Speedy Trial Law
Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/municipal court tickets including drivers charged with driving commercial vehicle while intoxicated, refusal and on driving while suspended with a CDL.
Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. Don't give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for motor vehicle violations.
When your driver's license is in jeopardy or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Please call us if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter. Our web site kennethvercammen.com provides information on traffic offenses we can be retained to represent people. Our web site also provides details on jail terms for traffic violations and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.
The defense of a person charged with criminal offenses and DWI is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client. In a DWI case, State v. Farrell NJ Super (App. Div 1999) a DWI conviction was reversed and case dismissed based on speedy trial violation. The court held: "Excessive delay in completing a prosecution can potentially violate a defendant's constitutional right to a speedy trial as a matter of fundamental fairness, apart from whether double jeopardy standards have been contravened. Id. at 354-55. In cases arising from municipal court DWI prosecutions, just as with criminal prosecutions, consideration whether the right to a speedy trial has been violated is guided by the four factors announced in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530, 92 S. Ct. 2182, 2192, 33 L. Ed.2d 101, 117-18 (1972). Gallegan, supra, [117 NJ 345, 1989] 117 N.J. at 355; State v. Prickett, 240 N.J. Super. 139, 143 (App. Div. 1990)." Farrell, supra.
The New Jersey judiciary is, as a matter of policy, committed to the quick and thorough resolution of DWI cases. In 1984, Chief Justice Wilentz issued a directive, later echoed in Municipal Court Bulletin letters from the Administrative Office of the Courts, that municipal courts should attempt to dispose of DWI cases within sixty days. See State v. Fox, 249 N.J. Super. 521, 523 & n.1 (Law Div. 1991); State v. Perkins, 219 N.J. Super. 121, 124 (Law Div. 1987).
In Perkins, supra, defendant was charged with DWI on October 10, 1986, following a car accident in which only he was injured. 219 N.J. Super. at 122. Defendant first appeared in municipal court on December 4, 1986, but the State was not prepared to proceed and sought a continuance. Id. at 123. The trial was reset for January 8, 1987, and the municipal court judge stated that defendant would be entitled to a dismissal if the State was not ready to prosecute. Ibid. Nevertheless, even though the State was not prepared on January 8 due to a change of prosecutor and subpoena problems,
"There is further reason for requiring the prosecutor to be responsible. In our court system, the prosecutor, contrary to an ordinary advocate, has a
R. 1:2-4(a) provides for payment of costs to an adverse party as a condition of adjournment even where the State is the offending party in a criminal action. State v. Audette, 201 N.J. Super. 410, 493 A. 2d 540 (App. Div. 1985).
In Prickett, supra the Appellate Division agreed with the Law Division judge that the case should be remanded to the municipal court for determination and imposition of appropriate costs and for trial within 45 days of the date of this opinion.
If a party has failed to comply with this Rule [a discovery request] or with an order issued pursuant to this Rule, the court may order such party to permit the discovery or inspection of materials not previously disclosed, grant a continuance, or prohibit the party from introducing in evidence the material not disclosed, or it may enter such other order as it deems appropriate. State v Prickett 240 NJ Super 139, 145 App. Div (1990) "We have the problem of a part-time municipal prosecutor responsible for preparing cases for trial who abandons a prosecutorial function to the municipal court clerk who assumes it. R. 1:9-1 indicates that the court clerk may issue a subpoena, but makes no provision for service by the court clerk nor does it give the clerk the authority to excuse any witness absent instructions from the municipal court judge. The municipal court clerk should not become involved in the preparation of the State's case. " See N.J. Municipal Court Clerks' Manual, §2.3, pp. 69-70 (A.O.C. 1985) which states:
"The municipal prosecutor has the responsibility for determining what witnesses he wants and of preparing his own subpoenas. However, if the municipal prosecutor lacks secretarial help, court personnel may assistin typing the subpoenas." State v Prickett 240 NJ Super at 145. However, the
If the state is not prepared, the charges should be dismissed or state sanctioned. Because the State is the municipal prosecutor's client, a failure to discharge the obligations of his office is a violation of a prosecutor's professional responsibility to represent the client diligently. When a prosecutor has available relevant evidence bearing on a prosecution, and the prosecutor's failure to present that evidence in the course of trial results in acquittal, that prosecutor has not diligently discharged his or her duty to prepare and present the State's case. Furthermore, when the failure to prepare for trial and present relevant evidence prejudices the State's case, the prosecutor's deviation from that duty may be so severe as to constitute gross negligence. Matter of Segal 130 NJ 468 (1992) Furthermore, "delay occasioned by the courts must be charged against the State, not the defendant." State v Perkins, 219 NJ Super. 121, 127 (Law Div 1987). "The court is one part of our tripartite system of government. Its failures cannot be permitted to injure a defendant who had nothing to do with them and no control over them." Id. at 127.
About the Author
In his private practice, he has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on many personal injury matters, Municipal Court trials, matrimonial hearings, and contested administrative law hearings.
Since 1985, his primary concentration has been on litigation matters. Mr. Vercammen gained other legal experiences as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Court of Appeals of Maryland (Supreme Court), with the Delaware County, PA District Attorney Office handling Probable Cause Hearings, Middlesex County Probation Dept as a Probation Officer, and an Executive Assistant to Scranton District Magistrate, Thomas Hart, in Scranton, PA.
KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,
2053 Woodbridge Avenue,
Edison, NJ 08817,