The owner and founder of the Tormey Law Firm.

Available 24/7
(201) 556-1571

Free Consultation

Our Sites

Bergen County Criminal and DWI Defense
This page has a ton of information on criminal charges and DWI defense in Bergen County NJ.

Morristown Criminal Law Post
A long time blog, that I've written and run for years.  There is a ton of great legal content on this site!

The Tormey Firm has a domestic violence defense page which can be found at:
http://www.njdomesticviolencedefense.com/

Morristown Criminal Law

Essex County Criminal Law

Suspect Arrested, Under Investigation for Multiple Washington Twp. Burglaries
Posted on July 30, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

washington twp. burglary caseAfter multiple home invasions in Washington Township recently, police apprehended an Englewood man who was allegedly discovered by a home-owner while burglarizing the victim’s residence.

According to Glenn Hooper, the chief of the Washington Township Police Department, officers initially responded to a call about a home invasion on Langerfield Avenue in Hillsdale. Shortly thereafter, officials were notified of another break-in that occurred on Hoover Avenue in Washington Township, during which the homeowner observed the offender before he fled the scene.

When police arrived to investigate, they discovered a vehicle with the keys in the ignition left at the scene and immediately initiated a search for the perpetrator, also notifying other law enforcement agencies in the vicinity. Authorities ultimately arrested 37-year-old Englewood resident Corey DeGroat on Friday, July 25th, charging him with burglary, theft, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief.

DeGroat, who is currently under supervision at Hackensack University Medical Center while being treated for an ankle injury, is also under investigation for numerous other burglaries committed in the area recently. In fact, he was arrested while free on bail related to a Rockland County burglary crime that occurred on July 11th. The total amount of his bail has now been set at over $500,000.

Records show that the defendant also has a lengthy criminal history, involving burglary cases out of Englewood and East Hanover. In terms of the most recent crimes for which he is accused, DeGroat could be subject to significant penalties if convicted. For example, in New Jersey, burglary charges can be classified as second or third degree felonies under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2.

DeGroat has likely been charged with third degree burglary, as no one was reportedly injured during the commission of the crime and he was not armed with a weapon. As such, he could be sentenced to a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. In this case, DeGroat is facing multiple charges for burglary and may, in fact, be charged for additional burglary offenses in connection with the other open burglary cases for which he is a suspect.

As a result, he could be sentenced to serve consecutive terms of imprisonment for each burglary crime for which he is found guilty. In other words, upon completion of the prison term for one burglary conviction, he may be forced to begin serving time for another.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Washington Township police arrest ex-con after resident interrupts burglary

Possible Transformation of NJ Bail System on the Horizon
Posted on July 29, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

Wooden justice gavel and block with brassAs the legislative session approaches its close, members of the New Jersey Legislature are eagerly attempting to garner support for two significant bail reform measures that would fundamentally transform the State’s current bail system.

With the pending deadline of August 4th fast approaching, lawmakers must pass a resolution that calls for an amendment to New Jersey’s Constitution, in order for voters to decide on said legislation in November. The resolution, SCR128, which is supported by Governor Chris Christie, would permit judges to deny bail to defendants who meet specific criteria. According to the amendment, justifications for such denials would include: if the defendant is deemed a threat to public safety, identified as a potential flight risk, or considered likely to commit obstruction of justice upon release.

Members of the Democratic Party, which maintains the current majority, are seeking to pass an accompanying measure (bill S946). If this measure is ultimately passed into law, defendants facing charges for less serious crimes who are financially unable to meet bail requirements would be offered non-monetary conditions with which they would be required to comply prior to appearing in court.

The non-monetary conditions comprised in S946 include: avoiding contact with the alleged victim and any potential witnesses related to the case, being released to the custody of a court-approved supervisor, maintaining employment (or seeking it, if unemployed), enrolling in or continuing an educational program, regularly reporting to a law enforcement agency or pretrial services program, entering a drug or alcohol rehabilitation treatment center, or wearing an electronic monitoring device.

Although the State Senate is expected to vote on the aforementioned measures in a session to be held on Thursday, July 31st, such a date has yet to be scheduled in the Assembly. Assembly members have assured the public that they are diligently working to address these matters before the close of this legislative session; however, concerns raised by the legislative black caucus represent additional impediments to be overcome if citizens are to have the opportunity to vote on the matters in November.

If proceedings continue and voters eventually approve this legislation, the dramatic changes to New Jersey’s bail system would not be implemented until 2017. Notwithstanding the time frame, these reforms would drastically alter the way in which the State approaches bail determinations, allowing for unprecedented judicial discretion, a specific assessment of the defendant in each case, and a tailored approach to the conditions imposed to ensure his or her appearance in court.

