Michael Vick and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Michael Vick has pled guilty to charges in Federal Court stemming from his connection to a dog fighting ring. As a result, Vick faces sentencing in Federal Court in December. In the past, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines have been mandatory. Therefore, Federal judges had little to no discretion in sentencing offenders. Depending on the offender’s prior criminal history, cooperation with the Continue Reading...

Conspiracy

With O.J. Simpson being charged with conspiracy recently I have received a lot of inquiries regarding the necessary elements required for the State to prove a conspiracy. Conspiracy requires basically four elements: 1) There must be an agreement: This is the essence of a conspiracy. The agreement need not be express; it can be implied based on a “concert of action”. An example is a group beating Continue Reading...

Murder or Manslaughter

Usually clients are interested in the difference between murder and manslaughter because this could significantly affect their sentences. For a homicide to occur, the victim must be human (horses, dolphins, etc. do not constitute a homicide). Murder/Common law murder are malice crimes: This means that the defendant recklessly disregarding a substantial risk that a particular harmful result would Continue Reading...

Self Defense

The success of self-defense as a defense to murder or assault depends on the extent of the force used and the extent of the threat to the individual’s safety. Non-deadly force can be used if the person reasonably believes that non-deadly force is about to be used on him. Deadly force can be used if the person reasonably believes that deadly force is about to be used on him. Deadly force is any Continue Reading...

License Suspension

Under the New Jersey Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, there is a mandatory license suspension for a driving while intoxicated offense. The nature of the license suspension depends on the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver and the driver's prior history of DWI charges. If this is a first offense and the blood alcohol readings from the breathalyzer machine read Continue Reading...