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Howard Woodley Bailey
11,814 followers -
NJ Criminal Trial Lawyer, NJ Criminal Defense Attorney, Expert Witness, Legal Consultant, Author, Teacher, Legal Humorist, Blogger, 60+ Senior
NJ Criminal Trial Lawyer, NJ Criminal Defense Attorney, Expert Witness, Legal Consultant, Author, Teacher, Legal Humorist, Blogger, 60+ Senior

11,814 followers
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I am licensed to practice law in the State of NJ, and the Federal Courts in the District of NJ only. My G+ posts and comments are not intended as an Advertisement of my services as a lawyer, however since my name and identifying information is included in many of my posts, they may be construed that way by the State where I practice law, or another jurisdiction where the posts are viewed.

Therefore, please be advised that any comment I make in or in regards to my posts here on G+ (or its re-publication on another site) is strictly intended for informational purposes only, and does NOT constitute legal advice, on any legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is established by these posts, even if it is similar in nature to a situation you are facing. Should you be confronted with a criminal prosecution or investigation, I strongly advise you to consult immediately, person-to-person, with an experienced criminal defense lawyer licensed in the State where the charges are filed, with whom you will have an attorney-client relationship. This direct consultation should be done before you make any decisions in regards to your legal issue.

Since the information contained in these posts is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter, no recipient of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the posts without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue, from an attorney licensed in the recipient's state. The content of these posts contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements that are applicable to or may impact your case; or, in the jurisdiction where your case is filed, alter the outcome. I expressly disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken by any person based on any or all the contents of these posts.

This Website and its contents are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

Lastly, I reiterate that I do not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing these posts in a state where these posts fail to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that other state or jurisdiction.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200
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...the cops had no reason to stop me, I knew where I was going and this was quicker than waiting in all that traffic... When the traffic control device says DO NOT DO THIS (think Traffic Light, Stop Sign, etc.); or, in obvious areas that are not intended for a MV to be operated on (think Stairways and Pedestrian Walkways) you give the police the probable cause basis to stop you when you commit those actions and violate the restrictions. During the stop, anything the police see, smell, hear, or otherwise observe can be used to justify a further investigation of what you were doing. Any evidence of illegal activity can be seized and used as evidence to convict you of MV or criminal offenses you are later charged with. Anything you say can be used against you, even without Miranda warnings having been given, as those protections are to prevent custodial interrogation without you being advised of your constitutional rights. During a street-level encounter, you are not in custody until you are arrested. Impatience behind the wheel, and 'taking a short-cut' or not 'waiting like everyone else' can lead to you being stopped and cited for MV violations and criminal offenses.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL OFFENSES THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#probablecause #interrogation #Miranda
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...but this is my first offense, why do I get sentenced to jail, I won't get arrested again... In NJ, some criminal and motor vehicle offenses have mandatory sentencing consequences that a Judge must impose. If you are convicted (or plead guilty) to those offenses, the Judge is required to impose the sentence even if this is 'your first offense'. Mitigating Factors can be argued by your lawyer to try to lower the overall sentence, for example to have the Judge impose 'concurrent' sentences on additional charges, rather than 'consecutive' sentences, but if the statute requires a loss of license, or a term of imprisonment, you need to be prepared to serve that sentence. In most cases, a Judge will not 'stay' the imposed sentence while you file an appeal of the conviction. If you do file an appeal, in many cases the Appellate Courts in NJ will similarly decline to stay the imposed sentence. It is imperative that before you make any decision on whether to take your chances at trial or to negotiate and accept the lowest plea agreement the prosecutor will offer, you discuss with your criminal defense attorney the mandatory sentences which you are exposed to by the charges you are facing; potential trial strategies; and, legal issues that can impact the likelihood of you facing a conviction after trial.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#conviction #sentence #appeal
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When a NJ Domestic Violence Restraining Order is issued against you, you violate the protections the Court gives to the protected party when you contact them. In some cases, the plaintiff wants to dismiss against you, and is not trying to 'set you up' by trying to contact you. It does not matter if they contacted you first, or that you were responding to a contact they initiated. The protected party cannot waive the protections of the RO, only the Court can dismiss the Order. If you respond to the attempted communication of the plaintiff, you will be charged with a Criminal Contempt of Court and even if the RO is later dismissed, you can still be convicted. In other cases, the protected party is trying to 'set you up' and by responding to their contact, you expose yourself to not only the evidence that is the basis that the Court relied on to issue a Temporary Restraining Order, but the fact that you violated that Order by having contact with the person the Court protected. The combination of these two types of evidence makes it much more likely that the Court will issue a Final Restraining Order against you. The sentencing range for a Criminal Contempt of Court depends on the grade of the offense, which can be up to a 4th degree crime and a sentence of up to 18 months in prison. The plaintiff cannot dismiss the criminal charge, only a prosecutor can recommend dismissal to a Court and the Judge is not bound by the prosecutor's dismissal recommendation. Do not contact means exactly that...NO CONTACT. Stop making your case worse by violating the Order, or risk both the restrictions and consequences of an FRO; and, a criminal conviction.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street,
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#domesticviolence #restrainingorder #criminalcontempt
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...they got no proof I did it, no one saw me...and I didn't leave no fingerprints... There is a general rule of law, that says no one admits to committing a crime unless they actually did it. In NJ, statements and photos that you put out on social media, such as on Instagram, Facebook, etc. are admissible against you and can be used to support both criminal charges being filed against you and to convict you. Photos of you with the proceeds of the crime; posts about you spending money on an expensive vacation or vehicle beyond what you report making legally; bragging about 'getting paid' (slang for having committed the crime); and, photos of you committing the criminal act to 'show' your buddies how bad you are, are all evidence that the prosecution will get from your social media and then use to convict you. You have a right to remain silent and not to become a witness against yourself, however your voluntary posting of that information on publicly accessed social media is the functional equivalent of you either standing in the middle of the street and yelling to the world that you are guilty, or you giving up your rights when talking to the police and admitting your guilt to everything you did. STOP POSTING YOUR GUILT ON THE INTERNET!

