Morristown New Jersey Criminal Law Post

Morristown New Jersey
Criminal Law Post

Published By

Travis J. Tormey, Esq.

Parsippany NJ Police Arrest Two Women Who Allegedly Engaged in Prostitution

Posted in Sex Crimes

Parsippany NJ Sex Crime AttorneysParsippany New Jersey police arrested two women who allegedly engaged in prostitution at local hotels.

According to Parsippany law enforcement, the two female suspects were apprehended at different hotels located in Parsippany, NJ.

The Parsippany Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit started an undercover investigation after receiving multiple complaints about illegal sexual activity at area hotels and motels.

During the course of the investigation, Parsippany NJ undercover officers observed one suspect, a 38-year-old female, engaging in prostitution at a Travelodge on Route 46 in Parsippany, New Jersey. According to authorities, the suspect solicited one of the undercover cops. She was subsequently placed under arrest and charged with prostitution.

Parsippany NJ police arrested the second suspect, a 23-year-old Bronx NY woman, at Embassy Suites on Parsippany Boulevard in Parsippany, New Jersey. The suspect allegedly tried to solicit an undercover police officer and was later arrested.

Both suspects were transported to Parsippany police headquarters so that they could be processed and formally charged with crimes. While the 23-year-old suspect was later released on her own recognizance, the older suspect was turned over to Hawthorne NJ police. That’s because Parsippany police discovered the existence of an outstanding arrest warrant for the woman out of Hawthorne, New Jersey.

For further information about this case, read the DailyRecord.com article, “Police Report: Prostitution at Parsippany Hotels.”

Assistant Principal at Roxbury High School Charged with Sex Crime in Rockaway Township NJ

Posted in Uncategorized

Roxbury NJ Teacher Accused of Sex CrimeA man on leave from his job as an assistant principal at a Roxbury high school recently pleaded not guilty to sex crime charges involving an underage boy.

The suspect is a 56-year-old man from Rockaway Township, New Jersey. He has been accused of inappropriately touching the victim at his home in September 2014. According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the victim was living at the residence on a part-time basis when the illegal sexual contact occurred.

After the incident, the teenage victim reportedly spoke with a counselor at the Excel Treatment Center in Dover NJ and said that the suspect committed the sexual offense.

The suspect’s criminal defense lawyers have countered that the victim later came back to the drug treatment center with his dad and recanted his story.

The suspect faces numerous criminal charges, including aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child.

The suspect recently appeared in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ for arraignment proceedings. During the arraignment, the suspect formally entered a plea of “not guilty” to the very serious sex crime charges.

The victim was reportedly not a student at Roxbury High School, the school where the suspect worked as an assistant principal. As soon as the criminal charges were filed against the suspect, the school suspended him from his duties.

For further information about this case, see the NJ.com article, “Ex-Roxbury Educator Pleads Not Guilty in Teen Sex Case.”

Police Look for Suspects Accused of Burglarizing Three Homes in Madison, New Jersey

Posted in Property Offenses, Theft and Fraud Offenses

Madison New Jersey Theft AttorneysMadison New Jersey police are asking for the public’s help as they try to locate suspects accused of committing three home burglaries.

All three residential burglaries were committed within a two-week period. According to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the suspects entered the homes and stole money and personal items.

The first burglary attempt went down on June 17 at a house on Ridgedale Avenue in Madison, NJ. The suspects reportedly smashed a window pane on a door located at the rear of the home. However, after the suspect broke the window, they reportedly ran off and fled the area without getting inside the house.

The second burglary occurred on the same night, with the suspects allegedly gaining access to an apartment located on Cook Avenue in Madison, New Jersey. Authorities believe that the suspects were able to get inside the apartment by climbing a fire escape and then smashing a window. The suspect allegedly stole possessions and cash from the apartment.

The third burglary was committed a couple of weeks later at a house located on Woodland Road in Madison, NJ. The suspects allegedly gained entry to the house by using a side-door entrance. The suspects allegedly “ransacked” the home and stole expensive jewelry that is said to have a value of thousands of dollars.

If Madison NJ police can eventually identify and capture the suspects, the culprits would probably face criminal charges for burglary and theft of movable property. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, burglary is usually classified as a third degree crime. A conviction for third degree burglary could result in a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.

