Parsippany NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Parsippany NJ Robbery LawyersLaw enforcement is trying to identify the man who allegedly robbed a Parsippany NJ bank.

The bank robbery occurred a short time after 3:30 p.m. at the Santander Bank on Route 10 in Parsippany, New Jersey. According to Morris County officials, the suspect entered the building, approached a teller, and demanded cash.

The suspect allegedly brandished a firearm and threatened to shoot the worker.

Once the suspect got an undisclosed amount of money, he reportedly ran from the building and fled the area on foot. Parsippany cops later canvassed the area and tried to locate the suspect, but they could not find him.

The Parsippany Troy-Hills Police Department, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are investigating the bank robbery and attempting to identify the suspect.

Police have released video images of the suspect as he enters the bank building while wearing a construction hat, sunglasses, and gloves.

If detectives can identify and capture the suspect, he will likely face armed robbery charges and criminal weapons charges.

For additional information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Man in Construction Outfit Robs Santander Bank at Gunpoint.”

Parsippany NJ Invasion of Privacy LawyersAn elementary school teacher in Parsippany NJ was arrested after police allegedly discovered a secret recording device in a school bathroom.

The suspect is a 40-year-old man who lives in the the Gillette area of Long Hill, New Jersey. He also works as a physical education teacher at Littleton High School in Parsippany, New Jersey. According to authorities, the suspect placed a recording device in a faculty bathroom at the Parsippany NJ school.

Someone notified the Parsippany Police Department about the possible recording device, prompting an official police investigation. A Parsippany NJ detective allegedly found the recording device hidden near the toilets in the school’s faculty bathroom.

The suspect was subsequently placed under arrest and charged with invasion of privacy. It is possible that there could be more criminal charges filed against the suspect. Authorities have not stated whether the suspect might have recorded minors in the bathroom or anywhere else in the elementary school.

The suspect is currently on suspension from his teaching job at the Parsippany school. According to officials, he has worked at the elementary school since 2000.

For more information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Elementary School Teacher Put Recording Device in Faculty Bathroom, Cops Say.”

Parsippany NJ Child Abuse ChargesParsippany New Jersey police recently arrested a local man at the Travelodge Inn after he reportedly threatened his kids and then refused to leave his motel room.

The scary incident unfolded around 8:30 a.m. at the Travelodge Inn, which is located on Route 46 in Parsippany, NJ. The Parsippany Police Department got a 911 call about a possible domestic disturbance and sent officers to the scene. A number of law enforcement agencies provided assistance, including the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police tried for more than an hour to get the suspect to exit his motel room. Eventually, members of the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team managed to enter the motel room and take the suspect into custody.

Fortunately, the children were unharmed during the incident.

The suspect, a 33-year-old resident of Parsippany, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Since the crime is a second degree felony, a conviction could potentially result in a sentence of 5-10 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Additionally, it’s possible that the suspect will be subject to a child abuse investigation by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), which used to be known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). Depending on the outcome of the investigation, he could lose custody of his kids.

For further information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “1 Taken into Custody After Police Swarm Morris Motel.”

Parsippany NJ Drug Crime LawyersParsippany NJ police recently arrested two men accused of illegally selling prescription drugs and synthetic drugs at an adult video store.

The suspects, a Parsippany man and a Livingston man, have been accused of conspiring to sell drugs to customers of an adult video store located on Route 46 in Parsippany, New Jersey. The Parsippany man reportedly owns the store, while the Livingston man is believed to be a store employee.

The Parsippany Police Department started an investigation into the suspects after getting multiple tips that synthetic drugs were being sold at the video store. Police eventually obtained and executed a search warrant, allegedly turning up more than 100 packages of synthetic drugs that included imitation Xanax and nail polish removers being marketed as inhalants.

The two suspects have been charged with a number of very serious drug crimes, including conspiracy to distribute imitation controlled dangerous substances (CDS), conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs, and conspiracy to distribute toxic chemicals.

After being arrested and processed, the suspects were transported to the Morris County Correctional Facility in Morristown, NJ. The Livingston posted $150,000 bail and secured his release, while the Parsippany suspect remained held at the jail in lieu of $125,000 bail.

For more information about this case, access the NJ.com article, “Adult Video Store in Parsippany Sold Synthetic Drugs, Cops Say.”

Parsippany NJ Marijuana Distribution AttorneysA Morris County grand jury recently indicted two Parsippany NJ men on charges of maintaining a marijuana production facility.

The suspects include a 58-year-old male and a 40-year-old male who lived in the Mount Tabor section of Parsippany, New Jersey. The suspects reportedly used a residence located on Force Place as a base of operations for growing marijuana.

