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Monthly Archive: September 2008

September 29, 2008

New Jersey Supreme Court to Decide whether Search Warrants are Necessary in Traffic Stops

New Jersey’s standard for conducting a police search following a traffic stop has long been stricter than the Federal standard. In New Jersey, state law not only requires police to show probable cause to conduct a search, but also that there is a safety risk to them or the public; otherwise, police are required to obtain a search warrant prior to conducting a search of the stopped vehicle. The Federal standard, as adopted by most states, only requires a showing of probable cause. At issue are two cases, currently being heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court. In both cases, vehicles were...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

September 26, 2008

Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds that Acceptance into ARD Program Constitutes a Conviction for Sentencing Purposes on Subsequent Offenses

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently upheld a conviction for a second Driving under the Influence offense, appealed by a minor who argued that his acceptance into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program did not constitute a prior conviction. William Joseph Love, a minor, was charged with DUI, DUI as a minor, and careless driving in February of 2006. In June of 2006, the Commonwealth accepted Love into the ARD program; a one-time program similar to probation where if the offender satisfies all of the criteria set forth, criminal charges will be expunged from their record....

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

September 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Mayors Pledge to Enact Strict Gun Laws

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter enacted controversial gun laws in the city, earlier this year, three of which were upheld as constitutional by Common Pleas Court Judge Jane Cutler-Greenspan. The laws, which are stricter than Pennsylvania State gun laws, require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns within 24-hours of discovering their disappearance, impose criminal penalties for failing to do so, and also restrict unstable individuals and individuals subject to an order of protection from owning guns. Following...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

September 23, 2008

U.S. Court of Appeals takes Broad View in NY RICO Case, Reinstates Convictions of Two Defendants

Louis J. Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa are former New York City Police Detectives who in 2006, were both convicted on Federal Racketeering charges. The former detectives were convicted of working closely with some of New York’s organized crime families, partaking in conspiracy, kidnapping, bribery, obstruction of justice, leaking police information, and the killing or assisted killings of at least eight people. The Detective’s work with the New York Mafia took place mostly in Brooklyn, and occurred during the 1980’s and 1990’s. The duo was arrested in 2005 in Las Vegas on charges...

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Posted in: Money Laundering and Racketeering (RICO)

September 17, 2008

New Jersey Governor Amends State’s Comprehensive Drug Reform Act to Allow Discretion for Suspension of Driving Privileges

New Jersey’s Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987 stated in part that based on criminal history, the extent of the offense, and other criteria, a person could be sentenced to a term of probation if found guilty or if he/she plead guilty to a drug offense. Under the original legislation, such a sentence would have required the judge to suspend the defendant’s driving privileges for a period of 6-months to 2-years. As a result of changes in drug laws last year, the New Jersey legislature authorized judges to forego the suspension of a driver’s license if the defendant could demonstrate...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes