The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, is a statewide criminal defense firm with twelve offices throughout New Jersey. Our team includes ten (10) attorneys that dedicate their practices exclusively to defending the accused, making it a unique commodity in the state. The qualifications of the lawyers are also impressive and include:

• Over 200 Years of Combined Experience Representing Clients Charged With Indictable Crimes, Disorderly Persons Offenses and Serious Motor Vehicle Violations
• Former County Prosecutors Who Have Served At The Highest Levels Such As Director Of Major Crimes, Juvenile, Domestic Violence, Special Operations, Homicide, Drug Task Force, Guns, and Even An Entire Trial Division
• Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys
• Recognition as Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, Top 10 Defense Lawyers in New Jersey by the National Academy, Ten Leaders in both Criminal Defense & DWI in New Jersey and Superlawyers

Free consultations with an attorney at the firm are always free. You can reach us 24/7 at 877-450-8301.

In New Jersey, people charged with crimes may be able to enter into the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program rather than go through the traditional prosecution process. PTI is not available in all circumstances, however. Instead, certain factors are assessed in determining if PTI is appropriate, as discussed in a recent New Jersey case. If you are accused of committing a crime, it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney regarding your available options.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the defendant was charged with multiple crimes, including unlawful possession of a knife, terroristic threats, and resisting arrest. The prosecutor that was assigned to the case offered a plea deal to the defendant that required the defendant to apply to PTI and to submit to a mental health evaluation. The defendant then applied to PTI. His application was denied, however, on the grounds that his alleged crime took place in a church, and the PTI director felt that acts that violated the sanctity of churches needed to be deterred.

It is alleged that the State then adopted the PTI director’s findings and cited other factors for the denial of PTI, such as the defendant’s inability to be monitored through PTI. The defendant appealed the denial of PTI, but his appeal was denied. He then pleaded guilty to the resisting arrest charge in exchange for the dismissal of his remaining charges. After his sentencing hearing, he appealed the trial court’s ruling regarding PTI.

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Under New Jersey law, when a person is charged with a crime, whether the person is detained or released prior to trial depends on numerous factors. Recently, a New Jersey court discussed when pre-trial detention is appropriate, in a case in which it overturned a prior ruling that a defendant charged with attempted murder should be released while his trial was pending. If you are charged with committing a criminal offense, it is advisable to consult a capable New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss your options for fighting to protect your rights.

The Alleged Crime

It is reported that the police were dispatched to the parking lot of a shopping plaza to investigate a shooting. The crowd was dispersing when the police arrived, but they saw multiple cars with bullet holes. Two people were subsequently hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Eventually, an anonymous source advised the police that on the night of the incident, he saw the defendant retrieve a gun from the trunk of his vehicle and begin shooting. Additionally, surveillance footage was obtained that showed the defendant firing a weapon in the direction of the victims.

Allegedly, the defendant was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder with a gun. As he had no prior criminal history, his public safety assessment score (PSA) was low. The PSA asked that the defendant be denied pre-trial release regardless, given the serious nature of his crime. The trial court departed from the PSA’s recommendation, however, and issued an order releasing the defendant.

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In New Jersey, a person may not only be charged for the commission of a sex crime, but also for attempting to commit a sex crime. Mere discussions or speculation regarding criminal acts are often insufficient to form the basis of a criminal charge, however, and there are certain elements the State must meet to convict a person of an attempt offense. Recently, a New Jersey appellate court discussed the criminal attempt statute in a case in which the defendant appealed his attempted sex crime convictions. If you are accused of attempting to commit a sex crime, it is critical to engage an assertive New Jersey sex crime defense attorney to assist you in fighting to protect your rights.

Factual History

It is reported that the defendant, who was a 62-year-old man, responded to an ad on a classified website. The ad was placed by a detective purporting to be a 14-year-old girl. Through the course of correspondence over several months, the “girl” advised the defendant that she was 14 and sent him a picture of herself that had been digitally altered so that she looked like a child. The conversations between the defendant and the girl became sexual in nature, and the defendant described the acts he would like to engage in with the girl. They ultimately agreed to meet at a fast-food restaurant so that the defendant could take the girl back to his house.

