New Jersey Intensive Supervision Program: A Possible Alternative to Prison

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Archive for August, 2013

New Jersey Intensive Supervision Program: A Possible Alternative to Prison

To deal with the problem of overcrowding in prisons New Jersey created an Intensive Supervision Program (ISP). The ISP is an intermediate type of punishment that is harsher than just probation, but not as harsh as actual prison. New Jersey’s ISP gives certain offenders that have been sentenced to state prison the chance to work their way back into the community under intense supervision.

New Jersey has six ISP regional offices and more than 1,200 participants. The New Jersey Intensive Supervision Program consists of a three-person panel that is responsible for screening applicants and making recommendations to the Resentencing Panel for placement in the ISP. The ISP participants have strict requirements that include community service requirements, drug testing, curfew requirements, and full time employment or job training requirements.

Most offenders do qualify for the Intensive Supervision Program, but the following are not qualified:

  • Current first degree offenders
  • Offenders that have committed a first degree offense within five years of the current offense
  • Offenders involved in organized crime
  • Offenders that have previously already participated in the Intensive Supervision Program
  • Inmates who are serving a period of mandatory incarceration
  • Inmates whose imprisonment term is part of a negotiated plea deal

 

Applying to be a part of the ISP is a multi step process, but the offender must first serve at least 60 days in prison before they can go in front of a Resentencing Panel. If the Resentencing Panel approves the offender’s application to be part of the program then the person will be released for a 90-day trial period. If you or someone you know may qualify for application to this program please call the Morano Law Firm at 201-598-5019 for a free consultation on all criminal law matters.

Understanding New Jersey Self Defense Law – 2C:3-4 The Use of Force in Self-Protection

In light of the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman, understanding self defense is a hot button topic not just iStock_000001321767_Smallin Florida, but nationwide. Understanding how self-defense is implemented can mean the difference between an acquittal or a long prison sentence.

2C:3-4  –  The use of force in self-protection

Under New Jersey law, it is justifiable to use force against another person if you have a reasonable belief that the use of force is immediately necessary when protecting yourself against unlawful force.

Note this caveat regarding “unlawful” force; it is illegal to use force against a peace officer performing his or her duty in arresting you even if that arrest is unlawful (and that’s a matter for the courts, not something you want to start a debate about in the middle of an arrest). The only exception is if that officer of the peace, while unlawfully arresting you, employs unlawful force to do so.

A person defending their property has a limited right to use force in that defense. If Mr. Doe is the lawful owner of a car, and Mr. Alias attempts to steal the car, Mr. Doe can employ force to prevent this. If Mr. Alias fights back, he cannot claim self-protection, as he knew that Mr. Doe, the car’s rightful owner, was acting in the interest of protecting his property.

However, if earlier in the day, Mr. Alias had witnessed Mr. Doe steal his car, Mr. Alias could use force to take it back as per 2C:3-6, wherein he must first request that Mr. Doe get out of his car, return his keys, and cease interfering with the car in any way so that everyone can go home and put this day behind them. If Mr. Doe doesn’t heed this request, Mr. Alias is justified in using reasonable force to recapture his lawful property.

The most common use of the justification defense, however, comes in the form of the right to defend oneself when one reasonably believes that one is in danger of death or serious bodily harm. This is a justification even for the use of deadly force. A number of exceptions and rules govern the use of deadly force in self-defense situations.

If Mr. Alias, in a fit of rage over Mr. Doe’s theft of his car, reaches into his coat pocket, pulls out a knife, and charges at Mr. Doe with it, this could reasonably provoke a similar response. Mr. Doe unsheathes his sword and moves to engage Mr. Alias. A brief but violent scuffle later, Mr. Alias emerges, and Mr. Doe lies slain. Mr. Alias cannot use a justification of self-defense here, as his initial use of a deadly weapon provoked the use of force against himself.

