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2nd Offense DWI Dismissed in Rutherford Thanks to the Tormey Law Firm
Posted on November 19, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

case dismissedTravis J. Tormey of the Tormey Law Firm recently represented a client in Rutherford Municipal Court who was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Unfortunately, the client had one prior DWI offense, which occurred almost exactly 10 years before.

However, because the offense was not committed exactly 10 years prior or more (missing the deadline by 8 days), this offense would be treated as a second offense DWI under New Jersey law and, as a result, our client was facing a 2-year license suspension, 30 days of community service, and up to 90 days in jail.

Mr. Tormey obtained the discovery in the case and isolated many issues related to the Alcotest machine and the field sobriety testing. First, the client’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .09%, which is only slightly over the legal limit of .08% BAC. Moreover, the client suffers from asthma and uses an alcohol inhaler frequently which could have inflated his breath test results. The officer also failed to note that he changed the mouthpiece in between breath samples which could allow mouth alcohol to linger in the mouthpiece and inflate the reading.

Now, once the reading was challenged and suppressed by the prosecutor, the next hurdle to overcome was the observations known as the field sobriety tests. These are typically the one leg stand test and the walk and turn test. Mr. Tormey was able to challenge these results as well based on multiple issues.

Our client recently had major back surgery known as a spinal fusion and, therefore, was not medically capable of performing these tests under any circumstances…..ever. He is also over 50 pounds overweight which makes the tests almost impossible to perform as well.

Due to all of these issues and the defense tactics of the Tormey Law Firm, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DWI because he could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The client plead guilty to another minor traffic summons for failure to keep right and received a 45-day license suspension for that violation. Needless to say, the client and his wife were elated with the result and promised to use the Tormey Law Firm for all their future legal needs.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Bergen County, New Jersey, contact the offices of the Tormey Law Firm anytime at (201)-556-1570. Free consultations are always provided free of charge.

Lodi Man Accused of Aggravated Assault During Alleged Domestic Dispute
Posted on November 18, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

lodi aggravated assault domestic violenceA Lodi man is now facing charges for aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and endangering the welfare of a child after an alleged domestic dispute during which he is accused of pouring bleach on two victims, one of whom is a juvenile.

Bergen County officials arrived at a residence on Main Street in Lodi at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 15th, when a domestic dispute was said to have occurred. Responding officers soon arrested 37-year-old Brian Cameron for allegedly pouring bleach on a woman and a juvenile during the incident.

Cameron was then charged with aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and endangering the welfare of a child. He remains in custody at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail set at $102,500, excluding a 10 percent option.

As a result of the aforementioned accusations, Cameron will be prosecuted in the Bergen County Superior Court, with a significant prison term now hanging over his head. Among his alleged crimes, those for aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child are felony-level offenses, while the degree of the specific charges vary on a case-by-case basis.

Interestingly, both aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child offenses can be classified as first, second, third, or fourth degree crimes. This means that two defendants can be charged with a criminal offense in violation of the same statute, yet face entirely different penalties upon conviction.

For instance, an individual charged with fourth degree aggravated assault can be sentenced to a maximum term of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. However, in a case involving different circumstances, the defendant may be charged with first degree aggravated assault, which is punishable by between 10 and 20 years in prison.

Contributing factors to the determination of the degree of an aggravated assault charge include: the nature of the force allegedly used, the severity of the injuries to the victim, the presence (or lack thereof) of weapon, and the identity of the victim (i.e. a law enforcement officer or public servant).

For additional information, access the following article: Lodi man poured bleach on juvenile during domestic dispute, cops say

2 Arrests for DWI, Reckless Driving in Wyckoff after Vehicles Hit Poles
Posted on November 17, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

dwi arrestTwo separate incidents during which drivers reportedly crashed their cars into poles and were subsequently arrested for alleged DWI’s occurred recently in Wyckoff.

In a strange turn of events, the Wyckoff Police Department was notified of these events at precisely the same time on two different days within a three-day period.

According to officials, the first incident occurred on Saturday, November 8th, when 23-year-old Lucas J. Franco allegedly drove his vehicle into a utility pole on Sicomac Avenue. A call came in at 12:09 a.m. reporting the accident.

Sergeant Brian Zivkovich and Officer Michael Teegan soon arrived at the scene, where they arrested Franco on charges for DWI, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Then, just three days later, Wyckoff Police received another call at exactly the same time, notifying them of another crash involving a driver who witnesses said hit a light pole on Red Rock Road before fleeing the scene. This call was also received at 12:09 a.m.

After interviewing the alleged witnesses, Officer Kyle Ferreira located the vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of a residence in the vicinity. Officer Ferreira arrested 36-year-old Christian B. McAuley for DWI, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident after further investigation.