For more information pertaining to this matter, access the following article: With deadline approaching, Assembly leaders scramble for votes to get bail changes on the ballot

No Prison Sentence for Sex Crime After Bergen County Plea Agreement
Posted on July 28, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

plea agreementA man from Bergenfield, New Jersey who was originally charged with an extremely serious sex crime involving a teenage girl, recently received a plea agreement from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office which will allow him to circumvent a prison sentence.

On Friday, July 25th, 26-year-old Bergenfield resident Timothy O’Sullivan pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of endangering the welfare of a child before Superior Court Judge James J. Guida  in Bergen County Superior Court. Per the terms of his plea agreement, O’Sullivan will be subject to mandatory drug testing and psychological treatment as a sex offender but will not serve time in prison. He has also been barred from contacting the victim or her family.

According to Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Dion Findley, O’Sullivan’s negotiated agreement was subject to the approval of the 13-year-old victim’s legal guardian. Considering the age of the victim, it is likely that O’Sullivan was originally facing charges for sexual assault. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2b, which governs these types of offenses, sexual assault is a crime of the second degree if it involves a victim who is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

In New Jersey, second degree sexual assault charges are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, 85% of which must be served before the defendant becomes eligible for parole, as these offenses are among those enumerated in the No Early Release Act (NERA). Additional penalties associated with convictions in these cases include: mandatory sex offender registration under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, community supervision for life, and a psychosexual evaluation, also known as an “Avenel evaluation.”

With the aforementioned in mind, the negotiated plea agreement in this case can be considered an extremely favorable outcome for Timothy O’Sullivan.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Bergenfield man avoids prison for sex with girl, 13

 

Ramsey Prostitution Investigation Results in 2 Arrests
Posted on July 25, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

ramsey prostitution caseThe Ramsey Police Department recently conducted an undercover operation at a local spa, which resulted in the arrests of two women for prostitution-related offenses.

According to Ramsey Police Chief Bryan Gurney, an officer from the department arrived at the Ion Spa, located on Route 17 in Ramsey, on Wednesday, July 23rd. Purposefully concealing his identity, the officer was soon solicited by 47-year-old Shounan Piao, who is now facing charges for prostitution. Her employer, 44-year-old Little Ferry resident Shunfu Jin, was also charged with promoting prostitution, as she is the owner of the business.

Authorities say that the spa, which was subsequently closed, had been under investigation for nearly a year prior to the aforementioned arrests. Ramsey Police Detective Adam Szelag, the head investigator on the case, reportedly discovered suspicious postings related to Ion Spa on the Internet during the course of the investigation. In addition, police received multiple citizen complaints indicating that prostitution activities were an ongoing part of the spa’s business.

Following their arrests, the two defendants were released pending appearances in court. Although the charges they are facing are codified under the same statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1, Jin is facing more serious penalties due to the nature of her alleged offense.

Per the above statute, charges for engaging in prostitution are typically classified as disorderly persons offenses, which are punishable by a maximum of 6 months to be served in the county jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. On the other hand, charges for promoting prostitution are generally considered third degree indictable felonies, which may entail a sentence ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Police: Ramsey spa owner, massage therapist nabbed in prostitution sting

Authorities Apprehend Man Wanted for Tenafly Aggravated Assault
Posted on July 24, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

tenfaly flee the county caseOfficials from the Port Authority Police, as well as agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, recently arrested a man from Israel who was attempting to flee the country after police issued a warrant for his arrest on numerous charges, including aggravated assault.

According to Captain Michael deMoncada, 64-year-old Israeli citizen Avigdor Eldan was taken into custody on Tuesday, July 22nd, as he attempted to board a plane departing the country from JFK Airport.

Eldan was under investigation by the Tenafly Police Department after a 44-year-old Tenafly resident contacted authorities about a home invasion and assault that allegedly occurred at his residence on Roberts Court. According to the victim, Eldan illegally entered his home through the back door, assaulted him, and then fled the scene.

Tenafly police subsequently obtained a warrant for Eldan’s arrest on charges including aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, and terroristic threats. His bail was set at $75,000 and other law enforcement agencies were soon notified of his status as a wanted man.

Following his arrest, Eldan was being held at Queens Central Booking, pending extradition. Not only is Eldan facing the potential penalties associated with the crimes for which he has been accused, he may also be deported following the completion of his sentence if ultimately convicted.

In New Jersey, aggravated assault offenses can be considered second, third, or fourth degree crimes, per the specifications listed in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b. This statute provides an extensive list of determinants for the degree of the charges pertaining to a specific case, which include the possession or use of a weapon, the significance of the injuries sustained by the victim, and the identity of said victim (such as a law enforcement official, public servant, or officer of the court).

