Smart Data Used to Convict, Defend, and Appeal in NJ Criminal Courts

Using technology to fight for clients facing criminal charges across New Jersey in Hamilton Township, Trenton, Ewing and across Mercer County

The Benefits of using Smart Data to Reduce CrimeSince the late 1980s, the reduction of crime has been a high priority for the justice system in many communities across New Jersey. According to cityrating.com, this effort has been largely successful.  Beginning in the late 90s both violent crime and property crimes have steadily declined and as of 2019 had reached an all-time low. A large factor in this dramatic reduction in crime has been advances in technology and their implementation by law enforcement agencies and courts across New Jersey.

The use of “Smart data” has allowed law enforcement to focus its efforts and resources in the areas that need it most.  Furthermore, it allows an element of prediction when it comes to crime and offenders. By using smart data, legal officials can make decisions based on the likelihood that someone will commit another crime or even show up for court. Though smart data isn’t perfect at predicting behavior, it narrows the odds in comparison to guessing or assuming.

Smart Data is Unbiased in Criminal Cases

Another advantage is that smart data is unbiased. Given the common criticism that the courts tend to be biased, this assures that judges can make decisions based on what is known about the person factually. Data is collected on a local and national level and offers critical insight into what needs to be considered when making a judgment. When judges can see all of the information they can make decisions based on both local and national norms.

Computer Technology Allows Courts to have all Relevant Information at its Disposal

It was not uncommon for critical information to be overlooked or ignored by courts. This was often due to deadlines and just the quantity of data and paper that needed to be reviewed. Nationwide improvements in the computer technologies used by courts have allowed them to have all pertinent data at their fingertips.

Risk and Liability Assessment of Defendants Becomes a Virtual Ease for Law Enforcement and the Courts

New technologies have made compiling, centralizing and accessing data virtual ease for law enforcement and courts. The processes implemented to help judges assess risk and liability of defendants can come up with a recommendation in a matter of minutes.  Judges can then take those recommendations into account when issuing their rulings. Furthermore, smart data helps save law enforcement lives by allowing an officer to have critical information about suspects and the risk they may pose to an officer.

The Future of Smart Data in the Legal System

Though the use of smart data by courts has brought more just and consistent rulings and sentences, law enforcement has steadily improved its use of technology for the past two centuries. The use of fingerprints was the beginning of the forensic revolution, however, DNA, ballistic analysis, CCTV and other types of technology have also played an important role. Smart data will soon have an even bigger role in law enforcement than any technological development of the 21st Century. National crime databases have made it possible for law enforcement officials to check DNA, fingerprints and other forensic data across different jurisdictions and across the country. Experts have begun to use predictive analytics algorithms to identify broader trends.

Predictive Analytics Algorithms are being leveraged in the following ways:

  • It can help focus emergency resources to fight recent crime waves
  • It can identify the likelihood that someone will be a serial offender
  • It can identify precipitating factors that cause crime epidemics and pass that information to policymakers so that they can take preventive measures

Moreover, smart data has been used for nearly a decade for predictive crime mapping. It has been effective in identifying and predicting crime type, date, time and location. It has been shown that these maps are able to predict where crime will occur as much as 10 times better than the police. As a result, police officers often use these predictive maps to determine patrol areas and to combat crime.

Defendants using Smart Data for Sentencing Appeals

Defendants using Smart Data for Sentencing AppealsThe increased use of smart data has had an unexpected benefit for those appealing unjust sentences.  The United States Sentencing Commission compiles data on sentencing trends nationwide. Attorneys have increasingly used this data to show sentencing inconsistencies.  Put simply, attorneys can argue that a defendant’s sentence was not consistent with their crime or the history of the defendant.

Other organizations like the Bureau of Justice Statistics compiles data on appeals that are filed across the country.  With more information involved in appeals including more information surrounding the complete circumstances surrounding the original crime as well as expanded information about the history of the defendant. With this data, inconsistencies are far more evident and provable.

Contact Our Mercer County Criminal Law Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we have extensive experience with the use of smart data and its application to sentencing appeals in Hamilton Township, Trenton, Ewing and across Mercer County.

Having good and effective legal counsel that understands how smart data can be applied to your appeal can be critical to your case. Our aggressive approach to representing our clients has given us the experience needed to gain the best possible outcome for our clients.

Please contact our firm today in a comprehensive and confidential assessment regarding your case, please call (609) 528-2596 or fill out our online form.

What you need to know about Probation from NJ and PA Trial Lawyers

Probation Attorneys Representing Clients in Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across Mercer County and Central New Jersey

What you need to know about Probation from NJ and PA Trial LawyersProbation, a period of supervision ordered by the court, often accompanies or replaces a jail sentence. Following the legal mandates of this supervisory period is essential, and failure to comply in even one of the rules in New Jersey can have strict consequences.

During court proceedings in which probation is determined, a set of strict provisions is placed. These rules may include

  • The assignment of a probation officer, with whom one must schedule regular visits
  • Drug test and/or treatment
  • Consistent employment
  • Curfew
  • Compliance with geographic boundaries
  • Community service
  • A clean police record after release
  • Registration as a sex offender if applicable
  • Installation of a vehicle interlock device if applicable

Probation vs. Parole in Mercer County NJ

Probation and parole are inherently different, and it’s important to understand that difference in understanding probation and the effects of breaking it.

Probation is a court-ordered period of supervision that either accompanies or replaces a jail sentence. Parole, however, is a conditional release from prison, usually awarded for good behavior while one has been serving a jail sentence. The conditions of parole are also very strict, and a parolee must follow these without fail, or they are returned to jail to serve the completion of their sentence. The rules of parole are similar to those of probation, with the addition of authorities’ use of tracking devices worn as ankle bracelets by parolees in some cases.

A Bureau of Justice Statistics study showed that in 2016, while the overall national number of people under community supervision (probation or parole) was down 1.1 percent, mostly due to a drop in new probation sentences, in New Jersey that number actually increased by 4,452 people, as compared to the prior year.

Violation of Probation in Trenton, New Jersey

Just as a probation officer monitors the progress of a person on probation in New Jersey as documented during their regularly scheduled visits, a probation officer is generally the first to report any probationary violation, filing a Violation of Probation (VOP) complaint with the court.

In the case that a VOP is filed, a court hearing will be scheduled. During this proceeding, the court determines whether the person was indeed in violation of probation, based on testimony from the probation officer.

If the judge finds that the person was not in violation of their probation, there is no punishment, and continued obedience of the conditions of probation will continue to be followed. However, if the judge finds that the person was in violation of their probation, they will likely place a penalty that reflects the severity of the breach of probation conditions. It is one’s legal obligation to attend the court hearing scheduled when a Violation of Probation is filed. In their absence, an arrest warrant is issued.

Legal Consequences for Violating Probation Across NJ and PA

Penalties for violating probation range from an extended probationary period with the same conditions or the provision of additional conditions during the original or an extended time period. If the violation of probation included a newly committed crime, it is likely that the judge will sentence the person to jail time.

Legal Consequences for Violating Probation Across NJ and PAA 2018 study by the Prison Policy Institute found that, while probation and parole instances are down in the United States, the terms set within the system of probation and parole still often set people up for failure, as the terms of probation are, as noted before, strict and lengthy.

If a probation officer has issued a Violation of Probation, it is wise for the defendant to have a criminal defense lawyer representing them in the court hearing, there to help plead the case of the accused. This could mean the difference between a clean slate and additional jail time.

Contact our 45 year-experienced team of attorneys to represent you in your case

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our experienced team of attorneys helps clients understand their rights and fight for them in towns across Mercer County, including Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence, Princeton, and New Brunswick.

For more than 45 years of practicing law, our firm has earned a well-deserved reputation for the hundreds of successful cases, we´ve handled with fair results for the people we proudly represent.

Contact our law offices to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer regarding your case. We are committed to helping you be informed, skillfully guided, and represented throughout the process.  Please contact us online, or through our Trenton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596.

 

Illegal Weapons to Possess in Mercer and Bucks County

Brass Knuckles and Other Illegal Weapons Charges in NJ and PA

Illegal Weapons to Possess in Mercer and Bucks County

Citizens often have many questions surrounding the possesion of weapons. Lack of knowledge of the law is often claimed in criminal defense cases where people are charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose or unlawful possession of a weapon. Knowledge of which weapons can be legally owned in New Jersey can help to prevent the forfeiture of weapons such as brass knuckles and others that you are not legally allowed to possess.

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a legal team that has been representing clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1972. Our skilled attorneys have supported a myriad of clients charged with unlawful possession of a weapon in Mercer County, NJ, including Trenton, Hightstown, and Ewing. We understand how seriously NJ prosecutors take weapons offense cases, which is why we will do everything viable to contest your charges and keep you out of custody. Contact us online or call KCR today anytime at (215) 337-4915.

Trenton Possession of Brass Knuckles Attorneys

In New Jersey, it is illegal to carry weapons around with you. However, some weapons are permitted for self-defense, and though it is difficult, you may be able to get a gun permit. Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:39-3, it is illegal to possess certain kinds of arms, which includes weapons like brass knuckles, knuckle dusters, a cestus, or reinforced gloves.

The New Jersey administrative code for firearms and weapons lists specific weapons that you cannot own. To do so will result in facing gun possession charges for not having a permit or license, but you can also fall subject to criminal penalties for possession of some weapons or weapon components, such as:

  • “Destructive devices”
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Silencers
  • Altered firearms
  • Armor piercing ammunition
  • Handcuffs
  • Stun guns/Tasers
  • Bump stocks and trigger cranks

In addition, it is illegal to have possession of other specific conventional weapons. These weapons are illegal because they are typically carried to harm or maim others and not for self-defense. Moreover, the possession of such weapons for unlawful purposes or in the commission of a crime poses additional repercussions. Whatever the reason for having one of these weapons on your person, it is illegal to own certain weapons, including the following:

  • Switchblades
  • Daggers
  • Billy clubs
  • Blackjacks
  • Brass knuckles (called “metal knuckles” in the statute)
  • Slingshots
  • Ballistic knives

Charges for the Possession of Brass Knuckles Mercer County NJ

The possession of an illegal weapon in New Jersey is a fourth-degree crime. Crimes are divided into “disorderly persons offenses” and “indictable crimes” (often just called “crimes”), which roughly equate to “misdemeanors” and “felonies” in other states. Crimes of the fourth degree are the lowest level of crime in New Jersey, but they can still carry considerable penalties.

Fourth-degree crimes are punished by up to 18 months in jail and fines up to $10,000. These penalties are merely the maximum, and judges do not usually order the full penalties unless your crime was particularly dangerous or heinous. For a first-time offender or someone with a clean criminal record, judges may order reduced penalties.

This crime has no mandatory sentence. Meaning a judge may issue you a fine only or may include a period of probation as part of your final judgment. This may allow you to circumvent jail time, but it is still a harsh punishment that could include paying penalty charges, checking in with a probation officer, attending crime deterrence courses, performing community service, and remaining free from further crime. It is, therefore, crucial to talk to an attorney about the potential penalties for your weapons charges.

Carrying brass knuckles for an unlawful purpose, such as the commission of a crime, is elevated to a third-degree crime. This is punished by 2-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.

Contact our Trenton NJ Weapon Charges Attorneys

The criminal defense attorneys Kamensky, Cohen, & Riechelson, will do everything in their power to help you eradicate your weapons possession charges and avoid New Jersey’s strict penalties. Let us handle your case as we have been doing for over four decades in New Jersey and local Pennsylvania towns like Northeast Philadelphia, Bensalem, Levittown, Penndel, Millbrook, Feasterville, and all of Bucks County. Contact us online or at our Trenton or Bensalem offices by calling (215) 337-4915 today to speak with a member of our legal team in a free and personal consultation regarding your claim.

Prosecutor Wants to Forfeit Your Car, Cash, or Home Once Charged With a Crime

Contesting Civil ForfeitureMunicipalities that are strapped for cash have turned to some fairly creative methods of generating revenue. One method is police and prosecutors seizing and forfeiting cars, boats, money, computers, guns and even homes that were “used in, or facilitated a charged criminal activity”. Although many cases involve significant crimes and the forfeitures are justified, far too often persons charged with fairly low-level drug sales or purchases are routinely having their cars and homes seized. These fines and forfeitures are often used to supplement local and state budgets, including those of the very agencies that seized and forfeited the property. They also have produced complications in the area of criminal defense as those charged with crimes must not only defend their freedom but also their property.

Being indicted on any criminal offense is a serious situation. The legal system can be very intimidating and the potential for loss of freedom, finances and property is enough to cause anyone worry. However, even if you have been charged with a crime our Constitution grants us all the right to be free of excessive fines and protects our property from unfair and unwarranted government seizures. The law firm of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has more than four decades of experience defending clients who are facing criminal charges and civil forfeiture across New Jersey and Mercer County areas. Our attorneys will help you through the often complicated legal process with the goal of defending your freedom, your property and your finances.

Contact us online or call us at (215) 337-4915 today for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our experienced and skilled legal team.