Of the two aforementioned cases, Mr. Franco has been charged with both motor vehicle violations and criminal offenses. In New Jersey, DWI and reckless driving are classified as motor vehicle violations, although both can entail serious consequences including a period of driver’s license suspension and even a jail sentence.

On the other hand, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia are considered criminal offenses, meaning they will appear on a defendant’s criminal record upon conviction.

Interestingly, charges for leaving the scene of an accident can be classified as motor vehicle violations or criminal charges, depending on the alleged circumstances of the specific case. The charge typically depends on the result of the accident.

For example, if there was serious bodily injury caused to another person as a result of the accident, the person may be charged with a criminal offense, the details of which are provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1. Notably, a criminal charge for this offense is considered a third degree felony under New Jersey law, which is punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years.

Conversely, in cases involving damage to property, a person will likely receive a summons for the motor vehicle violation associated with leaving the scene of an accident, which is governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-129.

For more information, see the following article: Two struck utility poles, two DWI arrests, three days apart in Wyckoff

1 Dead, 2 Charged after Alleged Domestic Violence Incident in Waldwick
Posted on November 13, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

waldwick manslaughter and assault caseDuring an alleged domestic violence dispute between a man and his girlfriend at a residence in Waldwick, the man’s mother died of a heart attack while attempting to stop the altercation. As a result, the girlfriend allegedly involved in the dispute is facing a number of criminal charges, including those for manslaughter.

Claudia Yanira Hernandez Soriano and Juan Francisco Martinez Rojas, both 28, are believed to have engaged in a fight in their home on Waldwick Avenue on Monday, November 10th. When Rojas’ mother, 45-year-old Ana Angelina Rojas-Jovel, tried to stop the altercation, Soriano is accused of assaulting her, at which time the woman experienced a fatal heart attack.

The Waldwick Police Department was notified shortly before 4:00 a.m. and responding officers noted visible injuries on both Soriano and Rojas, which they have attributed to a domestic violence incident. They reportedly discovered the deceased Rojas-Jovel’s body lying on the bedroom floor, as well as a 7-year-old child who remains unidentified but was among those questioned by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office after the alleged incident.

Hernandez Soriano was subsequently charged with manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault, and hindering apprehension. The hindering charges were filed because she is accused of attempting to conceal evidence later discovered at the scene. She was being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail set at $250,000.

Additionally, Martinez Rojas was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault. His bail, amounting to $75,000, is significantly lower than that of his girlfriend due to their respective alleged crimes.

Although both defendants in this case are facing significant penalties, Soriano is most certainly charged with the more egregious crime of manslaughter and as such, will be subject to harsher punishment if convicted. However, this does not detract from the seriousness of endangering the welfare of child offenses in New Jersey, as is clearly outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4.

According to the aforementioned statute, charges of this kind can range from first to fourth degree crimes, all of which are indictable offenses under State Law. This means that a defendant charged with endangering the welfare of a child will have his or her case sent to the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense occurred. It is also important to note that all indictable crimes are punishable by a New Jersey State Prison sentence, the duration of which varies depending on the degree of the charges and the circumstances of the specific case.

For more on this news, see the following feature: Couple charged after woman dies of apparent heart attack in Waldwick fight, authorities say

Paramus Man Wanted on Armed Robbery Charges
Posted on November 12, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

armed robbery investigationOfficials from the Elmwood Park Police Department are currently seeking a suspect who allegedly attempted to rob a young woman during a drug transaction recently. The man, believed to be a Paramus resident, is said to have used a handgun during the commission of the crime.

In an recent announcement from Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno, he requested the public’s help apprehending the 18-year-old man accused of attempting to rob a 17-year-old woman on Monday, November 10th.

The alleged victim reported meeting Marco Druskovich at approximately 9:30 p.m. with the understanding that she was to purchase drugs from him. She told police that Druskovich entered her vehicle, held a semi-automatic handgun to her head, and told her to give him her money.

The woman then slammed on the gas pedal, subsequently crashing into three nearby vehicles while struggling with Druskovich for control of the car. When the car stopped, Druskovich allegedly fled with $50, assisted by an unknown accomplice.

Officers from Elmwood Park and detectives from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive search of the scene, finding no sign of the suspect. However, authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest on charges for armed robbery and multiple weapons offenses.

They have requested that any information regarding the suspect and/or the incident be forwarded to the Elmwood Park Police Departmet at (201) 796-0700.\

If Druskovich is arrested and ultimately convicted, he could be sentenced to serve decades in New Jersey State Prison. For example, N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 classifies robbery offenses during which the actor is armed with a deadly weapon as first degree crimes. Under New Jersey law, a defendant convicted of a first degree crime will typically be sentenced to a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years.