If Eldan has been charged with second degree aggravated assault, he could be facing a 5 to 10-year term of imprisonment, while third degree charges would entail a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. Lastly, fourth degree charges, while still classified as indictable felonies, are punishable by a maximum 18-month term of incarceration.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Israeli national in Tenafly home invasion stun gun attack arrested at airport

Two Face Charges After Shooting of Hackensack Business Man
Posted on July 23, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

hackensack murder caseTwo defendants recently appeared in Bergen County Superior Court to face a myriad of charges, including homicide, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and serious drug charges, in connection with a case involving the shooting of a Hackensack business owner.

Newark residents 25-year-old Mujahideen Abdullah and 28-year-old Jomaris Gonzalez appeared before Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian on Monday, July 21st, while a host of the victim’s family and friends observed the proceedings. Abdullah is accused of murdering 39-year-old Hackensack resident Jeffrey Mansilla, the owner of a local limousine company, while Gonzalez is accused of hindering the investigation of the case, among other offenses.

According to authorities, Abdullah and Gonzalez followed Mansilla from a club in Belleville to a location on Route 80 in Saddle Brook at 2:00 a.m. on June 12th, at which time Abdullah allegedly shot Mansilla through the driver’s side door of his vehicle. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to the hip and was later declared deceased at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Following a six-week investigation, Abdullah and Gonzalez were arrested on Thursday, July 17th. Officials have yet to reveal the suspected motive for the shooting. However, Abdullah is now facing charges for homicide, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, maintaining or operating a drug production facility, as well as possession of heroin and marijuana. He is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail, with his bail set at $2 million.

Gonzalez has been charged with a variety of offenses including hindering apprehension or prosecution, maintaining or operating a drug production facility, and possession of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana with intent to distribute. She is also being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Both homicide and maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility offenses are classified as first degree crimes under the New Jersey Criminal Code. Notably, these charges warrant different penalties, although they are considered crimes of the same degree. Charges for maintaining or operating a drug production facility, codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4, are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison, as are typical first degree crimes.

Homicide charges, on the other hand, are subject to extended sentencing guidelines under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3, which governs charges related to these offenses. According to this statute, a murder conviction warrants a prison sentence ranging from 30 years to life, with a minimum 30-year period of parole ineligibility.

Although Abdullah is facing the most serious charges of the two defendants, both have been charged with crimes considered extremely egregious under New Jersey law and could be sentenced to serve significant terms of imprisonment upon conviction.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: ‘Rot in hell!’ loved one of Hackensack man fatally shot on Route 80 shouts at accused gunman

Englewood Woman Charged with Robbery, Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Posted on July 22, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

englewood robbery child endangermentA woman from Englewood, New Jersey is currently facing charges for robbery and endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly stealing from a local store while accompanied by the young child of a friend.

According to Detective Captain Timothy Torell of the Englewood Police Department, 53-year-old Englewood resident Tamar Thomas is accused of stealing merchandise valued at $200 from the Papyrus store located on East Palisade Avenue in Englewood. Per reports, Thomas arrived at the store at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19th with her friend’s six-year-old daughter in tow.

She allegedly had a confrontation with a store employee before fleeing the store with the child and the merchandise. Although Thomas is accused of assaulting the employee during the commission of the crime, the alleged victim did not sustain significant injuries and the child was subsequently returned to her guardian unharmed.

The employee pursued Thomas as she left the store and, with the help of a concerned bystander, the two followed her and contacted law enforcement. Shortly thereafter, officers from the Englewood Police Department arrested Thomas and took the young girl into custody. Thomas, who is now facing charges for robbery and endangering the welfare of a child, is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail, with her bail set at $101,250.

Records reveal that Thomas has a lengthy criminal history, which includes 12 convictions for felonies in New Jersey and New York. With regard to the most recent charges against her, robbery offenses, which are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1, can be classified as first or second degree crimes. Thomas has likely been charged with second degree robbery, in which case she could be sentenced to serve between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison upon conviction.

Further, all robbery charges are subject to sentencing under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA), requiring the defendant to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Adventures in babysitting: Woman took friend’s 6-year-old to store robbery, Englewood cops say

 

Upper Saddle River Man’s Aggravated Assault Case Resolved with Probation
Posted on July 19, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

bergen county probation dept.A man from Upper Saddle River was recently sentenced to a two-year period of probation after being convicted of aggravated assault and terroristic threats in Bergen County Superior Court.

On Friday, July 18th, Superior Court Judge James J. Guida sentenced 55-year-old Lawrence Gorga to two years of probation, a violation of which would result in a 90-day jail term. The original charges stemmed from an incident in which Gorga threatened and assaulted his 70-year-old neighbor in Upper Saddle River, leaving the victim with a broken nose.

