After everyone has had a few days to process the recent Ray Rice controversy, many New Jersey residents (along with sport fans around the world) are asking the same question: Should New Jersey lawmakers change who is eligible for the pre-trial intervention program in order to avoid probation or jail time?
Rice, a former NFL star (now that he has been suspended indefinitely and released by the Baltimore Ravens), was charged with aggravated assault in February for attacking his then-fiancé (now wife) at Revel, an Atlantic City Casino. If convicted, he faced a possible sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison.
A request by Rice’s attorney for pre-trial intervention was granted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. A pre-trial intervention program allows first-time offenders of 3rd or 4th degree crimes to avoid prosecution. If Rice meets the conditions of the program, his record will be cleared of the charge.
This past Monday, TMZ posted video of the violent attack in which Rice punched his wife and dragged her unconscious body out of an elevator. Since the video was made to be seen publicly, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney called to review the process in which the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office decided on whether or not the New Jersey PTI program needs to be changed.
Upon seeing the violent video, State Assemblyman Joseph Cryan plans to introduce a bill next Monday that would prohibit any individual who is charged with aggravated assault in a domestic violence case from entering the pre-trial intervention program.
Do you think it is time to change the law? If you have any questions concerning the current program for pretrial intervention in New Jersey, please contact Attorney Charles Block today.
In the state of New Jersey, there are two scenarios that can leave you without the expungement you were hoping for, to wipe away a crime from your record:
- Objection to Your Petition
Why Would You Be Ineligible for an Expungement?
- Prior Convictions- Numerous requirements must be met in order for an expungement petition to be eligible. An individual must not have other prior convictions. New Jersey courts take into account all previous crimes when considering eligibility of expungement petition
- Pending Cases- Pending criminal charges are also considered by New Jersey courts. In most cases, if there are pending charges, the courts will find you ineligible
- The Waiting Game- You must complete a waiting period which begins at either:
- The enforcement date of sentence
- Date all fines are paid
- Date jail, parole or probation is completed (whichever date comes last)
Waiting times vary depending on severity of conviction
General waiting periods:
Felony Crime – 10 years
Misdemeanor – 5 years
Juvenile Adjudication – 5 years
Municipal Ordinance – 2 years
Young Drug Offender – one year
Diversion Program – six months
Dismissal – No waiting period
If you find that you are ineligible due to any of the waiting time requirements, you can have an expungement lawyer of NJ prepare your paperwork and help you apply later once you become eligible. This ensures that your record is cleared as soon as possible.
Do You Meet All of the Requirements, But are Still Denied?
After meeting all of the requirements, your petition for expungement could still be denied by a prosecutor if:
Expungement is not in the public’s best interest
The crime is considered too dangerous to be expunged
You do not prove to be rehabilitated after crime
If you are in need of assistance in getting a criminal charge wide clean from your record, contact my office today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first few months of the year, are prime-time months for police officers looking to make arrests against a person who has been involved in a DWI and DUI in Camden County and other areas of New Jersey. In this blog, I will provide you with a list of some easy-to-follow tips on how to avoid being in a situation where a police officer will suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol. Before even getting into this useful list, you must be found with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level over 0.08%, in order to be charged with a DUI or DWI.
Now we can get into the mess of figuring out what penalties or fines a person can expect when he/she is found guilty and charged with a DUI or DWI, but with these tips, you won’t have to worry about that. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but then why do people still get arrested? These tips are focused on how to handle the pre-arrest situation. They will help you avoid having a police officer stop you in the first place.
Obey Traffic Laws by Driving Safe and Drinking Responsibly
I would encourage all drivers, not to drink AT ALL before operation a motor vehicle. However, since it is not illegal and you won’t be penalized unless the BAC limit is over 0.08%, I would encourage all drivers to drink responsibly. In there is ever a case where you have had one or two drinks and you had to drive home, do not give a police officer a reason to pull you over. This means obeying all traffic laws, such as driving under the speed limit and stopping at red lights and STOP signs.
The Police Officer Pulls You Over, Now What? Be Respectful
There are many times where a person is arrested for no other reason than giving the police offer a hard time, when he pulled him/her over. If a police officer is having a long, hard day, the last thing he wants is a driver to give him any sass. When stopped by the officer, it is not a wise decision to challenge him/her, or request to see the supervisor. A more effective strategy is to be respectful. Remember, they put their lives on the line every day, keeping the world safe and making it a better place. When asked a question, an officer will respond greatly to “yes sir, no sir” answers. Treating the officer with respect will go a long way and sometimes they will cut you a break. If you respond by being uncooperative, the officer will take that as a sign of intoxication or consciousness of guilt.
To Make the Experience Less Complicated, Put the Officer at Ease
There are many things you can do, as a passenger of a motor-vehiclist to keep the police officer at ease after he pulls you over. Again, these may seem like obvious tips, but you would be surprised by how many uncooperative drivers a police officer has to deal with each year. First, keep both hands on the steering-wheel, so the officer can see them. This way, he knows that you aren’t dangerous. Secondly, turn on the emergency lights and the interior lights, especially if you are pulled over at night. If the officer knows that he is safe and you are under control, it won’t be likely that he will begin asking you questions like, “Have you had anything to drink tonight?”
Always Have Your Driver’s License, Registration and Insurance in a Readily Accessible Place in the Car
A police officer can only proceed with breath-testing and making any charges when he has reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The court will look at the “totality of the circumstances,” in deciding whether the police officer had reasonable suspicion or probable cause. One of the first things a court will look at when factoring the totality of circumstances is if the driver had trouble finding any of his important documents including his/her driver’s license, registration and insurance. All drivers in New Jersey should have these documents in their cars at all times. If you are having trouble finding any of these, the officer will begin to look for reasons to suspect that you may have been drinking.
Do Not Tell the Officer That You Have Consumed Any Alcohol
You do not have to worry about this, unless you do not follow the tips listed above. However, if you choose to ignore those tips and become uncooperative as soon as a police officer pulls you over, he may ask you if you have consumed an alcohol. It is a personal decision that you have to make, whether or not to lie to the officer or admit that you are guilty. If the officer asks you that question, there is a good chance that he/she already suspects that you have been drinking. If you admit that you are guilty, then he can carry on with the investigation. If you lie, but the officer has enough suspicion to carry on with a breath test and the BAC level is above the limit, it will come back to haunt you.
While everyone is out enjoying the holiday with beer, wine and spirits the local police force is on patrol most likely not in the holiday spirit. Because the numbers of people on the roads increase dramatically during this time, it is not uncommon for the amount of check points to go up through these next couple of months. Being smart this holiday season is crucial to staying in the company of your family and not with the counties finest this year.
It isn’t uncommon for people to get jammed up with the police while celebrating the holidays for getting a DUI and DWI in NJ. But by planning ahead you can keep yourself out of trouble and out of the local newspaper. Before you go to a family members , friends or your local bar to celebrate make a few good decisions:
First, figure out how you are going to get your destination safely.
Second, make arrangements to get picked up before you go so that you aren’t stranded at the end of the night. No matter how old you are, your parents will always pick you up.
Third, if going to a family members or friend’s house bring a blanket and pillow so you can find a spot to crash. We all know that after a few drinks a couch or floor is just fine.
Lastly, be smart! Draw straws to see who the designated driver is. Sometimes we all have to put our pride aside and step up to keep our family and friends safe! Being this person is a big responsibility, but comes with the peace of mind knowing that not only will you get home safe and sound but also that the people you are with will as well. In some ways this can be the biggest present you can give. Also you won’t be looking for an expungement Lawyer in NJ to get rid of you DUI and DWI in Camden County NJ.