Madison NJ law enforcement is currently investigating the burglaries and thefts. Anyone with information about the suspects should contact the Morris County CrimeStoppers tip line at973-267-2255 or 800-743-7433.

For additional information about this case, view the NJ.com article, “Police Are Investigating 3 Home Burglaries in Madison.”

Little Falls NJ Marijuana Possession Charges Dismissed

Posted in Drug Charges, Success Stories

Little Falls NJ Marijuana Possession Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Morris County NJ

Morristown NJ Marijuana Possession LawyersTravis Tormey and the Tormey Law Firm recently defended a client who had been charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia in Little Falls, NJ. Our client is a student at Montclair State University and has never been convicted of a crime in New Jersey, so he has no prior record. He originally grew up in New Orleans and moved to NJ in order to attend college.

The client’s parents hired the Tormey Law Firm to represent their son in this case because they understood the seriousness of the criminal charges and the severity of the potential penalties. The client faced two disorderly persons offenses (similar to misdemeanors), which exposed him to the following penalties: a $1,000 fine, up to six months in the county jail, and a permanent criminal charge on his record. This last point is important because a criminal record would make it difficult for the client to obtain student loans and could even result in him being unable continue attending college.

After we got the initial discovery package, which included police reports and videos, we continued to wait for the lab report on the alleged drugs. In New Jersey, the State must send the seized substance, whether it’s marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, to the NJ State Police lab for testing. This is done so that prosecutors can prove that the defendant did, in fact, possess the illegal drugs at the time of their arrest. In this case, the prosecution needed to prove that the client actually possessed marijuana. Additionally, prosecutors needed to show that a pipe found on our client was used for drugs, not tobacco.

The New Jersey State Police lab has gotten a lot of negative media attention in recent months, particularly after it was revealed that a lab tech had been signing off on positive lab results without actually testing any of the alleged drug substances. The lab tech was later fired and the NJ criminal justice system has been dealing with a number of cases on appeal ever since.

In this case, the State could not produce a lab report for six months. Since our client had a right to a speedy trial, the judge signed an order after five months that required the lab reports to be produced within 30 days or risk being excluded from trial. After the 30 days went by and the lab reports were still not provided to Mr. Tormey, the drug crime charges against our client were dismissed.

This was an extremely positive outcome for the client and a major victory for the Tormey Law Firm.

Disgraced Madison NJ Cop Avoids Prison, Sentenced to Probation for Possession of Child Pornography

Posted in Sex Crimes

Madison NJ Child Pornography ChargesAn ex-cop with the Madison Police Department received two years of probation, but avoided prison time, after pleading guilty to criminal charges of possessing child pornography.

According to law enforcement, the suspect was on the receiving end of illicit sexual images sent by an underage teenage girl. At the time of the sexual offense, the suspect was employed as a Madison NJ police officer. Morris County prosecutors said that the suspect actually admitted to receiving the nude photographs on multiple occasions over a six-month period spanning parts of 2015 and 2016.

The alleged sexual offense victim was a 17-year-old girl who resided in Brunswick, Ohio. Ohio law enforcement opened an investigation into the suspect in February 2016 after learning that the victim had sent nude images of herself to the suspect by using her online Twitter account. Brunswick Ohio police eventually notified Madison NJ police, which eventually alerted the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit.

The suspect is a 33-year-old male who lives in Bernards Township, NJ. Earlier this year, he entered a guilty plea on criminal charges of possession of child pornography, which is considered a form of child endangerment in New Jersey.

The suspect’s plea agreement with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office calls for him to receive probation and avoid prison. If the sex crime case had gone to trial, the suspect would have been at risk of receiving a sentence of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison on third degree endangering the welfare of a child charges.

The suspect’s plea deal also called for him to resign from his job as a Madison police officer. In addition, the suspect will be prohibited from seeking or maintaining employment as a public employee in NJ in any other capacity going forward.

When the suspect made an appearance in Morris County Superior Court in Morristown NJ for a formal sentencing hearing, he was also ordered to undergo psychological treatment.

The child pornography case has negatively affected the Madison Police Department, with the sex crime charges against the suspect causing some in the community to doubt the honesty and integrity of the entire police force. The defendant had been a police officer in Madison NJ since 2007.