Previously in this case, Gorga refused a plea offer from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office that would have required him to plead guilty to a lesser disorderly persons offense. He also applied for acceptance into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI), which would have resulted in the dismissal of the charges against him, provided that he successfully completed the conditions of the program.

Gorga’s request for PTI was rejected due to a variety of extenuating factors, including the extent of the victim’s injury, the nature of the offense, and Gorga’s criminal history. According to authorities, he has been previously arrested a number of times for offenses involving assault and obstruction.

Per the terms of his sentence, Gorga will be subject to two years of probation, as well as mandatory anger management classes. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or his family.

Considering the seriousness of the crimes for which he was convicted, Gorga’s sentence is relatively lenient. For example, aggravated assault offenses, which are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b, can be classified as second, third, or fourth degree crimes, depending upon the circumstances of the specific case. As such, a conviction for aggravated assault can result in a term of imprisonment ranging from 18 months to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Upper Saddle River man gets probation for assaulting neighbor, 70

Bergenfield Woman Allegedly Commits Theft on Hackensack Courtroom Video
Posted on July 18, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

hackensack theft in court roomA woman from Bergenfield was recently charged with theft for allegedly stealing the purse of another woman while in Hackensack Municipal Court.

According to Detective Captain Thomas Salcedo of the Hackensack Police Department, surveillance video from courtroom cameras show 65-year-old Bergenfield resident Nancy Llerena stealing a female victim’s purse on the morning of Wednesday, July 16th.

Authorities say that Llerena was simply at the court with a friend who was issued a traffic summons and she stole the purse when the woman left it unattended while appearing before the judge. The video allegedly documents Llerena as she puts the woman’s purse inside her own and leaves the courtroom.

When Hackensack officers identified the man that Llerena had accompanied to court, he reportedly disclosed her identity, and she was subsequently arrested. Police reportedly discovered the stolen property in a mailbox located on Main Street in Hackensack, still containing credit and debit cards. The only thing missing, according to the victim, was $15 in cash.

Nonetheless, Llerana is now facing theft charges, specifically those for theft of movable property, which are codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a. Offenses governed under this statute can be classified as second, third, or fourth degree crimes, or disorderly persons offenses, depending upon the amount allegedly obtained through the theft offense.

In this case, Llerena has been charged with a disorderly persons offense, as the monetary value associated with her charges is less than $200.00. As such, she will appear in Hackensack Municipal Court to face these charges and could be punished by a sentence to serve a maximum term of 6 months in the county jail, in addition to court-imposed fines, if she is ultimately convicted.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Hackensack police charge Bergenfield woman with stealing pocketbook from court

Teaneck Police Arrest Wanted Man Now Charged with Prescription Drug Offenses
Posted on July 17, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

teaneck prescription drug caseA man from Teaneck, New Jersey, with multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest, is now facing additional prescription drug-related charges, after being stopped by a Teaneck police officer recently.

According to Robert A. Carney, the chief of the Teaneck Police Department, 34-year-old Teaneck resident Joseph T. Law was initially stopped by Sergeant Seth Kriegel in the vicinity of Route 4 and Arlington Avenue on Tuesday, July 15th. Law, who was reportedly driving with a suspended driver’s license, was then identified as a wanted man, with three outstanding warrants for his arrest, two of which were related to cases in Hackensack, while the third was reportedly for charges filed in Teaneck.

During the stop, Sergeant Kriegel allegedly noticed a bag containing large amounts of cash located on the front passenger seat, at which time he requested Law’s consent to search the vehicle. The subsequent search led to the discovery of 54 capsules containing white powder, as well as 57 white pills. Neither substance has been identified as of yet; however, Law was arrested for illegal possession of prescription drugs.

He has also been charged with money laundering, in connection with the $9,874 that was also seized from the vehicle as a result of the search. Law was released from the Bergen County Jail after posting bail in the amount of $20,000 pending an appearance in court.

With regard to the most recent crimes from which he has been accused, offenses involving the possession, possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of prescription drugs are addressed by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5. In these cases, the degree of the charges is determined by the specific alleged offense and the amount of the substance in question.

For example, illegal possession of prescription drugs can be a considered a crime of the fourth degree in cases involving 5 or more units (pills), while those involving 4 units (pills) or fewer are classified as disorderly persons offenses. This is a significant distinction, as fourth degree crimes are indictable felonies, which are adjudicated at the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. These are more serious charges than disorderly persons offenses and are punishable by a maximum sentence of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Police say Teaneck driver wanted on warrants had more than pills, nearly $10,000 in cash

Posted under : Drug Crimes,Traffic Offenses