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

Cranford New Jersey Criminal Defense Blog

What is kleptomania?

The crime of shoplifting isn't always cut and dry. While many people steal for personal gain, others do so because of an uncontrollable impulse. This is known as kleptomania, which is a condition that can result in legal problems as well as emotional ones. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information on kleptomania and what can be done to control it. 

Kleptomania falls into the category of impulse-control disorders, which also includes compulsive gambling and substance abuse. It's characterized by the urge to steal often valueless items that the person usually has enough money to purchase at the time. Upon feeling an impulse to steal, a person will experience intense gratification when shoplifting. This state is short-lived, however, and often an intense low mood follows. This cycle renews itself on each shoplifting excursion. While people with kleptomania sometimes steal from loved ones, incidents usually occur in retail spaces. 

DUI charges and emotional challenges

The financial impact of drunk driving charges can be enormous, and those who are pulled over for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol may also lose their ability to drive. Some people are sentenced to prison, while others may lose their job or face problems in their personal relationships. These are just some of the consequences of DUI charges, all of which can result in serious emotional challenges as well. Some people struggle with anxiety or depression because of their circumstances, and these emotions can be debilitating.

If you are facing DUI charges, you may be extremely stressed out. Your high levels of stress could interfere with your sleep, leave you unable to function in the workplace and adversely affect your health, to name a few examples. Many people also experience depression after they are charged with drunk driving, especially if they feel that their reputation has been shattered or they have lost hope with regard to certain aspects of their life and their future.

Can you get a DUI under the legal limit?

You know that the legal limit for drivers in New Jersey is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration). They told you about it when you took your driver's training and it has not changed. You always work hard to make sure you're under the limit whenever you drive. You even carry a small breath test around with you to check if you think you're close.

After all, you can't get a DUI if you don't break the 0.08 limit, right?

Passerby claims to have stopped attempted assault in Mount Holly

It may be easy for people in Cranford to make immediate decisions on one's guilt or innocence based of a simple smattering of information. The trouble with this is that those facing criminal accusations have the right to have their stories heard before actual judgment against them can be pronounced. Those quick to make judgments against another may indeed eventually find themselves in situations where they need to rely on the understanding of others to allow them to recount their sides of their stories in order to avoid criminal penalties. Yet if opinions on them have already been formed, it may difficult to have those stories heard. 

The news of the arrest of a Pennsylvania man in connection with an allegedly attempted crime near Mount Holly certainly seems to paint an unfavorable picture of the supposed perpetrator. A passerby on the freeway supposedly saw the man carry a woman into a wooded area. He followed the man and separated him from the woman, waiting for authorities to arrive to take the man into custody. Although exact details have not been released as to what actions the man was engaged in when he was discovered, he now faces criminal charges that include attempted sexual assault. 

Incident involving Dover police being investigated

Law enforcement officers in Cranford are entrusted with what can often be a difficult task: enforcing the law while also respecting the rights of local citizens. That responsibility may typically be carried out without incident, yet there also may be cases where authorities use force when dealing with those who have come under criminal scrutiny. The use of force may indeed be justified if it is believed to be necessary in order to protect themselves and others. It should not be exercised, however, as simply a means to exert authority over another. 

Investigators are currently attempting to determine which of the aforementioned scenarios was the case in the violent arrest of a man in Dover. One of the arrested man's companions began filming the incident on his cell phone after an altercation ensued between the man and local police. The footage shows several officers subduing the man by pushing him to ground in an attempt to handcuff him. Punches were thrown and the man sustained cuts to the face before officers were finally able to handcuff him. 

Are designated drivers a safe option?

When you climb into the car with a designated driver, you may feel as though you are choosing a safe option, as opposed to driving while intoxicated. What many people may not consider, however, is that the designated driver may not be completely sober. Designated drivers usually travel with their friends and enjoy a night out, with the understanding that they will not drink alcohol and provide a safe ride home for their friends. Studies show that these drivers may actually have a drink or two before getting behind the wheel.

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reported that up to 40% of designated drivers drank alcohol before driving their friends home. Approximately 18% of these drivers had a blood alcohol content level of 0.05% or higher, which is close to the legal limit of 0.08%. In some states, drivers who have a BAC level of 0.05 may be arrested, as they could be unsafe to drive.

Penalties for New Jersey’s repeat DWI offenders

While any conviction for driving while intoxicated in New Jersey can bring with it fines, possible jail time and other repercussions, the state reserves its harshest penalties for its repeat DWI offenders. At the Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, we recognize that the penalties associated with repeat DWIs have the potential to upend many aspects of your life, and we have helped many people facing repeat DWI charges defend themselves appropriately.

According to, even the state’s first-time DWI offenders face up to 30 days behind bars, hundreds of dollars in fines, license suspensions, substance abuse treatment requirements and a sharp increase in their automotive insurance rates. As you can imagine, though, these penalties become increasingly harsh with each subsequent DWI conviction, and they are also typically more substantial for offenders who were in school zones or school crosswalks at the time of their offense.

Marijuana is still illegal, despite shifting perceptions

Opinions about marijuana have undergone a serious change in recent years, as evidenced by changes to the laws in places like Michigan and Colorado. Marijuana is not as freely legal as other substances, but it is legal in certain amounts and with government control and regulation.

However, it is important to remember that it is still illegal in New Jersey. Many people have started to think that it's not as important to follow these laws since they're changing in other states. It has led to a more relaxed attitude. But, for college students in New Jersey, an arrest could lead to:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Loss of financial aid
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Possible expulsion from school
  • Difficulty finding a job
  • Trouble getting into specific programs at school

Can your criminal record be expunged?

If you have been convicted of a crime in Cranford, you certainly do not want the consequences to linger any longer than the completion of whatever fines or sentence you are forced to face. Yet having the information regarding your criminal activity on your public record can hinder your chances to completely move on with your life once you have satisfied the demands that came with your conviction. Therefore, seeking to have your criminal record expunged is definitely something you will want to look into. 

Yet is such a benefit possible? According to Section 52-2 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, you can seek an expungement if your case qualifies. To be eligible, you must not have been convicted of any other criminal offense either within the state or in another jurisdiction. The only exception to this would be a disorderly persons offense. You can apply for expungement provided you have no more than two such offenses on your record since the completion of the sentence tied to your conviction. 

How much can a New Jersey DWI raise your auto insurance rates?

When you face a New Jersey driving while intoxicated charge that ultimately results in a conviction, you can anticipate that your bank account will take a serious hit in the aftermath. While you can plan on having to pay fines, fees and other expenses relating to your arrest, which can add up fast, you are likely to also face additional expenses once you try to get your driver’s license back.

For example, reports that all Americans, regardless of where they reside geographically, should anticipate that they will have to pay significantly more for automotive insurance coverage after a DWI conviction. Just how much you can expect your insurance rates to increase, however, will depend on circumstances, although, nationally, first-time drunk drivers typically see their insurance rates shoot up anywhere between 28 and 371 percent.

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