In New Jersey, both the State and the defendant have the right to examine witnesses at trial. Thus, in cases in which either party tries to admit an out of court statement in lieu of testimony, the statement may be barred under the confrontation clause. The parameters of the confrontation clause and any applicable exceptions were recently discussed in a New Jersey DWI appeal in which the defendant argued that the trial court erred in permitting a statement that implicated her guilt. If you are charged with a DWI crime in New Jersey, it is important to understand your rights, and you should convene with a knowledgeable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to assess your charges as soon as possible.
Facts of the Case
It is reported that the defendant was charged with second-degree homicide by vehicle for striking and killing a person when she was driving while intoxicated. The defendant was convicted, after which she appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in refusing to admit evidence that her husband had been driving when the crime was allegedly committed. The appellate court found in favor of the defendant and remanded the case for a new trial. Following the second trial, the defendant was again convicted, after which she appealed, arguing that the trial court improperly admitted statements showing that the defendant’s husband stated at the scene of the crime that the defendant was driving when the accident occurred.
Grounds for Recusal in a New Jersey Criminal Case
The confrontation clauses of the United States and New Jersey constitutions bar out of court testimonial hearsay that has not been tested via cross-examination, in lieu of in-court testimony. On appeal, the court explained that any narrative statement a person makes to a police officer about a crime is testimonial if the statement is made once any imminent danger to the person or anyone else has ended. Continue reading