The laws governing self-defense are highly complex. If you have been involved in a violent incident, you need legal representation to make the best case possible and ensure that your side of the story is heard in court. To learn how self-defense may impact your criminal case feel free to contact The Morano Law Firm at 201-598-5019 or email us at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com for a free consultation.

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act

The NJ Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”), N.J.S.A. 34:15-7, et seq., creates a state remedy where workers are compensated for injuries sustained during the course of employment. N.J.S.A. 34-15-1 states

 

When personal injury is caused to an employee by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, of which the actual or lawfully imputed negligence of the employer is the natural and proximate cause, he shall receive compensation therefor from his employer, provided the employee was himself not willfully negligent at the time of receiving such injury, and the question of whether the employee was willfully negligent shall be one of fact to be submitted to the jury, subject to the usual superintending powers of a court to set aside a verdict rendered contrary to the evidence.

 

All workers in NJ are covered under this Act unless they specifically knowingly and voluntarily decide not to be covered. In general, the Act uses a “no fault” idea meaning that workers are compensated for their injuries regardless of fault. There are however some exceptions to this “no fault” idea. For example, workers are not entitled to compensation when they injure themselves on purpose.

 

Workers compensation is an exclusive remedy. This means that the only compensation the worker can receive from the employer is through iStock_000009703092_Smallworkers’ compensation. The worker is usually not allowed to bring a civil suit against the employer, however if the employer intentionally injured the worker then, in that case, the worker is entitled to bring a civil suit against the employer. In NJ’s workers’ compensation system there are only three types of compensation: medical benefits, temporary disability benefits, and permanent disability benefits.

 

Under the NJ Workers’ Compensation Act there are two recognized classes of claims: traumatic injury claims, N.J.S.A. 34:15-7 and occupational disease claims, N.J.S.A. 34:15-31. Traumatic injury claims are claims that involve a one time event that causes an injury that is physical or psychiatric in nature. Occupational disease claims are claims regarding an injury that is the result of repetitive activity or multiple exposures over a longer period of time. It is important to distinguish between the two types of claims because they are treated differently under the Act.

 

If you were injured during the course of your employment you may be entitled to compensation. The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act is complicated. The above only contains very brief background information so it would be best to consult an attorney. Contact The Morano Law Firm at 201-598-5019 or email newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com to discuss your potential workers’ compensation case today!

Failure to Appear in Court in New Jersey (Court Rule 7:8-9)

New Jersey assigns strict penalties for individuals who do not show up on their court date. Missing a court date can be due to any number of iStock_000014208743_Smallunexpected occurrences. It is a problem that many New Jersey residents might encounter, so an understanding of the court rule is important to ensuring minimal legal trouble in the future. If you have already found yourself in a position where you or someone you know did not appear in court and is now facing legal repercussions, please call me Corey Morano, Esq. right away at 201-598-5019 or send me an email at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com and I will provide you with a free consultation.

Failure to appear in court can lead to several consequences including the issuing of an arrest warrant and/or an immediate suspension of the defendant’s driver license.  The defendant could end up in custody until bail is posted or the warrant is resolved. The judge may also decide to revoke bail if it had been deposited earlier on the case, which could lead to the bail money being forfeited to the court. The court procedures are listed below.

7:8-9. Procedures on Failure to Appear

(a) Warrant or Notice.

(1) Non-Parking Motor Vehicle Cases. If a defendant in any non-parking case before the court fails to appear or answer a complaint, the court may either issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest in accordance with R. 7:2-2(c) or issue and mail a failure to appear notice to the defendant on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. If a failure to appear notice is mailed to the defendant and the defendant fails to comply with its provisions, a warrant may be issued in accordance with R. 7:2-2(c).

(2) Parking Cases. In all parking cases, an arrest warrant shall only be issued if the defendant has failed to respond to two or more pending parking tickets within the jurisdiction. A warrant shall not issue when the pending tickets have been issued on the same day or otherwise within the same 24-hour period.

