Elizabeth, NJ—In both Elizabeth, NJ as well as the entire state of New Jersey, a person must be 21 years old to legally purchase or consume any alcoholic beverage on a licensed premises. While most people are aware of this law, underage drinking is rampant—the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 20 percent of people aged 12 to 20 drank alcohol in the past 30 days. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, New Jersey youth appear to be experimenting with alcohol at a rate above the national average, with approximately 470,000 underage youth in New Jersey drinking each year.
NJ Supreme Court Clarifies When Warrantless Searches of a Detainees Home is Allowed
Jersey City, NJ- If New Jersey police want to search a person’s home, by law they must have a warrant or satisfy one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement. Federal and state courts are regularly asked to clarify when a warrantless search of a person or their property is allowed by federal and state law. In a recent case, the New Jersey Supreme Court was asked to determine when a warrantless search of detainee’s home is allowed under state law.
Underfunded Public Defender’s Offices Cost Criminal Defendants
Newark, NJ- All Americans accused of a crime are entitled to defense counsel regardless of their crime or their income level. A defense attorney is supposed to be provided to indigent and low-income offenders by public defender’s offices in each jurisdiction, but there is a growing underfunding problem in these offices across New Jersey and the U.S. overall. Indigent criminal defendants pay the price for the funding shortfalls in public defender’s offices; civil rights advocates and public defenders are taking a stand through civil lawsuits.
New Jersey Enacts Criminal Justice Reforms
Newark, NJ- The Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for criminal justice reform, estimates that 38.5 percent of people in New Jersey’s jails cannot afford to pay bail and remain incarcerated until they are assigned a court date. Many of these individuals are being held for minor crimes, and languish in jail for months. Income disparity among minor offenders and court backlogs are adding to New Jersey’s problem with jail overcrowding, but newly enacted criminal justice reform legislation seeks to alleviate the disparity in New Jersey’s cash-based bail system and ensure a criminal defendant is granted a speedy trial.
Law Enforcement Seeking Data from Amazon Echo in Murder Investigation
Elizabeth, NJ- The Amazon Echo is a voice-activated virtual assistant aimed at helping people with their daily tasks, but law enforcement in Benton, Arkansas thinks data collected on one man’s Echo could solve a murder case. In addition to garnering national attention, the case has ignited the debate about privacy and rules for obtaining a warrant as Internet-connected devices become more prevalent in our everyday lives.
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NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Public Servant Rules in Official Misconduct Case
Elizabeth, NJ- Public employees are held to a higher standard than employees of private companies. When these employees act inappropriately or break a law while on the job, they face official misconduct charges. Sometimes there is confusion about who is considered a public employee. In a recent New Jersey Supreme Court case, justices were asked to clarify when a person can be considered a public employee and is subject to the state’s official misconduct laws.