With Phil Murphy’s election as governor, marijuana legalization is all but certain in New Jersey.

Excerpt from Patch.com Article By Tom Davis (Patch Staff)

Will you be able to buy pot at your local convenience store? Hard to say, but Democrat Phil Murphy’s victory in the governor’s race Tuesday means that marijuana legalization is a practical certainty in New Jersey.

Since Murphy made marijuana legalization a central part of his platform in Tuesday’s election, there will likely be a way to purchase it somehow, someway in New Jersey possibly by late next year. Legislation could be passed by April.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney says his goal was to get a pot legalization measure passed within 100 days of the Murphy administration. Murphy, who defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, will be sworn-in on Jan. 16, 2018.

The man who sponsored the legislation to legalize marijuana, Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, told reporters this week that Murphy’s election means “it’s full-steam ahead” on the measure.

“We should begin the process of shaping our marijuana laws now so that we are prepared to move forward with the best program for our state,” said Scutari.

Outgoing Gov. Chris Christie opposed marijuana legalization, as did Guadagno, because of fears that it could be a gateway for harder drugs.

But Sweeney disputes that, and says the state could benefit from the taxes drawn from an estimated $1.3 billion industry. He emphasized the importance of looking at how other states have gone through the legalization process, and make sure the procedure is safe and effective in New Jersey

“It’s about jobs,” Sweeney said. “It’s about creating jobs. This is an industry that’s in its infant stage and we have the benefit of learning all the mistakes that everyone else has done.”

“To say this will have a huge impact on the New Jersey Criminal Justice System is putting it mildly. Not only is marijuana possession one of, if not the most common criminal charges in our State, but its illegality plays a very large role in other arrests and charges. The odor of marijuana is one of the most often utilized reasons to search a car and/or a person, and that premise will certainly be effected, if not eliminated. Although the legality will greatly reduce many charges, it will likely increase arrests for DWI based upon alleged marijuana use. Police currently charge for that offense, but it is very difficult to prove and not charged in some cases for that reason. That will likely change upon legalization.”

– Moorestown Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Farrow

Just don’t expect pot to be sold in stores by April. Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington D.C., told nj.com that the regulatory process could take at least six months, and then the licensing process is another six months after the legislation is passed. That schedule could move a lot more quickly if medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to meet the demand.

Not everyone is likely to jump on the pot bandwagon, however. Not everyone is expected to get a license to sell, according to NJBIZ, and a number of businesses may not be willing to deal with the industry since, technically, marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

The Obama administration chose largely not to enforce the federal statutes, but the Trump administration could treat the issue differently.

Read the full article at Philly.com: https://patch.com/new-jersey/collingswood/s/ga25a/nj-pot-legalization-expected-soon-what-you-need-to-know

Tim Farrow, of Dash Farrow, LLP, is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who handles South Jersey criminal defense matters of any kind.

If you need experienced, focused, and responsive legal help today: Call Dash Farrow, LLP at 856-235-8300 or Contact Us Here.

We serve individuals and businesses throughout Burlington and Camden County, and all of South Jersey.

New Twists in N.J. Murder Case Where a Body Was Buried in a Backyard

Excerpt from Patch.com Article By Jan Hefler (Philly.com Staff Writer)

Last Halloween, the police were knocking on doors and asking if anyone had seen Justin DuBois.

A few weeks earlier, DuBois, 23, had moved in with two brothers, Bryan and Christopher Costello, and their father, who lived in a close-knit neighborhood on a cul-de-sac in Lumberton.

Law enforcement began a search after DuBois’ mother said she hadn’t heard from him for four days, and they soon discovered his body, buried in a grave in the Costellos’ small backyard. He was killed sometime between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, according to an indictment that charged the brothers with first-degree murder and desecrating human remains.

One year later, scant information is available on what went wrong and why.

But details about what happened before and after the alleged murder on Spencer Court are coming into focus based on testimony given during an Oct. 13 pretrial hearing in Superior Court in Burlington County and interviews last week with neighbors and people involved in the case.

On Nov. 3, 2016, the Costello brothers were brought into police headquarters for questioning, before the body was found, and each gave a statement. This month, their defense lawyers successfully argued that these statements are inadmissible at trial because their clients were not read their rights. Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert agreed.

