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Thomas William Hartmann

Thomas Hartmann’s Answers

11 total

  • Can police interview under age child in school without parent constent??

    My child was questioned in school by police for a crime a. Friend did .I was not notified by school or police and he was taped by police .is this legal?

    Thomas’s Answer

    In general, questions related to a juvenile’s treatment in a criminal context are covered in the New Jersey Code of Juvenile Justice, N.J.S. 2A:4A-20. The juvenile also has the protections of the U.S. and New Jersey constitutions.

    Under N.J.S. 2A:4A-33, if a juvenile is taken into custody (a reasonable person would not think he could leave), the parent or guardian must be notified immediately. It is not clear from your question what circumstances surrounded your child’s questioning.

    Beyond this, under the Code of Juvenile Justice, N.J.S. 2A:4A-40, the juvenile has almost all the rights and defenses available to an adult charged with a crime.

    New Jersey courts have also ruled on procedures that should be followed when the police conduct an “in custody” interrogation of a juvenile. When the juvenile is under 14, the New Jersey Supreme Court has held that if a parent or guardian is not present, any confession by the juvenile is inadmissible unless the adult was unwilling to be present or was truly unavailable. For juveniles over the age of 14, the parent or guardian should be present in the interrogation room whenever possible. The police are to use their best efforts to locate the parent or guardian before beginning the interrogation.

    If the juvenile is not “in custody,” the parent or guardian may not need to be present.

    These are general, informational comments based upon legal analysis from other cases and the existing statutes. All cases involving police encounters with citizens – especially juveniles – are unique and require a careful, detailed melding of the facts and the law.

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  • Is there anyway I can get my license earlier than the suspended date or does NJ offer a work license which allows you to drive?

    Hello my name is Michael Moran. I ran into some trouble with the law by getting a couple of DWI's within a month's time frame. Since than I was placed on Drug Court which I'm sure you're familiar with but if not it is perhaps the most intense prob...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Your positive reaction and concrete responses to your earlier actions are admirable. It sounds as though you had at least two DWI convictions is a short period, though. For a second offense in this state, the legislature has mandated the loss of driving privileges for two years. The law allows sentencing judges no discretion in determining the length of a license suspension. There are no conditional licenses, despite your excellent rehabilitation record.

    I encourage you to continue along your current path.

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  • If I got a ticket for dui and blew a .07 what will most likely happen if i plead not guilty in n.j.

    I left a bar and had gotten pulled over two minutes after by sheriffs officer. was arrested for dui an di blew a .07, what will most likey happen if i blew under the limit and plead not guilty in the state of nj?

    Thomas’s Answer

    By falling below the “per se” blood alcohol content level of .08%, you have given yourself a good bit of running room. A “per se” violation means that the mere act of having a .08% blood alcohol content or higher while operating a car is sufficient evidence to constitute the offense of drunk driving in New Jersey.

    Without that “per se” support, the prosecution must show other evidence that you were intoxicated while driving. The prosecutor will have to rely much more heavily on human observations by the police officer – including how you were driving before the stop, how you behaved after the stop, and any video evidence.

    The strength of this kind of evidence will depend largely on fallible human observation and reaction qualities, including the police officer’s ability to observe, road and weather conditions, lighting, and the reasonableness of your actions in light of all those conditions. This is much “softer” than the numerical exactness of the breathalyzer and can allow you and your attorney to develop credible evidence to support your defense.

    In terms of consequences if you are found guilty, you face a suspension of your driving privileges for three months, a license restoration fee of $200, jail of 30 days (not likely on a first offense), attendance at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for between 12 and 48 hours, among other potential sentencing options. Also be aware of collateral consequences to a DWI conviction which could include, among other things, a license surcharge for three years and automobile insurance adjustments.

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  • How many times can the court postpone my dui charge for lack of discovery on behalf of the state

    ive gone to court twice with out legal representation to plead guilty to a dui charge.the state has postponed twice for not having the proper paper work to issue my fines and penalties.

    Thomas’s Answer

    The New Jersey Municipal Courts follow Supreme Court Directive 1-84, which sets a general target of 60 days for resolution of drunk driving cases. Knowing about this and relying on it might help in your goal to move more quickly, though the courts also understand that discovery can often slow that 60 day timeline.

