Flemington Legal Blog

Not all police searches are legal

An allegation without evidence is baseless, and for that reason when New Jersey prosecutors plan to charge individuals with alleged criminal activity, they need to know that their actions will be supported with data, facts, and other corroborating information. Much of this information is collected through police searches and the seizure of property. When law enforcement officials wish to search and seize the property of a private citizen they must have a reason to do so or a warrant that justifies their actions.

For example, if a law enforcement official makes a traffic stop and sees illegal drugs in the vehicle of the person they have stopped, they may seize that evidence of illegal conduct since it was in their plain view. However, a law enforcement official who stops a speeder may not go through the driver's car and look for illegal drugs if they have no reason to believe that such contraband is present.

Is the police officer just being friendly?

No one likes to see those blue flashing lights in their rear-view mirror. More than likely, your nerves are on edge as you wait for the officer to come to your window. Maybe you had a glass of wine with dinner and wonder if that is the reason you now sit waiting. 

As the two of you begin conversing, the officer may start talking to you in a friendly and non-confrontational manner. Even though you want to think he or she is trying to put you at ease, don't let your guard down. That friendliness is a way to get you to answer questions you may not otherwise want to answer.

Did doctors tell you that you suffered an open fracture?

The human body can ordinarily take quite a beating. Strong bones, thick skin and protection for your organs allow you to come through some traumatic events relatively unscathed.

Then, in other instances, the forces exerted on your body push it beyond its breaking point, and you suffer serious injuries. One of those injuries could involve an open bone fracture, which could actually be life-threatening without quick and proper treatment.

What is adverse possession?

Real property ownership is a goal for many New Jersey residents who wish to build their own homes and have space that they can call their own. A person can work hard to save, search and acquire the plot of their dreams, and once they have paid it off they may believe that it will be their forever. However, certain land use and real property legal matters can divest property owners of their rights if they are not aware of them.

Take control of wealth and assets with an estate plan

Advances in the medical field have allowed men and women throughout the country to live longer and healthier than ever before. Conditions that once imposed death sentences on individuals can now be treated in noninvasive ways and with excellent long-term results. As such, New Jersey residents are enjoying the people and activities that they love longer into their lives and with more vigor as they advance in age.

Fraud forms the basis of many white collar crimes

White collar crimes are a particular subset of criminal conduct. They generally do not involve the infliction of physical harm on victims, but often involve conduct that deprives others of their money. Many of the crimes that constitute white collar criminal conduct share as a basis one prohibited act: fraud.

Internal bleeding is a serious issue after car accidents

Most New Jersey residents know that many different types of serious injuries can take place after a car accident. While you certainly want to remain safe on the road, the fact of the matter is that you are just as much at risk of suffering injuries in a crash as anyone else. If this does happen to you, you may need serious medical treatment.

A severe medical issue that could result from a car accident is internal bleeding. Car crashes can lead to this type of problem because you could easily suffer blunt force injuries from hitting various parts of the vehicle. If any of your blood vessels or organs suffer damage in a collision, whether from blunt force or penetrating injuries, you could potentially suffer from internal bleeding.

Recognizing liability for slip and fall accidents

Slip and fall accidents are very common and sometimes, caused by the fault of the victims. For example, if a New Jersey resident accidently trips off of a sidewalk because they are engrossed in an article on their cellphone, it may be their fault that they are injured from their fall. However, slip and fall accidents also happen when property owners fail to provide others with safe and secure places to live, work and shop.

What is an easement?

It is a common belief among New Jersey residents that if someone has an interest in a parcel of property that they must own it. While this is often true it does not necessarily have to be the case. When a person has an easement they hold a nonpossessory interest in someone else's land that does not constitute ownership.

To better understand this somewhat confusing topic, readers are invited to explore this example. Imagine a parcel of land that is locked in by water on three sides. The fourth side of the parcen runs along the property of another person, and the only way for the locked in property owner to get to the local road is to cross their neighbor's land. Without an easement the locked in property owner would be trespassing on their neighbor's property each time they crossed it to the road. An easement, though, would give them a right to get to the road through their neighbor's land without actually giving them any ownership rights in that parcel.

Will you need to pay inheritance tax?

When a person passes away and leaves behind assets set aside for family members, friends and charitable organizations, some of these beneficiaries may have to pay taxes on the value of whatever it is that they received. This is an inheritance tax -- which is not the same as estate taxes. New Jersey no longer collects estate taxes, but the federal government does.

New Jersey is one of six states that collects an inheritance tax, so how it works is not widely known. Some states have set a single inheritance tax rate. That is not the case here, which is one reason why this whole thing is confusing to so many.

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Lanza & Lanza LLP

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Flemington, NJ 08822

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