For more information, see the following article: Elmwood Park police seek help finding armed Paramus man who crashed victim’s car during drug ripoff

Bergen County Prosecutor Announces Arrests in Massive Burglary Case
Posted on November 11, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

teaneck men arrested in four county burglary caseAuthorities just arrested three Teaneck men who were identified as the primary suspects responsible for approximately 30 residential burglaries spanning Bergen, Morris, and Somerset counties.

Law enforcement officials had been conducting this investigation over the last 9 months after recognizing similarities in a variety of burglary cases that began in Bergen County in February.

26-year-old Jamelle Singletary, 30-year-old Lawal Erskine, 30-year-old Jamaal Sermon—all of whom are from Teaneck—and 39-year-old Queens resident David Tadjiev, were taken into custody on Thursday, November 7th. According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, they were found at Tadjiev’s Queens residence while in the process of unpacking allegedly stolen property.

A total of 21 law enforcement agencies are said to have contributed to the investigation, 15 of which are police departments in Northern New Jersey, including Englewood, Teaneck, Saddle River, Montvale, Englewood Cliffs, Tenafly, Ho-Ho-Kus, Fort Lee, Closter, Fair Lawn and Paramus.

The arrests were finally made when detectives who had Singletary under surveillance allegedly witnessed him and his co-defendants committing a series of burglary crimes in New Jersey before proceeding to Tadjiev’s home in New York. New York City officials executed search warrants at the residence shortly thereafter, where they reportedly discovered large amounts of what is believed to be stolen jewelry.

After arresting the men, all four were being held at the Westchester County jail without bail, pending their extradition to New Jersey.

Molinelli indicated that this investigation will continue, further noting that he expects additional charges to be filed against the defendants in this case.

For more information, view the following article: 3 Teaneck men charged in four-county, 30-home burglary wave

Teaneck Man Facing Drug, Weapons Charges after Police Search His Home
Posted on November 10, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

teaneck stolen handgun cds distributionA lengthy investigation resulted in the recent arrest of a Teaneck man who is now facing a myriad of charges, which include receiving stolen property and multiple drug and weapons offenses.

According to Robert Carney, the Acting Chief of the Teaneck Police Department, investigators executed a search warrant at the Beaumont Avenue residence of 32-year-old Corey Washington on Friday, November 7th.

The search and subsequent arrest followed an investigation conducted by the Teaneck Police Department over the course of five months.

Officers reportedly discovered marijuana, MDMA, a digital scale, and drug packaging materials during their sweep of the home. They also seized a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun that was reported stolen from a Paramus residence nearly one year ago.

Washington was transported to the Bergen County Jail, with his bail totaling $75,000. He is now facing serious consequences due to the variety of crimes for which he has been accused, among which are possession of marijuana and MDMA with intent to distribute.

Further, the discovery of the handgun in Washington’s home likely led to a charge for unlawful possession of a weapon, which is governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5. This statute specifically addresses offenses involving handguns in subsection (b), classifying these crimes as second degree indictable felonies in most cases.

In addition, defendants convicted of a violation of this section are subject to the sentencing guidelines detailed in the “Graves Act.” The Graves Act is a provision of the New Jersey Criminal Code which requires those convicted of crimes under its purview to serve a mandatory prison sentence, with a minimum term of parole ineligibility ranging from one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, or 3 years, whichever is greater.

Clearly, what began as a drug investigation has resulted in a significantly broader case against Washington, encompassing weapons and theft allegations, with the implications of a conviction worsening accordingly.

For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Police: Teaneck drug probe nets arrest, stolen handgun

Man Arrested for Alleged Kidnapping, Terroristic Threats in Palisades Park
Posted on November 7, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

palisades park kidnapping, terroristic threatsPolice recently arrested a Guatemalan man, charging him with kidnapping, burglary, and terroristic threats after an alleged incident at his ex-girlfriend’s home in Palisades Park.

According to Chief Benjamin Ramos of the Palisades Park Police Department, individuals living in the alleged victim’s Roff Avenue neighborhood contacted law enforcement officials at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 6th to report that they had witnessed the 20-year-old woman being assaulted outside of her residence.

Detailing the alleged attack, they described a man dragging the victim by her neck and threatening to kill her before fleeing the scene. The neighbors reportedly identified the assailant as 21-year-old Avelino De Paz Ajiatas, who is currently residing in the country illegally and was previously in a romantic relationship with the alleged victim.