For further information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Former Cop Who Received Nude Photos from Teen Gets Probation.”

Tormey Law Firm Helps Client Avoid Criminal Record for Woodland Park NJ Shoplifting Charges

Posted in Success Stories, Theft and Fraud Offenses

Woodland Park NJ Shoplifting Attorneys

Fight Shoplifting Charges in West Paterson, NJ

Morristown New Jersey Shoplifting LawyersTravis J. Tormey and Alissa Hascup of the Tormey Law Firm LLC recently represented a client who had been charged with shoplifting in Woodland Park, NJ. The client allegedly shoplifted a number of retail items that had a total value of less $200. As a result, the client was charged with a disorderly persons offense, not a felony-level crime. That’s because N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 specifies that the theft of items with a retail value under $200 is a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). Most shoplifting charges in New Jersey are classified as disorderly persons offenses. A disorderly persons offense for shoplifting is heard in the local municipal court, not the county superior court.

What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in NJ?

The client in this case needed to address the disorderly persons offense shoplifting charges in the Woodland Park Municipal Court. A conviction on the theft crime could have resulted in significant penalties, including: six months in the Passaic County Jail, a fine of $1,000, a period of probation, and a permanent criminal charge and conviction on the client’s record.

In many cases, a person convicted of a theft offense conviction can seek an expungement at a later date. To “expunge” a criminal charge or conviction means that the convicted person is basically getting the past conviction removed from their record.

The Woodland Park NJ defendant represented by the Tormey Law Firm desperately needed to avoid a conviction in the shoplifting case in order to remain legally in the United States. The client was not a US citizen, so he faced deportation from the country if convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude.”

When the client contacted Travis Tormey and Alissa D. Hascup to assist him, the experienced criminal defense attorneys immediately got to work fighting on behalf of the client. The skilled legal team cited the client’s lack of a prior criminal history when negotiating with Woodland Park prosecutors and ultimately worked out an extremely favorable plea agreement for the client. The plea deal called for the criminal charge against the client to be lowered to a local municipal ordinance violation for causing a disturbance in a store, which is basically the same as a ticket for littering. Although the client had to pay a fine, he avoided jail and kept his record clean.

This represented a great outcome for the client and a success for the Tormey Law Firm.

Mendham Borough NJ Contractors Investigated for Possible Theft of Jewelry from House

Posted in Property Offenses, Theft and Fraud Offenses

Mendham Borough NJ Theft LawyersMendham Borough NJ police are searching for a suspect in the recent theft of jewelry from a local home.

The theft was committed while the residents of the house were away. At the time of the theft, which occurred at a residence located on Gunther Street in Mendham NJ, a number of contractors were inside the home and performing home repairs and other tasks. Although law enforcement is not certain that the theft was committed by one of the workers, Mendham New Jersey investigators have not ruled out the contractors as suspects in the theft crime.

The suspect reportedly stole numerous valuables, including jewelry, coins, and other items valued at more than $5,000.

According to detectives with the Mendham Borough Police Department, the stolen items were taken from a closet inside the house. Authorities said that the closet was “unsecured,” with no lock on the closet door to stop the culprit from gaining access to the expensive items.

Mendham NJ police are investigating the theft offense incident and attempting to determine who may have stolen the valuable items from the victims’ house.

If law enforcement does eventually determine the identity of the culprit, it is likely that the person would be subject to criminal charges for theft of movable property. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, theft of property that has a value of more than $500 is considered a third degree crime. A conviction on third degree theft of movable property charges could result in a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.

Since the person responsible for the theft did not appear to break into the home, Mendham NJ police do not expect the culprit to be charged with burglary under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2.

For further information about this case, see the NJ.com article, “More Than $5K in Jewelry and Coins Stolen from Mendham Home.”

Parsippany NJ Police Will Establish DWI Checkpoint This Weekend

Posted in Drunk Driving (DWI)

Parsippany New Jersey DWI LawyersPolice will be establishing a drunk driving checkpoint in Parsippany NJ this weekend as law enforcement looks to crack down on DWI accidents and fatalities.

