Federal Criminal News

NJ Federal Criminal Defense: One-Man Corporation Cannot Avoid Producing Documents Under Federal Subpoena By Invoking Fifth Amendment Privilege

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in In the Matter of Grand Jury Impaneled on May 9, 2014, recently held that a clinical blood laboratory in New Jersey which was charged with bribery could not avoid a Federal Subpoena for its lab records by invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. This was true even though the director of the laboratory had fired all of his staff and was essentially conducting business as a sole proprietorship. Instead, the Court focused on the fact that the blood laboratory was an incorporated business entity known as a professional association. The Court noted that such an entity is a type of corporation which doctors are permitted to form under New Jersey law. The defendant in the case operated his practice through that corporate entity even after he had laid off his entire staff of six individuals.

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Lewdness Arrest at Gunnison Beach? Marijuana arrest at Sandy Hook? You Need Experienced NJ Criminal Defense Counsel

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

The Gateway National Recreation Area located in Sandy Hook, in Monmouth County, New Jersey is federal property. As a result, any criminal conduct which occurs at Sandy Hook results in a federal criminal charge. This requires that the matter be defended in the United States District Court in Newark, even if the charges are normally be considered minor, such as disorderly persons offenses, including charges of lewdness and possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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FORENSIC TESTING IS NOT FOOLPROOF: CONSULT AN EXPERIENCED NJ CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

A recent headline in the New York Times reads: FBI Admits that Nearly All Hair Comparison Evidence Under Review Was Erroneous. Once again, the Government has been forced to admit that there are significant and systemic errors in its crime lab evidence.

The United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported on April 21, 2015 that so-called expert testimony in at least 90 percent of cases the Bureau analyzed as part of its Microscopic Hair Comparison Analysis Review contained erroneous statements. Specifically, the FBI review found that 26 out of 28 FBI analysts provided either testimony with erroneous statements or submitted laboratory reports with erroneous statements. The review focused on cases worked prior to 2000, when mitochondrial DNA testing on hair became routine at the FBI.

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Search Warrant Required Despite Strong Smell of Marijuana, NJ Court Holds

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

In a recent opinion, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that despite the strong smell of marijuana and anonymous reports of unlawful firearms and shots fired, a warrant was required for a police officer to vault a fence and make an arrest.

The Court vacated a Mercer County defendant’s guilty plea to marijuana possession, as well as his jail sentence, concluding that a police officer’s decision to leap over a fence and conduct a search violated the accused’s constitutional right to be free from an unlawful search and seizure.

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NJ CIVIL RESERVATION: AVOID HAVING YOUR ACCIDENT RELATED CONVICTION FOR A NJ MOTOR VEHICLE OFFENSE USED AGAINST YOU IN A NJ PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

On March 19, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that NJ Municipal Court traffic defendants involved in accidents who want to keep their guilty pleas to motor vehicle violations from being used against them in personal injury suits must request a civil reservation before they are sentenced.

In Maida v. Kuskin, the Court decided that because the defendant’s attorney failed to ask for a civil reservation until after the defendant entered his guilty plea and was sentenced, a grant of a civil reservation was inappropriate, and violated the plain language of New Jersey Court Rule 7:6-2(a)(1). That rule requires that a request for a civil reservation be made in open court contemporaneously with the municipal court’s acceptance of the guilty plea. The Supreme Court’s decision was unanimous. Judge Mary Cuff, temporarily assigned from the Appellate Division, said “Any other procedure frustrates the ability of a victim of a motor vehicle accident to object.”

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What Happens If I am Placed on House Arrest in a Federal Criminal Case?

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

If I’m on House Arrest (Home Confinement) am I on Lock-Down at in My House 24 Hours a Day? Can I Leave to Go to Work or School? Do I need a Special Phone Installed at Home?

Many of our clients who are charged with a federal criminal offense want to know what they can expect if they are subject to home confinement. Home confinement involves wearing a tamper-proof electronic transmitter 24 hours a day. You can leave your house to travel to court approved locations such as work, school, church, medical appointments, and visits to your lawyer. If there is no one living with you, regular travel for household necessities is permitted. You will have to home at night. There are nightly check-in responsibilities, and costs to you for each day of monitoring. There will be employment verification. You will have to disable any special features that you have on your home phone, such as call waiting, and conference calling.

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What Happens In A Federal Criminal Detention Hearing?

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

When you are initially charged with a federal crime, you will be required to make an initial appearance in court before a federal magistrate judge. At the initial appearance, the terms and conditions of your release will be set by the court. Generally, the court may, on its own accord, move to have you detained temporarily, if the court determines that when the current offense was allegedly committed, you were (i) pending trial on another felony charge (ii) that you were pending sentencing on another charge, (iii) awaiting sentencing on another case, or (iv) subject to deportation. However, in some cases, the Government will move to have you detained in custody until the charges against you are resolved on the grounds that no condition or combination of conditions can reasonably assure your appearance in court, or that you present a danger to the community.

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What Can I Expect When I Am Charged with a Federal Criminal Crime? Will I Be Arrested? Will I Be Released After My Initial Court Appearance?

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

IMG_0555IMG_0555IMG_0555IMG_0555Being charged with a federal criminal offense is highly stressful. Individuals charged with a crime have many questions regarding what they face in the immediate future. Most people have no experience or knowledge of how the federal criminal system works, particularly at the beginning of the case. Our clients often ask the following questions: Will I be arrested? If so, where will I he taken? Will I be fingerprinted and photographed? Will I be held in jail? Does the bail system work the same as it does in State Court? When will I go to court? We never let our clients navigate the federal criminal case processing system alone. Initially, we will contact the government prosecutor to discuss your case. We will negotiate a surrender date and we will accompany you to the FBI office and or the U.S. Marshall’s office for processing. We will provide U.S. Pretrial Services with all of the information available to us to ensure that you are released on your own recognizance or under the least restrictive conditions. If the government seeks your pretrial detention, we will demand a detention hearing to secure your release. For more detailed information on the initial stages of federal criminal case processing, and what you can expect, click below to see our articles entitled:

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NEW JERSEY FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW: IN SENTENCING GUIDELINE DECISION, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT REVIEWS UPWARD ADJUSTMENT FOR ABUSE OF A POSITION OF TRUST

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

Recently, in United States v. Ashokkumar, a federal criminal case involving a doctor who accepted illegal kickbacks, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a physician was subject to a two-level adjustment for abuse of a position of trust pursuant to United States Sentencing Guideline §3B1.3. This decision is applicable to the federal criminal trial courts of New Jersey.

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NEW JERSEY FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW: THE UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION ISSUES PROPOSED SENTENCING GUIDELINE AMENDMENTS, INCLUDING REVISIONS TO FEDERAL CRIMINAL SENTENCING GUIDELINE GOVERNING FRAUD

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

On January 9, 2015 the United States Sentencing Commission published the proposed federal criminal Sentencing Guideline Amendments, including revisions to the sentencing guideline governing fraud. The proposed amendments are summarized here:

Guideline §2B1.1 governing fraud offenses may be amended by clarifying the definition of “intended loss,” which contributes to the degree of punishment, and the enhancement for the use of sophisticated means in a fraud offense. The proposed amendment also revises the guideline to better consider the degree of harm to victims, rather than just the number of victims, and includes a modified, simpler approach to “fraud on the market” offenses which involve manipulation of the value of stocks.

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