traditional can also constitute a deadly weapon. In many simple assault cases, as object such as a brick, or something related, is used to pose harm to someone.

What are the penalties that result from a simple assault charge? Since a simple assault is normally categorized as a disorderly persons offense (unless it is categorized as a petty disorderly offense due to a consensual fight where an injury occurred) an individual can be ordered to pay a fine or make restitution. In the state of New Jersey, a fine cannot exceed $1,000, however, a judge has the authority to order a higher fine. The higher fine cannot exceed the amount of loss suffered by the victim.

It is advisable to consult a simple assault lawyer because being charged is a serious matter which can become worse if there is no legal action. For more information, please contact my New Jersey office. You can reach the office of Charles Block, attorney at Law, by calling 856-741-1495. Please feel free to set up a legal consultation. Contacting my office can be the difference between spending time in jail, and walking free.

Simple Assault Punishment

March 7th, 2014

One of the main questions a NJ simple assault attorney gets asked is “What is the punishment involved with a simple assault?” If you have been charged with simple assault, than you must understand the penalties involved and you may want to consider hiring an attorney who understands how to protect your legal rights and even make sure you receive the lightest sentence possible.

Two Types of Assault

New Jersey law states that there are two types of basic assault charges you can face, however, in order for you to be committed of those assault charges, there needs to be probable cause. It is the job of the prosecution to provide probable cause that an assault took place. The prosecution must prove that you:

 

You knowingly, purposely or recklessly attempted/caused physical bodily harm to another individual.

You unintentionally/negligently caused injury to another individual with a deadly weapon

You knowingly attempted to put another individual in fear of a bodily injury

 

The following punishments may be given to you if you have been convicted of simple assault:

            You may be forced to spend up to 6 months in jail

            You may be given community service

            You may be responsible for a fine of up to $1,000

            You may have a criminal record

 

Contact our Voorhees, NJ office today. Attorney Charles Block can help protect your legal rights and work to have your penalties reduced. Call 856-741-1495 today.

 

One Certain Way to Avoid Getting a Traffic Ticket

February 6th, 2014

There are multiple methods to use in order to avoid receiving a traffic ticket. But, one method has stood strong since the invention of the automobile!

You must simply, drive safely.

As a traffic law attorney of NJ, Charles Block has represented individuals who could have avoided their traffic ticket by following this simple method. To avoid going through the trouble, here are some things to remember when driving around your neighborhood:

The Rules of The Road Weren’t Meant to Be Broken

If you don’t want to get ticketed, then never break any traffic law. Even though traffic laws vary in each state, you can do some research on what traffic laws are out there. Whether you are traveling somewhere in New Jersey, or crossing over to Pennsylvania, it is good to know the traffic laws wherever you are visiting.

Defense, Defense, Defense!

Just like winning the Super Bowl, the key to avoiding a traffic ticket is DEFENSE! Other drivers, especially police who are on the road, can become irritated over other drivers driving aggressively. Not only are you putting them in danger, you are putting yourself in danger by driving wild. By driving defensively, you can avoid being noticed by a police officer who is on the lookout for drivers swerving in and out of lanes.

Your Seat Belt Is There For a Reason

This is probably the first thing you learn when driving: Always wear your seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is a law in New Jersey and every other state as well, so be sure to click-it. Not only can wearing a seat belt help you avoid getting a ticket, it can also save your life. According to NJ.gov, more than 2,000 unbuckled drivers and front seat passengers died on New Jersey’s roadways in the past 10 years.

How to Properly Defend Against a Shoplifting Case in New Jersey

January 13th, 2014

When cited with shoplifting charges, you may feel like you are experiencing one of the worst situations ever, without knowing what to do or who to turn to. A possible theft charge can have extremely negative effects on your future. Luckily, there is someone on your side that will work hard to keep your future looking bright.

Charles Block is a leading New Jersey attorney who has experience defending individuals involved with shoplifting charges. Just like any other case, he delves into the facts of the situation and works hard to bring justice accordingly. For each shoplifting case, he asks himself a number of questions including:

Are all accusations accurate?

You can’t always rely on the police reports to be completely accurate, which is why it is wise to take the time to read over every last detail and see if it adds up to the accusations. For instance, if a client is charged with theft, can the police prove that the person had intent to steal? If the client was charged with burglary, can the police prove that the person had intent to steal even before they entered the property?  These necessary details of the crime must be proved beyond unreasonable doubt. As an experienced attorney, Charles Block can see through accounts that conflict with each other and tear apart police reports that don’t necessarily add up. During consultation, he will review every fact of the case, to see if there are any gaps of information missing or inaccurate.

Are There Any Legal Defenses?

