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Traffic Stop in Berlin Results in Arrest for Carjacking

Berlin NJ Carjacking ChargesOften, cases in Burlington County and Camden County overlap because of the proximity of these two counties in New Jersey. For example, in a recent case, a traffic stop in Berlin resulted in the arrest of a Burlington County man who was wanted in connected with a carjacking in Cherry Hill.

The aforementioned arrest occurred on Berlin Road at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 25th. An officer with the Berlin Police Department reportedly observed a suspicious car entering the PATCO parking lot before it fled on Route 73. The officer pursued the driver, pulling him over on White Horse Pike. Upon further investigation, the driver was identified as James Keck, a Rancocas resident in Burlington County.

He was arrested when police discovered he was driving a vehicle stolen during a carjacking that occurred in Cherry Hill just hours prior. Keck was charged with multiple criminal offenses and traffic violations in Berlin, including receiving stolen property and possession of synthetic marijuana. He was then transferred to Cherry Hill Police who were responsible for filing the carjacking charges.

Unfortunately, Keck is now exposed to severe penalties, the most serious of which are associated with the alleged carjacking offense. Carjacking is considered an extremely serious crime in New Jersey. In fact, it is classified as a first degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2. According to this statute, a carjacking offense occurs when a person unlawfully takes or attempts to take a vehicle while using force on the vehicle’s occupant, threatening them with bodily injury, threatening to commit any felony, or armed with a weapon. A person can also be charged with carjacking for taking and operating a car with the initial occupant inside.

Although carjacking is a first degree crime, it entails as extended prison sentence of between 10 and 30 years in New Jersey State Prison. This sentencing range is longer than those for typical first degree felonies, which are punishable by between 10 and 20 years. Further, carjacking is governed by the New Jersey No Early Release Act (NERA), which requires those convicted to serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence imposed before parole eligibility.

Need a Lawyer for a Carjacking Case in Camden County NJ?

If you have been charged with carjacking in Camden County, New Jersey, our criminal defense lawyers will fight for you. At The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison, our attorneys regularly represent clients facing criminal charges in Berlin, Cherry Hill, and throughout Camden County and Burlington County. With offices in Collingswood, we often appear on behalf of clients who have multiple cases in both counties. Because of our commitment to client satisfaction, we also have countless returning clients who count on us whenever they find themselves in a jam. For a free consultation about your specific case, contact us anytime at (856)-427-6888 or submit an online contact form and we will get back to you right away.

For additional information related to this incident, access the following article: Traffic stop ends in arrest of carjacking suspect, cops say

Alleged Southampton Road Rage Incident Results in DWI, Aggravated Assault Charges for Police Officer

Southampton NJ DWI ChargesAfter an alleged road rage incident in Southampton, New Jersey last week, a police officer has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), aggravated assault, and several other offenses.

The defendant in this case is 42-year-old Teddy Cerra, a resident of Southampton who serves as a police officer for the Franklin Township Police Department. Cerra was allegedly driving erratically on Red Lion Road in Southampton when he was observed by an off-duty Lumberton police officer. The off-duty officer, who remains unidentified, was driving his own car but wearing his uniform, as he was on his way to work when he reportedly saw Cerra swerving and driving dangerously.

The officer is said to have pulled Cerra over, after which Cerra was allegedly staggering. He is said to have exited his car, raised his shirt, and showed a gun. They had a short exchange during which Cerra identified himself as “blue,” as did the alleged victim. Then, the victim dropped to the ground and showed Cerra the ID in his wallet. He told investigators Cerra pointed his gun at his head and chest during the incident.

The Lumberton officer returned to his car and fled, with Cerra allegedly following him at over 100 miles per hour. After the victim called 911, Cerra was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, robbery, a weapons offense, and DWI. After the charges were filed, Cerra was suspended from active duty and is now under investigation by internal affairs.

