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Law Enforcement Officials Cannot Make False Promises And Representations To A Suspect In Custody In Order To Elicit A Confession

July 25, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent decision from the Supreme Court of New Jersey concerning the standard the State has to meet regarding the elicitation of a defendant's incriminating statement. The Defendant, in this case, was brought into custody under suspicion of sexual assault. The interrogation lasted for three hours. Throughout the interrogation, two detectives repeatedly promised the suspect that if he would cooperate, he would not go to jail, they would help him seek counseling and he would be able to live freely and raise his daughter. Ultimately, the suspect believed the detectives and confessed to the allegations. He was arrested and criminally charged. At pre-trial hearings, the trial court determined that the Defendant's confession was voluntary, and as such,(...)

A Police Officer Intentionally Prolonging A Routine Traffic Stop For The Purpose Of Conducting A “Canine Sniff” Test Requires Reasonable Suspicion That The Driver Was Engaged In Drug Activity

June 13, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, concerning the suppression of evidence when a police officer intentionally prolonged a routine traffic stop to enable a "canine sniff" test which resulted in damaging evidence against the driver. Specifically, the Appellate Division effectively secured a driver's rights during a routine traffic stop and tightened a police officer's broad authority over a driver. A police officer is authorized to conduct several unrelated checks during a lawful traffic stop; however, the police officer cannot do so in efforts to prolong a stop without reasonable suspicion that would justify detaining an individual. The Defendant, in this case, was charged with second-degree(...)

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STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, which reversed a Defendant's convictions because the trial court's use of the term "and/or"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(...)