Monday, December 10, 2012

Speedy Trial Still the Rule in NJ?

A driver was stopped for speeding in Lincoln Park, New Jersey and charged with DUI as a result of the stop. In an effort to challenge the officer's probable cause to initiate the stop, the defendant sought discovery regarding the Stalker Dual SL model radar detection device used by the officer to determine his speed. After being convicted in the Lincoln Park Municipal Court, defendant sought a trial de novo and in the Morris County Superior Court, Law Division, Judge Philip J. Maenza found the defendant guilty of DUI and speeding. Defendant sought review by the Appellate Division under claim of violation of his right to a speedy trial. The Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial which attaches at the time of arrest. In the case at hand, State v. Vanderkooy, the Appellate Division looked to the prior decision in State v. Szima, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court recognized the 4 factors, previously set forth by the US Supreme Court, as determinants of a speedy trial violation. The 4 factors are the length of delay, whether defendant asserted his right to a speedy trial and the prejudice, if any, caused to defendant by the delay. In the case at hand, much delay was caused by the need to establish the reliability of the radar detection device and neither party was to blame nor substantially prejudiced by the delay. If you are charged with a criminal or serious traffic offense you should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights. For more information on your right to a speedy trial when facing criminal charges or serious traffic charges including Driving Under the Influence in New Jersey visit This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.

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