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Union Criminal Law Blog

Three New Jersey men apprehended in violent crime arrests

A pair of armed robberies has resulted in the arrests of three local men. Two separate incidents both resulted in violent crime arrests for three New Jersey men. Although charges have been filed, the men have not yet been to court and may still be building their defense against the charges. 

In the first event, it is alleged that one individual, a 19-year-old man, approached a pair of female victims in the early morning hours of Oct. 29. He supposedly robbed them at gunpoint and took their purses before fleeing the scene. Investigators developed evidence that identified the young man as the assailant, and they attempted to arrest him approximately one month later. The man allegedly tried to flee when authorities arrived to his home, but he was apprehended. He was charged on weapons, robbery and stolen property charges.

New Jersey woman faces DWI charges

A woman leaving her driveway managed to get herself into some serious legal trouble, a recent news story reports. The New Jersey resident was involved in an auto accident and was arrested by authorities for DWI charges. More details about the incident were revealed in an online version of the New Jersey Herald. 

The woman was apparently leaving her house in the evening hours of Monday, Nov. 20. She backed out of her driveway and crossed the road, allegedly hitting a bush on the way. She then turned onto the road and struck a car that was coming the other direction. 

Couple detained over hibiscus plant

Imagine going about your usual morning routine when there is suddenly a loud knock on the door. You open it and, as you stand there only half dressed, you find yourself suddenly surrounded by police questioning you about illegally growing marijuana. This is exactly what happened to a couple in Pennsylvania.

The man and wife, both in their late sixties, found themselves sitting in the back of squad car for hours while police searched their property for the alleged marijuana plants. The couple ended up in this predicament after a neighbor's tree fell in their back yard and they called their insurance to file a claim. When the insurance adjuster came out to assess the damage, he took pictures of their hibiscus plants. The adjuster thought the flowering plants were marijuana and decided that the couple must be part of a drug operation. He did his civic duty and reported the couple to the police. Two days later, the police came calling with assault rifles and prepared to bust a drug ring, based on cellphone's pictures of a hibiscus plant in the elderly couple's backyard.

Wife of New Jersey governor cited for traffic violations

In a twist of fate, the wife of the person who created the distracted driving policy was fined for violating that law. According to new legislation, police officers can cite individuals for traffic violations if they are using a cellular phone while driving. In New Jersey, the law can include any activity deemed distracting, but cell phones are typically the most likely culprit. 

The incident occurred during a regular traffic stop in April. It was recorded on dash cam footage which was later released to the press. At first, Mary Pat Christie, the New Jersey first lady, could be heard asking why she had been pulled over. The officer explained it was because she was seen with her cell phone in her hands. 

New Jersey man gets drug charges in alleged plot incident

Weapons, drugs and paraphernalia were recovered after two searches in relation to a plot to kill a local police officer. A New Jersey man was reported for allegedly making claims that he intended to kill an Asbury Park police officer, leading authorities to search the man's home. While there, officers recovered illegal items and served drug charges

The man, reportedly a Bloods gang member, resided in a home in Asbury Park. When police arrived with a search warrant, two other individuals were also present. Police officers supposedly recovered a defaced firearm, drugs and cash. They also seized a bicycle and various weapons. One of the defendants admitted to purchasing the bike on the street from a drug addict.

Former New Jersey police chief charged with violent crime

One of the state's police chiefs has come under fire for alleged misconduct while responding to a call. The man represented the New Jersey township of Bordentown and recently retired. An incident in which an arrest turned violent has led to charges of excessive force and hate crimes. The violent crime has the small suburb reeling from the news. 

A charge such as this can come with penalties of up to 20 years in prison for the former police official. Federal officials have become involved, and the FBI arrested the man for actions he allegedly committed during a Sept. 2016 arrest. He had been working as a police officer since 1983. 

Bail in New Jersey doesn't always hinge on cash

Defendants charged with crimes in New Jersey were required to post bail to insure their return to Court in order to be released. The bail was set by a Judge and was posted in cash or bond (less serious crimes having a 10% option in cash). The bail was posted either personally or by a bondsman who would normally charge 10% of the bond as a fee. This system created inequities since indigent defendants could be held on relatively minor charges for long periods while dangerous criminals with resources would be released.

Relief for DWI charges could follow Breathalyzer scandal

New Jersey police officers rely heavily on Breathalyzer test results when making drunk driving arrests. Breathalyzers are typically thought of as accurate testing devices that produce infallible results, but this is far from the truth. As many as 20,000 drivers facing DWI charges could soon face just relief after a Breathalyzer scandal rocked the state.

In Sept. 2016, a State Police Alcohol Drug Testing Unit coordinator was criminally charged for falsifying records. According to authorities, the police sergeant deliberately falsified records related to recalibrating three Alcotest brand Breathalyzers. At least two of those Breathalyzers were later used for justifying DWI charges.

School bus driver faces traffic violations in New Jersey

It was anything but the average school day for one bus driver and a bus full of kids. The driver of the bus faces traffic violations after an accident that sent nine people to the hospital. The New Jersey driver is likely preparing a defense against charges that he failed to properly execute his responsibility on the job. 

The incident occurred Tuesday, Oct. 24 in the evening hours. The mini school bus was headed north with six students in tow, in addition to the bus driver. The driver allegedly missed a stop sign, which caused the chain of events that led to the crash. 

15 individuals nabbed on drug charges in New Jersey

A major bust has allegedly nabbed several people believed to be involved in a trafficking ring. Fifteen people were indicted on racketeering, trafficking and drug charges in New Jersey recently. A new story gives more details about the bust and the arrests made. 

A cooperative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrests of the alleged drug traffickers. Police claim to have found the man in charge of the ring who supposedly ran the operation from his home. Police made an initial arrest of two men in a vehicle that was apparently loaded with cocaine and heroin as the result of the investigation, dubbed Operation Inferno. 

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