Most shoplifting cases involve citizen’s arrest, where a store owner or personnel takes it upon himself to make the arrest before the police arrive. However, they do not act under the same rules and legal guidelines as real police officers. It is a fact that they have a right to detain a person; however, they must still act in accordance with the law and cannot just do whatever they feel like. For example, department store owners cannot spy on customers in the dressing room, assuming they are stealing clothes. If this is the case, it can be used in advantage of the defendant. Store personnel also cannot use excessive force when detaining a customer, another action that is a clear legal violation.

Every shoplifting case is unique and requires an experience attorney too lend his or her assistance with the case. If you or someone you know is unsure if they have been abused by the law, or uncertain why they have been cited, Charles Block is here to help.

How to Protect a Minor Charged With Vandalism

December 13th, 2013

When a minor is caught in the act of vandalism, it can be brushed under the rug as “kids being kids,” but consequences can be severe. If your child has been charged with vandalism, they can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Of course, this depends on how much damage was caused. But, before we move on, what exactly is considered vandalism?

I’m glad you asked. This can be defacing a property—car, house, school, building, or public space—destroying the property of a library, either books or videos, egging or throwing stones at building or houses, destroying gravestones, publicly displaying art like graffiti that is defacing to the property, or even smashing mailboxes on a joy ride.

Teenagers are known for taking part in activities without weighing the pros and cons of the situation. Keying a car is the perfect example of vandalism done by today’s youth that occurs without thinking of possible repercussions. Even an act as simple as creating and displaying art in public places—graffiti—can result in a vandalism charge. Often times, a juvenile will lash out in an act of defiance against a school, property, or building, defacing it and putting their future in limbo.

Not only will those charged with vandalism have to pay for the damages they caused, if not more, but they are expected to appear in court as well. This is where the protection aspect comes in and the wheels are set in motion to ensure your future is still intact without having to check the “criminal record” box, providing a brief explanation on college and job applications. In these tough economic times, the job availability is scarce and with the competition, employers will skip right over the resume with a criminal record.

If properly represented in New Jersey, your child can be issued a Pretrial Intervention Program. This will allow a minor’s record to be wiped clean of the vandalism offense after their probation is served. This can be obtained for first time offenders much easier than it could be for a repeat offender.

We can help you or your child with a vandalism case, guiding you through the legal process and protecting your future.

Worst Month of the Year to Sell a Home: December

December 1st, 2013

If you are just listing your home this fall/winter, then don’t have any high expectations for selling it quickly.  December is notoriously the worst month of the year to sell a home.

Most people would not want to move during the holidays, so they probably aren’t actively looking either.  Homeowners are thinking about decorating their home for the holidays and are focused on time spent with friends and family, not packing up and moving.  Plus, most people don’t love moving in the bitterly cold weather.  The second worst month of the year to sell a home is September.  If the family has kids, they want to have them settled into the new school system for the beginning of the school year.  This is what also makes the spring the most popular time to sell a home.  If a buyer purchases a home in the spring, by the time they have settlement, it will be summer and the kids will be out of school, having as little impact as possible on their transition to a new school.

On the flip side, if you are the buyer and in the market for a new home, you will have less competition and will probably come across some antsy sellers that need to sell their home.  So if you are really looking to purchase in December, then you may be able to come across some great deals and the sellers may be more prone to negotiating.  Either way, it’s always important to be represented by a lawyer that specializes in real estate transactions.  There are many circumstances that can unfortunately occur on either side of the process during the closing so make sure you are represented (especially on the day of closing).  Contact Charles Block today for more information.

 

Driving Without Insurance in New Jersey

October 28th, 2013

Choosing to drive without car insurance in the state of New Jersey is not a smart choice.  In fact, it is one of the most serious motor vehicle offenses in the state of New Jersey.  Insurance protects you, your car, and other drivers and is required by the state of New Jersey.  There are several car insurance companies all competing for your business, so do your research and you are sure to find one that is affordable and meets all of your criteria.

Mandatory penalties imposed by the state of New Jersey for driving without car insurance includes a mandatory loss of license for one year, a $300.00 fine, $250.00 to be paid for three years for DMV surcharges, and up to $1,000.00 in community service.  The length of community service will be determined by the municipal court and there will also be court costs and fees that will be required to be paid.  A second offense carries more serious penalties including mandatory jail time of 14 days, a fine of up to $5000.00, a suspended license in New Jersey for two years, and 30 days of community service.

Every driver or registered owner of a motor vehicle is required to have the minimum required car insurance.  You must also carry the proof of your insurance in the car.  If you are pulled over and caught without the proof of your car insurance, such as your insurance card, then you will be ticketed and fined.  In this case, if you bring your proof of insurance to your court date and it’s proven that you were indeed fully covered at the time of the offense, then you may be able to show your proof of insurance and pay just the court fees.  For any serious traffic offenses, you should contact a lawyer in New Jersey.