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Newark Legal Issues Blog

Newark, New Jersey Criminal Defense Legal Blog

RAND study highlights rising arrest rates

Young people in New Jersey and around the country are now being arrested far more often than they were in previous decades according to a study from the RAND Corporation. After scrutinizing data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics gathered over several decades, RAND researchers discovered that adults currently between 26 and 35 years of age were 3.6 times more likely to have an arrest on their records than Americans older than 66.

Rising arrest rates were especially pronounced among women and white men. The rate at which white men are arrested almost tripled during the period studied. Age also emerged as a major factor. While only one in 100 women over the age of 66 were arrested before their 26th birthday, a sobering one in seven of the women who were between the ages of 26 and 35 when the study ended had been taken into custody by police at least once. The study's authors say that more rigorous law enforcement was largely responsible for the increased arrests.

Former WWE wrestler Tamara Sytch arrested for 6th DUI

World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame wrestler Tamara "Sunny" Sytch was arrested and charged with drunk driving in New Jersey on Feb. 23. It is the sixth time she has been accused of DUI or DWI in four years.

According the Seaside Heights Police Department, officers observed Sytch, age 46, run a stop sign and attempt to drive down a one-way street in Seaside Heights around 6:30 p.m. When the officers executed a traffic stop, they allegedly saw an open container of alcohol in her vehicle and noticed that she was acting intoxicated. They also discovered that she was driving on a suspended license and had outstanding traffic warrants from Holmdel and Knowlton.

The many potential causes of car accidents

Car accidents can happen on busy highways as well as rural roads in New Jersey. These collisions may involve many factors and causes, ranging from road conditions to human error. Determining the cause of a crash is important for the police and insurance companies.

Human error can mean making bad decisions, like driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or texting while driving. Distracted driving, another common form of negligence, has been on the rise across the country since cell phones and built-in entertainment systems have given drivers more temptations to take their eyes off the road.

Crash risk rises as drivers use phones less for talking

While drivers in New Jersey and across the U.S. continue to use their phones behind the wheel, what they use them for is changing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied observational surveys in 2014 and 2018 of drivers who approached or were stopped at red lights in four Northern Virginia communities, and the results of that study are as follows.

Drivers were 57 percent more likely to be found using their phones for activities that excluded talking. These activities include texting, sending emails and surfing the web. These, experts believe, pose a greater risk for distraction than talking since they take drivers' eyes entirely off the road.

Did racial profiling result in a violation of your civil rights?

Knowing your civil rights is necessary to ensure that no one violates them. You may think that most people want to respect your civil rights. Unfortunately, there are many people who would happily lead you to make mistakes that could undermine your civil rights and liberties.

That group likely includes New Jersey law enforcement officers, many of whom will actively attempt to trick people into waiving their civil rights. It's important to also realize that some officers will take steps that actively violate your rights as a New Jersey citizen.

Strict drug laws could put teens behind bars for dealing

Though most people think of drug dealers as adults who meet buyers covertly in dark alleys, the law suggests otherwise. Teenagers in New Jersey and across the United States can be charged with drug dealing for simply sharing a prescription drug or giving a friend marijuana in the park after school. If a teenager gives a friend a drug and the friend ends up dying from an overdose, the teen could be charged with homicide.

According to media reports, a teenager does not have to get money or profit from the drugs in order to be charged as a drug dealer. Sharing the drug is enough to be considered drug dealing. Everyone who was a part of the drug crime, including friends, siblings or parents, can have drug charges brought against them.

Winter holidays may be accompanied by serious injuries

The winter holidays often accompany significant legal issues for many people in New Jersey. Every year, the winter season sparks a number of disputes, many of which end up in court or at an attorney's office. There are many factors that contribute to the upsurge in legal issues around the end of the year, and one of the most prominent is the drinking associated with holiday revelry. New Year's Eve events are often accompanied by substantial alcohol consumption and may give rise to personal injury complaints, even for people who are not involved in partying themselves.

For example, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's are all days with significant risks of being injured in a drunk driving crash because others on the road are more likely to drive while intoxicated after a party. In some cases, bars and restaurants may themselves be held accountable for the damage done by drunk drivers during the winter season. Dram shop laws allow victims of a crash to sue establishments if it can be shown that the establishment served people who were already intoxicated.

Report finds global traffic deaths are on the rise

New Jersey readers may be surprised to learn that the worldwide number of traffic-related deaths is increasing. In fact, global traffic deaths reached an all-time high of 1.35 million in 2016, according to a new report by the World Health Organization.

The report, entitled the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, says that traffic deaths are now the eighth leading reason of death for people of all ages, moving ahead of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Furthermore, motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of death worldwide for young people between the ages of 5 and 29. That said, the rate of traffic deaths has remained steady for the last 15 years, staying at around 18 deaths per 100,000 people.

How drivers in New Jersey can prepare for winter

To prepare for the challenges that winter brings, drivers should consider the following tips. The first is to have a properly winterized car. Mechanics could check the tires for wear and bring them to the right pressure. They could also check antifreeze levels as well as the most important vehicle components, including the battery, brakes, ignition, spark plugs and filters. Next, drivers should be aware of their car's safety features.

For example, one should know whether a vehicle has anti-lock braking or not, which comes in handy in a skid. Traction control, which is standard on most new vehicles, can also benefit one on snowy, icy or wet roads. As for newer safety technologies, drivers can always take advantage of what the National Safety Council has to say since it is currently educating drivers on these technologies through the My Car Does What? campaign.

You have legal rights if a distracted driver causes a crash

Distracted driving has reached epidemic levels across the United States. In 2016, the most recent year with records available, roughly 3,450 people died as a result of distracted driving. Those cases are only the ones with clear evidence of distraction, meaning the total number could be much higher.

While mobile phones and similar devices are a major contributing factor to distracted driving, they are not the only source of distraction. Discussions with other people in the vehicle, adjusting settings on the radio, or even eating, drinking and grooming while driving, can contribute to distractions and, therefore, a crash.

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