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#criminaldefense #admittingguilt #proof
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...I'll pay any fine...I just don't want to go to prison... Every criminal offense has a statutory sentencing range, and that is what you are exposed to if plead guilty or are convicted after trial of those charges. In NJ, the criminal law statutes use the two categories of 'Crimes' (also known as indictable charges); and, 'DP Offenses' (not indictable) to separate more serious crimes from 'disorderly persons' charges. In many cases, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can work out a pre-trial plea disposition to limit the sentencing exposure of a defendant who is pleading guilty, such as 'non-custodial' probation (no imprisonment); no loss of drivers license; a limited period of parole ineligibility; and, a specific limit on the length of a probation period. Unfortunately, some NJ criminal statutes specifically impose mandatory sentencing consequences. It is those offenses, which require that a person convicted of the crime SHALL be sentenced to imprisonment, that require that a convicted defendant cannot avoid prison confinement. The most difficult situation for a defense attorney, is when the statute imposes a mandatory custodial sentence, and the defendant maintains their innocence, taking the case to trial. Under those circumstances, there is no negotiation of a disposition to limit the potential sentence, since an innocent person cannot plead guilty to something that they did not do.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#criminaldefense #sentencing #custodial
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...if I violate the Restraining Order and get charged with Criminal Contempt of Court, and then the Order is dismissed, how can I be convicted of contempt? In NJ, the dismissal of the TRO or FRO does not impact the ability of the State to prosecute the criminal charge against you. The Domestic Violence RO is issued as a civil action involving the two parties (victim and defendant), while the criminal complaint is issued by the State against you as the defendant. Just because the victim decided to withdraw the TRO, or asked the Court to dismiss the FRO, that does not stop the State from prosecuting you for violating the law. In addition, just because the criminal complaint is dismissed by the prosecutor, that does not clear your criminal record, as the record is created when you are charged, not when or if you are convicted. the proceedings for a DV TRO/FRO and a criminal contempt charge are not handled in the same Court, which requires you to prepare a defense of both actions, before different Judges. Many criminal contempt charges are the result of the defendant responding to a contact by the victim, and it is not a defense to criminal contempt that you only contacted them after they contacted you. You are the person who the Order limits from contacting the protected party, so they cannot violate the Order, only you can.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, N J 07102
973-982-1200