According to Morris County prosecutors, the DWI checkpoint will be located in Parsippany, New Jersey. However, authorities have not provided information about the exact location of the checkpoint. The secrecy about the precise location of the DUI checkpoint is intended to keep drivers on their toes and discourage anyone from even thinking about getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.

The Parsippany NJ DWI checkpoint will be set up on July 16 and July 17, with the possibility that it will run beyond the weekend. Additionally, there is always the chance that intoxicated drivers will be pulled over by law enforcement at any time while on roadways in Parsippany, Morristown, or anywhere else in Morris County, New Jersey.

Any driver who is stopped by police at the Parsippany NJ drunk driving checkpoint could be asked to perform field sobriety tests or submit to breath testing. Of course, this could depend on the circumstances of the traffic stop and the observations of police at the DWI checkpoint.

The DWI checkpoint was funded by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety through a grant. The grant covers overtime pay for the Parsippany NJ cops who will run the checkpoint over the weekend.

Strict Punishments for DWI Offenders in Parsippany, NJ

If a person is found guilty of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Parsippany, Morristown, Dover, Denville, Roxbury, or anywhere else in Morris County NJ could be subject to severe DWI penalties. That’s because NJ imposes harsh punishments on anyone convicted of operating a car with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the state’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.

A conviction for drunk driving could lead to a jail sentence of 30 days in the county jail, fines of up to $400, driver’s license suspension for three months, and required installation of ignition interlock devices on all cars owned by the defendant in the DWI case.

For further information, check out the NJ.com article, “DWI Checkpoint in Parsippany This Weekend, Prosecutor Says.”

NJ Supreme Court Rules on Weapons Possession in Domestic Violence Cases

Posted in Domestic Violence, Restraining Orders, Weapons Offenses

Morristown NJ Domestic Violence AttorneysThe NJ Supreme Court recently issued a major ruling in a weapons possession case, marking the first time in 26 years that the state’s highest court has ruled on a firearms issue. The court, in a unanimous opinion, held that New Jersey’s domestic violence prevention law does not violate a citizen’s right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution. The NJ domestic violence prevention law relates to the right to bear arms because it allows law enforcement to confiscate weapons from alleged domestic violence offenders who have had a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a final restraining order (FRO) issued against them.

The forfeiture of weapons by anyone, whether it’s an accused domestic violence offender or an individual who has been convicted, is a major issue because it implicates constitutional rights. As such, the opinion, which was written by NJ Associate Justice Lee Solomon, specifically addressed the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Solomon, writing for the court, said that this constitutional right is “subject to reasonable limitations.” One of those limitations, said Solomon, is that “the police power of the state provides our Legislature with the authority to regulate firearms.”

Morris County NJ Domestic Violence Charges

In this case, the defendant’s wife accused him of domestic violence in Morristown, New Jersey, resulting in a restraining order. Additionally, police invoked the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act to force the defendant to surrender his firearms because the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office argued that his “volatile marital history” raised serious concerns about his wife’s safety.

The lower courts actually ruled in favor of the defendant because his ex-wife was found to be lacking credibility. Moreover, said the lower courts, the defendant’s previous domestic difficulties did not outweigh his constitutional right to bear arms.

However, the NJ Supreme Court has now issued the final ruling in the case and declared that the weapons forfeiture was justified because the ex-cop had a history of domestic violence that includes numerous altercations during his previous marriage.

Tough Gun Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey is known for having some of the strictest handgun possession laws in the entire country. It appears that the NJ Supreme Court wants to ensure that the state’s gun crime laws remain incredibly tough.

The New Jersey Supreme Court last ruled on a firearms case in 1990, when the justices upheld the denial of firearms permits to two private detectives. In the most recent case, which implicated the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, the court ruled that a former Roseland NJ police officer must forfeit his weapons, as well as his firearms ID card, based on a prior history of domestic violence. This was a particularly limiting ruling on gun ownership rights because former police officers are typically afforded more leeway in New Jersey, with ex-cops remaining some of the few in the state who are actually allowed to have concealed carry permits for firearms.

