Recent Criminal Defense Case Results
Successfully defended K.N. from Child Endangerment charges within Somerset County. As a 2nd Degree Crime, K.N. was facing five (5) to ten (10) years New Jersey State Prison for leaving two children within an inadvertently unlocked car for a few minutes, as one of the children had fallen asleep, while she ran into a store to return some items. As K.N. worked within the school system, she was also facing a permanent restriction from her chosen field of employment from such a conviction. After extensive negotiations with the Prosecutor’s Office and prepared submissions detailing her true kind and caring character as a single mother, Mr. Kessous successfully persuaded the Court and the State to allow her into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program absent any foundational conviction ordinarily required for a 2nd degree charge, thus giving K.N. a full and fair opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction.
Successfully defended J.A. from Child Endangerment charges within Somerset County. As a 2nd Degree Crime, J.A. was facing five (5) to ten (10) years New Jersey State Prison for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a BAC of 2x the legal limit with children passengers within in the vehicle. As J.A. was not a U.S. citizen, he also faced serious immigration consequences from such a conviction. He was also facing mandatory jail time as this offense also would have constituted his 7th Driving While Suspended offense. After extensive negotiations with the Prosecutor’s Office Mr. Kessous successfully persuaded the Court and the State to allow him into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program absent any foundational conviction ordinarily required for a 2nd degree charge as well as an amendment of the Driving While Suspended charge to a charge that allowed for community service as opposed to jail. This gave J.A. a full and fair opportunity to seek a medical remedy to his alcohol issues while simultaneously avoided a criminal conviction that would have been devastating for his family.
Successfully defended O.M. for a proposed suspension by the NJMVC (formerly NJDMV)for two (2) years for utilizing falsely utilizing another’s Driver’s License prior to gaining a proper DL once he became a legal resident. As a certified EMT, a suspension would have been devastating to his ability to support his family. After extensive discussions, Mr. Kessous ultimately persuaded the Hearings officer to take “No Action”, thereby avoiding the suspension in its entirety.
Successfully represented C.D. for a Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident in a municipal court in Middlesex County. Despite the proofs of guilt, including the presence of an eyewitness in court, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the prosecutor, with whom he had previously developed a friendly professional relationship, to amend the charge to merely failing to report the accident, saving the client an ordinarily six (6) months suspension of her driving privileges.
Successfully represented I.W. in Middlesex County Superior Court. I.W. was charged with a 2nd Degree Robbery, enhanced to 1st Degree as a result of multiple co-defendant juveniles alleging he, as the adult, directed them to commit the Robbery. I.W. was facing a jail term of a mandatory minimum ten (10) to twenty (20) years in prison. After extensive motion practice and plea negotiations resulting in a 3rd Degree Receiving Stolen Property followed by a contested sentencing, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the Court to avoid any jail term. Even the Co-Defendants who, unlike I.W., purportedly cooperated with law enforcement were unable to fare as well.
Successfully defended G.M.B. for a Driving While Suspended violation in a municipal court in Hunterdon County. Despite overwhelming proofs of a 3rd offense, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the prosecutor, with whom he had developed a friendly professional relationship over a period of a decade, to amend the charge to a mere document violation. As the client was spared a mandatory jail sentence, he was also spared the likelihood of deportation upon his reporting to the jail as a result of his residency status.
Successfully defended T.C. for careless driving ticket in a municipality in Ocean County arising out of a motor vehicle accident. As a CDL, T.C. was facing ramifications to his employment as a result of the allegations. The charge was ultimately dismissed.
Successfully defended A.R.A. in a city municipal court in Union county. Mr. Kessous was able persuade the State to completely dismiss a criminal charge of Obstruction the Administration of Law. As the Defendant was attempting to adjust his status to remain in the country, this result was critical to his aspirations.
Successfully defended G.P.T. for a DWI/DUI violation in a city in Union County. This offense was particularly serious as it was a third (3rd) DWI violation and it occurred within 1000’ of a designated School Zone. G.P.T. was exposed to a mandatory six (6) months in jail and the loss of driving privileges for over a decade, among many other penalties. Through litigation over a five (5) month period, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court to suppress the per se (“presumptively guilty”) Breath Test reading and ultimately obtain a complete dismissal of the DWI/DUI allegation.
Successfully defended A.P.B. for a DWI within 1000’ School Zone, unlicensed and reckless driving allegations within a municipal court in Union County. After extensive negotiations, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court that the purported reading of .28 BAC, well over 3x the legal limit, was questionable as A.P.B.’s knowing waiver of his statutory right to have an independent blood test was effectively denied as a result of a language barrier.
We Successfully defended E.N. in a city municipal court in Union County. As a result of raising Miranda/suppression of harmful statements issues as well as violations of the client’s 4th Amendment Right to be free from unreasonable government intrusions, charges for illegal drug possession were completely dismissed.
Successfully defended W.A. in Somerset County. W.A. was indicted for molesting a six (6) year old girl. If convicted, W.A. would have had to serve a prison term of 5-10 yrs, 85% served before becoming eligible for parole under the No Early Release Act (NERA). Following his release from prison, he would have also have been required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and be on perpetual parole under the Community Supervision for Life requirements. Having recently obtained an Acquittal after Trial in the same jurisdiction for similar charges for another client, W.L. sought out Mr. Kessous’ services after his prior counsel recommended that he enter a guilty plea. During the course of extensive litigation, Mr. Kessous posited the defense that these allegations were the result of undue pressure by the child’s mother against W.A., and that his purported confession was unreliable as a result of coercive interrogation tactics by law enforcement. The State ultimately dismissed the Indictment in its entirety.
Successfully defended E.N. in a municipal court in Middlesex County. As a result of raising Miranda/suppression of harmful statements constitutional protection issues, charges including a 2nd offense DWI, refusal to take the breath test and cocaine found on E.N. as a result of a body pat-down search incident to the DWI arrest were all dismissed.
Successfully defended S.F. from drug paraphernalia related charges within a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. Mr. Kessous successfully garnered a complete dismissal of all charges as he noted upon review of discovery demanded that the New Jersey State Police Lab only tested positive for CDS the actual Marijuana that the police discovered on the Co-Defendant’s possession, and at no time tested the paraphernalia that the S.F. voluntarily admitted was his own. As Mr. Kessous proved that the paraphernalia was legally purchased as a tobacco instrument, the State was not in a position to prove that the resin therein was, in fact, Marijuana.
Successfully defended A.C.R. for a DWI violation in a city municipal court in Union County. Despite a Blood Alcohol Content reading of .21, almost 3x the legal limit, Mr. Kessous was able to obtain a dismissal against A.C.R. of the charge.
Successfully defended R.D., an elderly gentleman, for a DWI violation in a municipal court in Middlesex County. Mr. Kessous was able to obtain a dismissal of the DWI charge after successfully arguing that purported observations of intoxication were actually the result of a urinary tract infection.
Successfully represented T.H. in a Municipal Court in Monmouth County for Possession of Marijuana while at a concert at the PNC Arts Center. While this matter was proceeding, T.H. also was subsequently charged in a separate incident while at the Jersey Shore in Ocean County. T.H. confessed to the possession of the marijuana on both separate occasions. Nonetheless, as a result of extensive motion practice in both towns, respectively, both charges were ultimately dismissed, in their entirety, on procedural technicalities developed by Mr. Kessous. Thus, T.H. was saved from county jail, extensive fines, a criminal record and the humiliating experience of having to provide random urine samples over a period of a year in a probationary program for otherwise 1st time offenders.
Successfully defended E.H.S. in a city municipal court within Union County. E.H.S. was charged with the criminal attempt to solicit the services of an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute during an elaborate sting operation. As the Defendant was not a U.S. citizen, the consequences of this criminal conviction would have, in all likelihood, resulted in eventual deportation as a criminal offense that implicates moral turpitude. However, Mr. Kessous successfully argued that the charge must be dismissed as the police officer narrative indicated that the Defendant had approached the undercover officer and asked, “How much for it?”. As the Defendant was a native Spanish speaker, Mr. Kessous argued that, “…for all intensive purposes, the Defendant may very well have just been asking her for a ride.” Criminal prosecutions require strict construction of the statutes as opposed to vague interpretations. The charge was ultimately dismissed, in its entirety.
Successfully defended C.G. from criminal charges within a Municipal Court in Gloucester County that stemmed from a “sting” operation outside a liquor store to arrest underage college students purportedly attempting to obtain alcoholic beverages. Mr. Kessous successfully garnered a dismissal of all charges as he noted upon review of discovery demanded missing foundational evidence ordinarily necessary for proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction.
Successfully defended E.L. in Somerset County for allegations of a 1st degree crime of Aggravated Sexual Assault against a six (6) year old girl. The Defendant was acquitted after a three (3) week trial. During the aggressive cross-examination of State witnesses, Mr. Kessous utilized critical material garnered during extensive motion practice where anticipated trial witnesses were compelled to testify by the Defense well prior to the trial. Extensive motion practice included but was not limited to a Motion to Dismiss the charges for Prosecutorial Misconduct as a result of Mr. Kessous advocating that the State had withheld relevant information until immediately prior to Trial.
Successfully defended M.T. in a Municipal Court in Union County for Driving While Intoxicated as well as Refusal to provide Breath Samples upon Request. Unfortunately, as she was a 3rd offender, she was susceptible to a minimum mandatory six (6) months in jail as well as twenty (20) years suspension of her driving privileges. The entire matter was captured on video. Mr. Kessous conducted extensive litigation within the Union County Municipal Court, including but not limited to a Demand for a Jury Trial. This issue was then further litigated through the Law Division on Appeal. Mr. Kessous strategically utilized this Appellate process to Stay the underlying proceedings in order to conduct an attack on M.T’s 2nd offense DWI conviction within a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. After initially losing a Motion to Vacate the Guilty Plea, a plea that she entered years earlier with alternate counsel, Mr. Kessous ultimately prevailed on a Motion for Reconsideration of the Denial, thus vacating the 2nd DWI Conviction and obtaining a dismissal of same. Mr. Kessous then successfully argued to the Union County Municipal Court jurisdiction that without the 2nd offense DWI conviction, the 3rd offense actually became a 1st offense, as more than ten (10) years exists separating the 3rd from the 1st. Thus, after almost a year of litigation, M.T. was ultimately sentenced to no jail term and merely three (3) months suspension of her driving privileges on the DWI, with a verdict of “not guilty” as it concerned the Refusal.
Successfully defended P.K. for a DWI violation in a small town in Middlesex County. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court to suppress the .12 Breath Test reading. Mr. Kessous advocated that the Defendant provided his breath samples while wearing a tongue ring, thus creating the possibility of a compromised Blood Alcohol reading as a result of trace mouth alcohol. This result saved P.K. what would have been an additional 4 to 9 additional months of driver’s license suspension.
Successfully defended R.M.P. in the Somerset County Superior Court. He was initially charged with an Attempted Murder that would have resulted in prison sentence of well more than ten (10) years. This charge culminated from an allegation of a gang related brawl where the Defendant admitted to police that he struck a brawl participant while driving away from the melee, striking the victim and crushing his legs. Contradictory statements suggesting that the action was intentional existed. Nonetheless, a negotiated plea agreement was effectuated amending the charge from 1st degree Attempted Murder to 3rd degree Aggravated Assault. Subsequently, Mr. Kessous successfully advocated to the Court that the Defendant should receive only a time-served sentence.
Successfully defended D.S. for a DWI within a municipal court in Middlesex County. As a second (2nd) offender, Mr. Smith was susceptible to a two (2) year suspension of his driving privileges, 2-90 days in jail, mandatory ignition interlock installation and maintenance fees and thousands of dollars in insurance surcharges and increased insurance fees. It was alleged that D.S. had a breath test reading of .25 BAC, well over 3x the legal limit. After extensive litigation and dogged representation, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court that the DWI in its entirety must be dismissed. D.S. plead guilty to a moving violation and was fined $239 and suspended from driving for only ninety (90) days.
Successfully defended S.M. in a Municipal Court in Middlesex County for a charge of Driving While Intoxicated and Refusal to Provide Breath Samples upon request. S.M. was purportedly observed by a pair of “Good Samaritans” who claimed they observed him drinking an alcoholic beverage while walking out of liquor store and then continue to drink as he drove away. While following him, they contacted 911 and claimed they were directly observing repeated motor vehicle infractions consistent with an intoxicated driver. After the police became directly involved and arrested S.M., he refused to provide breath samples. Mr. Kessous was nonetheless able to resolve the matter to a dismissal of the Refusal charge, saving S.M. what would have been an additional minimum four (4) to twelve (12) month term of suspension of his driving privileges as well as additional fines and mandatory installation of the Ignition Interlock system into his vehicle.
Successfully defended A.R.A. in a city municipal court in Middlesex County for a DWI allegation. As a result of Defense motion practice, the purported per se or “presumptively guilty” Blood Alcohol Reading of .13 was excluded by the Court from being presented by the State at the time of trial. Ultimately, the DWI violation was dismissed. The Defendant entered a guilty plea to reckless driving and received a thirty (30) day loss of his driving privileges. This result saved the Defendant thousands of dollars in surcharges as well as increased insurance costs and at least (6) months of his driving privileges.
Successfully defended P.M.S. for a DWI within a municipal court in Somerset County. After extensive negotiations, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court that the officer failed to confirm that he directly observed the Defendant for twenty (20) minutes prior to generating the breath tests. Thus, the purported reading of .20 BAC, almost 3x the legal limit, was questionable. The Defendant ultimately suffered a loss of driving privileges for only three (3) months instead of the customary 7-12 months for this violation. Furthermore, the Ignition Interlock device was not mandatory for the DWI as it would have been with a BAC reading of .15 or higher.
Successfully represented J.M. in a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. J.M. was charged with careless driving arising out of an accident while operating a commercial vehicle during the course of his employment. As a CDL facing this charge under these circumstances, J.M. could have been susceptible to direct consequences to his employment if the matter was not resolved successfully. As an attorney who routinely assists CDL drivers who rely on their driving records to earn their living, Mr. Kessous persuaded the State and the Court to amend the charge to merely an $89 fine charge of obstructing traffic, a zero (0) point violation that the MVC (DMV) does not even consider a moving violation.
Successfully represented A.M. in an MVC/DMV matter. A.M. was facing an administrative suspension of his driving privileges for no fewer than six (6) months for operating a motor vehicle during a period of prior suspension. Mr. Kessous was able to timely object to the suspension and demand a hearing. It was at this hearing that Mr. Kessous raised legal issues that resulted in a compromise with the MVC/DMV to suspend A.M.’s privileges for only fifteen (15) days rather than the initially decreed six (6) months.
Successfully defended S.L. in a municipal court in Hudson County for a Post Conviction Relief (PCR) Application. As S.L. plead guilty too many times to the 0 point amendment of unsafe driving, Mr. Kessous successfully made an application to Vacate two of these convictions from her record, thus erasing several points from her driver’s abstract.
Successfully defended K.T. for various driving infraction allegations within a municipal court in Middlesex County. The consequences were serious as our client was already on driving probation with the NJMVC (formerly DMV) where any “moving violation” would result in an extensive administrative suspension of J.T.’s driving privileges. After negotiations, Mr. Kessous resolved the moving violation to a non-moving, no-point violation deemed “non-moving” by the NJMVC (formerly DMV), thus precluding the suspension.
Successfully defended A.S. in a municipal court in Middlesex County for an allegation of operating a motor vehicle while suspended. A conviction for this offense would have constituted a 6th offense, thereby necessitating a mandatory jail sentence of 10 to 40 days jail, $1000 fine and possible additional suspension of driving privileges of up to six (6) months. After extensive negotiations with the State and with the approval of the Court, Mr. Kessous resolved the matter to merely a single, 0 point minor violation of operating a motor vehicle with expired privileges, thus avoiding all of the aforementioned penalties. The Defendant merely paid a fine of $89.
Successfully defended J.R. from a charge of passing a school bus within a busy city court Municipal Court in Mercer County. Mr. Kessous resolved the matter from a five (5) point ticket that also required mandatory community service to a zero (0) point amendment of fines only.
Successfully defended Z.V. from a charge of tailgating and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle within a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. Mr. Kessous resolved the matter from a seven (7) points of tickets to a single zero (0) point amendment of fines only.
Successfully represented B.S. in a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. B.S. was charged with Speeding 90 mph a 55 mph zone. The charge carried with it (5) points as well as a possible suspension of driving privileges for up to six (6) months. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court to amend the speeding ticket to unsafe driving, a zero (0) point amendment as well as avoid any suspension of driving privileges.
Successfully represented D.H. in a Municipal Court in Somerset County. D.H. was charged with a 3rd offense of operating a Motor Vehicle while using a Cell phone. As a 3rd offender, D.H. was susceptible to a fine of no less than $600 to $800 and three (3) points against his driver’s license as well as discretionary suspension of up to ninety (90) days. Mr. Kessous was the first attorney to persuade the municipal prosecutor and the sitting judge of that court to allow the charge to be amended to a zero (0) point ticket of unsafe driving with a fine of $439.
Successfully defended W.V. in a municipal court in Middlesex County for an allegation of speeding 100mph in a 55mph zone as well as careless driving. If convicted, these offense would have resulted in seven(7) points and possible suspension of driving privileges of up to six (6) months. After extensive negotiations with the State and with the approval of the Court, Mr. Kessous resolved the matter to merely a single, two (2) point minor speeding violation.
Successfully represented T.H. in a Municipal Court in Ocean County. T.H. was charged with Speeding 92 mph a 50 mph zone as well as reckless driving. Each of these charges carried with it (5) points as well as a possible suspension of driving privileges for up to six (6) months, respectively. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court to dismiss the reckless driving ticket and amend the speeding ticket to 64 mph on a 50 mph zone, merely a two (2) point violation, with the agreement that the Defendant complete a safe driving course.
Successfully defended C.S. in a municipal court in Union County for an allegation of passing a school bus. If convicted, this offense would have resulted in five (5) points, mandatory community service and possible suspension of driving privileges of up to six (6) months. After extensive negotiations with the State and with the approval of the Court, Mr. Kessous resolved the matter to merely a single, 0 point minor violation.
Successfully defended K.I. in a municipal court in Mercer County for various motor vehicle allegations that, if convicted, would have resulted in twelve (12) points and a suspension of driving privileges. After extensive negotiations with the State and with the approval of the Court, Mr. Kessous resolved the matter to merely a single, 0 point minor violation.
Successfully defended D.P. for allegations within a municipal court in Ocean County of assault on an officer. As a Legal Permanent Resident, even one criminal conviction for this conduct could have result in severe immigration consequences. After extensive negotiations including discussions of the nature of the confrontation with law enforcement, Mr. Kessous resolved all of the matters to merely a single non-criminal/local ordinance violation of “loud noise in public ”. Mr. Kessous also was able to have the Complaint amended to the Defendant’s true name absent the issuance of any further criminal charges for Hindering Apprehension.
Successfully defended J.D. in Monmouth County. Initially charged with a 3rd degree crime of Aggravated Assault with an automobile, J.D. was specifically accused of attempting to “run down” her estranged spouse during the course of a domestic dispute. After discussions with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, the matter was remanded as a Disorderly person’s offense to the local municipality. Subsequently, J.D. entered a guilty plea to a mere local ordinance/non-criminal violation of being loud in public and paid a fine less than $200. All other charges, even the reckless driving ticket, were dismissed.
Successfully defended E.L. in Essex County for allegations of shoplifting items in an amount that would have constituted a 3rd degree crime. Mr. Kessous was ultimately able to resolve the matter to a mere local ordinance/non-criminal violation of being loud in public and paid a fine of approximately $200.
Successfully defended L.H in a Municipal Court in Burlington County for Possession of Marijuana. While reviewing the police reports, Mr. kessous observed that the purported Consent to Search form for L.H.’s vehicle and person generated by the local police department failed to indicate that a suspect also reserved the right to terminate the search at any time. This language is observed within Consent Forms utilized by the New Jersey State Police. After a Motion to Suppress Evidence was filed by Mr. Kessous, the charge was ultimately reduced to a mere town ordinance with a fine. Thus, L.H. was saved from county jail, extensive fines, a criminal record and the humiliating experience of having to provide random urine samples over a period of a year in a probationary program for otherwise 1st time offenders.
Successfully represented N.B.J. in Somerset County Superior Court. N.B.J. was recorded Mr. Kessous resolved all of the matters to merely a single non-criminal/local ordinance violation of “public nuisance”, with some minor driving infractions.
Successfully defended J.V.R. for an Indictment for 2nd Degree charges of an automobile Burglary and Possession of a Firearm in Mercer County. If convicted, J.V.R. would have been susceptible to a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years, subject to NERA 85% ineligibility for Parole. Furthermore, as a Legal Permanent Resident and not a U.S. Citizen, he was also susceptible to deportation following his prison sentence. As the J.V.R. was positively identified by the victim and the police having garnered a Mirandized confession absent counsel, the case was difficult. Nonetheless, after fully gauging the facts and circumstances of the case, Mr. Kessous was able to resolve the matter with the Prosecutor and the Court to merely a Disorderly Persons (misdemeanor) offense of Trespassing. This resolution maintained a fine of less than $200 and no additional incarceration or probation. It further gave J.V.R.’s immigration attorneys the ability to fight for him to be able to maintain his legal status in the U.S.
Successfully defended L.N.E. from criminal theft related charges within a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. Despite the existence of surveillance footage clearly confirming the act, Mr. Kessous successfully had the charge amended to that of a non-criminal charge, thus avoiding a criminal conviction that would have resulted in immigration consequences as L.N.E. was not a U.S. citizen.
Successfully represented A.H. in a Municipal Court in Mercer County. A.H. was charged with Speeding 108 mph a 65 mph zone as well as careless driving. The speeding ticket carried with it five (5) points as well as a possible suspension of driving privileges for up to six (6) months while the careless driving ticket carried two (2) points. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the State and the Court to dismiss the careless driving ticket and amend the speeding ticket to 80 mph on a 50 mph zone, merely a four (4) point violation, without any suspension of the Defendant’s driving privileges despite the high speed.
Successfully represented E.C. in a Municipal Court in Middlesex County for a charge of Driving While Suspended and improper backing. With the assistance of Mr. Kessous, E.C. was convicted of a mere document violation of failure to produce a valid license at the time of the stop, thus saving E.C. thousands of dollars in fines, surcharges and increased insurance premiums.
Successfully defended A.B. in Middlesex County for allegations of 1st degree and 2nd degree crimes of Aggravated Sexual Assaults against two (2) children over a period of several years. The purported victims’ family wrote letters to the Court indicating their wish that A.B. receive “at least 30 years in prison”. Nonetheless, after the completion of extensive motion practice by Mr. Kessous, the Defendant ultimately plead guilty to merely a non-sexual child neglect/abuse 3rd degree crime, with a minor “time-served” county jail sentence. This result avoided exposure to an otherwise extensive NJ State Prison sentence, along with living with the brand of “Pedophile” that is Megan’s Law and Community/Parole Supervision For Life service requirements.