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constitutional-law Archives

Big Brother is Watching and Listening

By Robert G. Stahl Esq., NJ & NY Criminal Defense Lawyer posted in cellphone, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Cell tower, Tracking, Cell Site Location Information on Friday, January 3, 2020

The world is now a much smaller and more surveilled place. Private companies that make our smart phones, home security systems, smart home systems, baby monitors, computers, E-Z Pass, real time traffic apps and many more internet-of-things devices track, record and store information about our personal lives. Law enforcement has access to much of this information, often without the need for a warrant. Furthermore, law enforcement has its own methods to track and record private citizens through wiretaps, license plate readers, surveillance cameras, mobile tracking devices, hidden recorders and many other devices and methods.

Tags: cellphone, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Cell tower, Tracking, Cell Site Location Information

New Jersey Supreme Court curtails criminal harassment statute in State v. Burkert, limiting a common vehicle for domestic violence charges

By Andrew Olesnycky Esq., NJ & NY Criminal Defense Lawyer posted in Domestic Violence, 1st Amendment, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, New Jersey, Charges, Harassment, Family Law on Friday, February 2, 2018

New Jersey’s criminal harassment statute has long occupied the space in which the messiest family law disputes cross over into the realm of criminal law. Although there are indeed many legitimate cases of harassment that deserve punishment, in recent years New Jersey appellate courts increasingly had noted that the harassment statute too often criminalized “ordinary domestic contretemps” – i.e. the non-violent verbal sparring that accompanies the disintegration of a marriage or romantic relationship. In the view of the courts (and many frustrated family law and criminal attorneys), New Jersey’s harassment statute was too permissive in allowing an angry spouse or romantic partner to file criminal or civil domestic violence charges after being subjected to hurtful or vile insults, even where there had been no actual violence or threat of harm. 

Tags: Domestic Violence, 1st Amendment, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, New Jersey, Charges, Harassment, Family Law

Search and Seizure - Motor Vehicles

By Robert G. Stahl Esq., NJ & NY Criminal Defense Lawyer posted in Criminal Investigation, Supreme Court, Evidence, Criminal Discovery, Witness, seizure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Charges, Indictment, Complaint, Travel, Search and Seizure on Thursday, January 11, 2018

The police stop you for an alleged driving infraction – speeding, failure to stay in lane, tinted windows – and while talking with you the officer smells the odor of marijuana. The officer asks you to step out of the car, searches the car and finds drugs. You contact a criminal defense attorney to defend you and explore the possibility of a motion to suppress the search. If you are the driver of a personal vehicle or the owner, you have what is known as an expectation of privacy and “standing” to suppress the search. However, if you are a passenger of the vehicle, or the driver of a rental car that was rented by a friend or family member and you are not listed on the rental agreement, you may lack standing to challenge the search of the vehicle.

Tags: Criminal Investigation, Supreme Court, Evidence, Criminal Discovery, Witness, seizure, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Charges, Indictment, Complaint, Travel, Search and Seizure

Under assault from criminal defense bar and gun rights groups, NJ Attorney General halts enforcement of unconstitutional stun gun laws

By Andrew Olesnycky Esq., NJ & NY Criminal Defense Lawyer posted in Criminal Law, Stun guns, Second Amendment, Self-defense, Constitutional Law, New Jersey on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Facing legal challenges from both gun rights advocates as well as the criminal defense bar, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino on October 20, 2017 issued a memorandum to prosecutors and police departments halting the enforcement of criminal laws that prohibit the possession, manufacture, and shipment of “electronic arms” such as stun guns and Tasers. The legal challenges to New Jersey’s stun gun laws were triggered by a 2016 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, Caetano v. Massachusetts, in which the Court applied the Second Amendment to strike down a Massachusetts law that prohibited the mere possession of stun guns, even if possessed for self-defense.

Tags: Criminal Law, Stun guns, Second Amendment, Self-defense, Constitutional Law, New Jersey

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