    But before you decide that moving quickly is beneficial, you would be well served to speak with an attorney who has studied the New Jersey DWI laws and can guide you. Why? Because there may be many ways to defend your case from the beginning of your stop through the final testing of your breath or blood. Additionally, a DWI has many “collateral” consequences that go beyond fines, loss of driving privileges, jail or participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. These might include surcharges, ignition interlock devices, insurance policy changes and more.

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  • How can i fight a theft case. knowing im innocent

    i had been making production for hip hop and r&b and came across someone who was interested in my work, at the time i never had a bank account nor did i know about the downfalls of giving someone information when it comes to your accounts. make a ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    In general, theft involves taking someone else’s property with the intention of depriving them of it permanently. In New Jersey, there are many forms of theft that are identified by statute for special handling or disposition as criminal matters. For example, New Jersey has unique penalties for motor vehicle theft.

    Also, the seriousness of a theft crime is determined by the value of the property stolen, how it was stolen, and what was stolen. Depending on the ultimate facts proven in a theft crime case, the sentence can involve jail time as high as 20 years with fines and other penalties.

    But factual analysis is critical in a theft case, as in any criminal case. If you retain a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, he or she will be able to assist you in comparing your facts to the law and fashioning a defense for your specific situation. He or she should also be able to assist you in trying to track down facts that you are having difficulty finding. Careful factual dissection is critical to a strong criminal defense.

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  • Can someone be found guilty of possesion of CDs if it was not in their possesion nor where they found it was not their residence

    Was arrested and charged with CDs but was not in their possesion nor their residensy how could they do this

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Under New Jersey law (as outlined in the statutes and in the criminal jury instructions), to “possess” an item, one must have a knowing, intentional control of that item accompanied by a knowledge of its character. So, a person who possesses an item must know or be aware that he possesses it and must know what it is.

    Possession cannot merely be a passing control, fleeting or uncertain in its nature.
    One must knowingly obtain or receive an item or be aware of his control of the item for a sufficient period of time to have been able to relinquish his control if he chose to do so.

    The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a possessor acted knowingly in possessing the item. A person acts “knowingly” if he is aware that his conduct is of that nature, or that such circumstances exist, or he is aware of the high probability of their existence. A person also acts knowingly as to a result of his conduct if he is aware that it is practically certain that that conduct will cause such a result.

    A person may possess an item even though it was not physically on his person at the time of the arrest, if, at some time prior to his arrest, he had control and dominion over it.

    Possession can actual or constructive. It can also be joint.

    A person is in actual possession of an item when he knows what it is and knowingly has it on his person at a given time.

    Constructive possession means possession in which the possessor does not physically have the item on his person but is aware that the item is present and is able to exercise intentional control over it. So, someone who has knowledge of the character of an item and knowingly has both the power and the intention at a given time to exercise control over it, either directly or through another person or persons, is in constructive possession. This might occur if one places the item in a car, house or storage location, just as examples.

    Possession may be sole or joint. If one person alone has actual or constructive possession of an item, possession is sole. If two or more persons share actual or constructive knowing possession of an item, possession is joint.

    In trying to apply these New Jersey rules, the actual analysis of the facts of any specific case are critical as the concepts of actual or constructive possession, knowing possession and joint possession can be complex. A New Jersey drug crime attorney can assist you in comparing your facts against the legal definition of possession.

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  • Wrongful Termination?

    I was fired from my job yesterday because I called my manager an hour and a half ahead of time telling her my house was overrun by fleas. I had to clean the entire house and prep it for the exterminator. I have a bill from the exterminator. I work...

    Thomas’s Answer

    In the private business world, absent an employment contract, the general rule is that your employer can terminate you for almost any reason as long as it is not a violation of the law such as discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, ethnicity, sex, veteran status and so on.

    If you had an employment contract, that could help, as it might spell out the exact reasons that can be the basis for your termination. A company handbook might also set out some termination procedures.

    Unfortunately, perceived unfairness, inconsistency or just bad decision-making by a supervisor are generally not bases for preventing termination, unless one of the points above applies. Also, firing through text messaging is not prohibited.

