Friday, December 23, 2011

The Question of Jury Nullification Does the Jury have the Right to Engage in Jury Nullification? Making the Argument that You Must Find the Defendant Not Guilty When There is Insufficient Evidence.

In the United States unlike many other countries once a jury renders a verdict of not guilty it is final, meaning the defendant can never be tried again because of principals of double jeopardy, and second, the jury can never be punished for its verdict no matter what it is.

Historically jury nullification was used by some northern juries in refusing to convict people engaged in freeing and helping black slaves hide and escape, in violation of the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act.  On the flip side sometimes southern juries sometimes refused to convict defendants, especially police officers engaged in blatant violation of federal civil rights laws especially applied to African-Americans and other minorities.  Unfortunately this all too frequently happens even today when police officers are placed on trial and acquitted or held liable when they should be convicted of violating the law or held liable for abusing others.

Evidence of jury nullification by the jury is sometimes manifested by the jury convicting of lesser included offenses, or hung juries.

Under New Jersey law under the definition of reasonable doubt which is given to each jury at the beginning and end of each criminal trial, the jury is instructed that if “you are not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt, you must give defendant the benefit of the doubt and find him or her not guilty.

The powerful and operative words are you must. An honest jury which is sworn to uphold the law cannot violate its sworn duty to fairly and impartially follow this jury instruction.  Accordingly, in that case the jury must enter a verdict of not guilty, if the State does not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Accordingly, any doubt, which is reasonable, must be a vote of not guilty for that jury.
Accordingly, whether that acquitting juror is in the majority or the minority is of absolutely no significance since it is that juror who has made his or her individual decision which is scared and irrevocable and based on his or her own conscience.

Harvard Law school graduate, and former federal prosecutor and now law professor at the George Washington University National Law Center (my undergraduate alma mater), Paul Butler, argues that under the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution ever jury has the right to engage in “jury nullification.”  Professor Butler in his OP-Ed article in the New York Times is perplexed why the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of in New York is prosecuting Julian P. Heicklen a retired chemistry professor for handing out leaflets in front of the United States Court House for advocating jury nullification that Professor Butler has been advocating through such forums at The Yale Law Journal, “60 Minutes” and You Tube.

Professor argues that founding fathers John Hancock and John Adams believed that in the concept of jury nullification.  Citing Adams, each juror has the duty to vote based on his or her “own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”

Professor Butler even suggests that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia appeared to be open to the suggestion that jurors can engage in jury nullification when he appeared before the United States Senate, when Justice Scalia stated that jurors “can ignore the law” if the law “is producing a terrible results.”

This New Jersey criminal defense attorney respectfully submits that because New Jersey criminal law allows for a verdict which is based on all the evidence and facts of any given case it is improper for anyone to second guess the decision of jury and their decision making process.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006
Dated: December 23, 2011

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Motion to Suppress Evidence: How to Beat the Criminal or Driving While Intoxicated Charge in New Jersey

December 22, 2011, today, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division in State v. Thomas W. Bernokeits, Jr., affirmed well established case law regarding the right of a police officer to order a motorist out of his vehicle in order to perform a field sobriety test.

In that case Mr. Bernokeits was driving in Seaside Heights, New Jersey (his first mistake), after spending some time at the “Bamboo Bar” (his second mistake).

Mr. Bernokeits vehicle was stopped as claimed by the police officer because the vehicle and tinted windows and a loud muffler.  Once pulled over, the officer asked Mr. Bernokeits whether he had consumed any alcohol beverages.
Of course, Mr. Bernokeits had the right to remain silent and not give a response, but he didn’t, and gave the standard usual reply, “I only had one beer" (his third mistake).

The officer then decided to order Mr. Bernokeits out of the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test.  The officer’s reason for that, according to his testimony, was that first, he smelled hard liquor on his breath and not beer, and second, he admitted that he had just left the “Bamboo Bar”, and third, it was late at night.

Mr. Bernokeits argued before the Appellate Division that the officer needed probable cause to ask him to perform the field sobriety test relying on the seminal case State v. Jones, 326 N.J. Super. 234 (App. Div. 1999).  In that case the appellate division held that the mere smell of alcohol emanating from the motorists breath or vehicle, and the admitting that alcohol was consumed, without more facts (for example the plain view sight of an open container), was insufficient to sustain probable cause to search the motor vehicle.  Therefore, Mr. Bernokeits argued that the police officer erred in requesting him to take the test because of the officer’s smell of alcohol on his breath.

The court rejected this argument, citing the State v. Adubato, 420 N.J. Super. 167, 181 (App. Div. 2011), which held that the officer requesting a motorist to submit to a field sobriety test, although a de facto arrest, does not need probable cause but only a factual basis for articulable reasonable suspicion that the motorist is driving while intoxicated or impaired.

The lesson of this case is that any motorist who admits to having any alcoholic beverages prior to operating a motor vehicle, and has consumed enough to leave traces of it on his breath can be required to perform a roadside field sobriety test to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest the motorist for driving while intoxicated.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
December 22, 2011
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Charged with a Drug or Narcotics Offense In New Jersey; Best Criminal Defense.

Being charged with a narcotic drug offense in New Jersey requires the experience of a criminal defense drug attorney who has the legal knowledge and skill acquired over many years of preparing, counseling and trying hundreds of these types of cases.  No two cases are alike, and every case poses its own set of unique facts which poses its own set of problems.

In every drug case the attorney must first make an analysis of the strength of the State’s case to determine best how to succeed.  Is this a case best left for a quick resolution or a plea?  Is this a case in which the evidence should be thrown out because there was a violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment right in the method in which evidence was obtained?  This type of analysis takes the skill of an attorney who understands the probability and likelihood that such a motion will succeed based on the law and facts of the individual case.

For purposes of example, on December 6, 2011, in Hudson County Superior Court, I was able to obtain a complete dismissal of a narcotics drug case in which the defendant was charged with possession and intent to distribute Phencyclidine or commonly known on the street as PCP, within 500 feet of a public park.  In this case the credible evidence lead to the conclusion that the strike force detectives that had made the automobile stop lied about making a cell phone call to the defendant’s cell phone in connection with a prearranged sell to the undercover agent. 

After further investigation by subpoenaing the phone records of the defendant and comparing them to the CAD and dispatcher reports it was ascertained that the strike force officers had lied about the time of the call. In that case the phone call to the defendant at a certain time was critical the credibility of the officers testimony.  The results, before the motion was to be heard by the Court, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed all charges.

In that case the undercover police officer stated in the police report that he had made a cell phone call to the defendant’s phone while the defendant was still in the automobile to determine whether the phone number in which he had the previous phone conversation with the alleged potential seller, rang while the officers stood over the vehicle to listen to the ring. This was done according to them to establish and identify the potential seller.  However, in truth the call by the police was never made because the phone of the defendant was turned over prior to the officers approaching the vehicle.  Therefore, it was established that the phone call was never made by the police officer and that information contained in the police report was a bold face lie. 

Nonetheless, the officers not being able to consummate the deal decided to follow the defendant’s vehicle several miles and pulling the defendant over next to a public park.  Continuing to lie the officers than claimed that after stopping the vehicle the defendant just so happened to admit to the crime and pull from his pocket a quantity of narcotics which was a complete lie.  In truth the officers after the stop immediately pulled the defendant out of his vehicle with guns drawn and immediately search the defendant and vehicle without probable cause. 

In the end the lies of the police officers were completely exposed and all charges were completely dismissed.  Of course, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office never brought charges against the police officers for official misconduct and preparing a false police report.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, N.J.
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006
Dated: December 20, 2011

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Obtaining a United States Visa through the EB-5 Immigration Visa Program.

Few people are aware of the EB-5 United States visa program which was created by the Immigration Act of 1990.  That program allows the granting of permanency residence status (green cards), to any individual who invests at lease $500.000.00 in a targeted employment area which creates or preserves at least 10 jobs for United States workers.  If the investment is not within a specific targeted employment area the investment is $1,000,000.00.  Under the law the targeted area are designated areas in which the unemployment rate is at least 50% above the national rate.

In New Jersey there are numerous areas which have designated as specific targeted employment areas, such areas are included in Union, Essex, Passaic and Middlesex Counties.  Under this program there are many types of investments which qualify for program such as hotel development, restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, light and heavy industry, warehouses, civic buildings, apartment/condominium development and other mixed use I (hotel/retail apartments) and II types of construction (office buildings/retail/condominiums).

Although the program as been questioned as elitist and catering only to wealthy, the program nonetheless allows wealthy investors to contribute to the United States economy through much needed investments in plighted urban and rural areas.

Lastly, it is important to note that anyone interested in obtaining the EB-5 visa should be aware of the many bogus and fraudulent EB-5 agents which promise to match a qualified applicant to a qualified project investor for a substantial fee.  For more information regarding this program who are invited to contact the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.

Note, this information regarding obtaining a EB-5 is for informational purposes only and is not offered, or can be construded to give individual legal advice to any person.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006
Dated: December 20, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Arrested for Shoplifting in New Jersey; How To Hire the Best N.J. Criminal Defense Attorney and Beat the Case.

In New Jersey being charged with shoplifting in municipal court can have serious consequences.  Not only can a conviction lead to a disorderly person’s conviction in municipal court in which a jail sentence could be imposed, but also have serious employment consequences and lead to the immediate loss of employment.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 if the merchandise stolen, or attempted to be stolen, is valued at more than $500.00, but less than $75,000.00, it is a felony (3rd degree crime) and jurisdiction rests with the Superior Court. Any merchandise valued over $75,000.00 is a second degree crime.

In New Jersey anyone convicted of a shoplifting offense is automatically disqualified to be employed in the health care industry. 

Therefore, anyone employed in the health care industry such as a doctor, nurse, nurse’s assistant, home health aid; nursing home assistant, physical therapist, chiropractor, and nurse practitioner are automatically prohibited from working in the health field.  As soon as an arrest is made, the name of the person arrested is automatically scanned into the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services Data base to determine whether that individual has a health care license in the State.  If they do, they are automatically flag and a letter goes out to the individual for a temporary suspension hearing, pending the resolution of the criminal charge. If a conviction results, automatic suspension follows.  This is referred to as being placed on the health care "black list".  In fact the health care black list is nationwide, and every State gives reciprocity
to every other State.  Therefore, if you are on the black list in New Jersey you are automatically on the black list in California and Florida and every other State in the Union.

If charged with the crime of shop-lifting there might be a number of defenses available to the defendant, including pleading to less serious charges of a non-criminal nature which would allow the defendant not to be placed on the health care black list.  

For example in all shop lifting cases the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person accused of shop-lifting did “purposely take possession of” the merchandise.  Therefore, if someone negligently, mistakenly or carelessly left the store without knowing that they had not paid for an item, and the trier of fact believed their testimony to be credible, there would be no crime.  Therefore, the defendant’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime would be of great significance, to wit, was there a serious illness or death in the family at the time of the incident.  Was the defendant thinking about something serious and just plain forgot about the item in their cart, etc.  Was the defendant on medication or sick at the time?  Was the defendant in a rush?

There are many other defenses and strategies to successfully fight the shoplifting charge and if charged with such a disorderly person’s offense in Municipal Court, or crime in Superior Court it is absolutely essential that you consult an experienced attorney who has been handling such cases for the last 21 years.  Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., has handled successfully many of these cases, in which many of these shoplifting cases were disposed of by outright acquittals, pleas to less serious charges, which resulted in no criminal record, or adverse job consequences.

Sanzone Firm
Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
P.O. Box 261
277 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
(908) 354-7006
Dated: December 16, 2011

Best criminal defense for the shoplifting charge in New Jersey

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Obtaining a Not Guilty Verdict-How To Win Your Criminal Case: The Lying Witness

A jury in essence is a twelve man and woman human lie detector machine.

Very few criminal cases tried in New Jersey courts have anything to do with real evidence or other types of science or forensic evidence as seen on crime drama television like popular television series such as CSI.  The overwhelming majority of criminal cases have little or no crime scene investigation. 

In reality most case are decided on the credibility of witnesses whom simply tell their side of the story.  From an undercover detective who tells the jury that from 100 yards away, at night, and without any enhanced eye vision he was able to say with 100% certainty that it was the defendant who exchanged a small vial of cocaine in a drug sale, to the lay witness that says that it was the defendant who robbed her at night, a jury of twelve men and women must decide if the witness is telling the truth, lying or simply mistaken.

Unfortunately with most jurors the perception is that with police witnesses they have no motive to lie, and consequently are telling the truth.  In reality, police witnesses even more so than with lay witnesses, will be dishonest with a jury when testifying.  In fact, surprisingly, they often have more of a motive in testifying falsely.  Why this is case is hard to understand and after engaging in the cross-examination of hundreds of police officers I have come to a few conclusions.  First, all police officers engaged in an arrest or engaged in a larger investigation have a vested interest for their “team to win”; that is, that law enforcement get their man, and that as they perceive it, “good guys win.  Second, like most people in general cops what to feel vindicated in their job.  Accordingly, most cops when testify will never admit they made a mistake in their investigation or made something up or fabricate a fact to make the defendant look guilty.  When the defense attorney smells a lie or fabrication or lie by the police officer, it is the job of defense counsel to capitalize on such testimony since it often becomes a treasure chest, bigger lies and inconsistent testimony which should make the officers testimony as incredible in the eyes of fair and impartial jurors.

Over the years I have learned that witnesses whom engage in such false testimony will begin to testify in a certain pattern.

First, for example for every lie someone tells they have to create two or more lies to support the first lie, to protect them from the first one.  Therefore, in this first scenario who will notice how the lies start to become bigger and bigger, and sometimes more and more bizarre.  It is the natural progression of a liar (or lies) in progress.

Second, people who lie have to have a great memory; people cannot remember what they said before if they are lying.  Therefore, in this second scenario you will see that the person lying forgets what they just said a few minutes ago on the stand, or what they had previously testified to on another occasion.  Therefore, when you cross-examine this witness and go back to the same question, asked slightly differently, you will also hear a completely different, or slightly different answer.  In other words if they continually change there story it is because they are making it up.

Even people well rehearsed and professional witnesses like police officers who testify in hundred of cases will fall victim to the experienced defense attorney who uses effective cross-examination techniques.

Third scenario is when someone is lying they will qualify there statement before they give their answer.  For example they will say things like, “we picked up the drugs”, instead of the simply “I picked up the drugs.”  Or, when the person is caught in an obvious lie and then says, “I don’t remember”, or “I don’t recall.” 

Therefore, in closing the jury is the ones who determine whether anyone is telling the truth.  They are in essence, the collective human lie detector test, and if the witnesses for the State, no matter who they are fail, the jury must return a verdict of not guilty as the law and their oath demand. 

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
December 1, 2011
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Township of Irvington Pays Again To Criminal Defendants Abused By Irvington Police.

For the second time the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., was successful and achieving some form of justice for criminal defendants abused by members of the Irvington Police Department.  Like many Essex County cities and towns, Irvington is known for having a cadre of police officers whom routinely violate the civil rights of citizens whom they come in contact with, including police engaged in police misconduct which includes the use of excessive force, and beatings of arrestees.

Recently in August of 2011 the police departments K-9 unit was disbanded because of the numerous civil rights lawsuits filed against the Township by individuals whom alleged that the department’s K-9 dogs were used to attack and maul arrests not resisting and often already in handcuffs. 

The latest suit by the Attorney Sanzone was approved for settlement by the Township Counsel on October 25, 2011 in which plaintiff Joseph A. Jones settled his civil rights suit against the Township for the sum of $30,000.00.  In that case the disgraced former Irvington police officer, Brian Rice, who is now serving time in state prison for official misconduct, used his K-9 named “Bilko” to maul Mr. Jones while Mr. Jones was handcuffed and on the ground.  In addition to having K-9 Bilko attack Mr. Jones for no reason, Brian Rice also used his black jack to strike Mr. Jones repeatedly in the head.  For a complete story covered by the Star Ledger of New Jersey go to:

Part of the problem with the Irvington Police Department, similar to the City of Newark, is the lack of any type of real internal affairs investigations or supervision of its police officers.  There was no excuse why Brian Rice was allowed to roam free on the streets of Irvington with a badge, firearm and K-9 Bilko.  Irvington’s police brass should have detected that Brian Rice was an errant police officers and had no business being a police officer.

Such police officers not only bring discredit to the department they serve but also the police officers in general, whom in the majority, take their oath seriously and attempt to perform their job with professionalism and honesty.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
(908) 354-7006

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

N.J. Drunk Driving Defense: How to Beat A Driving While Intoxicated Charge in New Jersey.

New Jersey has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country.  Unlike most states, provisional licenses or work permit licenses are not permitted for individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired.  Unlike most states, most of the defenses that are available in other states have been eviscerated in New Jersey.  Be honest, wining a drunk driving charge in New Jersey is very difficult, and an honest lawyer, even one you only specializes in these types of cases will admit such. 

However, after trying drunk driving cases in New Jersey for over twenty-one years I have won my share of DWI cases. To win these types of cases the attorney must be bold and creative and be tenacious leaving no stone unturned.

Just recently, on October 14, 2011, in a Monmouth County town I was able to obtain the ultimate victor.  In this case the defendant was driving on the revoked list from a previous DWI suspension.  He was stopped on a major highway and his Alcotest reading was three times the limit.  The case was dismissed on a motion to suppress, that being, there was no probable cause for the automobile stop.  In this case the municipal police officer had been targeting a local go-go bar, by monitoring the vehicles in the parking lot and checking license plates for vehicles registered to motorist with expired or revoked licenses.  In this case the officer attempted to hide this targeted profiling by claiming that he was involved in the investigation of another gas station robbery a few hours before which involved a black SUV, the same type of vehicle my client was driving.  The officer then claimed that some time later he observed this car pass him on the highway, which prompted the automobile stop. 

The fact presented in this case presented a treasure trove of investigation of facts to be uncovered with pretrial discovery motions.  Accordingly, in this case I requested all the dispatcher tapes, and CAD reports of the gas station robbery to determine the time that the officer began his investigation of that incident.  I also requested the Mobile Data Terminal entry, specifically, the time and date that the request for the license check was made at the go-go bar.  Because the prosecutor, who was extremely honest, agreed that this information was essential to my motion to suppress, I prepared a consent order for the discovery requested, which the Court signed.

These discovery requests were made to confirm my suspicion that the officer had been lying.  The hutch was correct, the police officer did lie and his police report was bogus, because the prosecutor was stonewalled by the police department, and never provided the discovery to confirm the officer’s story. 

The municipal court judge had no alternative but to dismiss the case in its entirety when after almost eight months the discovery requested was never supplied.

For more information on how to win your drunk driving case go to

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
October 20, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Win Your Criminal or Traffic Case In New Jersey Municipal Court.

In practicing criminal law in New Jersey for the last 21 years in federal, state and municipal court it is without any doubt that the best way to win your case outright, or get the best possible results for your client, especially in municipal court practice is the necessity with virtually ever case that pretrial motions be filed and that these motions be filed with the first appearance letter to the court.

In almost every criminal case in municipal court whether  it be a driving while intoxicated case or controlled dangerous substance case in an automobile it is essential that the attorney file a number of pretrial motions.  In almost ever case I file the following motions.

First, and foremost, is the motion to suppress evidence based on the officer’s unlawful stop of the automobile or unlawful search.  In most cases local police officers after they have stopped a motor vehicle take it upon themselves to search the vehicle, and do so without probable cause.  Of course such behavior runs contrary to law.  They do this   because they are ignorant of the law or simply are too lazy to obtain a judicial warrant.  In addition, often the reason for the stop is pretexual and the motion should be filed on that basis as well.  If the prosecutor is honest and understand the law he or she will often dismiss the matter even before the matter reaches the judge. 

The second motion is for a speedy trial.  This motion is filed to put the court and prosecutor on notice that the defendant is requesting a speedy trial and object to the constant adjournments by the court and police who fail to appear for trial time and time again.  In most cases if the officer knows that he has failed to follow the law or engaged in other type of police misconduct he will continually fail to show-up for trial, hoping that the defendant and his or her attorney will give up because of the high costs of coming to court over and over again.  Also, this motion will allow defense counsel to ask the judge that the case be set down for a trial or dismissal after the first or second no-show of the cop, or adjournment request by the prosecutor.

The third motion is to compel the State to supply all discovery by a date certain as to unable the defendant to have his or her speedy trial.  Of course the defendant cannot proceed to trial unless defense counsel first obtains the police discovery.

The fourth motion would be exclude any alleged confessions, admissions, or statements made by the defendant which is not set forth in the police reports.  Often police officers who are trapped on cross-examination will blurt out during testimony (never in the police report) that the defendant admitted to possessing the drugs, or some other type of false admission.  Of course, the admission is never in the police report but the police officer will attempt to get it in when he knows his testimony and case is going down the drain.

Of course there are many more motions that can be filed depending on the case and evidence and it is important that anyone charged with an offense in municipal court seek and consult an experienced criminal defense attorney regarding all the possible motions and defenses which might be available for his or her case.

Attorney Sanzone a Union County criminal defense attorney, has successfully represented hundreds of defendants in Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Irvington, East Orange, Orange, West Orange, Linden, Rahway, Bayonne, Passaic, Brick, Toms River, and almost every other town in the State of New Jersey

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, N.J.
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006
Dated: September 24, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Elizabeth New Jersey Municipal Court Defense; What Should You Know, and How To Win Your Case.

The Elizabeth Municipal Court (Union County, New Jersey) is listed in the top ten municipal courts in the State of New Jersey in the volume of cases it handles every year.

The physical locations of the Court are at two separate locations, One Police Plaza and 208 Commerce Place.  It is important that anyone appearing before the Court to check their notice to see which location to appear.

The Court has four part-time and full-time municipal court Judges, Montes (Chief Judge), Russell, Marshall and Obuch.  The court has both day and evening sessions, with most evening sessions held at the 208 Commerce Street site.  The Court also employs 9 part-time municipal prosecutors.

If you are summoned to the Elizabeth Municipal Court for any traffic, criminal or ordinance violation, it is important that you select an attorney who is familiar with the Elizabeth Municipal Court.  Like most towns and cities in the State of New Jersey, this Court has its own customs, norms and procedures which set’s it apart from other towns and cities in the State.

During the last 21 years of criminal practice in Elizabeth New Jersey, attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., has successfully represented hundreds of individuals in the Elizabeth Municipal Court. 

If you are charged with an offense in this Court or any other municipal court, it is important that you select an experienced professional who understands the particular Court so that you can obtain the best possible results for your individual case and circumstances.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Tel. No. (908) 354-7006
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prosecutors in the Casey Anthony Trial Caught Failing To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence to the Defense

Although Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing her daughter and could never be re-tried again in Florida (under the doctrine of double jeopardy) for charges in which she was acquitted of, it has now been revealed by one of the prosecutions witnesses that even if she had been convicted the conviction would have been overturned on appeal.

During the trial the prosecution proffered the expert testimony of their computer expert from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Kevin Stenger, whom testified that Ms. Anthony’s computer searched for the word “chloroform”, 84 times, and that he determined this by using the forensic software called, “CacheBack.”

However, back in late June of 2011, the developer of the software John Bradley notified the prosecutors that their findings were wrong because of a flaw in his software which he later discovered and corrected.  Upon correction Mr. Bradley learned that the Anthony computer only searched for the word “chloroform” once.

Upon discovering the error, Mr. Bradley the developer of the software called “cacheback”, which is commonly used in law enforcement to discover computer search history, offered at his own expense to fly to Orlando and testify to his findings.  Mr. Bradley is the chief executive officer of Siquest a Canadian company which manufactures the software.

In violation of Brady v. Maryland, the prosecutors never disclosed Mr. Bradley’s findings to the defense, and it is without doubt that even if she was convicted with this type of blatant misconduct by the prosecution her conviction would have been overturned on appeal.

I wonder whether there was additional misconduct committed by the prosecution in this case, and I applaud the jury for doing the right thing in this case and following the law of reasonable doubt.   

It is yet too been seen if Sgt. Stenger and the prosecutors in the Casey Anthony will be investigated for their misconduct and unethical conduct.  Unfortunately, I suspect not.

By: Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
Dated: July 28, 2011

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
(908) 354-7006

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Cross-Racial Identification, Conditional Discharge Bar to PTI, and Consent to Enter Apartment Does Not Mean Consent to Search

Defendant Discharged from the Municipal “Conditional Discharge Program” cannot Be Admitted into
Pretrial Intervention Program.

In State v. O’Brien the Appellate Division held that a defendant who was admitted and successfully discharged from the conditional discharge program pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1 cannot be admitted over the prosecutor’s objections to the Pretrial Intervention Program pursuant to Rule 3:28.

Defendant Entitled to Cross-Racial Identification
Jury Instructions where Identification is a
Critical Issue and No Independent Corroboration of
Victim’s Identification.

In State v. Walker the Appellate Division held that when identification is a critical issue in cross-racial identification, and there is no independent cooperation of the suspect’s identity, the Court must give the jury the cross-racial identification charge.

This case reaffirms the New Jersey Supreme Court’s seminal case, State v. Cromedy which held that eye-witnesses experience a “cross-racial impairment” when identifying members of another race, with “decreased accuracy in the recognition of other-race faces that is not within the observer’s conscious control.

Police Officers Who Gain Entry into an off-Campus College Apartment by Consent, Investigating a Noise
Complaint, do Not Have a Right to Prance Around
the Apartment looking for Contraband.

In State v. Kaltner, the Appellate Division held that warrantless searches of homes are presumptively unreasonable, and accordingly, held that ecstasy pills found in plain view of an off-campus college apartment at Monmouth University, must be suppressed.  In this case although the police officers had consent to enter the apartment, they did not have consent to search the apartment without a warrant.  This holding was based on the additional fact that there was no apparent emergency which permitted the officers to fan out into the various rooms once inside the apartment.  The community-caretaker exception was not applicable in this case and could not justify the search.

By: Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
Dated: July 28, 2011

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
(908) 354-7006

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Friday, July 15, 2011

No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy for Cell Phone Tower Locations on Cell Phone

The Appellate Division in State v. Earls came down with a decision which held that tracking a suspect’s general location using cell phone towers is not unconstitutional under the State or Federal constitutions, and that a judicial warrant is not necessary for that information to be disclosed to law enforcement by the cell phone carrier, without the suspects consent or knowledge.

The decision is not shocking and is in conformity with the general rule of law that a suspect does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy with anything that is open to public view.  Of course it is legal for a law enforcement officer to follow a suspect who is out in public without a warrant.  That same logical and legal reasoning holds that a someone who has in his possession a cell phone which is turned-on; can reasonably suspect that his location will be tracked through the satellite signals to and from the nearest cell phone tower nearest to his cell phone.

In one particular criminal case in Somerset County, I was able to obtain an acquittal and obtain a not guilty verdict on every count of the indictment when it was pointed out to the jury that law enforcement could have pinpointed the general location of the defendant, who was in Essex County and not in Somerset County at the time of the alleged crimes, but failed to do so.  With all advanced technology if used properly it can be a useful tool of both law enforcement and the defendant to help exonerate an innocent defendant.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Dated: July 15, 2011
Cell Phone Tower Tracking in New Jersey, Legality of Cell Phone Tower Tracking of Suspect in New Jersey, Cell Phone Carrier Tracking of Suspects, Whether it is Legal to Cell Phone Tower Track of Cell Phones.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Prominent European international news wire service, AFP reporter Stephane Jourdain of Paris France interviews Attorney Vincent Sanzone on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case.

On July 5, 2011, the prominent international European news wire interviewed attorney Vincent Sanzone and his prediction that the sexual assault criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be dropped by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office because the alleged victim has lost all credibility and the D.A. office will not risk losing another high profile case.

The Sanzone interview was also covered by the prominent European news papers, El Economista and Terra.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Elizabeth, New Jersey
New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyer, NJ. Criminal Attorney, Union Count, Essex County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Somerset County, Ocean County criminal lawyer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Forsensic Lab Report Hearsay Without Testimony of Chemists

Bullcoming v. New Mexico, decided by the United States Supreme Court on June 23, 2011, reaffirmed the right to confront witnesses proffered by prosecution witnesses who testify as to the contents of lab reports in criminal cases.

The narrow question presented to the court was whether the confrontation clause permits the prosecution to admit a forensic laboratory report containing testimonial information from a witness who did not prepare, or sign the certification concerning the lab reports contents?

Again following the Supreme Court Crawford and Melendez-Diaz decisions the court held that such “surrogate testimony” does not meet the constitutional requirements of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and hence, the report is not admissible into evidence without the testimony of the actual chemists who prepared the report.

This decision does not change the well established decisional law in New Jersey which always required the testimony of the forensic chemists who preformed the tests.  In every criminal case it is essential that defense counsel object to any attempt by the prosecution to introduce hearsay evidence through lab reports without the testimony of the forensic chemists.

Law Office Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
Elizabeth, New Jersey, Union County
NJ Criminal Attorneys, NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys, NJ Criminal Trial Attorney, Union County Criminal Defense Lawyers, NJ Federal Criminal Trial Attorneys, Criminal Lawyers NJ

Dated: June 24, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Harvard Justice Project By Harvard University Professor of Political Philosophy, Michael J. Sandel.

To date approximately 15,000 students have taken the legendary “Justice” class taught by Harvard University philosophy professor, Michael J. Sandel.  

What make Professor Sandel’s class so interesting and counter-cultural is that Professor Sandel is attempting to get people to start thinking again.  He is challenging people to think about some of the great issues facing society in the post-modern era.  Topics that the main stream media could care less.  Pressing and philosophical questions as to whether torturing of alleged terrorists can ever be justified, the redistribution of wealth, the alleged and fruitless war on drugs, is it right to pay a celebrity, (some one such as David Letterman), 700 times more than a school teacher, to name a few of his posed questions to his students.

What is even more remarkable that most of his live Harvard lectures can be viewed for free by visiting the Harvard website at  In these video lectures you can listen at the real debates between Professor Sandel and his Harvard students. 

For people who are tried of nonsense T.V. shows such as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and other worthless, and degrading reality shows, these lectures are mind inspiring and challenge us to think about what is the right thing to do in the post-modern era, for the betterment of not only the people of the United States but for the entire human race.

Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.

Dated: June 21, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

State Attorney General Paula T. Dow Releases Directive No. 2011-2 to All Law Enforcement Agencies in the State Regarding Retention of Police Notes.

On May 23, 2011 the State Attorney General’s Office sent a directive to all state, county and local police departments advising them that their investigators can no longer destroy crime investigative notes, and that all notes must be preserved, effective May 27, 2011.  The directive states that all notes, whether in written or oral form, including every type of media, which memorializes the police officers observations regarding his crime investigation or his interview with any witnesses must be preserved, and handed over to defense counsel at the appropriate time.

However, pursuant to the directive the investigator need not turn over any notes regarding his investigative techniques or deliberative process which according to the directive is still privileged. 

In defining a “witness interview”, the directive held that it only applies to investigations regarding crimes of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree crimes, whether committed by a juvenile or adult offender.  However, the directive makes no mention of notes being preserved for disorderly person’s offenses or motor vehicle charges. To read the directive in full go to:

This directive was made by the Attorney General’s Office pursuant to the recent New Jersey Supreme Court case, State v. W.B. decided on April 27, 2011.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
Union County, Elizabeth, N.J.
Dated: June 2, 2011
N.J. Criminal Lawyer

Monday, May 23, 2011

The State’s Proffer Without the Supporting Documents to Support Forensic Examination Insufficient to Trigger Defense Counsel’s Period to Object

May 17, 2011, the Appellate Division in State v. Heisler held that the period in which defense counsel must object to a laboratory certificate is tolled until such time as defense counsel receives all supporting documents in connection with the lab certificate.

The Comprehensive Drug Reform Act, as found in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-19 requires that the State provide a lab certificate along with all supporting documents before said certificate can be admitted into evidence without objection. If defense counsel objects within 10 dates of receipt of the certificate and the reasons for said objection, the State must produce the testimony of the lab technician who performed the specific forensic tests. However, the 10 day period does not begin to run until the defense receives not only the lab certificate but the supporting test documents, which includes but not limited to, all the reports relating to the analysis.

The Court correctly ruled that it is impossible for defense counsel to competently decide whether to object to the certificate until such time as the underlying accompanying data is received by defense counsel.

If the data is not disclosed, defense counsel’s obligation to object is never triggered, and hence, the report does not come into evidence. This case seems to hold that even if no objection is made by defense counsel the lab report does not come into evidence until the State satisfies all the requirements of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-19.

Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq. 277 N. Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ, (908) 354-7006

Dated: May 23, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Need to Move for Expungement of Arrests and Convictions in New Jersey: “Convicts Need Not Apply.”

A study conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management in 2010 found that 90 percent of large companies in the United States who participated in the survey stated that for all job applicants a criminal background check was a prerequisite for an offer of employment.

Unfortunately many employers even disqualify applicants who have been arrested, notwithstanding that the arrest did not lead to a conviction or was dismissed.

In New Jersey it is now possible to expunge most crimes after a five year waiting period, at the discretion of the judge. Previously the law in New Jersey was that the applicant needed to wait 10 years. Although a handful of crimes are not eligible to be expunged such as drug distribution crimes, intent to distribute, or sexual offenses, most crimes are eligible to be expunged.

Because of the extremely tight job market many employers are eliminating any job applicant with any criminal history, including the mere arrest. According to the National Employment Law Project approximately 65 million Americans have some type of criminal record or arrest record.

In fact, even more frightening is the fact that after a job applicant is rejecting by an employer based on a criminal background check that the rejection for that reason be listed on the applicant’s credit report.

Accordingly, that is why it is very important that every individual who intents on seeking employment must move to expunge an arrest even if such arrest never resulted in a conviction.

For more information regarding whether you qualify to expunge an arrest or conviction it is suggested that you seek the legal assistant of the Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., in this area of law who has successfully guided many individuals through the Expungement of their criminal history.

Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.

277 North Broad Street

Elizabeth, N.J. 07207

Tel: (908) 354-7006

Cell: (201) 240-5716