 

(b) Driving Privileges; Report to Motor Vehicle Commission.

(1) Non-Parking Motor Vehicle Cases. If the court has not issued an arrest warrant upon the failure of the defendant to comply with the court’s failure to appear notice, the court shall report the failure to appear or answer to the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts within 30 days of the defendant’s failure to appear or answer. The court shall then mark the case as closed on its records, subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule. If the court elects, however, to issue an arrest warrant, it may simultaneously report the failure to appear or answer to the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. If the court does not simultaneously notify the Motor Vehicle Commission and the warrant has not been executed within 30 days, the court shall report the failure to appear or answer to the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. Upon the notification to the Motor Vehicle Commission , the court shall then mark the case as closed on its records subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule.

(2) All Other Cases. In all other cases, whether or not an arrest warrant is issued, the court may order the suspension of the defendant’s driving privileges or of defendant’s nonresident reciprocity privileges or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining driving privileges until the pending matter is adjudicated or otherwise disposed of. The court shall then mark the case as closed on its records, subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule.

 

(c) Unexecuted Arrest Warrant.

If an arrest warrant is not executed, it shall remain open and active until the court either recalls, withdraws or discharges it. If bail has been posted after the issuance of the arrest warrant and the defendant fails to appear or answer, the court may declare a forfeiture of the bail, report a motor vehicle bail forfeiture to the Motor Vehicle Commission and mark the case as closed on its records subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule. The court may set aside any bail forfeiture in the interest of justice.

 

(d) Parking Cases; Unserved Notice.

In parking cases, no arrest warrant may be issued if the initial failure to appear notice is returned to the court by the Postal Service marked to indicate that the defendant cannot be located. The court then may order a suspension of the registration of the motor vehicle or of the defendant’s driving privileges or defendant’s nonresident reciprocity privileges or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining driving privileges until the pending matter is adjudicated or otherwise disposed of. The court shall forward the order to suspend to the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. The court shall then mark the case as closed on its records, subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule.

 

(e) Reopening.

A case marked closed shall be reopened upon the request of the defendant, the prosecuting attorney or on the court’s own motion.

 

(f) Dismissal of Parking Tickets.

In any parking case, if the municipal court fails, within three years of the date of the violation, to either issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest or to order a suspension of the registration of the vehicle or the defendant’s driving privileges or the defendant’s non-resident reciprocity privileges or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining driving privileges, the matter shall be dismissed and shall not be reopened.

 

If you have any questions on this matter, do not hesitate to contact The Morano Law Firm, LLC at 201-598-5019 or email us at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com and find out how we can assist you.

New Jersey Driving Laws: Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle (NJSA 39:4-87)

Drivers experiencing frustration on the road at the hands of other motorists may attempt to engage in risky behaviors to express their anger. KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERACompeting with other drivers can take on many dangerous forms, but one of the most commonly seen actions is the failure for a driver to yield to another driver who is attempting to enter their lane. This occurs when the driver about to be passed decides to increase the speed of the vehicle so that the other driver cannot safely enter the lane he or she is trying to enter.

 

Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle is a violation of New Jersey law that carries with it stiff penalties. Because this action can lead to a serious accident for both parties involved, the repercussions assigned to the driver who fails to yield are severe. Fines, points on the license, license suspensions, and even jail time can result from this violation. For these reasons, it is best to always think rationally when driving and to never engage in risky or competitive behaviors. If you or someone you know is facing legal consequences as a result of failing to observe this statute, please do not to call me Corey Morano, Esq. right away at 201-598-5019 or at coreymorano@gmail.com for quality legal representation.

 

The full statute is contained below.

 

39:4-87. Overtaken vehicle to give way

 

The driver of a vehicle on a highway, about to be overtaken and passed by another vehicle, approaching from the rear, shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on suitable and audible signal being given by the driver of the overtaking vehicle, and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.