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Weapons suppressed: random male observed in a conversation being shown a gun did not give reasonable suspicion to detain him, and subsequent flight did not elevate encounter to probable cause to arrest.

In United States v. Navedo, No. 11-3413 (3d Cir. Sept. 12, 2012), http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/113413p.pdf, undercover officers were parked on a block in Newark, which was not found to be a high crime area, but in which there were two, recent unrelated incidents involving guns: two months before a shooting occurred, and one month before there was a domestic violence report of a man threatening a woman with a gun. 

The officers observed the defendant, whom they did not know, come out of a multi-unit building and stand on the porch.

No Crack Reduction for Career Offenders Even if Sentence is Based On the Crack Range

United States v. Ware, --- F.3d ----, 2012 WL 4216831 (3d Cir. Sept. 21, 2012).  

Defendants, each designated career offenders, were ultimately sentenced based on the crack guidelines through a variance and a departure. Each moved for sentence reductions under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), based on the amended crack cocaine guidelines implementing the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. In the first case, Ware, the district court granted the motion for sentence reduction, reasoning that the sentence was "based on" the crack guideline (as required in 18 U.

Court articulates factors for egregious and widespread violations of Fourth Amendment and whether consent is voluntary

In Oliva-Ramos v. Attorney General of the U.S., --- F.3d ----, 2012 WL 4017478 (3d Cir. Sept 13, 2012), an appeal from an order of removal and denial of the petitioner’s motion to reopen the proceedings, the Third Circuit remanded for proceedings to determine whether a 4:30 a.m. ICE raid into an apartment, with five or six armed officers, violated the Fourth Amendment and similar regulatory provisions. 

The officers presented an administrative arrest warrant for one person at the apartment of her sister.

The Court Changes the Standard When Waiving a Juvenile to Adult Criminal Court

State in the Interest of V.A., T.H., C.T., and M.R., ? N.J. ?, 2012 N.J. LEXIS 899 (September 12, 2012) – Appellate Division judgment reversed, case remanded for further proceedings.  

“The abuse of discretion standard, rather than the patent and gross abuse of discretion standard, governs judicial review of a prosecutor’s decision to waive a juvenile aged sixteen and over charged with an enumerated offense under N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-26 into adult criminal court….  

In light of the enhanced punishment looming as a result of the serious decision to waive a juvenile from family to adult court, and to advance the legislative direction to promote uniformity, we find that the abuse of discretion standard … is more appropriate [than patent and gross abuse of discretion used to review PTI decisions].

Defendant's Right to Testify - Conviction Overturned

State v. Rodney Cullen, ? N.J. Super. ?, 2012 N.J. Super. LEXIS ? (September 18, 2012) – Conviction reversed, case remanded.  

“Defendant appeals his burglary conviction, arguing the trial judge erred in refusing to reopen the record to permit him to testify.  Defendant initially waived his right to testify but, prior to summations and the jury charge, changed his mind; the judge denied defendant's request to testify.  

Because the judge mistakenly gave greater weight to expediency than defendant's constitutional right to testify, we reverse….

New Jersey Appellate Suppresses Confession

State v. Kendall Funchess, unpublished opinion, App. Div. Docket No. A-2435010T1 (September 17, 2012) – Conviction reversed, confession suppressed.  

“Defendant's suppression motion was decided ‘on the papers,’ without any evidentiary hearing.  In his appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion because the officers were legally required to clarify his three statements regarding an attorney to determine whether he was seeking to invoke his right to an attorney….

When GPS Tracking Violates Privacy Rights


For the right to personal privacy to survive in America in this digital age, courts must be meticulous in applying longstanding privacy protections to new technology. This did not happen in an unfortunate ruling last month by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.The case concerned a drug conviction based on information about the defendant’s location that the government acquired from a cellphone he carried on a three-day road trip in a motor home. The data, apparently obtained with a phone company’s help, led to a warrantless search of the motor home and the seizure of incriminating evidence.

Crack reduction cases: Court upholds denial of proportional reductions below amended guideline range to account for variance in original sentence

In United States v. Berberena (Sept. 11, 2012), , the Court affirmed denials of sentence reductions below the amended Guideline range in two crack reduction cases. When Amendment 750 to the Sentencing Guidelines implemented the Fair Sentencing Act by reducing the crack-powder disparity, the defendants moved for sentence reductions under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). Both defendants had received below Guideline sentences. In making Amendment 750 retroactive, the Sentencing Commission also adopted a new version of U.

Weapons suppressed: random male observed in a conversation being shown a gun did not give reasonable suspicion to detain him, and subsequent flight did not elevate encounter to probable cause to arrest.

In United States v. Navedo, No. 11-3413 (3d Cir. Sept. 12, 2012), http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/113413p.pdf, undercover officers were parked on a block in Newark, which was not found to be a high crime area, but in which there were two, recent unrelated incidents involving guns: two months before a shooting occurred, and one month before there was a domestic violence report of a man threatening a woman with a gun. The officers observed the defendant, whom they did not know, come out of a multi-unit building and stand on the porch.

NJ Shoplifting Offenses Explained


The New Jersey Shoplifting Law is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. The grade of criminal offense that a shoplifting charge will trigger is contingent upon the value of the merchandise allegedly stolen. In this regard, the statute provides as follows:

  1. It is a Disorderly Persons Offense where the value of the merchandise is $200 or less;
  2. It is a Fourth Degree Crime where the value of the merchandise is between $200 and $500;
  3. It is a Third Degree Crime where the value of the merchandise is between $500 and $75,000; and
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