Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. Appointments can be scheduled at 732-572-0500. He is author of the ABA's book "Criminal Law Forms".
2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2C:5-1 Criminal Attempt

2C:5-1 Criminal Attempt

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.
2C:5-1. Criminal attempt a. Definition of attempt. A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of the crime, he:
(1) Purposely engages in conduct which would constitute the crime if the attendant circumstances were as a reasonable person would believe them to be;
(2) When causing a particular result is an element of the crime, does or omits to do anything with the purpose of causing such result without further conduct on his part; or
(3) Purposely does or omits to do anything which, under the circumstances as a reasonable person would believe them to be, is an act or omission constituting a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in his commission of the crime.
b. Conduct which may be held substantial step under subsection a. (3). Conduct shall not be held to constitute a substantial step under subsection a. (3) of this section unless it is strongly corroborative of the actor's criminal purpose.
c. Conduct designed to aid another in commission of a crime. A person who engages in conduct designed to aid another to commit a crime which would establish his complicity under section 2C:2-6 if the crime were committed by such other person, is guilty of an attempt to commit the crime, although the crime is not committed or attempted by such other person.
d. Renunciation of criminal purpose. When the actor's conduct would otherwise constitute an attempt under subsection a. (2) or (3) of this section, it is an affirmative defense which he must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he abandoned his effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevented its commission, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of his criminal purpose. The establishment of such defense does not, however, affect the liability of an accomplice who did not join in such abandonment or prevention.
Within the meaning of this chapter, renunciation of criminal purpose is not voluntary if it is motivated, in whole or in part, by circumstances, not present or apparent at the inception of the actor's course of conduct, which increase the probability of detection or apprehension or which make more difficult the accomplishment of the criminal purpose. Renunciation is not complete if it is motivated by a decision to postpone the criminal conduct until a more advantageous time or to transfer the criminal effort to another but similar objective or victim. Renunciation is also not complete if mere abandonment is insufficient to accomplish avoidance of the offense in which case the defendant must have taken further and affirmative steps that prevented the commission thereof.
L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:5-1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.
Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea
1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)
2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:
a. You will have a criminal record
b. You may go to Jail or Prison.
c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.
5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.
7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
9. You could be put on Probation.
10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.
11. You may be required to do Community Service.
12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.
13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.
14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.
15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1
16. You may lose your right to vote.
The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.
Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:
If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.
NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;
(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;
(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;
(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.
2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:
a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;
(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;
b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;
(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;
c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;
d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;
If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

2C:35-13 Obtaining CDS by Fraud.

2C:35-13   Obtaining CDS by Fraud. 
  It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. It shall be unlawful for any person to acquire or obtain possession of a forged or fraudulent certificate of destruction required pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-21. A violation of this section shall be a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $50,000.00 may be imposed. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude or limit a prosecution for theft as defined in chapter 20 of this title.

   L.1987, c.106, s.1; amended 1997, c.181, s.8.

Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) to dismiss NJ criminal charges for First time offenders in Superior Court

    Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) to dismiss NJ criminal charges for First time offenders in Superior Court

         Edited by Kenneth Vercammen from Judiciary Information Sheet
If you have no prior criminal charges I recommended that my clients apply for PTI Pre Trial Intervention. Please read the details at
We provide our clients with a copy of the Uniform Defendant Intake form used to interview persons by the Criminal Division. We advise clients to please read, fill out. You may wish to fax or bring to my office for review. In Middlesex County, interviews are held at 14 Kirkpatrick St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. We suggest you call the Criminal Division first to confirm they have your file ready 732-565-5065.

    When you go to be interviewed bring the Complaint, pay stubs, photo ID, and your entire file in connection with your matter. You must pay the $75.00 application fee.

         In support of your application for PTI the prosecutor and court will later review any letters or documents that are submitted to the Court on your behalf.  Please type up and deliver to my office a list of 15 reasons why the prosecutor should approve PTI within 10 days.
         I recommend very strongly that you obtain letters from relatives or other individuals who know you who would be willing to write to the Court to indicate that there should not be incarceration.  These letters should set forth favorable aspects regarding your life and your future.  They should point out some of the good traits that you possess.  They should also feel free to put any other reasons why the prosecutor should approve PTI. The letter should include your date of birth and complaint or indictment number. These letters are for your benefit and these instructions should be followed. These letters of reference should go to the Criminal Division, which interviewed you for PTI.
         Please bring an extra copy of all letters of reference, pay stubs and any other documents for the court just in case the court has lost the copies.  
         Kenneth Vercammen & Associates Law Office represents people charged with criminal offenses. We provide representation throughout New Jersey.  Criminal charges can cost you.  If convicted, you can face prison, fines over $10,000, jail, probation over 18 months, and other penalties.  Don't give up!  Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal violations. Our website provides information on criminal cases.

What is the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)?
         The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides defendants, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice process of ordinary prosecution. PTI seeks to render early rehabilitative services, when such services can reasonably be expected to deter future criminal behavior. The PTI program is based on a rehabilitative model that recognizes that there may be an apparent causal connection between the offense charged and the rehabilitative needs of a defendant. Further, the rehabilitative model emphasizes that social, cultural, and economic conditions often result in a defendant’s decision to commit crime. Simply stated, PTI strives to solve personal problems which tend to result from the conditions that appear to cause crime, and ultimately, to deter future criminal behavior by a defendant.

Standardized Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) Procedures

Directive #14-05 promulgates for statewide use a standard set of forms for processing Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) cases through the Criminal and Probation Divisions of the Superior Court. Since December 1, 2005, the following language is used, replacing any corresponding forms now in use in the court vicinages:

What Are the Benefits of the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)?
         If PTI is successfully completed, there is no record of conviction and the defendant avoids the stigma of a criminal conviction. Although no record of a conviction exists, a defendant may want to file for an expungement to remove any record of the original arrest.

         Early intervention allows rehabilitative services to be provided soon after the alleged offense, in an attempt to correct the behavior that led to the offense. Some of the costs associated with the formal court process are eliminated through acceptance into PTI. PTI provides early resolution of a case, which serves the interests of the victim, the public and the defendant. PTI reduces the burden on the court and allows resources to be devoted to more serious criminals.

What are the Conditions for Participation in Pretrial Intervention?
         Supervision under the PTI program may run from 12 months to three years and is provided by the Probation Division. Certain standard conditions are imposed on those accepted into PTI, such as, random urine monitoring, and assessments of fees, penalties and fines. Additional conditions may also be imposed to require the performance of community service, payment of restitution, and submission to psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations with compliance to recommended treatment programs. If a defendant successfully completes all the conditions of PTI, then the original charges are dismissed on the recommendation of the Criminal Division Manager with consent by the prosecutor, and there is no record of conviction. If a defendant does not successfully complete the conditions of PTI, then the defendant is terminated from the PTI program and the case is returned to the ordinary course of prosecution.

Who is Eligible for Pretrial Intervention (PTI)?
         Any defendant who is charged with an indictable offense may apply. Admission guidelines stated in the Court Rules set the following criteria:
Age - PTI is designed for adults. Jurisdiction - Only defendants charged
with indictable offenses in New Jersey may apply. Minor Violations - Charges that would likely result in a suspended sentence without probation or a fine are generally not eligible. Those charged with ordinance, health code and other similar violations are not eligible. Prior Record of Convictions - PTI generally excludes defendants who have been previously convicted. Parolees and Probationers - Generally excluded without prosecutor’s consent and considered only after consultation with parole and probation departments. Defendants Previously Diverted -  Excludes defendants who have previously been granted a diversionary  program or conditional discharge.

How Does One Apply for Pretrial Intervention?
         Applications to PTI must be made no later than 28 days after indictment. There is a $75 non-refundable application fee. In certain instances, this fee may be waived. The application process includes an interview with the defendant by a staff member of the Criminal Division of the Superior Court. A written report is prepared detailing the decision for admittance or rejection into the PTI program. When a defendant is accepted into PTI on the recommendation of the Criminal Division, with the consent of the prosecutor and the defendant, the judge may postpone all further proceedings against the defendant for a period not to exceed 36 months.  The applicant may appeal a rejection to the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division within 10 days of the rejection.

1. You shall obey all federal, state, and municipal laws and ordinances. You shall notify your probation officer within 24 hours if you are arrested or issued a complaint summons in any jurisdiction.
2. You shall report to your probation officer as directed.
3. You shall answer all inquiries by your probation officer truthfully.
4. You shall permit your probation officer to visit your residence or any other suitable place.
5. You shall promptly report any change of address or residence to your probation officer.
6. You must obtain permission if you wish to move outside the state.
7. You shall seek and maintain gainful employment, and promptly notify your probation officer when you
change your place of employment or find yourself out of work.
8. You shall cooperate in any test, treatment and/or counseling deemed necessary by your probation officer during the PTI period of postponement.

         If the court finds that you have not complied with the conditions of your PTI Supervision, the Court may modify the conditions of PTI Supervision, or terminate you from the program. If you are terminated from PTI Supervision, your charges will be reactivated and criminal court proceedings will resume.

         Failure to comply with the payment requirements may result in further Court action including termination, attachment of your wages, filing of a civil judgment, or extension of your PTI Supervision for purposes of collection.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
 (Fax)    732-572-0030
Kenneth Vercammen is an Edison, Middlesex County, NJ trial attorney where he  handles Criminal, Municipal Court, and contested case. He is past of the first attorneys in NJ  who passed the exam to become a Certified Municipal Court Law Attorney and approved by the Supreme Court on September 30, 2014.
Ken is author of the American Bar Association's new book “Criminal Law Forms” and often lectures to trial lawyers. As the Past Chair of  the Municipal Court Section he has served on its board for 10a years. 
He was awarded the Municipal Court Attorney of the Year by both the NJSBA and Middlesex County Bar Association. He also received the NJSBA- YLD Service to the Bar Award and the General Practitioner Attorney of the Year, now Solo Attorney of the Year.
He serves as is the Editor in Chief of the NJ Municipal Court Law Review.
             For nine years he served as the Cranbury Township Prosecutor and also was a Special Acting Prosecutor in nine different towns. Ken has successfully handled over one thousand Municipal Court and Superior Court matters in the past 29 years.
His private practice has devoted a substantial portion of professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. Appearing in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on Criminal and Municipal Court trials, civil and contested Probate hearings.  Ken also serves as the Editor of the popular legal website and related blogs. In Law School he was a member of the Law Review, winner of the ATLA trial competition and top ten in class.
             In his private life he has been a member of the NJ State champion Raritan Valley Road Runners master’s team and is a 4th degree black belt.