Sunday, March 18, 2007


General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division:
March 2007
The Criminal Law Committee helps to keep solo and small firms members updated on criminal law and procedure. Programs presented by the committee are basic "how to's" on handling your first criminal law case, or answering questions from your clients when criminal law issues arise in the general practice context. We welcome all who wish to participate and accept all suggestions for programming ideas.

Brian T Hermanson Ponca City, OK Chair (580) 762-0020

Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Editor & Deputy Chair

In this Issue:
2 Sample DWI Cross Examination Questions


EDISON, NJ 08817

NAME ____________________________________________________

ADDRESS _________________________________________________

CITY _______________________ STATE ____ ZIP ______________

CELL #(_____)_________________ PHONE-DAY(____)________________

NIGHT (______)_________________

TODAY'S DATE ____/_____/_____ E-MAIL ________________________

Referred By: __________________________________
If referred by a person, is this a client or attorney?

CHARGES/TICKETS ISSUED [provide tickets, hearing notice and other important papers to front desk to be copied]
1. ____________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________
3. ____________________________________________________
4. ____________________________________________________
Date of Offense: __________________ Time: _____ (A.M./P.M.) Your Age _____
Town: ___________________________ (street/location)?____________________
What Happened: _________________________________________________
Write additional details on the back of this page. YOU MUST FILL OUT BOTH
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Confidential interview form page 2
Other Persons Arrested or Witnesses:
______________________ ______________________ _________________
co-defendant/ Witness Name Their Address Phone No.
What did you tell the police? ________________________________________

Occupation: _____________ Employer: _______________ Town: ________
[Attach your business card to clipboard.]
Do you need your drivers license for work? ____ Distance driven to work: ____

Prior criminal arrests or convictions, even if charges dismissed (include description of each charge, date of arrest, and town/county of arrest. -If none, write none):

Prior motor vehicle convictions, town and year (ex: drunk driving, driving while suspended, no insurance, etc. -If none, write none): _____________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Prior Traffic ticket downgrades to no point tickets since 1999 [39:4-97.2]:
1. Town _______________________ Year ___________ [if none, write none]
2. Town _______________________ Year ___________
[Please note the DMV/MVC only permits 2 "no point" downgrades in 5 years.]

If you are not a US Citizen, please check here: ______

What questions do you have/ how can we help you and anything else important:

All new clients are entitled to receive our Free Email Newsletter featuring updates in Traffic Law, Criminal and Personal Injury. Please help yourself to all brochures in the reception area. If you have a business card, please attach it to the clipboard. All paid clients receive a T-shirt upon request. This page must be filled out before meeting with the attorney. Thank you.

Thank you for contacting Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, PC for representation in a municipal court matter.
1. Legal Services To Be Provided- Please read!
We will review and research necessary statutes and caselaw, speak with the prosecutor, prepare defenses and determine mitigating factors. We agree to provide conscientious, competent and diligent services and at all times will seek to achieve solutions which are just and reasonable for you.

1. Office consultation with client
2. Preparation of statement to provide legal services [ retainer agreement setting forth fees and work to be performed;
3. Offer sound legal advice to client;
4. Preparation of letter of representation to Municipal Court after fee paid;
5. Preparation of letter of representation to Municipal Court Prosecutor;
6. Review documents supplied by client and court;
7. Copies of all correspondence to Court and Prosecutor to client;
8. Opening of file and client may have free client case folder, Municipal Court brochure, DMV points brochure, and Website brochure;
9. Review of necessary statutes and case law;
10. Follow up with Municipal Prosecutor for discovery if suspension or jail is likely;
11. Prepare defense and mitigating factors;
12. Miscellaneous correspondence, drafting of brief/ pleadings if needed;
13. Review Court hearing notice and send letter to client to remind them of hearing
14. Travel to Municipal Court;
15. Representation in Municipal Court.
16. Preparation of End of Case Letter and client questionnaire.
17. Free Brochures provided on other legal topics such as Personal Injury, Worker's Comp, Wills, Probate and other matter we help clients
18. Free subscription to monthly e-mail newsletter.
19. Answer specific questions after the case is over
20. Free T-shirts, Magnets, Can Koozie, Stadium Cup, Free USA Keychains, USA Flag Calendar for clients - Please ask.
Legal Fees.
Fees must be paid by VISA, Master Card, American Express, check, money order or cash. Make checks payable to Kenneth Vercammen Law Office today. Fees are to be paid at initial consultation (today). Fees must be paid in full prior to a Letter of Representation being sent to the Court. Neither this office nor other area attorneys accept payment plans if the fees are less than $2,500. Fees are not reduced and not negotiable. We cannot send a letter of representation to the court until the Retainer is paid in full. This is a non-refundable retainer/representation fee, pursuant to Superior Court decisions and New Jersey RPC.
What you should do: After you have retained [paid] your attorney, call the court, plead not guilty and give the court the name of your attorney. In traffic tickets, the phone number is on the back of the ticket.
Write your notes on the back of this paper during your interview.

2- Sample DWI Cross Examination Questions
By Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
Editor- NJ Municipal Court Law Review and lecturer on DWI for both the NJ State Bar Association and NJ Police Chiefs Association

Probable Cause for Stop
1. No accident?
2. No criminal violation?
3. Traffic light per ticket?
4. According to Report-Not close to hitting other car
5. According to Report not endangering any person/property?
6. No details in report of driving willful on went to disregard of rights of others?
7. No ticket for lane violation?
8. No ticket for careless?
9. No reason to believe weapons?
10. No tip by reliable informant?
11. Pulled over my client without a warrant?
12. No Radar?
13. No Pace?
14. Could not have issued ticket for speeding?

Cross of Police Regarding Field Sobriety
15. Do you have documents describing how, under what conditions and by whom each test was given? Are you aware the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has advice and instructions on giving the Field Sobriety Test.
15A. Walk and Turn
Your report does not say that you:
• Always begin by having the subject assume the heel-toe stance
• Verify that the subject understands that the stance is to be maintained while the instructions are given.
• If the subject breaks away from the stance as the instructions are given, cease giving instructions until the stance is resumed
• Tell the subject that he or she will be required to take 9 heel-to-toe steps down the line, to turn, and to take 9 heel-to-toe steps up the line.
• Demonstrate several heel-to-toe steps
• Demonstrate the turn
• Tell the subject to keep the arms at the sides, to watch the feet, to count the steps aloud, and not to stop walking until the test is completed.
• Ask the subject whether he or she understands; it not, re-explain whatever the subject doesn’t understand
• Tell the subject to begin
• If the subject staggers or stops, allow him or her to resume from the point of interruption; do not require the subject to start over from the beginning
• Cannot keep balance while listening to instructions (i.e., breaks away from the
heel-to-toe stance)
• Starts before instructions are finished
• Keeps balance but does not remember instructions
• Stops while walking to steady self
• Does not touch heel-to-toe while walking (i.e., misses by at least one-half inch)
• Loses balance while walking (i.e., steps off line)
• Uses arms for balance (i.e., raises arms by six inches or more)
• Loses balance while turning
• Incorrect number of steps
Are you aware the NHTSA states that officers should note in their reports how many times each of the eight clues appears. However, isn't it true the NHTSA for purposes of applying the standardized criterion, a clue should be “counted” only once, even if it appears more than once.
15B. One Leg Stand
Your report does not say you would:
• Tell the subject to stand with heels together, and arms at sides
• Tell the subject not to start the test until you say to do so
• Ask the subject whether he or she understands
• Tell the subject he or she will have to stand on one foot, with the other foot about six inches off the ground
• Demonstrate the stance
• Tell the subject to count from 1 to 30, by thousands
• Demonstrate the count, for several seconds
• Ask the subject whether he or she understands; if not, re-explain whatever is not understood
• Tell the subject to begin
• If the subject stops or puts the foot down, allow him or her to resume at the point of interruption; do not require the count to begin again at “one thousand and one”
• Swaying while balancing
• Uses arms to balance (i.e., raises arms from side six inches or more)
• Slightly uneasy
• Quite unsteady
• Starts before instructions are finished
• Puts foot down
• Hops
Are you aware the NHTSA states that there are the only four validated clues of One Leg Stand.
15C. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
Your report does not say:
• Hold the stimulus 12-15 inches in front of the subject’s face
• Keep the tip of the stimulus slightly above the subject’s face
• Always move the stimulus smoothly
• Always check for all three clues in both eyes
• Lack of smooth pursuit
• Distinct jerking at maximum deviation
• Onset of jerking within 45 degrees
Are you aware that no other “clues” are recognized by NHTSA as valid indicators of horizontal gaze nystagmus. In particular, NHTSA does not support that allegation that onset angle can reliably be used to estimate BAC, and considers any such estimation to be misuse of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

16. Documents describing test results?
17. Documents describing "test" results?
18. What are procedures to permit defendant to obtain independent tests of blood, breath or?

According to your Alcohol influence rep?
19. Section 25 of Alcohol Influence report, Able to walk, talk?
not falling
-not on hands and knees
-not staggering
20. According to Section 26, Ability to stand?
-no swaying
-no leaning for balance
-feet not wide apart
21. According to Section 27, Speech-not slurred?
-not incoherent
-not slobbering
-could understand what she was saying
22. Demeanor-cooperative, polite, calm?
23. Eyes watery now?
24. When is allergy season?

DWI Questions Regarding Under Influence
25. Did prosecutor or state supply an experts report?
26. Not a medical doctor?
27. No test of Pharmacological effects of any medications?
28. No direct measurement of the quantity of any medications or drugs in defendants blood?
29. Gas Chromatography/ Mass spectrometry can provide direct measurement of quality?
30. You don't have any gas Chromatography results with your blood?
31. Not licensed to prescribe medications?
32. Have not attended Medical School?
33. Not Qualified to Render a Medical Opinion
34. Do not have a Ph.D..?
35. Do not have a Masters degree in Chemistry
36. Do not have a BS degree in Chemistry?
[saved 100 Cross Exam Q-DWI Brendan articles 4/3/03]

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General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division:
Brian T Hermanson Ponca City, OK
Chair (580) 762-0020

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030

Thursday, March 08, 2007

New criminal case: Two-stage interrogation not objectionable. State v. O'Neill 388 N.J. Super. 135 (App. Div. 2006)

The court reject defendant's claim that the two tape-recorded statements he made to the police should have been suppressed because they were the product of a two-stage interrogation technique (question-first, warn-later) found to be improper by the United States Supreme Court in Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600, 124 S. Ct. 2601, 159 L. Ed. 2d 643 (2004).

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030
Admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court