STATE v. A.N. – Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Jury Verdict – Not Guilty) – A.N. was charged with endangering the welfare of her children by driving under the influence of a controlled substance. After trial, the jury returned a not guilty verdict finding that A.N. did not commit such a crime.
STATE v. ATLANTIC CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN RODERICK KNOX – 13 Count Indictment alleging Aggravated Sexual Assault, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Jury Verdict – Not Guilty) -This case was initiated by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office crimes against children unit against Captain Knox based on the allegation that he had sexual intercourse with his 15 year old foster daughter on numerous occasions. The case gained considerable local media attention given Captain Knox’s position and long tenure with the Fire Department and his total lack of a criminal record. If convicted, Captain Knox, faced potential penalties including over 100 years in New Jersey State Prison (much of which he would have had to serve 85% of the term before parole eligibility), Megan’s Law Reporting for sexual offenders, lifetime parole supervision, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and other monetary penalties and lifetime forfeiture of his right to continue his impressive career with the Fire Department. The trial lasted for 6 days from openings through closings/jury charge. Thanks to Mr. Funk’s aggressive advocacy, the jury returned not guilty verdicts as to all counts charged on the indictment after deliberating for less than 3 hours.
STATE v. ATLANTIC CITY COUNCILMAN MARTY SMALL – Election Fraud (Jury Verdict – Not Guilty) -This case gained national attention as the “Atlantic City Voter Fraud Case” prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Official Corruption Unit culminating in a 6 month trial between October of 2010 and March of 2011. Mr. Funk represented the lead defendant, Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small who was charged on a 10 count indictment with conspiracy to commit election fraud, absentee ballot fraud, forgery, tampering with public records, hindering prosecution and other offenses. Councilman Small, who is married with young children, faced potential penalties including over 70 years in New Jersey State Prison, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and other monetary penalties and lifetime forfeiture of his right to hold elected office or public employment. Thanks to Mr. Funk’s aggressive advocacy, the jury returned not guilty verdicts as to all counts charged on the indictment allowing Councilman Small to walk out of the courthouse and return to his family a free man. Councilman Small continues to represent the people of Atlantic City’s second ward while working full time for the Atlantic City School Board as the elementary Athletic Director.
STATE v. K.R. – Murder (Jury Verdict – Not Guilty) – K.R. was charged with intentionally beating to death a man that started a fight with him in K.R.’s living room. After trial, the jury returned a not guilty verdict to the murder charge finding that K.R.’s response to the man’s actions were not intended to kill, thus avoiding a potential State Prison sentence of 30 years to life.
STATE v. C.R. – Theft (Not Guilty Verdict) – C.R. was charged with stealing property from her roommate. Following trial, C.R. was found not guilty based on a lack of evidence that she committed any crime or offense.
STATE v. S.R. – Sexual Assault (Case Dismissed) – S.R., a computer consultant and member of the Hamilton Township Zoning and Planning Board was accused of sexually assaulting his step-daughter. He faced decades in State Prison and lifetime Parole Supervision and reporting under Megan’s Law. Mr. Funk first convinced the County Prosecutor to dismiss the sexual assault charges and remand the matter to Municipal Court as a minor disorderly persons offense where the case was ultimately dismissed in its entirety on Mr. Funk’s motion for lack of prosecution. S.R. avoided all criminal penalties and was able to continue pursuing his political aspirations.
STATE v. D.J. – Forgery of Prescription and Attempt to Obtain Drugs by Fraud (Motion to Dismiss Granted) – D.J. had no prior record and would likely have had an application to Pre-Trial Intervention (P.T.I.) granted and the case ultimately dismissed. However, D.J. steadfastly maintained her innocence. Mr. Funk argued several motions to dismiss the indictment as well as a Motion to Dismiss the case as De Minimis. Ultimately, the court granted a motion to dismiss by Mr. Funk because the State was unable to produce the key piece of evidence around which the entire case was built (the allegedly forged prescription) for inspection. The police did not know where the evidence was, the prosecutor’s office did not know where the evidence was and the pharmacy did not know where the evidence was. This bizarre scenario prompted the court to express disappointment in the “casual” way in which law enforcement handled evidence upon which it charged a person with serious crimes. The case was dismissed.
UNITED STATES v. D.D. – Conspiracy to Defraud United States by Structuring Currency Transactions with Domestic Banks for the Purpose of Avoiding Tax Reporting Requirements (Probation instead of Federal Prison) – Prior to Mr. Funk taking over the case from another attorney, D.D. entered a guilty plea agreement with the United States Attorney pursuant to which he agreed that a Federal Sentencing Guideline Range of 12-18 months imprisonment was reasonable. Mr. Funk abided by the terms of the original plea agreement but was able to convince the Judge not to impose a prison sentence, instead imposing a short, one year term of probation. D.D. maintained his freedom continuously, has served his term of probation and the matter is now behind him completely.
