State v. Rodriguez

In these consolidated appeals, the New Jersey Appellate Division reviewed orders that dismissed a grand jury indictment. The State alleged the defendants practiced medicine without a license, fraudulently billed for those services, and conspired to commit this fraud. The trial court dismissed the indictment, finding it flawed in several ways. The State appealed, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court concluded that the most significant defect in the grand jury process was the prosecutor’s failure to adequately and accurately instruct the jury about what a medical assistant, as an unlicensed medical professional, may do and what activities encroach upon the licensed practice of medicine. Furthermore, the State’s allegation that the crimes occurred “on or about January 2012 until on or about May 2017” failed to apprise the defendants of the crimes alleged or to enable them to mount a defense. Finally, the Court disagreed with the defendants’ claim that the trial court should have dismissed the indictment with prejudice. There was no evidence the indictment was motivated by prosecutorial vindictiveness.

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