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A Court’s Use Of The Term “And/Or” In Its Instructions To The Jury Is Improper

March 26, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, which reversed a Defendant's convictions because the trial court's use of the term "and/or" regarding evidence from two different counts was clearly capable of producing an unjust result. The Appellate Division, in this case, reasserted the fundamental principle of proper jury charges as a necessity for a fair trial. During a trial, the court will provide instructions to the jury. Jury instructions may range anywhere from whether taking notes are allowed to advise the jury that certain evidence is only to be considered for a certain purpose to every element of a crime that must be established for a jury to convict a Defendant. The court's instructions to a jury(...)

Kozyra & Hartz, LLC Congratulates Attorneys Named To 2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers List And 2019 Top 50 Women’s New Jersey Super Lawyers List

March 25, 2019

Kozyra & Hartz, LLC wishes to congratulate Barry A. Kozyra and Judith A. Hartz. Barry A. Kozyra was named to the 2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers list, Judith A. Hartz was named to the 2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers List and to the 2019 Top 50 Women's New Jersey Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a consumer guide to outstanding attorneys based on a multi-step selection process, including a survey and peer review.** **Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

A Police Officer’s Disposal Of Alleged Open Alcohol Containers Found In Defendant’s Vehicle Is Deemed A Violation Of Defendant’s Right Due To Process

March 11, 2019

Stelios Stoupakis reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, dealing with a police officer's handling of alleged open bottles of wine and vodka located in the vehicle operated by the Defendant, who was charged with driving while intoxicated ("DWI"). The Appellate Division recently maintained the importance of a Defendant's due process rights against the "policy" of a certain police department in matters involving open alcohol containers. The police allegedly found Defendant sleeping in his automobile with the engine running and vomit located within the interior of the vehicle. Upon being woken up, Defendant was speaking incoherently, had bloodshot/watery eyes, and smelled of alcohol. Notably, two open alcohol containers(...)

Prosecutor’s Discretion In Denying Pretrial Intervention Applications Is Not Limitless

March 7, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, concerning the Prosecutor's discretion in denying Pretrial Intervention Program ("PTI") applications. Specifically, the Appellate Division slightly tightened the broad discretion originally provided to the Prosecutor in the decision making over PTI applications. PTI generally offers first-time offenders charged with indictable offenses an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction. Typically, only Defendants charged with non-violent crimes are eligible for PTI; however, as evidenced in this decision, that does not always hold true. The Defendant, in this case, was charged with second-degree aggravated assault and second-degree conspiracy to commit assault and(...)

Kozyra & Hartz, LLC Is Pleased To Announce That Stelios Stoupakis Has Joined The Firm As An Associate

February 15, 2019

Mr. Stoupakis is a graduate of Drew University (B.A. 2001). He is a graduate of St. John's University School of Law (J.D. 2004) where he was a Staff Member of the St. John's Law Review. Mr. Stoupakis was admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey in 2004. Mr. Stoupakis started his legal career as an Assistant Prosecutor for the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, under the late Prosecutor James Avigliano. He became an associate at the law firm of DiBiasi & Rinaldi in Nutley, New Jersey, before opening his own law practice as a partner at Koniarelis, Stoupakis & Kalogeras in Fairview, New Jersey. Mr. Stoupakis has experience in criminal, family, domestic violence, real estate, condominium conversions, contracts and civil litigation.