On Wednesday, November 8th, he appeared in Burlington County Superior Court in Mount Holly for a detention hearing. Although the State argued for detention pending the resolution of the case, the presiding judge ordered him released on several conditions. Cerra must have no contact with the victim; forfeit his weapons, firearms dealer’s license, and firearms purchaser identification card; and report to court officials once a month.

In addition to losing his job, Cerra is exposed to serious jail time if convicted. He is facing multiple felony charges. For example, a person can be charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey for even pointing a firearm at or in the direction of another person, regardless of whether or not the actor knows it to be loaded. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), aggravated assault can be a second degree, third degree, or fourth degree crime, all of which are punishable by an NJ State Prison sentence. The indictable felony charges notwithstanding, even a conviction for DWI can lead to a jail sentence. A first offense DWI in New Jersey may result in up to 30 days in jail, plus a driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year.

Southampton NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being arrested for a crime can turn your whole life upside-down. At The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison, our criminal defense attorneys know the toll a criminal case can take on your life and we work tirelessly to resolve your case in the best manner possible. Whether you have been charged with DUI, assault, weapons possession, or another offense, we have over 20 years’ experience to put to work for you. With offices in Collingswood, we serve clients in Southampton, Lumberton, and throughout Burlington County and surrounding communities. Call (856)-427-6888 today to speak with an attorney about your case. Consultations are always provided free of charge.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Cop charged in alleged Southampton road rage incident released from jail

Burlington Township Man Arrested for Possession of Firearms, Marijuana

Burlington NJ Criminal Defense LawyerA man from Burlington Township was recently arrested on charges for possession of marijuana under 50 grams, intent to distribute marijuana, and multiple weapons offenses after police reportedly discovered four guns and marijuana in his residence.

This case began when officers from the Burlington Township Police Department conducted a traffic stop at approximately 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. During the stop, police discovered the driver, 26-year-old Burlington Township resident Gabriel Williams, had an outstanding warrant for his arrest out of Westampton in connection with a harassment charge.

After Williams was arrested, authorities proceeded to his residence located on Tattersall Drive in Burlington Township, where a search resulted in the seizure of a partially defaced semi-automatic handgun, a defaced semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a revolver, several high capacity magazines and additional ammunition, marijuana, and $5,050 in cash. Notably, all of the weapons confiscated in Williams’ residence were loaded at the time.

Now, Williams is facing a host of serious criminal charges, including: four counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, two counts of possession of a defaced firearm, possession of hollow-point ammunition, two counts of possession of a high capacity magazine, a certain persons offense, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana under 50 grams.

Williams was issued specific charges in connection with the various weapons found in his home because they qualify as “prohibited weapons and devices” under New Jersey law. For example, a defaced firearm is a prohibited weapon in New Jersey, meaning it is illegal for anyone to possess these items under any circumstances. Possession of a defaced firearm is a fourth degree crime in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3, Prohibited Weapons and Devices, and is punishable by up to 18 months in NJ State Prison. Hollow-point ammunition is also a prohibited weapon or device and as such, may lead to charges for a fourth degree crime.

Williams is also charged with a “Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons” offense, which applies to individuals who have been previously convicted of certain felonies. Under the statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7 – Certain persons not to have weapons, any person who was convicted of aggravated assault, arson, burglary, escape, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, bias intimidation, endangering the welfare of a child, or any person who has been convicted of other than a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense for the unlawful use, possession or sale of a controlled dangerous substance in New Jersey or another state, is prohibited from owning, purchasing, or possessing, or controlling a weapon in New Jersey. When the weapon in question is a firearm, this offense is a second degree crime, which may result in up to 10 years of incarceration if convicted.

For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Cops say they found marijuana and 4 loaded guns in man’s home

New Hanover Woman Admits to DUI that Caused Moorestown Victim’s Death

New Hanover NJ DUI LawyerA woman from New Hanover recently pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide after causing the death of a Moorestown woman while driving under the influence (DUI) of prescription drugs.

The defendant in this case, 34-year-old New Hanover resident Shannon Sidorek, was driving under the influence of Xanax and Oxycontin when she crossed over the the center line on the Pemberton Bypass in Pemberton Township on February 28, 2012. Admitting to reckless driving, Sidorek swerved into oncoming traffic, which led to a crash with 81-year-old Moorestown resident Elizabeth Smith.

After the accident, Sidorek was indicted on charges for first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide and third-degree possession of prescription drugs. As her case proceeded, Sidorek sought to have the blood evidence that was used to confirm the prescription drugs in her system deemed inadmissible in court. An appeals court denied the motion to suppress, directing the trial court to make a determination as to whether or not blood samples were properly taken. The court ultimately ruled that the officer acted reasonably when he ordered a blood sample to be taken before a warrant was obtained, to avoid the destruction of evidence.

In the most recent turn of events, Sidorek accepted a plea agreement from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, which requires her to plead guilty to one count of second-degree vehicular homicide. She submitted this guilty plea at the Burlington County Superior Court in Mount Holly on Wednesday, April 12th. Due to the fact that second degree crimes in New Jersey are punishable by a State Prison sentence ranging from 5 to 10 years, Sidorek is exposed to a significant term of incarceration. Vehicular homicide is also governed by New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, which requires the defendant to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.

The plea is open, which means that the judge will ultimately determine the appropriate sentence in this case. According to Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, the State intends to argue for the maximum sentence in this case.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Woman pleads guilty in accident that killed Moorestown woman

Shamong Township Man Pleads Guilty to DWI, Aggravated Assault

Shamong Twp. NJ DWI LawyerA Shamong Township, New Jersey man recently pleaded guilty to multiple criminal and traffic offenses, including DWI, aggravated assault, and reckless driving, after he struck and seriously injured a Pennsylvania woman while drunk driving.

The incident in question occurred at approximately 3:00 p.m. on October 12, 2016 on Route 611 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The defendant, 39-year-old Burlington County resident Timothy Babbitt, was driving his Ford van when he struck 67-year-old Warminster resident Vicky Mazzocca from behind. Mazzocca, who was riding a motorcycle at the time, was immediately thrown from the vehicle. She then became stuck under the bumper of the van as Babbitt kept driving. Mazzocca sustained several fractures, a concussion, and pulmonary edema.

A subsequent test revealed that Babbitt was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.269 percent, which is over 3 times the legal limit in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Upon further investigation, police discovered a Gatorade bottle containing alcohol in his vehicle. They also verified that Babbitt departed from a bar in Otisville just 30 minutes before the accident. In his van was also a receipt for 6 drinks, 3 of which were double shots of vodka.

Babbitt ultimately pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated (DWI), aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and reckless driving. He has yet to be sentenced but the slew of charges against him may result in severe penalties. In New Jersey, a first offense DWI with a BAC of 0.269 percent is punishable by driver’s license suspension ranging from 7 months to 1 year, up to 30 days in jail, and a mandatory ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, among other penalties.

As for aggravated assault, these charges can range from fourth degree to second degree crimes, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the extent of the victim’s injuries. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), aggravated assault is a second degree crime when the person causes bodily injury to another while unlawfully operating a motor vehicle, such as driving under the influence (DUI). With this in mind, a second degree aggravated assault charge can result in a sentence to serve between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Additionally, second degree crimes in New Jersey entail a presumption of incarceration, which means that even defendants with no prior criminal records are required to serve time in prison.

NJ and PA Criminal and DWI Defense Attorney Fighting for You

Leonard Biddison is a seasoned criminal and DWI defense attorney who has been fighting on behalf of clients in Burlington County, Southern New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for over 20 years. His skill and dedication to his clients has earned him inclusion among the 10 Best Attorneys in Client Satisfaction, from the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. If you or someone you love is facing criminal or DWI charges in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, Mr. Biddison is prepared to go to battle for you. Contact his offices anytime to discuss your case and receive a cost-free consultation. Simply call 856.427.6888 today.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: N.J. man admits running down 67-year-old biker while drunk

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