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Criminal Defense

Recent Posts in Criminal Defense Category

  • New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

    Cannabis Laws in New Jersey vs. New York: Know the Difference As of March 31, 2021, New York became the 15 th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults age 21+. This is significant, as pot smokers could face little to no consequences for using cannabis in the Empire State. As such, any adult who is 21 and over can use and possess marijuana in New York. Although New Jersey legalized ...
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  • COVID-19 Brings Increase in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

    Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Increasing During Pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic brought more than a virus into our nation. It also brought a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in populous US cities, such as the Bay Area, New York, and Los Angeles. A report by California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reveals a nearly 150% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes across 16 major cities ...
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  • Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal in New Jersey

    Recreational Marijuana Legalized In NJ: What It Means for You On February 22, 2021, New Jersey made history as Governor Phil Murphy signed three cannabis reform bills into law. These bills legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis and possession as well as decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession . In addition, one of the bills reduces the penalties for underage possession of marijuana . ...
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  • Romance Scammers on Online Dating Apps

    Are You a Romance Scammer? Online dating apps are increasingly common in this day and age. Single people use online dating apps to meet and mingle, hoping to find a casual hookup or committed love. In fact, a Pew Research Center study reveals that 48% of 18-to-29-year-olds report using a dating site or app, while roughly 57% of online daters report having an overall positive experience with these ...
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  • Is Spanking Considered Child Abuse?

    Examples of Child Abuse You may have been spanked as a child, but can you spank your own child these days? Over the years, spanking has become a less common form of discipline among US parents. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, as countless parents still use physical discipline to put their children in place. Although parents tend to use non-physical forms of discipline with their kids, ...
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  • How Drunk Is Too Drunk to Consent to Sex?

    People who attend bars, nightclubs, and college parties are more than likely to have a drink or two. Or three or four. The point is, it is not surprising that these attendees typically go home intoxicated. Maybe they went home with the same people they arrived with, or maybe they met a “special someone” during their night out. With this in mind, our attorneys are often asked, “Can I legally ...
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  • What Are the Dangers of Online Dating?

    Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr, and OKCupid, are common online dating apps these days. However, they can come at a cost. According to Pew Research Center (PRC), 30% of U.S. adults say they have used a dating site or app. While most online daters report positive experience overall, many users – particularly younger women – report being harassed or sent explicit messages on these dating platforms, ...
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  • Porch Pirates: Data, Penalties & Legal Defense

    Key Findings on Porch Piracy Since March 2020, an increasing amount of people have resorted to online shopping to better avoid going out in public and taking the risk of spreading or getting ill from COVID-19. For instance, people can order groceries, clothes, household supplies, and holiday gifts from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, government officials have encouraged Americans to ...
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  • Has Crime Decreased During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

    COVID-19 Impacts on Crimes The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the lives and wellbeing of millions of Americans. To help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, city officials have been forced to make drastic decisions such as imposing stay-at-home orders, civil penalties for violating safety regulations, and releasing low-level offenders from correctional facilities. With this in ...
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  • Prescription Drug Abuse: Signs, Symptoms & Key Facts

    What Is Prescription Drug Abuse? The US Department of Health and Human Services defines prescription drug abuse as the use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed, or for the experience or feeling elicited. The only way to legally obtain a prescription drug is to have a valid prescription from a licensed doctor or physician and purchase it through a pharmacy, use ...
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  • 3 Tips to Avoid Disorderly Conduct Charges on Halloween

    Halloween is full of activities, whether they be costume contests, trick-or-treating, pranks or parties. That is why people do not waste the opportunity to make the most of this beloved holiday by participating in the fun. But sometimes, Halloween activities can come to an abrupt halt when actions and behaviors get “out-of-hand.” Maybe someone had too much to drink, a Halloween prank went awfully ...
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  • Is Marijuana Odor Probable Cause for a Warrantless Search in NJ?

    Warrantless Searches Under The “Plain Smell” Doctrine Marijuana use continues to be a widely debated topic in the US. In New Jersey, recreational marijuana has yet to be legalized, although its medical counterpart was passed into law in 2010. Qualified medical marijuana patients can access a variety of marijuana treatments but must be cautious when transporting such items in their vehicles. ...
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  • When Does a Legal Firearm Become Illegal?