Problems With Mercer County Civil Asset Forfeiture

The problem is that many Civil Asset Forfeitures may be extremely excessive when compared to the criminal activity charged in addition to exceeding the financial penalties that the law dictates for a particular offense. In a current case before the U.S. Supreme Court , Timbs v. Indiana, the defendant pled to one count of dealing. He was sentenced to a year of home detention, five years of probation, and $1,200 in fines and court costs which is normal for this type of case. However, in a separate civil forfeiture proceeding, the State sought to forfeit his expensive Land Rover asserting that it was used in the commission of the crime. The value of the car was well over $42,000. The trial and appellate courts held that the forfeiture was excessive, disproportionate to even the maximum fine of $10,000 under the drug statute. The Indiana Supreme Court, however, reversed and allowed the forfeiture. The U.S. Supreme Court must now decide whether the excessive fines clause in the Bill of Rights applies to the states.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Expanding Across New Jersey

Every day across New Jersey and elsewhere, local and state law enforcement seize cars, homes and other property they allege were used in or facilitated criminal activity – whether that consists of relatively minor drug sales, transportation of stolen property or other crimes involving the “use” of the car. Even if the person charged is admitted into a pretrial diversion program or receive probation and a minor fine, the government may still proceed to forfeit their property civilly or as part of the criminal sentence. That forfeiture is often grossly disproportionate to the underlying criminal charges.

The ACLU in New Jersey compiled data, from January through May 2016, and found that police departments in New Jersey seized $5.5 million in cash over that time period, along with 234 cars as well as several homes.

Contact our Experienced Mercer County Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorneys Today

The criminal defense attorneys of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson have extensive experience defending clients from unfair, unwarranted and excessive civil asset forfeitures in Mercer County including Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton, and Pennington NJ. Our firm believes in aggressively defending our clients freedom, rights and property. You can rely on the experience we have cultivated since opening our doors in 1972.

For a free and confidential consultation regarding your case, please contact us online or through our Trenton offices by dialing (215) 337-4915 today.

 

Video – Drug Crime Attorney in Trenton, NJ

Because law enforcement takes any violation of drug laws extremely seriously there is no such thing as a “minor” drug charge in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. If you are found by police in possession of even a single marijuana joint or evidence of drug paraphernalia in your vehicle, you may be arrested and charged with very serious drug possession offenses. These are offenses that can carry some very strict penalties.  Moreover, in drug cases prosecutors will often seek maximum punishments.  A conviction could lead to significant prison time, stiff fines as well as a permanent criminal record that be very damaging to your life going forward.

The esteemed law firm of Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson has a proven track record of success and more than 40 years of experience handling drug crime cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our lawyers have successfully defended numerous clients against charges of drug possession and drug distribution throughout Mercer County, including Lawrence, Princeton, and East Windsor. Our legal team is comprised of skilled negotiators and tenacious attorneys who know how to win for you in the courtroom. Contact us online or by phone in New Jersey at (609) 528-2596  or in Pennsylvania at (215) 337-4915

Common Drug Offenses Mercer County Drug Offense Attorneys

Being arrested for drug possession or drug distribution in New Jersey is serious. Seeking representation from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible should be your first step. Do not give any statements to the police without first securing qualified legal counsel. Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson handles drug crime cases in New Jersey courtrooms regularly. Some of the most common drug charges that we have successfully defended clients against include:

Trenton Drug Offense Attorney Discusses Drug Charges and Penalties

Drug penalties have increased dramatically throughout the years, what used to be minor offenses are major offenses and it’s really important that we get ahead of that game do our investigation before the police have nailed down every witness and done every bit of their investigation.

It’s my job to get to work and build a real case that defends you, we need to get the witnesses on our side, what we need to do is show the prosecution that we’ve got a strong case, because our strong case makes their case a weak case that’s when we bring them to their knees instead of them bringing you to your knees.

When you call us, we’ll get to work for you. It’s a wide range of drug problems it’s a wide range of drug prosecutions they all take a little bit different approach we know the approach, know the prosecutors and we know what to do to get you the best outcome possible.

Contact Our Mercer County and Bucks County Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

Since 1972, we have defended clients in Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick and all over Mercer County NJ as well as Bensalem, Northeast Philadelphia, Levittown, Feasterville, Millbrook, Penndel and all over Bucks County PA, from all types of drug related charges.

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly experienced firm skilled at getting results for our clients. Our legal team is made up of skilled negotiators and tenacious attorneys who know how to win for you in the courtroom. Our team of lawyers includes a certified trial attorney who has been selected for inclusion in the prestigious NJ “Super Lawyers,” meaning they are in the top five percent of all New Jersey lawyers. We are led by Jerrold Kamensky, and our accomplished and top notch team of attorneys are second to none and have a proven record of success defending our clients against criminal prosecution. Contact us online or by phone in New Jersey at (609) 528-2596  or in Pennsylvania at (215) 337-4915