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  • What is the maximum sentence for a juvinille for 2nd degree robbory

    first time arrest

    Thomas’s Answer

    This State of New Jersey sentences by the degree of the crime: first degree (more serious) through fourth degree. Possible elements of any sentence include incarceration, fines, probation, community service, weekend or night time incarceration, and driver’s license or auto registration suspension or revocation, among other things.

    While robbery is generally a crime of the second degree, it can become a crime of the first degree if, in the course of committing the theft, the actor attempts to kill anyone, purposely inflicts or attempts to inflict serious bodily harm or is armed with, uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon.

    As a second degree crime, robbery carries a potential jail sentence of five to 10 years. If it becomes a first degree offense, that jail sentence potential increases to 10 to 20 years. While the court generally has sentencing discretion as to whether to impose a prison sentence at all, if a firearm is used, some minimum incarceration must be imposed.

    For juveniles, many other questions arise, such as the court in which the case is heard and the availability of diversion programs outside of incarceration or the other types of sentencing options noted above.

    Sentencing is seldom straightforward, as each crime and each defendant is unique. This is even more true for juveniles. The key is to get the right legal, personal counseling and other assistance early and to make wise choices going forward. Should sentencing occur, be ready to show the judge that you have rehabilitation potential and that you are ready to commit to improvement.

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  • Whats the punishment for possession of 4 ecstasy pills in new jersey??

    it was my first time being arrested

    Thomas’s Answer

    Ecstacy is a street name for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a member of the phenethylamine and amphetamine families. New Jersey law has schedules which identify illegal drugs (or Controlled Dangerous Substances) by their seriousness. Ecstacy is a Schedule III substance, as an amphetamine derivative. There are five schedules, with Schedule I the most serious.

    New Jersey also sentences by the degree of the crime: first degree through fourth degree. Possible elements of any sentence include incarceration, fines, probation, community service, weekend or night time incarceration, and driver’s license or auto registrations suspension or revocation, among other things. New Jersey also has a statutory program known as Pretrial Intervention which is managed by the judge and other court officers, but is not formally a “sentence.”

    Possession of relatively small amount of Ecstacy is crime of the third degree, which carries the potential for a jail term of three to five years, along with the other types of sentencing options listed above. Note that ordinarily, a fine for a third degree offense could not exceed $15,000. However, for a third degree drug possession offense, a fine of up to $35,000 may be imposed. Sentences can be enhanced or increased if any of the crime events occurred within a 1000 feet of a school or school bus.

    Pretrial Intervention or PTI is an available and very effective tool for first time offenders, depending on a number of factors. It is ordinarily limited to people who have not previously been convicted of any criminal offense in NJ (or any other state) or any federal criminal offense. One of its purposes is “to provide a mechanism for permitting the least burdensome form of prosecution possible for defendants charge with ‘victimless’ offenses.” Simple drug possession could be viewed as such a “victimless” crime – and you have noted it is your first offense. For admission to the program, the court assesses amenability to correction, responsiveness to rehabilitation and the nature of the offense. Admission to this program can result in the postponement of the proceeding and, if successful, to the eventual dismissal of the charges.

    Sentencing is seldom straightforward, as each crime and each defendant is unique. The key is to make sure that if you proceed to some form of sentencing you are ready to show the judge that you have rehabilitation potential and that you are ready to prove it.

    If you would like to discuss the matter further and more specifically, my number is 908 769 6888.

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  • Am I going to jail for 3x communiy service violation?

    I got my 3rd DUI in 2006, while visiting NJ. I have 59 of 180 hours left of community service hours. This is the 3rd time before the court for noncompliance. Any help out there for me, or am U going to jail, and will time be suspended for the comp...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Your question raises more questions and does not allow a simple answer. For example, it would be important to know what other sentencing elements were involved in terms of fines, jail time, the length of time between your various convictions, whether you had any form of in-patient rehabilitation and so on. It would also be important to know if and how any court has previously addressed your failure to complete community service and whether you have any plausible reasons for your failure to comply.

    In general, no court looks kindly on the failure to follow its sentencing directives and repeated failure to follow such direction may only heighten the court’s concern. A third DUI conviction in the State of New Jersey has some very strict sentencing requirements.

    A judge is likely to look more favorably on any positive steps you take to quickly remedy the situation and work with your community service representative.

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