STATE v. J.B. – Driving While Driver’s License Suspended and being Involved in Car Accident Resulting in Death (Motion to Dismiss Indictment Granted) – J.B. was involved in an accident on the Atlantic City Expressway resulting in the death of a passenger in the other car. Mr. Funk successfully moved to dismiss the indictment because the prosecutor failed to present the Grand Jury with sufficient evidence to support the charge.
STATE v. J.F. – Aggravated Assault (Motion to Dismiss Indictment Filed – Case Voluntarily Dismissed by Prosecutor) – During the presentation of J.F.’s case to the Grand Jury, one of the jurors asked the prosecutor whether the alleged victim was intoxicated because they thought it was relevant on the issue of whether the injuries sustained could have been the result of something other than J.F.’s conduct (one punch), such as a fall. The question was perfectly legitimate and relevant because, as the grand juror understood, “significant bodily injury” is an element of the offense. If the grand jury did not conclude that J.F.’s actions caused the necessary level of injury, the charge of aggravated assault could not be sustained. The prosecutor would not provide an answer to the question thus improperly influencing the independent decision-making of the grand jury as required by law. Mr. Funk filed a motion to dismiss the indictment. The prosecutor, realizing that the question should have been answered, voluntarily dismissed the indictment.
STATE v. S.H. – Possession of Stolen Car (Case Dismissed) – S.H. was accused of being in possession of a car that was apparently stolen from Jersey City. Mr. Funk immediately filed a motion to dismiss the criminal complaint for delay as well as a demand for a probable cause hearing. After discussions with the prosecutor, the complaint against S.H. was dismissed as a case of mistaken identity.
STATE v. N.H. – Theft (Case Dismissed based on Mental Disease of Defect) – N.H. suffered from bi-polar disorder and was prescribed numerous medications. He was accused of stealing items from a gas station, including a case of water. After obtaining a report from an expert psychiatrist, Mr. Funk successfully convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the case because N.H.’s mental disorder and heavy medication effectively negated his ability to form the intent to commit the criminal act.
STATE v. S.R. – Disorderly Conduct (Motion to Dismiss as De Minimis Granted – Case Dismissed) – S.R., the handicapped father of a first grader in the Northfield Community School, was arrested at the school in front of his child for uttering profanity to a police officer patrolling the parking lot who told him he was illegally parked during a rainstorm. Mr. Funk successfully argued that his client’s language was protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution and could not subject him to criminal penalties. The case attracted attention locally because the events happened at a school, in front of children and involved a police officer, with all of the power and authority, who exercised such an obvious lack of patience and restraint against an otherwise law abiding citizen who was taking his young child to school.
STATE v. J.J. – Possession of Child Pornography (Motion to Dismiss Indictment Granted) – J.J. was accused of possessing illegal child pornography on his computer. He denied that any such material was on his computer. Mr. Funk filed a successful motion to dismiss the indictment based on the fact that the prosecutor and police failed to present evidence, other than their unsupported opinions, to the Grand Jury that the material found on the computer was actually child pornography.
STATE v. J.G. – Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (Not Guilty Verdict) – J.G. was charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Mr. Funk successfully argued that the evidence presented did not establish such a charge and J.G. was found not guilty avoiding a driver’s license suspension, high fines, surcharges and other penalties.
STATE v. J.R. – Drug Distribution (Motion to Dismissed Granted, Case Dismissed) – J.R. was charged along with several other individuals with distribution of narcotics. Mr. Funk made a motion to dismiss the indictment based on the State’s failure to present sufficient evidence (and for presenting incorrect information) to the Grand Jury regarding J.R.’s role in the events. The motion was granted and the case was dismissed.
STATE v. C.D. – Illegal Possession of Brass Knuckles (PTI Application Granted after Initial Denial) – C.D. was 19 years old at the time his case was handled by Mr. Funk. It was his first charge as an adult. Even if he was convicted of the charge, the fact that it was his first offense made it virtually certain that he would receive probation rather than a prison term. He was otherwise eligible to participate in the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (P.T.I.) through which his case could ultimately be dismissed and Mr. Funk assisted him in applying for the program. However, the prosecutor examined C.D.’s extensive history of Juvenile Delinquency matters and concluded that he did not “deserve” P.T.I. under the circumstances. He insisted that C.D. plead guilty, accept a criminal conviction at 19 years old that would affect him for the rest of his life and serve a term of probation. Mr. Funk immediately filed numerous motions including a motion to compel P.T.I., a Motion to Suppress Evidence and a Motion to Suppress C.D.’s statements to the police. Mr. Funk made it clear to the prosecutor that given C.D.’s youth and the fact that it was his first adult charge, P.T.I. was the only acceptable resolution. The prosecutor, knowing that probation would be the sentence even if C.D. was found guilty after trial, decided to allow C.D. into the P.T.I. program as originally requested.
STATE in the interest of R.A., a Juvenile – Assault, Endangering the Welfare of Child and Criminal Mischief (Case Dismissed) – Mr. Funk secured a dismissal for R.A. on the day trial was scheduled to begin based on the State’s failure to secure the evidence it required to establish any of the charges.
