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What is Implied Consent in a New Jersey DWI Prosecution?

implied-consent-in-a-new-jersey-dwi-prosecutionWhen you’ve been pulled over by law enforcement officers in New Jersey because of suspicions that you are driving while intoxicated, one of the first things you can expect, after the officer asks if you have been drinking, is to be subjected to a blood alcohol test. You have the right to refuse to take the test, but the consequences of making that decision can be severe. That’s because New Jersey applies the law of “implied consent” to traffic stops involving DWI investigations.

“Implied Consent” Defined

The principle of implied consent holds that, simply by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, you have agreed to take any chemical test requested by a police officer to determine whether you are under the influence of any substance that would negatively affect your ability to safely operate the vehicle. Such consent is deemed to be implied, because it applies regardless of whether you affirmatively agree to submit to the test, and even if you verbally indicate that you won’t take the test.

The officer, however, cannot compel you to take the test. However, if it’s the first time you’ve refused to comply with a breathalyzer request, you’ll immediately have your license suspended for seven months. A second refusal will cause you to lose your license for two years and a third will result in a 10 year revocation of your driving privileges.

Contact Attorney Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

What Happens at a PennDOT DMV Administrative Hearing?

penndot-dmv-administrative-hearingIf you’ve been pulled over and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania, you’ll soon learn that there are two separate components to the process. You’ll ultimately have to go to court to establish your guilt or innocence and learn any criminal penalties. But there’s also a process whereby the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will determine whether your driving privileges will be affected. In most instances, the DMV hearing does not take place until the criminal matter has been resolved. Don’t think, though, that dismissal of the criminal charge will eliminate the need for the administrative hearing. Your license can be suspended even if charges are dropped or reduced.

When you are formally charged with a DUI, the arresting officer is required to notify PennDOT. PennDOT will then send you notice of the suspension of your license by mail. You must request a hearing with the DMV within 30 days of your receipt of the notice of suspension or your driving privileges will automatically be suspended for 12 months.

At the administrative hearing, there will be a presiding PennDOT hearing officer, who will function like a judge. In most instances, the arresting officer will be there to offer evidence against you. Unlike the criminal proceeding, where your guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard of proof at an administrative proceeding is probable cause—did the arresting officer have probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence?

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Stalking Laws

understanding-pennsylvanias-stalking-lawsIn recent years, the state of Pennsylvania, like many other jurisdictions, has taken a strong stance against activities considered to be stalking or harassment. Under Pennsylvania law, stalking typically involves a pattern of activity, rather than a single incident. Section 2709.1 of Title 18 defines stalking as a “course of conduct or repeated acts without authorization with intent to place [a person]in reasonable fear or cause substantial emotional distress. In addition, it can be obvious and direct or more subtle, from visible confrontations or following to things like unwanted gifts, unsolicited phone calls or other forms of attention.

There’s a requirement under the Pennsylvania law that the victim of stalking show that the harassment resulted in some level of emotional distress. This is typically determined by the judge or jury, based on the facts. In most instances, a first charge of stalking will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in the 1st degree. However, if the defendant has any prior convictions for stalking, the charges can be far more serious, and can rise to the level of a 3rd degree felony.

It’s pretty common, when a person is charged with stalking, for the victim to ask the court to issue a restraining or protective order. Such an order typically requires the “stalker” to stay a minimum distance from the victim, from the victim’s home and work, and from other places the victim is known to go. It can also limit or ban certain types of contact, including mail, phone or Internet, and can make it a violation of the order to send anything to the victim. Violation of the order is considered contempt of court and can lead to substantial fines, as well as incarceration.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

You don’t have to lose your license or go to jail. Let attorney Greenberg fight to protect your rights!

Your first consultation is free. We’ll meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We take all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

For an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Controlled Dangerous Substance Charges in New Jersey

controlled-dangerous-substance-charges-in-new-jerseyIf you have been arrested or are under investigation for a drug-related charge in New Jersey, it’s important that you understand some of the unique aspects of how a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is treated under New Jersey law.

Classification of Controlled Dangerous Substances

New Jersey law places all controlled dangerous substances into one of five categories, based on their likelihood of abuse and any recognized medical value. The classifications include common recreational drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin, but can also apply to any compounds or substances used in their manufacture. Those drugs that are believed to have the greatest risk of abuse, combined with the least perceived medical value, are found in Schedule I, and those with the least risk of addiction and the greatest medical value or Schedule V CDSes.

The Potential Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance

The charges faced depend on the Schedule of the CDS in your possession. Possession of any amount of a Schedule I, II, III or IV controlled dangerous substance can be prosecuted as a crime in the 3rd degree, with a potential penalty of 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. If the drug falls under Schedule V, you can be sentenced to up to 18 months of incarceration and a $15,000 fine.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. We will fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Theft Crimes in Pennsylvania

theft-crimes-in-pennsylvaniaIn Pennsylvania, as in other states, the elements of the crime of theft are laid out in the statutes. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that theft is a crime that requires intent. A prosecutor must show that you knew or had reason to know that you did not have legal right to possess or hold the property. It must also be shown that you took, transferred or exercised dominion/control over the property with the specific intent to deprive the right owner of the use, possession or control of it. Furthermore, it’s not necessary that you actually removed if from the possession or dominion of the rightful owner. If you receive goods or property from a third party and either know or have reason to know that the goods are stolen, you can be charged with theft.

As in other jurisdictions, Pennsylvania makes a distinction among theft charges based on the value of the property stolen. If the total value is under $50, you can be charged with a summary offense and may have to pay a fine of up to $1,500. The charge will appear on a criminal record, so you need to take a summary offense seriously.

