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Criminal

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court reversed the defendant's first-degree murder and related convictions because of the denial of defendant's right to confront the witnesses against him at trial and errors with the jury charge.

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court reversed the defendant's receiving stolen property conviction (and amended other convictions) for insufficient jury charges and other errors at defendant's trial.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief and remanded for determination of whether the defendant was denied effective post-conviction relief counsel in court below.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on trial counsel's failure to request a claim of right charge (and for entry of an amended judgment of conviction).

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court reversed the defendant's first-degree robbery conviction because of a fatal flaw in the jury charge at defendant's trial.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on whether trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to obtain a mental health expert to counter the State's charges.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on exculpatory evidence raised by the post-conviction proofs.

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court reversed convictions for kidnapping and related crimes based on the State's violation of the speedy trial right provided by the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief for reconsideration of mens rea issues that may have impacted the guilty plea.

MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's motion for a new trial based on the denial of counsel to assist defendant with presenting his motion (remanding for assignment of counsel for defendant on the new trial motion).

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on whether trial counsel provided effective assistance of counsel on various grounds.

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court reversed the defendant's resisting arrest charge because of insufficient instructions to the jury.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief because the facts elicited at the plea hearing did not establish the required elements of first-degree robbery.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief where the defendant was denied effective assistance of counsel on direct appeal.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court reversed the denial of the defendant's petition for post-conviction relief because defendant was not sufficiently advised of the consequences of the plea agreement.

DIRECT APPEAL

Following Hegge & Confusione’s successful petition to the New Jersey Supreme Court, the appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in vacating the defendant’s convictions on the ground that the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right was violated: “We affirmed the new convictions and defendant's sentence. State v. Samuels, No. A-5785-08 (App. Div. Aug. 12, 2011). Subsequently, the Supreme Court granted defendant's second petition for certification and summarily remanded to this court for us to reconsider, in light of its recent decision in State v. King, 210 N.J. 2 (2012), defendant's claim that the trial court erroneously denied his right to self-representation. State v. Samuels, ___ N.J. ___ (2012). After considering the record in light of King and the parties' supplemental briefs on the issue, we conclude that reversal is required."

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in vacating the defendant’s conviction for murder and related offenses “We are satisfied that in precluding the jury from considering passion-provocation manslaughter, the court committed an error capable of producing an unjust result with respect to Whye's convictions for purposeful and knowing murder, as well as all of the remaining charges. Accordingly, a new trial is required."

DIRECT APPEAL

In a published decision, the appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in vacating the defendant’s conviction for murder and related offenses “We consider whether defendants received a fair trial in light of the prosecutor's opening statement, which informed the jurors they would receive evidence from an individual who never testified. We cannot say – in light of the less than overwhelming evidence of guilt – that the prosecutor's imprudent comments, even if made in good faith, failed to prejudice defendants. We, thus, reverse and remand for a new trial."

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

The appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in reversing denial of defendant’s PCR and remanding for an evidentiary hearing on whether his trial counsel was ineffective for not challenging, at his sentencing, the failure to dismiss the charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI), N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, and other traffic offenses.

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in vacating the defendant’s convictions: “We agree that the following claims of error have merit: the admission of testimony regarding "suspected marijuana" seized from the trunk of the vehicle (Point IV); a police officer's testimony describing defendant's "lack of reaction" to being arrested and the prosecutor's comments regarding this testimony in summation (Point VI); and the trial court's exclusion of defendant from the courtroom during the final charge to the jury and denial of defendant's motion for a new trial on this ground (Point VIII). Accordingly, we reverse his convictions."

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in vacating the defendant’s conviction on the ground that the warrantless search and seizure did not satisfy the Fourth Amendment’s plain view or automobile exception standards.

DIRECT APPEAL

The appeals court agreed with Hegge & Confusione in vacating the defendant’s sentence, remanding for resentencing consistent with the Supreme Court's holding in State v. Robinson, 217 N.J. 594 (2014).

VACATING THE DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE

The Supreme Court agreed with Hegge & Confusione, reversed the trial and appellate court, and vacated the defendant’s sentence, remanding for resentencing. “In this case, the sentencing judge found a critical aggravating factor based on unfounded assumptions rather than evidence in the record. That unsupported factor was then used to justify not only a sentence at the higher end of the range, but also a parole disqualifier. In addition, the judge failed to articulate reasons to justify the sentence—in particular, how the aggravating and mitigating factors were qualitatively weighed in coming to the term of imprisonment for this first-time offender. The Appellate Division affirmed this flawed sentencing process. Accordingly, we are compelled to reverse the judgment of the Appellate Division, vacate the sentence, and remand for new sentencing proceedings.” State v. Case, 220 N.J. 49, 54 (2014).