Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2C:33-15 Possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under legal age; penalty.

2C:33-15 Possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under legal age; penalty.

1. a. Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who knowingly possesses without legal authority or who knowingly consumes any alcoholic beverage in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, and shall be fined not less than $500.00.

b.Whenever this offense is committed in a motor vehicle, the court shall, in addition to the sentence authorized for the offense, suspend or postpone for six months the driving privilege of the defendant.  Upon the conviction of any person under this section, the court shall forward a report to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission stating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section.  If a person at the time of the imposition of a sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of license postponement, including a suspension or postponement of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period of six months after the person reaches the age of 17 years.

If a person at the time of the imposition of a sentence has a valid driver's license issued by this State, the court shall immediately collect the license and forward it to the commission along with the report.  If for any reason the license cannot be collected, the court shall include in the report the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person as well as the first and last date of the license suspension period imposed by the court.

The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement, the person shall be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S.39:3-40.  A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing.  Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S.39:3-40.

If the person convicted under this section is not a New Jersey resident, the court shall suspend or postpone, as appropriate, the non-resident driving privilege of the person based on the age of the person and submit to the commission the required report.  The court shall not collect the license of a non-resident convicted under this section. Upon receipt of a report by the court, the commission shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction of the suspension or postponement.

c.In addition to the general penalty prescribed for a disorderly persons offense, the court may require any person who violates this act to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program, authorized by the Department of Health and Senior Services, for a period not to exceed the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been convicted.

d.Nothing in this act shall apply to possession of alcoholic beverages by any such person while actually engaged in the performance of employment pursuant to an employment permit issued by the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or for a bona fide hotel or restaurant, in accordance with the provisions of R.S.33:1-26, or while actively engaged in the preparation of food while enrolled in a culinary arts or hotel management program at a county vocational school or post secondary educational institution.

e.The provisions of section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a) shall apply to a parent, guardian or other person with legal custody of a person under 18 years of age who is found to be in violation of this section.

f.An underage person and one or two other persons shall be immune from prosecution under this section if:

(1)one of the underage persons called 9-1-1 and reported that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption;

(2)the underage person who called 9-1-1 and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who called 9-1-1 provided each of their names to the 9-1-1 operator;

(3)the underage person was the first person to make the 9-1-1 report; and

(4)the underage person and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who made the 9-1-1 call remained on the scene with the person under the legal age in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene.

The underage person who received medical assistance also shall be immune from prosecution under this section. 

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39:4-14.1 Rights, duties of bicycle riders on roadways, exemptions. NJ

39:4-14.1  Rights, duties of bicycle riders on roadways, exemptions.
16. a. Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by chapter four of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes and all supplements thereto except as to those provisions thereof which by their nature can have no application.

Regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles subject to those exceptions stated herein.

b.A law enforcement officer operating a bicycle while in the performance of his duty, and who is engaged in the apprehension of violators of the law or of persons charged with, or suspected of, a violation shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

39:4-126. Signaling before starting, turning or st

39:4-126.  Signaling before starting, turning or stopping    No person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required in section  39:4-123 , or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway, or start or back a vehicle unless and until such movement can be made with safety. No person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter  provided in the event any other traffic may be affected by such movement.

    A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

    No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear.

    The signal herein required shall be given either by means of the hand and arm in the manner herein specified, or by an approved mechanical or electrical signal device, except that when a vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent the hand and arm signal from being visible, both to front and rear, the  signal shall be given by a device of a type which has been approved by the  division.

    When the signal is given by means of the hand and arm, the driver shall indicate his intention to stop or turn by extending the hand and arm from and beyond the left side of the vehicle in the following manner and such signals shall indicate as follows:

    (a) Left turn.--Hand and arm extended horizontally.

     (b) Right turn.--Hand and arm extended upward.

     (c) Stop or decrease speed.--Hand and arm extended downward.

39:4-123 . Right and left hand turns

39:4-123 .  Right and left hand turns
    Except as otherwise provided in this article, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:

    (a) Right turns.  Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall  be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

    (b) Left turns on two-way roadways.  At any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection,  an approach for a left turn shall be made in that portion of the right half of  the roadway nearest the center line thereof and by passing to the right of such  center line where it enters the intersection and after entering the  intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the  right of the center line of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable  the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of  the center of the intersection.

    (c) Left turns on other than two-way roadways.  At any intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the roadways, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any such intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection, as nearly as practicable, in the left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered.

39:4-144 Stopping or yielding right of way before entering stop or yield intersections.

39:4-144  Stopping or yielding right of way before entering stop or yield intersections.

  No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a "stop" sign unless:

a.The driver has first brought the vehicle or street car to a complete stop at a point within five feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street and shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all vehicular traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

b.No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a "yield right of way" sign without first slowing to a reasonable speed for existing conditions and visibility, stopping if necessary, and the driver shall yield the right of way to all vehicular traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard; unless, in either case, the driver is otherwise directed to proceed by a traffic or police officer or traffic control signal.

c.No driver of a vehicle or street car shall turn right at an intersecting street marked with a "stop" sign or "yield right of way" sign unless the driver stops and remains stopped for pedestrians crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk, or at an unmarked crosswalk, into which the driver is turning.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

suspension appeal rejected where driver presented no factual disputes or legal arguments that made such a hearing necessary THOMAS L. COLAMECO, Appellant, v. NEW JERSEY MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION






January 14, 2014
                                                                                  SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
                                                                                    APPELLATE DIVISION
                                                                                    DOCKET NO.  A-2729-12T3

Argued November 6, 2013 – Decided

Before Judges Espinosa and O'Connor.

On appeal from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.


            Thomas L. Colameco appeals from a final decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) that reduced a previously imposed suspension of his license and denied his request for a hearing.  We affirm.
            The record includes three notices from the NJMVC to Colameco, all sent to the same Swedesboro address, advising him that his driving privileges had been suspended.  The first notice, sent in November 2010, advised that Colameco's driving privileges were suspended "indefinitely" due to his failure to pay insurance surcharges.  A second notice, dated May 31, 2011, advised Colameco his driving privileges were suspended as of July 29, 2011, "indefinitely" because he failed to answer a summons in the Logan Township municipal court in February 2011.  A third notice, dated November 20, 2011, advised Colameco his driving privileges were suspended as of that date "indefinitely" because he failed to submit payment for his insurance surcharge assessment.  The November 2011 notice set forth the requirements for satisfying the suspension and stated further:
To restore your driving privilege, you must pay a $100 fee and satisfy the requirements of all license suspensions on your driving record.  You may not drive until you receive written notification from the Chief Administrator.  If you continue to drive while suspended, you could face up to five years in jail.

            On December 9, 2011, Colameco was arrested and charged with violations of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (DWI), N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2 (driving without liability insurance), and N.J.S.A. 39:4-81 (failure to observe a traffic control device).  On December 18, 2011, nine days after his arrest, Colameco paid the necessary restoration fees and program fee and his driving privileges were restored.  The restoration notice was addressed to the same Swedesboro address as the earlier notices regarding the suspension of his privileges.
            On November 20, 2012, Colameco entered a guilty plea to the DWI offense and the remaining charges were dismissed on the prosecutor's motion.  The sentence included a suspension of Colameco's driving privileges for ninety days.
            On December 16, 2012, NJMVC issued a notice to Colameco that his driving privileges were suspended as of that date for a period of 180 days.  The notice stated that the suspension was in addition to other driving suspensions outstanding as of November 20, 2012, and advised:
By authority of N.J.S.A. 39:3-40, 39:5-30 and N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.8, the Motor Vehicle Commission suspended your New Jersey driving privilege because you operated a motor vehicle during a period of driving privilege suspension.

            Colameco requested a hearing before NJMVC regarding this suspension.  Through counsel, he asserted the following as "contested issues":
1.         Mr. Colameco was not personally charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-40 on or about November 21, 2012.

2.         Mr. Colameco did not violate N.J.S.A. 39:3-40 on or about November 21, 2012.

3.         NJMVC's entry of a violation, and subsequent assessment of a surcharge and suspension based upon an alleged violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-40 on or about December 16, 2012 was erroneous or otherwise in error.

            NJMVC denied the request for a hearing.  In the denial letter, the Chairman and Chief Administrator set forth his findings and decision as follows:
I find as a fact that you were convicted of 39:4-50 (Operating Under the Influence Liq/Drugs) on 12/10/2011, and this was during a period of suspension that began on 11/28/2010 and ended on 12/19/2011.

On 01/16/2013 you requested an opportunity to be heard hearing.  No legal arguments were set forth in that request nor were any facts disputed.  Because no facts or legal issues are in dispute there is no need for an opportunity hearing on this matter and the request for a hearing is denied pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.8.

            However, after considering Colameco's driver history record, mitigating circumstances indicated in his request, and his need for driving privileges, the Chairman reduced the period of suspension to thirty days.  Colameco's suspension was stayed thereafter pending this appeal.
            The sole issue Colameco argues in this appeal is that NJMVC violated his due process rights by failing to provide notice and failing to provide him with a hearing.  His contention regarding the lack of notice is that NJMVC failed to advise him of the date for which the alleged misconduct - driving while privileges were suspended - occurred. 
            This argument lacks any merit.  Colameco has not argued that he did not receive the three notices of suspension that advised him unequivocally that his driving privileges were suspended - indefinitely - from as early as November 2010.  Colameco has not argued he was unaware of the suspension when he continued to drive.  Indeed, his payment of required fees and restoration of his privileges just nine days after his DWI arrest belie any suggestion to the contrary.
            As the NJMVC noted in denying Colameco's request for a hearing, he presented no factual disputes or legal arguments that made such a hearing necessary.  In this appeal, he contends that "there may be speedy trial issues as well as a host of other issues for which a hearing and factual findings may be necessary" and asks for "a hearing so facts may be developed."  Like the request to the NJMVC, these arguments fail to present either a factual dispute or a legal argument that would necessitate a hearing.  We therefore find this argument to lack any merit as well.

            Affirmed.  The order staying the thirty-day suspension of Colameco's driving privileges is vacated.

We Go to Court in East Brunswick if You Live Out of Area or Cannot Appear for Court Defense by Affidavit/Certification Program

 Defense by Affidavit/Certification Program We Go to Court in East Brunswick and nearby courts if You Live Out of Area or unable to Appear for Court
     Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets. We provide representation on most Central New Jersey traffic cases. Motor vehicle violations and criminal charges can cost you. If you plead guilty by mail for almost all traffic tickets, in addition to fines you will later receive points on your driver’s license. Both the DMV and your car insurance company will impose surcharges and eligibility points for three years.
      If you live out of New Jersey or will be traveling outside of New Jersey, contact our Law Office regarding us providing representation under the Defense by Affidavit Rule.
         Under the New Jersey Court Rules, a New Jersey Attorney can negotiate with the Municipal Court Prosecutor to attempt to reduce points, obtain dismissal of some tickets and provide other assistance. By reducing points and penalties you can reduce increases in your car insurance and surcharges.
         An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. Division of Motor Vehicles or have your license suspended. Don’t give up! We can appear in court for you on most Central New Jersey traffic violations.
         The following are tickets we have handled without our clients having to appear because they were not available. Our attorneys can appear on your behalf without you having to go to court on the following matters:
  The following are MVC points for NJ Motor Vehicle violations.
VIOLATION                                            POINTS

27:23-29 Moving against traffic-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway
27:23-29 Improper passing-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway
27:23-29 Unlawful use of median strip-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway
39:3-29 Operating Constructor vehicle in excess of 30 mph
39:4-14.3 Operating motorized bicycle on restricted highway
39:4-14.3d More than 1 person on a motorized bicycle.
39:4-35 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk
39:4-36 Failure to yield to pedestrian or passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk
39:4-41 Driving through safety zone.
39:4-52 Racing on Highway
39:4-55 Improper action or omission on grades and curves
39:4-57 Failure to observe directions of officer.
39:4-66 Failure to stop before crossing sidewalk
39:4-66.1 Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway
39:4-66.2 Driving on private property to avoid traffic signal or stop sign
39:4-71 Improper driving on sidewalk
39:4-80 Failure to obey direction of officer
39:4-81 Failure to observe traffic signal
39:4-82 Failure to keep right
39:4-82.1 Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider
39:4-83 Failure to keep right at intersection
39:4-84 Failure to pass right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction
39:4-85 Improper passing on right or off roadway
39:4-85.1 Wrong way on one-way street
39:4-86 Improper passing, in "No Passing" zone
39:4-87 Failure to yield to overtake vehicle
39:4-88 Failure to observe traffic lanes
39:4-89 Tailgating
39:4-90 Failure to yield at intersection
39:4-90.1 Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highway
39:4-91  Failure to yield to emergency vehicle

39:4-97 Careless driving
39:4-97a Destruction of agricultural or recreational property
39:4–91–92     Failure to yield to emergency vehicles                                                        2 
39:4-96 Reckless driving                       5                                  
39:4-97.2 3rd offense     4 points
39:4-97.1 Slow speed blocking traffic                 

