Monday, April 7, 2014

Municipal Courts in New Jersey Must Provide Court Records, Files on All Municipal Court Cases

New Jersey Court Rule 1:38 and Administrative Office of the Courts Directive No. 15-05 requires that the public have access to all municipal court records which include tape recordings of all court proceedings upon request by any party.

Many local municipal courts will hesitate to furnish these records and audio recordings but the law is clear, they must produce records of all court proceedings upon request. 

Interesting website on workings of local government can be found at

Your decision in choosing a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer is important, make that choice wisely.  I invite you to look at the proven results of Attorney Sanzone.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
P.O. Box 261
277 North Broad Street
Elizabeth (Union County), New Jersey 07207
Tel: (908) 354-7006

Monday, February 3, 2014

Court Reverses Conviction Holding Identification of Defendant By His Large Penis by Victim was Prejudicial

In State v. Pena, Mr. Pena received some good news when the appellate division held that testimony of a prior case regarding Pena’s penis was prejudicial.  In this case Mr. Pena was charged with first-degree sexual assault when it was alleged that he inserted his finger inside her.  In this case the victim, E.D. claimed that she could identify him based among other things on the abnormally big penis. 

At trial the defendant presented pictures of his 4-inch penis and argued that in fact he had not an abnormally large penis but an abnormally small one.  Initially, the trial judge ruled that the pictures were not relevant, but on interlocutory appeal, the pictures were admitted at trial. 

Unfortunately, at trial the trial judge also allowed the prosecutor to introduce evidence regarding a prior lewdness conviction in which Mr. Pena’s seize was an issue.  In that case the witness reported that while erect Mr. Pena’s penis was 8” in length. 

The appellate division reversed the conviction holding that the trial court misapplied and did not make proper findings as to why the other crimes 404b evidence should have been admitted.  Because it appeared from the record that the trial judge allowed the evidence to refute the defendant’s contention that he had a small (identity) penis. 

This reversal seems to be of questionable validity since 404b evidence can be introduced to prove identity, and at first glance it appears that the trial judge made a correct call.   Obviously, this conviction did not sit well with the appellate division panel and hence, this is what they hung their reversal on.  

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.

P.O. Box 261

277 North Broad Street

Elizabeth (Union County) New Jersey 07207

Tel: (908) 354-7006

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The New Graves Act Increased Penalties in New Jersey

On August 8, 2013, the Governor signed a new law with effective date of August 8, 2013, which now upgrades the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm to a crime of the first degree in certain circumstances. (See New Law)

Specifically, anyone with a prior conviction for a crime which triggered the no-early release statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, will now be charged with a first-degree gun possession, and must serve a period of parole ineligibility.  Anyone else in possession of handgun, rife or other firearm, who has no prior record, will be charged as a second-degree crime.

In addition, if the firearm was used in the commission of a crime a mandatory period of parole ineligibility from one-third to one-half the sentence, or three-years which ever is less.

Looks like the New Jersey legislatures are making it harder for defendants to take pleas on these offenses and there will be more trials for experienced competent New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth (Union County) New Jersey 07208
P.O. Box 261
277 North Broad Street
Raymond Building
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
Tel: (908) 354-7006

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cross-Examination of Prosecution Intent To Distribute Expert

Prepared as a Public Service by the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.

In New Jersey state court prosecution of defendant's charged with possession with intent to distribute,  similar to federal prosecutions, the state is permitted to introduce testimony from a law enforcement officer in their organization that the defendant possessed the contraband drugs not for personal use but with intent to distribute.

On might ask the logical question as to how this so-called expert is able to testify as to the intent of another.  Of course, few people have the ability to read the mind of some else.  In fact, in truth, most people cannot read their own mind with any reliability.  However, the state or government is permitted in having its so-called "expert witness" testify as to mind of another.  In reality, the state or government expert will always testify that the quantity of drugs seized is consistent with intent to distribute and not for personal use.  The expert will give this conclusion without knowing anything about the drug usage and habits of the defendant.

The courts have attempted to mitigate this powerful testimony with the legal fiction that the expert can only testify in the form of a hypothetical question, and not refer to the defendant by name.  The courts have decided that somehow this protects the defendant from the expert giving an ultimate opinion about the guilt of the defendant.  This meeker attempt to protect the defendant from the expert's opinion of guilt fails miserably and is no use to the defendant, because everyone in the court room knows who the expert is talking about, since he recites as the basis of his opinion, the facts elicited at trial.

In cross-examining these witnesses it is always important that the attorney stress, that this is in fact his or her opinion only.  That no empirical testing has been done to disprove or disprove his or her theory.  That no peer review was done with this opinion.  That no supervisor reviewed his or her opinion.  That the expert receives his or her paycheck from the same source as the prosecutor.  That they work in the same office.  That they never testified for the defense.  That the opinion is only as good as the investigation conducted.  That they have not done any independent investigation.  That they have not reviewed the defendant's medical records.  That they have not reviewed the defendant's treatment records.  That they never attempted to interview the defendant as to his drug use, and how long he or she has been using drugs.  Never attempted to interview family members of the defendant.  The list goes on and on.

