Monthly Archives: May 2012

Did Prosecutor Muddy the Refusal Waters?

In a surprising move, it appears that the Monmouth County Prosecutor has recognized that defendants should be advised orally of an additional paragraph #12 in the Standard Refusal statement as to the interlock penalties. This is a very interesting position. On the one hand, this acknowledges the deficiency in the current MVC approved form (April 2004) yet that is still the only form required to be read by the statute.  Also note the interlock penalties cited do not seem to jive with the current statute.

Is it allowable for counties to modify the form unilaterally?  Are any other counties doing this?

Jeff Gold

Medical Examiner Can’t Testify Beyond His Expertise

5/4/12. In State v Locascio, the App Div. today revered a death by auto where the Medical Examiner supplied the crucial testimony as to who (he guessed) was driving.

The Court found that “testimony by such a medical
examiner as to the identity of the driver must be strictly
confined to the areas of that examiner’s expertise as to the
nature and causes of bodily injuries. …Although it was permissible for the medical examiner to testify in certain respects about the physical forces that
caused the boyfriend’s fatal injuries, it was improper for him
to render opinions about the probable movements of the occupants
within the car as it decelerated and crashed, including an
analysis of how the passenger’s body allegedly “cushioned” the
driver’s body during the accident. Because such improper
opinions, admitted over defense counsel’s objections, addressed
the crucial disputed issue at the trial, we reverse defendant’s
conviction and remand for a new trial.”

Jeff Gold