#DomesticViolence #RestrainingOder #Contempt
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...but they 'told me' to hit them...so I did. They started it so why am I charged with assault? Under the criminal code of NJ, you cannot consent to being hit, so even if the 'victim' dares you to hit them you will be charged with assault when you oblige them and hit them. Any contact under those circumstances is an assault, even a gentle tap. Assault is graded on the level of injury caused, such as 'serious bodily injury' , 'significant bodily injury' and 'bodily injury'. The more serious the injury the more likely it is that you get a sentence of incarceration, which can include a period of parole ineligibility during which you cannot be released. Even without actual injury, you can be charged if you attempted to cause that type or level of injury. To understand the level of injury, for 'serious' injury think in terms of causing a substantial risk of death or which causes permanent disfigurement or the protracted loss of the function of a bodily member; for 'significant' injury think in terms of a temporary loss of the function of a bodily member; and, for 'bodily' injury think in terms of physical pain or any impairment of physical condition.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601,
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#assault #criminaldefense #sentence
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'I was ticketed doing 102 in a 55 speed zone, but so was the car I was following ...do I really need a lawyer? In NJ, you can be issued a traffic ticket for speeding when you are doing anything over the posted limit. Just because the car in front of you was speeding, does not mean that it is OK for you to. Motor vehicle points will be given to you by the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission depending on the speed you are convicted of driving. In addition to assessing you a fine and court costs, most municipal court judges will also consider suspending your license as part of the sentence; and, the NJ MVC can also suspend your license, in addition (consecutive) to any suspension the Court imposes. If you drive while your license is suspended, you face an additional suspension period being imposed by both the Court and the MVC. Before you decide whether to go to Court and do a DIY defense on a speeding ticket, ask yourself if you know the legal issues that impact the validity of the speeding allegation; the consequences of what you are charged with; and, the potential alternative dispositions that do not risk your license being suspended (or offer a reduced period of suspension). Based on your answers to those questions, you will probably be able to make an intelligent decision as to whether you should at least consult with a lawyer before deciding how to proceed...unless you intend to risk your license in Court just like you did on the roadway.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#trafficticket #speeding #suspension
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Calling your ex over-and-over 'just because they won't pick up the phone' when you want to talk to them runs the risk of you being issued a restraining order'. In NJ, one of the issues a Judge hearing a Domestic Violence case has to decide is whether your intent was to harass the person you were calling. This same determination has to be made in regards to you stopping at their home or place of work; you sending them endless text messages; repetitive Facebook (and other social media site) posts you make or comments you leave on their posts; and, other types of unwelcome repetitive attempts to 'let them know' that you are still around after they told you to leave them alone. There may very well be anger or other types of issues that you (or they) have in regards to how the relationship ended; or, child custody, child visitation and/or child support issues that are impacting your attempts to contact that other person. By you taking the 'self-help' steps of continually calling or attempting to contact them you are making a decision, not a mistake. If you use the Court to obtain the relief, whether it is getting your clothing and possessions out of the house, or visiting with your child, you have the backing of the Court on your side and the other person cannot complain about you harassing them. The flip side, is you risking a Final Restraining Order and a criminal conviction for harassment for not using the Court to get what you wanted.

SPECIALIZING IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE THROUGHOUT NEW JERSEY
Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102
973-982-1200

#Harassment #RestrainingOrder #DomesticViolence

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