39:4-98 or Speeding up to 14mph above limit
39:4-99 Speeding 15-29 mph above limit
Speeding 30 mph or more above limit
39:4-105 Failure to stop at traffic light
39:4-115 Improper turn at traffic light
39:4-119 Failure to stop at flashing red signal
39:4-122 Failure to stop for police whistle
39:4-123 Improper right or left turn
39:4-124 Improper turn: from approved turning course
39:4-125 Improper u-turn
39:4-126 Failure to give proper signal
39:4-127 Improper backing or turn in street
39:4-127.1 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing
39:4-127.2 Improper crossing of bridge
39:4-128 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles
39:4-128.1 Improper passing of school bus
39:4-128.4 Improper passing of frozen dessert truck
39:4-129 Leaving scene of accident- No injuries
39:4-129 Personal Injury
39:4-144 Failure to observe of stop or yield signs
39:5D-4 Moving violation out-of-state
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
copyright Vercammen Law 2016
Please call us immediately if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter. Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Former Prosecutor for the Cranbury Municipal Court from 1991-1999, and Author Municipal Court Winning Strategies.
Upon request, we provide all potential clients with :
1. Our Written Agreement to Provide Municipal Court Legal Services 2. Municipal Court Information Sheet
We request all potential clients fill out the Municipal Court Information Sheet and return to our office immediately. You also need to fax or mail us: 1. Copies of the ticket and any hearing notice. 2. A check or money order. You can also pay by Visa, Master Charge or American Express over the phone and by fax. You should keep the Agreement to Provide Legal Services for your records. Once we receive the fee paid we will prepare a Letter of Representation to the Court, Prosecutor and you. We recommend our clients meet with us once prior to the court date.
After we are retained [paid], we will draft the Defense by Affidavit for our client. The Affidavit will need: 1 - Municipal Court Name 2 - Traffic Ticket Summons # 3 - Statute 4 - Name of Offense 5 - Defendants Address
In our detailed Court Affidavit, the client will need to indicate to the court the following: It would be an undue hardship for me to appear in person for trial. I understand my right to a reasonable postponement and waive my right to be present at the trial. I understand that if I plead NOT GUILTY, the judge will hear the testimony of the complainant or other witnesses. If I plead GUILTY, the judge may hear such testimony. I agree to abide by the judgment of the court. I understand that if convicted, for other than a parking offense, a record of same will be sent to the Division of Motor Vehicles, which issued my license.
Our client authorizes us to enter a plea to a lower point violation. Our Law Office will prepare the Defense by Affidavit and mail it to our client.
Our clients must read the Defense by Affidavit carefully. If you need to make any changes, make the changes in ink on the form directly. You must immediately sign in front of a notary and return it to our office. If the hearing date is less than 10 days away, we recommend you send the signed Affidavit by Federal Express or UPS.
On the day of the court session or next morning, you should call the court directly to determine the specific reduced charge and the total fine and cost. You should also ask the court who your check should be made payable to and the address for mailing. Do not call our office since we do not have complete details on fines and addresses. You must pay the complete fines within 5 days. Fees. Fees can be paid by VISA, Master Card, American Express, check, money order or cash. Make checks payable to Kenneth Vercammen PC.
Representation/ What We will do for you in Defense by Affidavit Case. We will review and research necessary statutes and caselaw, contact the prosecutor, prepare defenses and determine mitigating factors.
1. Telephone consultation with client; 2. Office consultation with client, if requested; 3. Offer sound legal advice to client, plus access to our legal info website njlaws.com 4. Preparation of letter of representation to Municipal Court; 5. Preparation of letter of representation to Municipal Court Prosecutor; 6. Preparation of statement to provide legal services; 7. Copies of all correspondence to Court and Prosecutor to client; 8. Opening of file. If client comes to our office, they may have a free client case folder, Municipal Court brochure, DMV points brochure, and Website brochure; 9. Review of necessary statutes and case law; 10. Draft Defense by Affidavit Pleading 11. Mail or fax Defense by Affidavit Pleading to client 12. Miscellaneous correspondence, preparation and drafting of pleadings and legal documents in contested serious cases; 13. Review documents supplied by client and court; 14. Travel to Municipal Court; 15. Negotiations with the Prosecutor and Representation in Municipal Court. 16. Preparation of End of Case Letter and client questionnaire. 17. Free Brochures provided on other legal topics such as Workers Comp, Wills, Personal Injury 18. Free subscription to monthly e-mail newsletter. Provide your email address. 19. Follow up telephone advice [If you call, provide the specific questions with the message]. 20. Invitation to client socials/ seminars and Community events via email. 21. Hold and maintain file for seven years in storage as free client service.
Other Legal Services Available. You and the Law Firm may make additional agreements to provide for legal services not covered by the Agreement. Additional services or work must be paid for. Without such agreements, the Law Firm is not required to do any additional work or any of the following: (a) Provide any legal services after the decision of the trial court; (b) Appeal any decisions of the trial court or make additional appearances after appearing in Court; (c) provide other legal services or advice not set forth above; or (d) Represent you in any other court or Tribunal
Your Responsibility- Please read carefully and follow instructions to help us help you
1.   You must fully cooperate with the Law Firm and provide all information relevant to the issues involved in this matter. This includes providing details on what you told the police and court. 2 You must notify the court and the law office immediately if your address or phone numbers change. 3 Under the NJ Rules of Professional Conduct and Court Rules, we cannot send a letter of representation to the court until the Retainer is paid. All fees and requirements under this written retainer agreement and any other written documents must be complied with. Failure to comply with all requirements shall permit the law office to withdraw its offer of representation. The Law Firm will also withdraw at your request. You must advise our office and the Court in writing.

4 Pay your fines immediately. 5. If you call, you must provide your questions to our receptionist