Allegedly, when the defendant arrived at the restaurant, he was arrested, and in his car, the police found condoms and whipped cream vodka that the girl requested the defendant purchase. He was charged with attempted sexual assault, luring a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of attempting to endanger the welfare of a child. He was convicted of four of the counts, after which he appealed, arguing that improper jury instructions allowed him to be convicted of the attempt crimes based on his mental state.

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In New Jersey, a person can be held in contempt for failing to pay child support and may be assigned to work release to enforce compliance with the underlying support order. A person assigned to work release for failing to pay child support, who fails to return to the work-release program, cannot be charged with a crime, however, as discussed in a recent case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for escape. If you are charged with a crime due to your failure to comply with a civil order, you should contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss whether you may be able to have the charges dismissed as improper.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was confined to a work-release program in Bergen County Jail, due to his failure to pay child support. He failed to return to the jail by curfew on two occasions, and he was charged with the crime of escape. He pled guilty to the charges, after which he was sentenced. He subsequently filed a petition for post-conviction relief, arguing his trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to argue that the defendant could not be charged with escape for violating work release assigned due to a civil contempt order and that his sentence was illegal.

Allegedly, the trial judge denied the defendant’s petition without a hearing, noting that the defendant entered a knowing and voluntary plea and that the defendant’s failure to return to the jail met the elements for escape under the relevant statute. The defendant then appealed.

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In criminal trials, the State is limited as to the evidence it may introduce in support of the allegation that a defendant committed a crime. Specifically, the State generally cannot introduce evidence of prior criminal activity or wrongful acts to prove that a defendant committed the offense with which he or she is currently charged, as it has the potential to lead to unjust results. Recently, a New Jersey appellate court discussed the ramifications of improper prior bad acts evidence and when the admission of such evidence warrants the reversal of a conviction in a case in which the defendant was charged with eluding the police.  If you are charged with eluding, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned New Jersey criminal defense attorney regarding what evidence the State may introduce against you.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that police officers were dispatched to investigate a report that a convenience store had been robbed at gunpoint by a suspect who drove off in a white car. While patrolling the area where the incident allegedly occurred, an officer observed the defendant driving a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle. The officer activated his sirens and lights and followed the defendant for a mile and a half, during which the defendant drove twenty-five miles over the speed limit, veered onto the sidewalk, and crashed into poles. The defendant ultimately crashed into a pole and stopped.

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with eluding the police. A four-day trial was held during which the State introduced into evidence three summons that were previously issued to the defendant, involving reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and operation of a vehicle without a license. The defendant did not object to the admission of the summons and was ultimately convicted. He then appealed.

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In some instances, a defendant can assert an affirmative defense to a criminal charge that will allow the defendant to avoid a conviction. For example, a defendant charged with assault may be able to argue that he or she was acting in self-defense, and therefore had a valid reason for committing the acts out of which the charge arose. Recently, a New Jersey appellate court discussed when a defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on self-defense in a case in which the defendant appealed his assault conviction. If you are accused of committing assault, it is prudent to speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney regarding whether you may be able to set forth affirmative defenses to protect your interests.

Facts Regarding the Alleged Assault

Allegedly, the defendant and three other individuals engaged in a physical altercation in March 2016. Specifically, the defendant, a man, went to the home of the first woman, along with the second woman. When they arrived, the second woman asked the first woman if she was involved in a sexual relationship with the defendant, and the two women began to fight, after which a man who was in the first woman’s house became involved in the altercation. The defendant then advised the man not to touch the second woman, punched the man, and struck the man with a hammer.

Reportedly, the defendant was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and weapons charges. Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of simple assault and unlawful possession of a weapon and sentenced to two years’ probation. He then appealed on multiple grounds, including the assertion that the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury regarding self-defense.