Parsippany NJ police got a tip about illegal drug activity at the residence and opened an investigation. Police soon got a search warrant and executed the warrant at the Force Place residence.

When police conducted a search of the Parsippany NJ residence, they allegedly found 59 marijuana plants. According to authorities, the suspects were cultivating the marijuana plants for distribution.

Both suspects face criminal charges for the drug offense of maintaining a drug production facility. Additionally, the suspects have been charged with other drugs crimes, including possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana.

If the suspects are ultimately convicted, they face severe penalties. That’s because the NJ Criminal Code classifies maintaining a marijuana production facility as a first degree crime when the facility has more than 10 marijuana plants.

The suspects could be headed to trial after a Morris County grand jury indicted them on the drug crime charges.

For further information about this case, view the DailyRecord.com article, “Parsippany Neighbors Indicted in Pot-Growing Enterprise.”

Morristown NJ Shoplifting LawyersHackettstown New Jersey police arrested a Morristown NJ woman accused of shoplifting multiple items from a local consignment store.

The suspect allegedly committed the theft crime shortly before 6:00 p.m. at Me to You Consignment and Boutique on Main Street and Route 46 in Hackettstown, NJ. According to authorities, the suspect walked into the Hackettstown NJ store and stole a number of handbags and dresses. The suspect reportedly concealed the items in a large black handbag and exited the building before store workers could stop her.

The Hackettstown Police Department was notified of the theft incident and dispatched police officers to the scene. Hackettstown cops found the suspect sitting in a motor vehicle that was parked across the street from the store. A search of the suspect allegedly turned up several stolen items, including two black dresses, a handbag, a purse, a jacket, and a nightgown. The total retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise is just under $100.

The suspect, a 34-year-old Morristown woman, has been charged with shoplifting. Authorities have also charged her in connection with a different shoplifting incident at a hardware store on Route 46 in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

For further information about this case, view the DailyRecord.com article, “Police: Morristown Woman Stole from Consignment Store.”

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.”

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.”

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.

Morristown NJ Domestic Violence LawyersThe NJ Supreme Court Committee on Domestic Violence recently released its final report and made recommendations relating to domestic violence matters. The recommendations affect things like resources, education, training, and the interactions between NJ Local Municipal Courts (which handle disorderly persons or misdemeanor-level cases) and NJ County Superior Courts (which handle indictable, felony-level cases and restraining orders).

The types of criminal charges handled in Municipal Court can include offenses like simple assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct relating to domestic violence matters. These are known as disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) and can result in a permanent criminal charge on your record if you are ultimately convicted. In Superior Court, indictable, felony cases are handled and can include serious criminal charges like aggravated assault, terroristic threats, stalking, sexual assault, and even homicide.

Meanwhile, the Superior Court, Family Division handles all domestic violence matters, including permanent restraining order hearings and violations of a restraining order (contempt).

The New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Domestic Violence was created by NJ Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in February 2015, with the committee’s goal being to examine current NJ domestic violence laws, resources presently available to domestic violence victims, the interaction between the court systems in New Jersey, any potential treatment methods available for domestic violence offenders, methods for risk assessment, and various resources for education and training on domestic violence issues. The domestic violence committee was composed of members from all three branches of government in NJ, the private sector, special interest advocacy groups, attorneys who represent clients charged with domestic violence offenses, and attorneys who represent victims of domestic violence. As a result, politicians, judges, prosecutors, and criminal defense attorneys from across New Jersey, including Morris County and Bergen County, were all important members of the committee.

The committee came forward with many recommendations, including:

  • Expanding the use of domestic violence advocates in Municipal Court cases so that both victims and defendants are fairly represented.
  • Developing court rules and procedures that will allow domestic violence victims in high-risk cases to feel safe by testifying in hearings without actually needing to be present in court.
  • Expanding current NJ domestic violence laws to include cyber-harassment and online threats as a basis for filing a restraining order.
  • Expanding the availability of therapeutic programs for children who are exposed to domestic violence.

I am Morris County NJ criminal defense lawyer Travis J. Tormey. As a criminal defense attorney, I see a potential issue with recommendation #2, which could allow alleged domestic violence victims to testify in court without actually needing to be present in the courtroom. This recommendation could potentially violate the confrontation clause, which exists to protect defendants’ rights by ensuring that anyone accused of a criminal act is able to confront their accuser. If this recommendation is implemented by NJ lawmakers, it could potentially violate a defendant’s constitutional right to due process. I understand the need to protect high-risk victims in domestic violence cases, but there are already protections in place: the courthouse is highly guarded by sheriff’s officers and there should not really be any valid safety concerns when the time comes to appear in court to testify.