If you have been charged with a drug offense, either with possession, distribution or intent to distribute case you are urged to contact the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.  An experienced and successful New Jersey criminal defense attorney, serving all state courts.  Union, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Middlesex, Bergen counties. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., is Please To Announce His Achievement In Receiving the Avvo Clients’ Choice Award for 2012

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr. is please to announce that he has received the Avvo Clients’ Choice Award for 2012.  This award is based on the high percentage of favorable client reviews in representing these clients as their New Jersey criminal defense attorney.

To see these reviews please go to Avvo webpage.

If you are charged with a serious federal or state crime you owe it to yourself to contact the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., to discuss your case in confidence.  Deciding who will represent you before the criminal courts in New Jersey is one of the most important decisions you will make, choose carefully.

Newark, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Jersey City, Bayonne, Irvington, Linden, Plainfield, Union, Hackensack, Somerville, Criminal defense attorneys.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
277 North Broad Street
P.O. Box 261
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
Office:  (908) 354-7006
Cell:     (201) 240-5716
Dated: January 8, 2013

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sandy Hook Beach Park Lewd Conduct Criminal Lawyer

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., has the experience you need to defend you if you are Accused of Lewd Conduct Charges or other Charges in Sandy Hook Beach, Monmouth County and its Surrounding Beaches

Summer visitors to New Jersey's beaches such as Sandy Hook, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant, Belmar and Seaside Heights often “go wild”, and forget that these towns and federal enclaves have aggressive and vigorous police departments that will vigorously enforce the law.  This is especially true with the federal Park Police who enforce the federal laws at Gateway National Park, also known as Sandy Hook Beach.  Unfortunately, at this beach, especially, the beach called Gunnison (known as the “nude beach” or “clothing optional” beach), many of these trips result in criminal charges for beach visitors for various acts, including lewd conduct due to indecent exposure of one's intimate parts, perceived sexual conduct between sunbathers, and other misdemeanors such as smoking marijuana or the ingestion of other illegal substances.

Because of the risqué nature of the “nude beach” many individuals and couples are charged with lewdness at Sandy Hook Gunnison Beach.  Many of these arrests occur on the gay section of the beach.

Attorney Vincent James Sanzone, Jr., is the criminal defense attorney who has the experience and can help prevent you being convicted of these crimes or disorderly person’s offenses.  The charge of "lewdness" is one that most people find offensive and do not wish to have associated with their names as it may greatly impact their futures in terms of employment and other opportunities. As an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr. has and will take great care in attempting to obtain a plea, if necessary, that does not involve any mention of the term lewdness.  Fighting the best Sandy Hook criminal defense attorney is not always an easy decision, but you owe it to yourself and your future to contact one of the best and most experienced Sandy Hook Federal Beach criminal defense attorneys.

Sandy Hook Federal Beach is under the jurisdiction of the United States Government and anyone charged with a crime or a misdemeanor is charged under Title 18 of the United States Code, which are federal crimes or misdemeanors.  Therefore, if arrested or charged by a federal Park Police Officer, it is essential that you seek competent and vigorous representation from an attorney who has extensive federal criminal law experience such as Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.  In some case the crimes and misdemeanors under federal law can be harsher than New Jersey state law.  Further, federal criminal procedure is different than state court procedure.  Be careful of criminal defense attorneys who are only experienced in New Jersey state law because federal laws and procedure are different.

If you have been charged with such an offense, Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., a can help. He has been defending individuals against lewd conduct charges in New Jersey for over two decades.  In many of these cases the charges were dismissed, downgraded or diverted, and the offender walked away with no criminal record. 

If you would like to discuss your case in complete confidence and candor with an experienced Sandy Hook Beach criminal attorney contact Attorney Sanzone at (908) 354-7006.  Attorney Sanzone will give you an honest assessment of defending you against these charges, the fines and penalties and the collateral consequences of a plea or finding of guilt.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
P.O. Box 261
277 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207
Dated: December 21, 2012
Office Phone No. (908) 354-7006
Cell Phone No.   (201) 240-5716

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Friday, November 2, 2012

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Defendant’s In Post-Conviction Relief Proceedings Entitled To Oral Arguments.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled recently in State v. Parker that all defendants in post-conviction relief proceedings are entitled to oral arguments on their petitions and that summary proceedings on the papers are not sufficient.

This case by the Supreme Court is an extension of the Appellate Division case State v. Mayron, which held that there is a strong presumption for oral arguments.

Although the granting of post-convictions petitions are rare, there have been numerous cases in which the defendant has been able to set aside convictions or obtain new trials based on newly discovered evidence or a strong showing that trial defense counsel rendered legal representations which was constitutionally ineffective, meaning in essences that the level of legal representation of defense counsel was so ineffective as to deny the defendant a fair trial.

Under New Jersey law post-conviction relief petitions are equivalent to a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the federal system.  The most famous of those federal cases was the case of prize fighter Hurricane Carter who eventually won his habeas corpus petition when federal district court judge H. Lee Sarokin ruled that the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office had committed prosecutorial misconduct by withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense at trial.  The case was made into a Hollywood movie called the “The Hurricane”, which starring Denzel Washington.

If you have been wrongly convicted or received an illegal sentence you have the legal right to file a post-conviction relief petition no later than five-years after your sentencing date, and thereafter to the federal courts.

The Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., has represented numerous defendants in post-conviction relief proceedings.

This is a public service blog provided to the people from the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.

September 11, 2012

277 North Broad Street
P.O. Box 261
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Telephone No. (908) 354-7006

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