We appeared in Union County Superior Court today in an ongoing First Degree Robbery case. We were retained in the matter approximately a year ago and are defending a gentleman who was basically a “look out” for what turned out to be an armed robbery in Union County. While the client clearly had knowledge that a robbery would take place, he had no idea that it was going to be perpetrated with a weapon or, for that matter, that one of the participants was going to pistol whip a victim. One might say that our client has things come to him but I cannot agree with this assessment. He is honestly credible when he relates that he was coerced into participating in the robbery. Unfortunately, the supervising prosecutor has been unwilling to place any significant weight on this defense.
As the situation presently stands, our client is looking at a First Degree Robbery offense and 10-20 years in jail. Despite significant effort, the best we could do so far is 7 years in prison with parole ineligibility under NERA (i.e. 85% of sentence must be served before eligible for parole). Any attorneys might view this as a success but we have not. Accordingly, we undertook a strategy to force the prosecution to file a superseding indictment (no new charges against our client). This approach was successful and we just received a notice of superseding indictment. We are hoping that better success can be forged in response to the new indictment. We will keep you posted.