We are New Jersey criminal lawyers with nearly 30 years of experience concentrating our practice in the defense of criminal cases brought under state and federal law.
We are committed to producing positive results for people and businesses through our knowledge, hard work, and nearly three decades of experience as criminal trial and appellate lawyers. Our attorneys believe that the presumption of innocence is the hallmark of the American criminal justice system. Applying our knowledge and experience to your case, we intend to make that presumption work for you.
We regard the representation of the accused to be the highest calling of the legal profession. We began our careers as criminal defense lawyers in 1983 in the tough city courtrooms of Philadelphia, and have remained true to that calling some 30 years later. When your liberty, employment and reputation are at stake, a dedicated advocate is your most valuable asset.
We provide superior service during every phase of defending a criminal case – from investigating the crime scene, conducting the most up-to-date legal research, consulting with the most qualified experts, vigorously defending you in the courtroom, to negotiating on your behalf with prosecutors in the State, Federal, and Municipal courts of New Jersey. If you have already been convicted of a crime, you may have a basis to appeal the conviction, or to seek post-conviction relief, or an expungement of your record. Our lawyers are licensed to appear before the United States Supreme Court, and in the State and Federal courts of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California. For detailed information about our practice and our approach to our work, click on a link to the right.
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While you are visiting our web site, please take the time to carefully review the information about our defense strategy, the professional articles we have written, our biographical information, and our criminal defense blog. We have included information here to help you understand our unique approach to the defense of criminal cases in the State and Federal Courts. However, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is an important decision which should not be based solely on a web site or on an advertisement in the Yellow Pages. Before you decide on a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, schedule a meeting with us to discuss your case and how we can obtain a positive result for you.
Schwartz & Posnock
4 Convenient Office Locations Phone: 732-544-1460Fax: 732-544-1462
|99 Corbett Way
Eatontown, NJ 07724
|70 So. Orange Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039
|4G Auer Court
E. Brunswick, NJ 08816
|2015 North Wood Ave.
Linden, NJ 07036
New Federal Criminal Ruling on Preservation of Appeals Now Controls Federal Criminal Defense Practice In New Jersey
In an important ruling for federal criminal defense lawyers in New Jersey, United States v. Joseph, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that criminal defense attorneys must preserve legal arguments on appeal with an exacting degree of particularity. In its decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that preserving an argument was different from preserving an issue. Specifically, the court held that an issue is a broad concept or a question that may be addressed by multiple arguments or theories. However, the only arguments that are preserved for appeal are the same arguments made before a district court. In the Joseph case, the court ruled that simply making a suppression motion at trial does not allow a party to then appeal under all possible suppression arguments. The probable cause challenged at trial did not allow appellant to appeal the suppression decision based on a completely different theory.
The critical point of the ruling in United States v. Joseph, 2013 WL 5273120 (decided on September 19, 2013), is that raising one argument at trial does not preserve every possible argument that is related to an issue. A specific argument not raised at the trial level will be deemed waived on appeal. When arguments are not based on the same legal rule and the same facts, they are not the same for purposes of preservation in an appeal. This ruling covers all criminal cases pending in the Newark, Trenton and Camden divisions of the United States District Courts of New Jersey.
Attorneys practicing federal criminal defense in New Jersey should be mindful of this decision, as it significantly changes the rules for preserving appellate rights. If you have been charged with a federal criminal offense, it is important that you consult an experienced federal criminal lawyer. You can contact the experience criminal defense attorneys of Schwartz & Posnock, at our Essex County, Union County, Middlesex or Monmouth County offices, to discuss the various defense strategies that we can utilize on your behalf to achieve a positive result for you.
THIRD CIRCUIT RULES THAT INSTALLATION OF A GPS TRACKING DEVICE ON A PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE REQUIRES A WARRANT
In a new ruling that applies to both State and federal law enforcement officers in New Jersey, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided on October 22, 2013 that police officers and federal agents must get a warrant in order to put a GPS tracking device on a car or truck to monitor the travels of a suspect they are investigating. The decision, United States v. Katzin (12-2548), represents controlling precedent in criminal cases in the federal courts in Newark, Trenton, and Camden, and in Superior Court criminal cases throughout New Jersey.
The Third Circuit is the first federal appeals court to add a warrant requirement to a practice that the Supreme Court ruled, in last year’s decision in United States v. Jones, was a search governed by the Fourth Amendment. (See the February 2012 Schwartz & Posnock blog post on the Jones case below). In the Jones decision, the Court ruled that installation of such a device on a private vehicle is a search, but it left open the question of police authority to use that technology.
Electronically linked to satellites circling the world, a Global Positioning System device tracks a continuing sequence of precise locations of the device and, if it is attached to a car or truck, it logs the vehicle’s precise location. Police can monitor it from a central location, and thus don’t have to physically follow or observe the vehicle.
In the Katzin case, the Third Circuit ruled that installing a GPS tracking device was a search requiring a warrant. It is not enough for police to install a GPS device based only on a “reasonable suspicion” that a vehicle is being used in criminal activity.
While individuals in their cars have a lowered expectation of privacy, that is not enough to do away with a warrant requirement. The Court held that electronic monitoring by a GPS device can “generate a precise, comprehensive record of a person’s public movements that reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.”
The ruling also held that a GPS tracking device allows the police to gather future evidence of crime, because this technology involves “an ever-watchful electronic sentinel” looking for such evidence.
This decision is significant for individuals charged with federal or state criminal offenses in New Jersey. Criminal defense counsel should consider the potential for a motion to suppress evidence and other unlawfully obtained evidence (known as the “fruit of the poisonous tree”). To discuss the significance of this decision and to determine whether it may apply to your case, contact Schwartz & Posnock in our Monmouth County, Union County, Essex County and Middlesex County offices to schedule a consultation.
FALSE CONFESSIONS EVIDENCE MAKES IN- ROADS FOR NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS
In a key New Jersey ruling, a Superior Court Appellate Division panel, ruled on October 16, 2013, in State v. Granskie, that evidence of a defendant’s alleged false confession may be admissible to show that drug addiction and withdrawal are recognized physical and psychological conditions that may make a suspect vulnerable to giving a false confession. The Appellate Division held that in order to have a meaningful opportunity to attack the credibility of his own confession, a defendant must be able to present to a jury relevant evidence to assist in the evaluation of the confessions reliability.
The phenomena of false “confessions” is widely accepted in the State and federal courts throughout the United States. False confessions are clearly demonstrated when the physical evidence, such as the DNA evidence, tends to rule out the “confessing” suspect. Under those circumstances, a confession must be scrutinized carefully, as it is likely a false confession, brought about by a combination of police tactics and the vulnerability of the suspect.
In the Granskie case, the State relied heavily on the defendant’s confession. The forensic evidence was inconclusive. First, the Court held that the defendant’s attorney would be able to cross-examine the police officers concerning the manner in which they conducted the interrogation. Second, and more significantly, the Court went further, and held that the defendant would be permitted to have an expert testify as to the defendant’s diagnosed mental problems and how they would have the capacity to affect the reliability of the defendant’s alleged confession.
This decision is consistent with and provides further judicial recognition that certain tactics used in police interrogations “lead to a frighteningly high percentage of people who confess to crimes they never committed.”
Any time a client presents with an alleged confession, New Jersey criminal defense attorneys should consider if the confession is the product of psychological vulnerability and police coercion in their interrogation techniques.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Schwartz & Posnock can assist you in evaluating whether an alleged confession in a particular case is subject to attack as false. You can contact us at our Monmouth County, Union County, Essex County, and Middlesex County locations to discuss your case…