When Palisades Park officers arrived on the scene to investigate, they questioned the distraught woman and alleged witnesses of the incident. Ajiatas was arrested shortly thereafter and is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail  on charges for kidnapping, terroristic threats, and burglary. The defendant, whose bail has been set at $100,000, is facing decades in prison, as well as deportation, if he is ultimately found guilty in this case.

Due to the egregious nature of kidnapping, these offenses are classified as crimes of the first degree  and subject to specific sentencing provisions per the guidelines of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1. In some cases, an individual convicted of kidnapping in New Jersey can be sentenced to a life-long prison term with a 25-year period of parole ineligibility.

Otherwise, the typical sentencing range for a kidnapping charge is between 15 and 30 years in New Jersey State Prison. The maximum term is notably longer than that of other first degree crimes, which are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years.

One exception applies to individuals who release their victims unharmed and in a safe place prior to apprehension, as these offenses are deemed crimes of the second degree, which entail a 5 to 10-year prison sentence. Regardless of the degree of the kidnapping charges, all those convicted of this crime are  required to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole, as kidnapping is also among the crimes enumerated under the No Early Release Act (“NERA”).

For more information related to this case, access the following article: Illegal immigrant charged with choking, threatening to kill Palisades Park ex-girlfriend, 20

Newly Elected Bergen County Executive Signals Merger of County PD and Sheriff’s Office
Posted on November 6, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

bergen county police carUpon winning his bid for the position of Bergen County executive, Democrat James Tedesco indicated his intention to immediately move forward with the proposed merging of the Bergen County Police Department and the County Sheriff’s Office.

Although Tedesco will not assume his new position until January, he recently announced that his initiative to encompass the County Police within the Sheriff’s Office is a primary objective when he takes office.

Supporting his case for a merger with long-term monetary considerations, the Democrat touted savings ranging from $90 million to $200 million over the course of the next 25 years. In addition to the potential savings in tax-payer dollars, the merging of these two law enforcement agencies may also impact the jurisdictional lines of these departments, and as such, may affect the courts in which certain cases are adjudicated.

For example, if an officer from the Bergen County Police Department arrests an individual for an alleged crime classified as a disorderly persons offense, such as possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, the defendant will be required to face his or her charges in the Central Municipal Court of Bergen County, which currently serves all of the towns within county lines.

It remains to be seen what effect the merger may have on cases of this kind. For instance, government officials may decide that defendants are required to appear in the specific court associated with the municipality in which the alleged offense occurred, regardless of the issuing officer’s affiliation with a law enforcement agency.

However, citizens can expect that all indictable offenses, which include first, second, third, and fourth degree crimes, will continue to be sent to the Bergen County Superior Court.

For additional information pertaining to this matter, access the following article: Bergen County Executive-elect James Tedesco vows to push ahead on police merger

Former Giants Player Facing Assault, Sexual Assault Charges in Bergen County
Posted on November 5, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

giants sexual assault caseAccording to recent reports, charges for assault and sexual assault have been filed in Bergen County against Luke Petitgout, a former offensive lineman for the New York Giants.

Authorities have yet to release any information regarding this case, but the aforementioned charges were filed in Pascack Joint Municipal Court on Tuesday, November 4th and the former player’s defense attorney released a statement on behalf of his client vehemently denying the accusations shortly thereafter.

The circumstances of the case and the degree of the assault charges remain unknown, as simple assault can be classified as a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a. On the other hand, sexual assault offenses are considered second degree felonies under New Jersey law. The grading of these crimes has a dramatic effect on the potential penalties for the individual facing the charges, in addition to determining the venue in which the case will be heard.

More specifically, a second degree felony case is prosecuted in the Superior Court in the county in which the crime was allegedly committed and could result in a state prison term of up to 10 years upon conviction. There is also a presumption of incarceration attached to charges at this level, meaning that the defendant must serve time in prison if they are found guilty.

Conversely, an individual charged with a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey will have their case adjudicated in the Municipal Court associated with the town in which offense allegedly occurred. It is important to note that defendants charged with these types of offenses may be eligible for a diversionary program such as conditional discharge or conditional dismissal if they have no prior criminal record. These programs require an individual to comply with certain conditions during a probationary period and those who successfully complete them will have their charges dismissed.

As for the defendant in this case, the fact that he has been charged with sexual assault means that Petitgout will be required to appear in Bergen County Superior Court and will be subject to Megan’s Law sex offender registration as well as a mandatory jail sentence if he is convicted.

Petitgout is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. His attorney indicated that he will soon post the required amount, at which time he will be released pending his first appearance in court.

For additional information regarding this matter, see the following news feature: Ex-Giants Lineman Luke Petitgout Charged With Sexual Assault