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Prior Convictions Inadmissible After 10 Years?

Prior Convictions Inadmissible After 10 Years?

In State v. Harris,, 209 N.J. 431 (2012) the defendant was charged with robbery and burglary and the Superior Court Judge permitted the prosecutor to use defendant’s 13 year old drug convictions to impeach defendant’s testimony. The NJ Supreme Court found no abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court judge. Most of the defendant’s convictions from 1994 through 2007 were disorderly persons offenses but were still permitted to close the gap of remoteness. As a result, a NJ Supreme Court subcommittee is recommending the adoption of revisions to N.J. Rule of Evidence 609 to prevent the prosecution from introducing evidence of convictions more than 10 years old. In actual practice, a remoteness analysis could be undertaken including the following considerations: (1) whether there are other convictions between the accused crime and any prior crimes the prosecution wishes to admit and the nature and seriousness thereof; (2) whether any of the prior convictions involves fraud or dishonesty and (3) the seriousness of the offense. The final result would be to bar the introduction of evidence regarding prior convictions over 10 years old unless the probative value outweighs the prejudicial effect of the evidence after judicial analysis. If you have been charged with theft, burglary or any other criminal offense in NJ, you should immediately obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. For more information on protecting your rights if charged with theft, burglary, shoplifting or other crimes in NJ visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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