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Under both the United States Constitution and New Jersey law, a person cannot be tried or convicted more than once for the same crime. Thus, if a defendant is found guilty of multiple counts of the same crimes arising out of a singular act, it may constitute a violation of the defendant’s rights and serve as grounds for overturning the conviction. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the defendant was convicted of two counts of leaving the scene of an accident that caused the death of another person. If you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident or any other crime, it is in your best interest to confer with a dedicated New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss your potential defenses.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant, who did not have a license, struck two teenage bicyclists while he was driving on a ramp that led to a highway. The defendant and the three passengers in his vehicle left the scene before the police arrived. One of the bicyclists was killed in the accident, and the other died later in the hospital. After an investigation, the defendant was charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, one count for each bicyclist. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss one of the counts, arguing that the doctrine of multiplicity prohibited more than one charge for violating the applicable statute.

Reportedly, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion, stating that it was appropriate to charge the defendant with two counts because there were two victims. The defendant reserved the right to appeal the dismissal of his motion and pleaded guilty to both charges. Following his sentencing, the defendant appealed.

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People that are convicted of sex crimes are typically required to register as sex offenders. In New Jersey, there are multiple tiers sex offenders can be categorized under, based on their perceived risk of re-offense, and the obligations imposed on a sex-offenders varies based on tier. The duty of proving a sex offender’s tier designation falls on the State, not the offender, as discussed in a recent case in which the offender objected to his classification as a Tier II offender. If you were charged with or convicted of a sex crime, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant, who lived in Pennsylvania, was charged with and convicted of numerous sexual assault charges involving acts perpetrated on his minor son and daughter. He pleaded guilty to one charge and was deemed a sexually violent predator and a pedophile and sentenced to a term of imprisonment followed by parole. The defendant then relocated to New Jersey, and following a hearing he was classified as a Tier II sex offender, which required him to notify law enforcement agencies and community organizations of his status. The defendant appealed his designation, arguing that he should have been classified as a Tier I offender. Upon review, the appellate court affirmed his designation.

The Burden of Establishing the Appropriate Sex Offender Tier

In New Jersey, registered sex-offenders are categorized into three tiers based on the risk of re-offense: Tier I, which is low risk, Tier II, which is a moderate risk, and Tier III, which is a high risk. Tier classification is determined on a case by case basis, based in part on the offender’s risk assessment scale score, which is determined by the seriousness of the offense, the offender’s history and characteristics, and what community support is available. In assessing what designation is appropriate, a court must balance the offender’s right to privacy and the community’s interest in notification and safety. While an offender cannot dispute the risk assessment score he or she is assigned, he or she can dispute the proposed Tier designation.

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I always profess that domestic violence and retraining order issues effect all types of individuals.  We saw this revelation, once again, hold to be true when a prominent Somerville lawyer was reported to have “a dozen charges in three towns” , including alleged violations of a restraining order filed by his wife.  Apparently, this lawyer’s wife filed for divorce and things have unraveled quite dramatically with him being jailed for violations of a New Jersey restraining order.  The attorney already had pending charges stemming from a leaving the scene of an accident case and a separate DWI case in another municipality.

DWI and domestic violence can sometimes have a common thread – excessive alcohol.  This appears to be the case for the lawyer in this case and he certainly is not alone.  New Jersey’s DWI laws and domestic violence statutes are some of the stiffest in the Nation but access to a competent defense lawyer probably should not be an issue in this case.  Hopefully, this guy can get it together like so many individuals we represent, and negotiate this mind field without too much impact on his future.

Screen shot of Bureau of Prison's Website There is little doubt that the tabloids try to hype up information, especially when it comes to reality stars. Knowing this to be the case, I immediately questioned whether Teresa Giudice actually received a reduced sentence like what was portrayed in the press or whether the release date simply took into account jail credit for good behavior.

The Honorable Esther Salas imposed a federal prison term of fifteen (15) months for conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud. Mrs. Giudice surrendered to Danbury Federal Correctional Institute on January 8, 2015 in accordance with the terms of her sentence. This translated into a release date of approximately April 8, 2016. Notwithstanding this calculation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons website indicates that Teresa Giudice’s anticipated release date is February 5, 2016. Various tabloids have attempted to sensationalize the earlier release date, implying that it represents a special break that was afforded to Mrs. Giudice.

The United States Code of Federal Regulation specifies the jail credit to be afforded prisoners. Section 3624 of Title 18 provides, in pertinent part, that:

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