The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act authorizes NJ state officials to revoke gun ownership rights for anyone who poses a risk to the “public health, safety, or welfare.” In a domestic violence case, the victim may be worried about a threat posed by the alleged domestic violence offender. That’s why NJ lawmakers decided to grant the authority to local law enforcement agencies to seize potentially deadly weapons from anyone accused of a domestic violence offense.

The Standard of Proof in NJ Domestic Violence Weapons Cases

New Jersey judges often take their cue from state legislators and err on the side of protecting public safety in domestic violence matters. Ultimately, a court needs to sign off on a police department’s seizure of handguns and other weapons from a person who has been hit with a temporary restraining order.

When considering these types of cases, courts must base their legal rulings on a civil standard of “preponderance of the evidence,” which essentially means that the threat of violence posed by the alleged domestic violence offender is more likely than not to lead to violence. This is the same standard of proof that is applied in restraining order hearings. By contrast, the criminal standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is significantly harder for a prosecutor to prove.

Response to the NJ Supreme Court Ruling on Domestic Violence Firearm Ownership Rights

After the NJ Supreme Court’s latest gun control ruling was handed down, Nancy Erika Smith, founder of Wynona’s House in Newark NJ and a legal advocate for domestic violence victims, praised the decision. “If you can’t control yourself, if you have to be violent to your own family,” said Smith, “of course you shouldn’t have a gun.”

Meanwhile, Alexander Roubian, the president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, echoed Smith’s sentiments. Roubian declared that “anybody who’s given due process and is guilty of domestic violence should not be allowed to own any type of weapon.”

New Regulations Could Affect Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana Program in Morris County, NJ

Posted in Drug Charges

Morristown NJ Medical Marijuana LawyersThe medical marijuana program in New Jersey could soon expand, with the NJ Department of Health reportedly thinking about allowing new medical conditions to qualify patients for medical pot. Anyone with a suggestion for a medical condition that ought to qualify for medical marijuana treatment can visit the New Jersey Health Department website and download a form. When submitting the form to the NJ Health Department, you can list the medical conditions you think should be included for consideration. The forms must be submitted via certified mail anytime between August 1 and August 31, 2016.

A medical review panel is expected to evaluate the suggested medical conditions and then provide recommendations to the Department of Health. Depending on the panel’s recommendations, the NJ medical marijuana law could undergo its first major change based on public input since 2010, when the State of New Jersey first launched its medical marijuana program.

Treating Chronic Health Conditions with Medical Marijuana

A person who is caught in possession of even a small amount of marijuana in NJ can face serious drug crime charges. However, the state’s medical marijuana law allows for an exception to the otherwise strict drug offense laws: an individual with a qualifying chronic health condition can avoid arrest and prosecution for possessing marijuana that is used to treat the illness or medical condition.

There remain a number of medical conditions that do not currently qualify a person for medical marijuana. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not listed as a medical condition for the NJ medical marijuana program. Although several state lawmakers in Trenton have pushed for PTSD to be added to the official list, attempts to get the medical condition added to the medical marijuana list have failed thus far.

The medical conditions that can be legally treated with medical marijuana in the State of New Jersey include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Terminal cancer
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease)
  • Any other terminal illness

A patient who is dealing with a serious health problem, such as a seizure disorder or glaucoma, and whose condition is not improving through conventional treatment may also qualify for medical marijuana. Additionally, a person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS may also qualify for the medical marijuana program if their treatment plan is otherwise ineffective and is causing severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, or vomiting.

NJ.com researched the New Jersey medical marijuana program and found that there are currently 8,162 registered patients and 472 caregivers. A caregiver is a person who passed an official state background check and who has been authorized to pick up marijuana from registered medical marijuana dispensaries. Caregivers are legally allowed to drop off medical marijuana at patients’ residences.

If a caregiver has not been officially licensed and approved by the State of New Jersey, they could wind up being criminally charged for simple possession of marijuana or even distribution of marijuana. The drug crime laws on the books in NJ are incredibly strict, meaning that a conviction on marijuana possession charges or marijuana distribution charges could result in a lengthy prison sentence.

At this time, there are only five medical marijuana dispensaries in New Jersey, with a sixth facility set to open in Secaucus at some point in 2016. The five medical marijuana dispensaries that are currently running include facilities in Montclair, Bellmawr, Cranbury, Egg Harbor, and Woodbridge.