The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud
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Cranford New Jersey Criminal Defense Blog

Defining terroristic threats

Many in Cranford are likely familiar with the old saying "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me." Harassing and threatening language may, however, leave one facing criminal charges due to New Jersey's terroristic threats statute. The issue in arresting and charging one for making threats may come down to a simple question of delivery, which prompts the question of what matters most: the intent of the speaker, or the interpretation of the audience? 

According to Section 2C.12-3 of The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, it often is the latter. This law states that one has spoken terroristic threats if his or her language is meant to terrorize another ort to cause the evacuation of any of the following public venues: 

  • A building
  • A place of assembly
  • A facility of public transportation

Detailing New Jersey's medical marijuana law

The subject of medical marijuana can solicit everything from jokes about would-be practitioners seeing patients in their basements in Cranford to bona fide discussions about making it more widely available to patients. We here at The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud have been asked by clients when it is OK to possess marijuana for medical purposes. This is an excellent question, because as you may have already discovered, using it for solely for its health benefits does not necessarily mean that you are doing it legally. 

New Jersey law does indeed recognize the health benefits offered by marijuana and thus allows its use per the under the direction of the state's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. When initially enacted, the Act authorized the use of marijuana for the treatment of the following conditions: 

  • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma or seizure disorders (including epilepsy)
  • Manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome or cancer (or the side effects caused by conventional treatments)
  • Amyotrophic lateral scelrosis, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and inflammatory bowel disease (including Chron's disease)

What to know about the drug policy at Rutgers

As a college student who smokes marijuana on campus, you put yourself at risk of disciplinary action. Many students may not realize that they don’t have to be the one smoking for the Rutgers University Police to get involved. If caught with rolling papers, you could be charged with intent to distribute.

You should know that Rutgers University prohibits “unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on its property or as part of any activities” (Standards of Conduct). If caught violating this policy, disciplinary action will take place. You may want to know what Rutgers considers a violation of the drug policy and the consequences it entails.

Opioids and their impact on the U.S.

The impact of opioid usage extends beyond just legal concerns (which can be life-altering). Use of opioids (which includes illicit drugs such as heroin as well as prescription medications) can result in addiction, illness, and even death in the event of an overdose. The New York Times illustrates the grip that these drugs currently have on the American population and what is being done to break the cycle of addiction.

Younger Adults Have the Highest Risk

Can I get a shoplifting charge taken off my record?

In New Jersey, a negative background check on a job or apartment application could mean rejection. It could also prevent an employee from being promoted. If you have an old shoplifting charge on your criminal record, recent changes to expungement law in New Jersey may allow you to erase the incident.

Steps to Take If You’re Involved in an Accident

If you’re involved in an accident in New Jersey, knowing what to do in the aftermath is hugely important. Your actions can make quite a difference, especially if you’re determined to be at fault for what occurred. Esurance.com offers some helpful tips on what you can do, which will make certain you and others on the scene remain safe while also getting the information you need.

Check for Injuries

What are the penalties for shoplifting?

Shoplifting in New Jersey can result in serious consequences, and anyone who is considering it needs to ask if it is really worth it. The penalties are dependent on the amount and value of merchandise that is taken, but even for low-dollar goods the perpetrator can face jail time and financial consequences.

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, a number of different acts can constitute shoplifting, and they all relate to not paying full retail for the items. These include:

  • Taking an item out of a store via hiding it in something or on your body
  • Switching the container the item is in with the intent of paying less
  • Removing or transferring the price tag
  • Taking a shopping cart from the establishment 

Drugged driving is a big problem

Do you think you can only get a DUI in New Jersey if you are driving while drunk? Think again. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, this refers to alcohol and/or drugs, including those prescribed by a doctor. Drivers who are unaware of the consequences of taking drugs and getting behind the wheel can contribute to major accidents that result in injuries and even death.

According to the Washington Post, drugged driving has become a bigger problem than drunk driving over the last few years. Some of the drugs that have been linked to fatal accidents include marijuana, amphetamines and opioids. While studies show a direct correlation between drugged driving and crashes, there are some challenges related to enforcing the law. One challenge is that many drug users do not think their driving is impaired when they use drugs, and this prevents them from not driving when under the influence. Another big challenge is there is no criteria for roadside testing and by the time a blood test is taken the drug may have metabolized, skewing the results of real-time driving affect.

Understanding the body's alcohol metabolism rate

Like many that come to us here at The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud after having been arrested for drunk driving in Cranford, you might question how it is even possible to challenge such a charge. Say that you are stopped for suspicion of drunk driving. A breathalzyer tests shows your blood-alcohol content to be .08. You are arrested and are asked to do a confirmatory chemical breath test one hour later, which registers a reading of .016. This is well within the legal limit, yet the arresting officer says that it simply means most of the alcohol has passed out of your system since you were stopped. 

Is this possible? Not according to researchers. Study information shared by American Addiction Centers shows that your liver can metabolize roughly one ounce of alcohol every hour. In terms of BAC, that means that yours can either rise or fall by .015 in that time. Factors that can influence your body's alcohol metabolism rate include: 

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your body fat content 
  • How much food you have in your system

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Cranford New Jersey Criminal Defense Blog | The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud