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