If the value is more than $50, but less than $200, it’s considered a misdemeanor in the second degree, with a penalty of up to two years in prison and a potential fine of as much as $5,000. If the value exceeds $200, but the crime is not a felony as defined in Pennsylvania law, it’s deemed a misdemeanor in the first degree, with penalties of up to five years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.

Pennsylvania Felony Theft Offenses

A theft may be charged as a felony in Pennsylvania if the value of goods stolen exceeds $2,000, or if the theft is from a motor-propelled vehicle, including a car, truck, boat or airplane. Additionally, if you are in the business of buying and selling stolen goods, you can face felony theft charges.

Pennsylvania law also makes certain specific theft crimes felonies, including:

  • Theft of a firearm
  • Receiving a stolen firearm
  • Theft of anhydrous ammonia
  • Theft during a manmade or natural disaster, including a war-caused disaster

Contact Attorney Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Theft Crimes in New Jersey

theft-crimes-in-new-jerseyIn New Jersey, theft crimes can be classified as either disorderly persons offenses or indictable offenses. In New Jersey, as in other states, theft crimes generally require intent. To be charged, a person must have knowingly or purposefully taken, transferred or exercised control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the actual owner of dominion, use or control. In most instances, the specific charge in a theft prosecution will depend on the value of the goods or services taken.

Here’s an overview of the different types of theft crimes in New Jersey.

Petty Theft

A theft is considered a petty theft—a disorderly persons offense—if the amount taken is less than $200. The penalty can be significant, though. If convicted, you can face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, as well as restitution.

Other Theft Crimes

As a general rule, all theft crimes where the value exceeds $200 may be charged as indictable offenses. If the value is between $200 and $500, the offense may be prosecuted as a crime of the fourth degree, with the potential for 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines. If the value exceeds $500, but is less than $75,000, it’s generally charged as a crime in the third degree, with a potential three to five year term of incarceration and up to $15,000 in fines. Any theft of goods or services in excess of $75,000 is a crime in the second degree, with the possibility of $150,000 in fines and 5 to 10 years in prison.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Simple vs. Aggravated Assault in Pennsylvania

simple-vs-aggravated-assault-in-pennsylvaniaIn Pennsylvania, as in other states, there’s a distinction between simple assault and aggravated assault. The difference can be critical and mean the difference between probation and fines or incarceration. The important thing to understand about both simple and aggravated assault—there’s no requirement of physical contact or touching. You can be charged with assault for causing a reasonable apprehension of impending harm.

Simple Assault in Pennsylvania

Simple assault is customarily charged as a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, with a maximum fine of $5,000 and potential for up to two years of incarceration. Assault typically requires intent, but a person may be charged with assault for negligently causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon. In addition, if the victim is under the age of 13 and the perpetrator is at least 21, the charges may be elevated, resulting in the possibility of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault, a felony in Pennsylvania, involves the attempt or actual causing of “serious bodily harm.” A conviction for aggravated assault can carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000. It’s not necessary that you actually cause “serious bodily harm,” but that you intended to do so. “Serious bodily injury” in Pennsylvania generally refers to an injury that would create a “substantial risk of death, or that would cause serious permanent disfigurement, or that would lead to protracted loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

You don’t have to go to jail. Let attorney Greenberg fight to protect your rights!

Your first consultation is free. We’ll meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We take all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

For an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Simple vs. Aggravated Assault in New Jersey

simple-vs-aggravated-assault-in-new-jerseyLet’s say that you were involved in an altercation and police were called to break it up. You may be facing an assault charge. In New Jersey, that can take at least two different forms—simple assault of aggravated assault. Here’s the difference.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey (what most others states refer to as a “misdemeanor”). Simple assault requires intent—accidentally striking a person is typically not assault, unless you meant to hit another person, but missed (this is known as “transferred intent”), or if the unintended assault was with a deadly weapon.

To constitute assault, your actions must be either intentional or reckless and must be for the purpose of causing bodily injury to another person. However, there’s no requirement that you make actual physical contact or that there be any touching at all. If you create a reasonable apprehension of immediate harm, that can be prosecuted as simple assault.

Aggravated Assault

In New Jersey, aggravated assault is an indictable offense, comparable to a felony in other jurisdictions. There are a number of factors that cause a simple assault to be elevated to an aggravated assault:

  • The use of a weapon (including the type of weapon)
  • The extent of injury to the victim
  • Whether the victim was a police officer or public employee performing his or her official duties
  • Whether the assault was by automobile

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose go to jail. We will fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

Driving under the Influence of Drugs in Pennsylvania

Drinking, Drugs and Driving

So you’ve been stopped by police on the roadway in Pennsylvania and it’s determined that you are operating your motor vehicle after having taken a prescription drug, one that was legally prescribed for you. Are you in violation of the law? What are the potential consequences?

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, there are laws, similar to DUI laws, which make it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs (DUID). Pennsylvania is considered to be a “zero tolerance” state with respect to driving under the influence of controlled substances.

According to Section 75-3802 of the Pennsylvania statutes, you may not be in actual control of the movement of a motor vehicle if there is “any amount” of a prohibited substance in your blood. Accordingly, a police officer can pull you over and can arrest you based on any reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of a banned substance. The statute does not require actual evidence of impaired driving—a police officer may make the stop and arrest on any reasonable evidence.

Under Pennsylvania law, you can face a DUID charge if you have any trace of any controlled substance regulated by the federal government in your bloodstream. However, the drug does not need to be on the list of controlled substances, but need only be shown to have impaired your ability to drive. Pennsylvania recognizes the implied consent rule, which holds that, by getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you impliedly consent to take a blood test when there’s probable cause to suspect driving under the influence. If you refuse, that evidence can be used against you at trial.

Contact Attorney Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

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