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Dealing with allegations of statutory rape in New Jersey

New Jersey courts and law enforcement authorities take rape very seriously. Allegations of statutory rape fall into the category of sex crimes. It's important to understand how statutory rape is viewed under the law. If there are sexual relations with a person who is younger than the 'age of consent" under the law, that means the person who was underage was not legally able to agree to have sex.

With statutory rape, one person need not have forced the other to take part in the act. In that respect, it is different from other kinds of sexual assault such as forcible rape and the molesting of a child. The person who is underage might have agreed to take part. However, since they aren't of a legal age to give consent, it is still a crime. If the underage person is forced, there could be a more serious sexual assault charge filed.

Star of "Real Housewives" faces further sentencing for fraud

Joe Guidice, star of the TV show "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," was sentenced on April 2 for charges related to driver's license fraud. This is in addition to a sentence of 41 months he is already serving on other fraud charges. He will be able to serve the 18 months of his driver's license sentence concurrently with that one. Guidice was also ordered to pay $10,000, and his driver's license was suspended for two years. Both of these are the maximum punishment.

According to reports, Guidice used his brother's birth and marriage certificates to get a license in his brother's name. His wife, Teresa Guidice, is serving a prison term of 15 months. The two worked out a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office on charges that they defrauded lenders, concealed income and lied while filing for bankruptcy.

Penalties for a third DWI in New Jersey

The penalties for driving drunk in New Jersey can be severe, and those who have already been convicted of driving while intoxicated or permitting DWI on two prior occasions face particularly harsh sanctions for a third offense. However, the court will treat the third offense as if it was a second offense as far as sentencing is concerned if the second offense occurred ten or more years previously.

The most serious consequence of a third driving while intoxicated conviction in New Jersey is a custodial sentence of not less than 180 days to be served in a county jail or workhouse. While up to half of this sentence may be served in an approved inpatient drug or alcohol rehabilitation facility, New Jersey law specifically prohibits judges from allowing third time DWI offenders to participate in work-release or outpatient programs in lieu of a custodial sentence. A third DWI conviction will also result in a $1,000 fine as well as fees and surcharges totaling $325.

Governor vetoes New Jersey drunk driving bill

Efforts by New Jersey legislators to modify the state's drunk driving laws were dealt a blow on March 23 when Governor Chris Christie vetoed bill A1368. The bill would have reduced the length of the driving bans handed out to first time offenders and instead require them to have interlock ignition devices installed in their vehicles, but the measures were considered too sweeping and lenient by the governor.

The proposed law would have reduced the current three-month driver's license suspension to as little as 10 days for those convicted on a DUI charge for the first time. However, first-time offenders would also be required to have devices installed in their vehicles that would prevent them from starting if alcohol is detected. Current laws require only repeat offenders to have such devices installed. The governor is proposing that the interlocks be required without a corresponding reduction in license suspensions.

New Jersey company owners facing identity theft charges

Two New Jersey men were indicted on charges of identity theft, tax evasion and insurance fraud. According to authorities, the two men were owners of a construction company using someone else's identity as a front to commit these crimes. These men reportedly failed to pay $250,000 in taxes over the course of two years.

According to a release from the New Jersey state Attorney General's Office, the owners of this fraudulent construction company were arrested at their houses following their indictments by the state grand jury. The men were also charged with worker's compensation fraud, which allowed them to pay lower premiums by $350,000 between the 2010 and 2011 years.

Ways of fighting a drunk driving charge

Individuals in New Jersey who are accused of drunk driving may have a number of defenses available. Among the most common defenses are challenging the results of a Breathalyzer, blood or field sobriety test.

An attorney might also question whether the officer had probable cause to make the traffic stop in the first place. One's blood alcohol content may also rise over time after alcohol consumption, and the defense can claim that this occurred after the driver was no longer driving.

New Jersey man charged with DWI after accident

Police in New Jersey have reported that a 43-year-old man was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing his vehicle on the evening of March 1. Police responded to the scene on Mountain Avenue in Hackettstown at approximately 7:49 p.m. The Independence Township resident was released after being charged with reckless driving, careless driving and driving while intoxicated.

When they arrived at the accident scene, police officers found the man digging his vehicle out of a snowy lawn with an another individual. He is said to have told officers that he had crashed after attempting to turn into the parking lot of a former fast food restaurant so that a tailgating motorist could pass. However, he says that he inadvertently drove over a curb and over a snow bank. The man was charged with drunk driving after a subsequent breath test reportedly revealed that his blood alcohol level was .21 percent, more than twice the legal limit in New Jersey.

Woman charged for DWI after leaving liquor store

A tip that was given to police from an anonymous caller led to a 66-year-old New Jersey woman's drunk driving charges on Feb. 19. The caller reportedly told police that they witnessed a person driving erratically in Hopatcong at around 5:30 pm. According to the caller, the driver was swerving on Holiday Drive before pulling into the parking lot of the Liquor Factory.

After the call came in to police, a patrol officer visited the parking lot of the liquor store and observed the woman leaving the store and getting into her car. The police officer followed the woman as she went up Holiday Drive and allegedly witnessed her swerving. A traffic stop was then conducted, and the woman received a DWI charge.

New Jersey indictments announced

On Feb. 13, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office announced that several people were being indicted for criminal charges. A 25-year-old Camden resident was charged for two counts of distribution of over half an ounce but less than five ounces of cocaine along with possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Two other Camden residents were handed charges for conspiracy to distribute over half an ounce but less than five ounces of cocaine.

A Gloucester County grand jury also handed drug offense charges to several other people. A 21-year-old man from Paulsboro was charged for marijuana possession, distribution of marijuana and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance in a school zone. A 22-year-old man from Woodbury received nearly identical charges.

2 men arrested after alleged drug deal

Two New Jersey men were taken into custody after allegedly engaging in a drug deal in Bayonne on Feb. 5. The incident took place at approximately 10:23 p.m. near West 18th Street and Broadway.

According to Bayonne police, detectives conducting surveillance in the area observed a 58-year-old man approach a double-parked car driven by a 33-year-old man. The two men allegedly completed a drug transaction and then left the scene separately.

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