    Limitations on Your Right to Bear Arms The Second Amendment is a crucial constitutional right in America. While countless citizens exercise their right to bear arms, many people don’t realize that strict rules govern who can and cannot possess a firearm. New Jersey, like many states, strictly enforces the legal possession of firearms, therefore it’s beneficial to learn its firearm laws to best ...
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  • 3 Ways to Best Prevent a DUI on Labor Day

    Tips for Labor Day Weekend 2020 The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates 390 people may die on US roads this Labor Day holiday period. Falling on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is a national federal holiday that celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers, who enhance the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. While Americans use this opportunity ...
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  • What Is the Most Shoplifted Book?

    The Irony of “Thou Shalt Not Steal” Among the most shoplifted books in the world is the Bible, according to several sources including CNN and the NY Times . Yes, that’s right. The word of God is in such high demand that people resort to shoplifting to get their hands on it. Despite a common reason for shoplifting the Bible being that it should be free of charge, the law can be brutal when ...
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  • Is Cyberbullying a Crime in NJ?

    Online Bullies Can Go to Jail When you hear the word “bullying,” you may envision a group of kids harassing a lonely classmate by pushing them, teasing them and throwing their books. When you think of online bullying, you may think of people posting nasty, hateful comments on someone’s Facebook status or photo. Bullying has been an ongoing battle for decades, and it can take place both in-person ...
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  • Benefits of a Criminal Trial Specialist

    Pursuing the Highest Standards of Excellence Our criminal defense lawyers at Brickfield & Donahue are not your average attorneys: We are Criminal Trial Specialists Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey . In December 2016, only 1,650 out of 75,000 active New Jersey lawyers earned this designation. Anyone can call themselves a criminal lawyer, but not everyone can be a criminal law ...
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  • People on Probation & Parole in NJ Can Vote

    Understanding A5283 Impacts on Voting Rights A revolutionary new bill affects New Jersey residents who are on parole or probation. As part of his Second Chance Agenda, Governor Phil Murphey signed A5823 on December 18, 2019 to restore voting rights to residents who are on parole or probation. Effective March 17, 2020, this bill can impact over 80,000 NJ citizens. Only 16 other states allowed ...
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  • 5 Steps to Follow When Stopped by Police

    Avoid Further Trouble at All Costs Whether it’s your first time getting stopped by the police or not, interacting with them can be intimidating. Their presence alone is enough to provoke anxiety in some people, but when they stop you because they’re suspicious of your actions, your conduct could make or break you. One wrong move could cost you your freedom, or even your life. It doesn’t matter if ...
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  • Social Media Use & Your Criminal Case

    Avoiding Social Media Is in Your Best Interests Many people use social media to check their notifications, browse the news and engage with posts and other people before even getting out of bed. In fact, about 7 in 10 Americans use social media to connect with each other, according to a PEW research study . Considering that social media has become a heavily integrated part of our daily lives, it’s ...
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  • Do I Qualify for Expungement?

    In simple terms, an expungement is a petition to the court to have your criminal record cleared. When granted, it means you are no longer required to disclose your criminal record on applications for employment, housing, professional licenses, or for other life opportunities. After an expungement, your record will not appear on a routine background check and if asked about any past arrests or ...
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  • What Does a Restraining Order Do?

    Restraining orders in New Jersey commonly result from allegations of domestic violence. These orders can only be issued by a Superior Court Judge after hearing evidence that the plaintiff (the victim) has been subject to some type of criminal behavior under The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 by the defendant (the accused). These orders are also known as protective orders. Restraining ...
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  • What Is an Indictable Offense in New Jersey?

    Criminal offenses are labeled differently from state to state and across jurisdictions. Many states categorize the most serious crimes, known as felony offenses, into classes with labels of first-degree, second-degree, and the like while others may group them into Class A, Class B, and so on. New Jersey differs from other states in that the term “felony offense” was eliminated by the legislature . ...
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  • Understanding the Criminal Appeal Process

    If you are dissatisfied with a conviction or its sentencing in any of New Jersey’s courts, you have the right to file for an appeal to a higher court. It is important to remember, however, that an appeal is not a retrial where you will seek the positive outcome you failed to get the first time out. An appeal is a review of the lower court’s record based on the contention that legal errors or ...
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  • Hate Crimes in New Jersey

    In recent years, hate crime allegations have substantially increased and garnered national media attention. Consequently, New Jersey courts are being more conscientious than before about bringing such charges against an individual. A hate crime is described as any criminal offense that targets a person due to their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. Prosecutors ...
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