The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo
Phone: 908-316-8671

Cranford New Jersey Criminal Defense Blog

What are driver programs?

In New Jersey, motorists who are charged with traffic violations may be ordered to take a driver program depending on the number and severity of the charges. These programs are used to provide instructions on proper driving, while also emphasizing the importance of adhering to traffic laws. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offers the following information of driver programs.

Defensive driving classes

Understanding under-ringing

Shopping in Cranford often seems to bring out many of our most primitive instincts. Chief among these is the desire to "hunt" for the best deals. Oftentimes, the best retail deals might come through your own personal connections. If, for example, you have a friend or acquaintance that works for a retailer, you might be able to leverage that relationship to save money off a purchase. Unfortunately, as some of those with whom we here at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo have worked with can attest to, some of these supposed deals can be too good to be true. 

Section 20-11 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice lists under-ringing as an element of shoplifting. In this particular context, "under-ringing" is defined as "to cause the cash register or other sale recording device to reflect less than the full retail value of the merchandise." It may be well known that a sales associate has the power to override a listed sales price when completing a transaction. The question is when is it lawful for them to do so? 

It’s important to understand how DUI checkpoints work

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a mistake on many fronts, including the fact that it increases the risk of an accident and can result in your arrest and subsequent penalties. If you make this mistake and find yourself driving into a DUI checkpoint, it's important to understand what will happen.

Police set up DUI checkpoints as a way to stop a large number of vehicles in a short period of time. This gives them the opportunity to personally check every vehicle for drunk drivers, as well as those who may be violating other laws.

Exploring the accuracy of breath test devices

When motorists are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, law enforcement officers may ask them to take a breath test. Roadside breath test devices are used to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content level and determine whether it is over the legal limit of 0.08. The problem stems from the fact that many roadside breath test devices yield inaccurate results when compared to the blood alcohol level readings obtained from an actual blood sample. According to the State University of New York at Potsdam, breath test results obtained from a roadside device may vary by at least 15 percent from the readings of an actual blood test. Furthermore, at least one in four people tested will have inflated breath test readings. This could lead to a wrongful DUI arrest and potentially false conviction.

There are several factors that contribute to the inaccurate readings obtained through a breath test device. Some of the following can influence readings and cause them to be higher than normal:

  •          The relative humidity and temperature of the air
  •          Cigarette smoke, gas fumes and pollution
  •          Electrical interference from cellphones or officers’ radios
  •          Residual food, drink, blood or vomit in a person’s mouth

Plea bargaining requirements in New Jersey

The common perception of criminal law cases is typically that of a team of prosecutors and defense squaring off against each other in the tense courtroom setting. Yet oftentimes in criminal proceedings in Cranford, the unique circumstances of one's case may make it advantageous to consider plea bargaining. Indeed, information shared by the Bureau of Justice Assistance estimates that 90-95 percent of both federal and state court cases are resolved with a guilty plea. Yet simply because this appears to the norm in criminal matters does not mean that the process does not have its complexities. 

One might wonder why plea bargaining seems to be such a common practice. Prosecutors may have incentives to offer defendants deals in an effort to avoid having to dedicate extensive resources into cases that might otherwise be resolved in a much faster manner. There are still, however protocols that must be followed with each plea bargain case. Per the New Jersey Court Rules, the following five criteria must be met in order for the court to consider a plea bargain: 

  • The case must be prosecuted by a municipal prosecutor, or county prosecutor or the Attorney General
  • A defendant must either be represented by counsel or have waived their right to such a privilege
  • The prosecutor must confirm to the court that the defendant has been consulted with regarding the plea
  • It must be on record that the matter being pled to is within the jurisdiction of the municipal court and does not downgrade any offenses faced at the county level (without consent from the county prosecutor)
  • The recommended sentence is not less than the mandatory requirements for the offense being pled to

My child is shoplifting, what can I do?

Finding out that your child is shoplifting can be very disheartening. Unfortunately, this is a common behavior in many children and it’s up to the parents to break the habit before severe consequences occur. KidsHealth.org offers the following advice on how you can address the topic of stealing with your child.

How you react largely depends on the age of your child. Very young children may not understand stealing is wrong. In this case, parents should clearly state the consequences of stealing and have the child return the item or apologize for taking it. It’s also good to emphasize how stealing hurts people, especially when a child takes a personal item from a friend or family member.

Dispute your field sobriety test results

Holiday and family celebrations in New Jersey often include alcoholic beverages. If you partake and then decide to drive home, there may be serious repercussions if law enforcement pulls you over. Driving while intoxicated is against the law.  At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, we often represent clients facing DWI charges.

According to Alcohol.org, police officers may choose to administer a field sobriety test if they suspect you are driving under the influence. This test, composed of three parts, determines whether you pose a risk to others on the roadway. Experts believe these tests measure your ability to handle the type of divided attention used to control the car and pay attention to other vehicles and obstacles on the road.

What really causes people to shoplift?

Certainly, some shoplifting happens for purely financial reasons. A child who does not have enough money to buy a toy decides to steal it from the store. An adult who needs to put food on the table feels they have no choice but to turn to theft. It does happen.

However, experts note that things like poverty or greed do not really drive most people to steal. Shoplifting is about something else entirely. It's a psychological issue.

What can I do to prevent my child from shoplifting?

Shoplifting is a crime that can have serious repercussions. While teens may look at it as no big deal, an instance of shoplifting can follow a person for many years to come and may even have an academic or professional impact. If you have concerns about your child shoplifting, Family Circle offers the following advice.

Offer consequences

What is defensive driving?

When it comes to car accidents, drivers in New Jersey must play it safe. This entails following all traffic laws, removing distractions from their vehicles, and treating other motorists with respect. These are defensive driving behaviors and Esurance explains how to incorporate them into your life.

Keep your distance

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Cranford New Jersey Criminal Defense Blog | The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo