State v. Hedgespeth

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Law Division’s opinion, which had affirmed the defendant’s convictions for controlled dangerous substance and firearm offenses. The Supreme Court held that a violation occurred when the State was allowed to enter into evidence information outlined in the affidavit of a non-testifying officer concerning the no-permit results from a search of the State firearm registry, as the Court did in the companion case of State v. Carrion. Second, the Court held that the trial court erred when it allowed the State to impeach the defendant under N.J.R.E. 609 with convictions that were more than 10 years old, though the defendant remained on probation for one of the offenses into the 10-year lookback. The Appellate Division had ruled that any error was harmless. The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the error was not harmless since the defendant chose not to testify based on that erroneous ruling.

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