The police and investigators “talked to my client an hour and a half without Mirandizing him, and then decided to Mirandize them because they said they found new evidence at the house. … They said they weren’t suspects yet, but we argued it clearly was an interrogation.”

– Moorestown Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Farrow

During the pretrial hearing to decide whether the statements to police should be suppressed, detectives testified that surveillance cameras had captured Christopher Costello purchasing a shovel at a Lowe’s home improvement store around the time of the murder. Video also showed him getting out of DuBois’ car, police said. DuBois’ car was parked in front of the Costello home when police arrived.

The cause of death is blunt force trauma, according to Joel Bewley, spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police discovered the body, which had been placed inside a container, beneath newly disturbed loose soil not far from the rear of the two-story house. It’s not clear what kind of container was used.

The brothers remain in the Burlington County Detention Center on $500,000 bail each, cash or bond only, which was set by a judge two months before New Jersey’s Criminal Justice Reform Act went into effect. Under the act, a person charged with murder is not entitled to bail and must be tried within six months unless there are special circumstances.

Farrow said that he expects the trial could be held early next year, if the case is not dismissed by the judge due to a lack of evidence. If convicted, the brothers could face life imprisonment.

Read the full article at Philly.com: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/new-twists-in-a-nj-murder-case-where-a-body-was-buried-in-a-backyard-20171029.html

Tim Farrow, of Dash Farrow, LLP, is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who handles South Jersey criminal defense matters of any kind.

If you need experienced, focused, and responsive legal help today: Call Dash Farrow, LLP at 856-235-8300 or Contact Us Here.

We serve individuals and businesses throughout Burlington and Camden County, and all of South Jersey.

More Than 20,000 People Charged with DWI Could Get Some Sort of “Relief” Because of a Falsifying-Records Scandal

Excerpt from Patch.com Article By Tom Davis (Patch Staff)

More than 20,000 people charged with driving-while-intoxicated could get some sort of “relief” — and their cases could be dismissed — because of a falsifying-records scandal involving the State Police, according to authorities.

Those drunken driving cases will likely be reviewed again after Sgt. Marc Dennis, a coordinator in the State Police Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, was accused of falsifying records. The matter was first reported by NJ Advance Media and confirmed by Patch.

County prosecutors sent letters to people charged with DWI between 2008 and 2016, saying they could be entitled to relief, Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed to Patch. The letters were sent to defendants in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys told NJ Advance Media the number of cases that could be thrown out as a result of the criminal inquiry is likely low. But Della Fave said that every single case is still in jeopardy because of the falsifying-record scandal.

“Whenever that can be challenged, there could be a problem,” he said. “No prosecutor is going to move forward with a case and waste taxpayers’ money with a case that they have no chance of winning.”

“Although it appears that this State Police Breath Test Coordinator performed calibrations of Alcotest instruments only in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties, the effects of his indictment for falsifying records could be far-reaching. Because a DWI can be proven either on a Per Se basis by use of a breath test reading or based on the observations of the officer, the State will likely argue that it can still prove these cases based upon the observations of the officer. However, it is much more difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is under the influence based on those observations alone, without a reading.”

– NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Farrow

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office also told Patch that it has sent out 4,500 letters advising the defendants that their cases could be impacted.

A letter published by NJ Advance Media, written by Thomas J. Chirichella, first assistant prosecutor in Somerset County, shows how county authorities informed each defendant that the review will determine whether they “are entitled to future relief.” You can find the letter by clicking here.

Read the full article from Patch.com at https://patch.com/new-jersey/collingswood/s/g9dop/as-many-as-20k-new-jersey-dwi-cases-could-get-thrown-out-authorities-say

Tim Farrow, of Dash Farrow, LLP, is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor who handles DWI and criminal defense matters of any kind.

If you have been convicted of a DWI in the past 8 years and want to know how this news could affect you please reach out for experienced, focused, and responsive legal help today: Call Dash Farrow, LLP at 856-235-8300 or Contact Us Here.

We serve individuals and businesses throughout Burlington and Camden County, and all of South Jersey.

House and gavel on top of a sheet of money

The “Exit Tax” is Not Even a Tax, It Is An Estimated Tax Payment.

When a home is sold in New Jersey, sellers have to make an estimated tax payment at the time of closing.

This estimated tax payment is actually the “exit tax” that have so many New Jersey homeowners have questions about. New Jersey imposes this tax to make sure homeowners pay what is owed on their final state tax return even if they no longer live in the state.

State rules say the estimated tax payment shall not be less than 2 percent of the consideration for the sale as stated in the deed.

To qualify, the home would have had to be your principal residence for 24 of the previous 60 months.
 

IMPORTANT CAVEAT:

There are many exceptions to the rule! The most common of which is that the property is the homeowner’s primary residence and they are exempt from capital gains under the Federal Tax Code (Section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code).

Obtaining legal advice from an experienced New Jersey real estate attorney is essential when selling a home in the state, especially if the homeowner has plans to leave the state during or after the sale.

 

Dash Farrow, LLP, provides personal attention to each real estate client, and a high degree of responsiveness throughout the process. We take pride in minimizing transaction time, while ensuring client needs are met every step of the way. Trust our experienced team of real estate professionals when buying or selling a property in New Jersey.

When you need experienced, focused, and responsive legal counsel:

CALL DASH FARROW, LLP

856-235-8300

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Congratulations to Dash Farrow, LLP partner Tim Farrow for being named a 2017 Top Attorney by SJ Magazine!

sj magazine top attorneys 2017

Photo Credit “David Michael Howarth Photography”

From South Jersey Magazine:

“Every year, we ask SJ attorneys to tell us which of their peers are standouts in the legal arena. They’re the esteemed attorneys who have risen to the top and continue to excel in their fields. Our annual Top Attorney list highlights the noteworthy professionals who are making a remarkable impact in the courtroom and beyond.”

About Moorestown, NJ Law firm Dash Farrow, LLP:

Since founding the firm in 2008, Ben Dash and Tim Farrow have provided expert legal advice to businesses and individuals throughout the region in areas such as real estate, litigation, corporate, criminal defense, and DUI.

With experience in a variety of legal issues, including high-profile cases receiving national attention, Ben is often called upon to share his legal knowledge of real estate, corporate transactions, and litigation matters with business, trade and professional groups.

Before devoting his career to criminal defense more than 10 years ago, Tim worked on the other side of the courtroom – first as a law clerk in Camden County Superior Court for a criminal judge, then as an assistant prosecutor in Burlington County. Today, Tim provides criminal defense at all levels, including against driving-related charges, disorderly persons offenses, juvenile crimes and indictable (felony) offenses.

Tim was once again recognized as a top South Jersey juvenile attorney by SJ Magazine this year. Thank you SJ Magazine!

SJ Magazine Top Attorneys 2017 – FULL LIST

For more information about Dash Farrow, LLP or to schedule a consultation, call 856-235-8300.

Penn State death followed others blamed on hazing in US fraternities

Excerpt from GMA article via Yahoo.com by Michael Edison Hayden

The recent charges filed against fraternity members in the death of Penn State student Timothy Piazza during a fraternity pledge ceremony have stoked interest in the detailed allegations of inaction among group members in coming to his aid, but fatalities of this nature are not uncommon on U.S. college campuses.

“This case is perhaps the most extreme case of the major shift that I have observed first-hand at colleges and universities across the country. Colleges traditionally have tried to handle the majority of student disciplinary matters internally, perhaps to avoid tarnishing their reputation. That has become much more difficult in light of high-profile cases such as this one. I have seen a rise in criminal charges out of New Jersey schools such as Rowan University and Rutgers University, even for relatively minor offenses such as Marijuana Possession, Underage Drinking, and DWI. At the same time, the potential consequences of these charges have become more serious, including loss of student housing and financial aid, and loss of potential employment opportunities. The party is not over for college students, but they certainly need to be a lot more careful or for some, it will quickly come to a screeching halt.”

– NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Farrow

Here are some similar deaths that occurred in recent years:

April 20, 2013: Virginia State University

Four men who belonged to Men of Honor, an unsanctioned fraternity on campus at VSU, were convicted for manslaughter after hazing two students by making them walk into the Appomattox River, resulting in their drowning deaths.
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