STATE v. T.S. – Harassment (Case Dismissed) – T.S., a physician, was charged with harassment because he approached a woman who was driving through the parking lot of his medical practice at night after hours, and asked her what she was doing and whether she needed help. The woman left, went to the police station and filed charges. Mr. Funk spoke to the prosecutor who, when presented with the facts, concluded that no act of harassment occurred and dismissed the charges.
STATE v. T.R. – Possession of Heroin (Motion to Suppress Evidence Granted – Case Dismissed) – T.R. is a successful accountant who had a drug problem. After being involved in a car accident, T.R. was placed in an ambulance for medical treatment. The police officer returned to the car to retrieve T.R.’s purse for safe keeping. This was a magnanimous gesture on the surface except for the fact that the officer decided to open the purse, for no reason, and look inside where he found a small amount of heroin. The court concluded that the officer had no reasonable basis to search T.R.’s purse without a warrant and suppressed the evidence, ultimately leading to the dismissal of the case.
STATE v. W.D. – Disorderly Conduct of a Casino Dealer (Case Dismissed) – W.D. was alleged to have threatened a casino dealer with a folding knife. After extensive review of the video evidence, Mr. Funk convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the case because W.D.’s actions did not constitute disorderly conduct.
STATE v. T.G. – Harassment of a Casino Waitress (Judgment of Acquittal Granted after State’s case at Trial – Case Dismissed) – T.G. was a high roller at a casino. He was accused of harassing a waitress as he gambled. After testimony from the waitress and the State’s presentation of extensive video surveillance from the Casino security system, the Judge dismissed the State’s case finding that it failed to establish that a reasonable evaluator of the facts of the case could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that T.G. intended to harass or annoy the waitress.
STATE v. E.M. – Harassment (Successful Appeal Resulting in Overturning of Guilty Verdict – Case Dismissed) – Mr. Funk defended E.M. in a lengthy trial before a Municipal Court Judge in which the State accused him of harassing another person through telephone calls and other unwanted communication and contact. The Municipal Court Judge found E.M. guilty. Mr. Funk appealed the case to the Superior Court and after extensive briefing and oral argument, the Superior Court Judge overturned the guilty verdict concluding that the lower court Judge was incorrect to conclude that E.M. committed any act of harassment.
STATE v. N.G. – Driving While Intoxicated (Case Dismissed) – N.G. was charged with driving while intoxicated. Mr. Funk, following extensive negotiations, convinced the prosecutor that he could not prove that N.G. was driving the car when the alleged offense occurred. The case was dismissed.
STATE v. J.B. – Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (Case Dismissed) – J.B. was charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Mr. Funk established that there was insufficient evidence to prove that J.B.’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was in any way impaired by drugs. The case was dismissed.
STATE v. S.B. – Driving While Intoxicated (Alcotest reading Suppressed) – S.B. was charged with Driving While Intoxicated. Mr. Funk negotiated an agreement with the prosecutor that the Alcotest reading, which measures blood alcohol levels through breath samples, was flawed and therefore inadmissible. S.B.’s blood alcohol level exposed him to a loss of his driver’s license for 7-12 months but he instead lost it for only 3 months because the Alcotest was suppressed.
STATE v. T.F. – Drug and Weapons charges (Motion to Suppress Granted – Indictment Dismissed except for 1 minor Count for which T.F. was allowed to participate in the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program after which the final charge, and thus the entire Case, was Dismissed) – T.F. was charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs within a school zone, possession of illegal weapons while in the course of committing a drug crime and possession of illegal weapons after a warrantless search of his automobile. Mr. Funk was first able to have the “school zone” charge dismissed by establishing that there were no schools within the zone as falsely alleged. Next, Mr. Funk was able to suppress the evidence obtained from the car because it was unconstitutionally obtained without a warrant and no valid exception to the warrant requirement could be established by the prosecutor. The indictment was dismissed with the exception of a minor weapons possession charge for which T.F. was allowed to participate in PTI. The entire case was eventually dismissed.
STATE v. S.F. – Attempted Theft by Deception (Case Dismissed for lack of Evidence) – S.F., a world famous gaming security consultant and author from Las Vegas, was arrested at the Borgata Casino Hotel in Atlantic City with a number of other people for allegedly participating in a scheme to cheat and defraud a man in a high stakes backgammon game through the use of hidden cameras, concealed microphones and computers. The case was prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General, Division of Gaming Enforcement, and generated nationwide media attention and was even reported in the Wall Street Journal. After two years and numerous motions to dismiss and suppress evidence, Mr. Funk ultimately convinced the State that the charges against S.F. lacked any basis in fact. The charges were dismissed and S.F. was able to resume his high profile and lucrative career with no penalties or adverse consequences whatsoever.
STATE v. J.H. – Car Theft (Case Dismissed for lack of Evidence) – J.H. was arrested and jailed for stealing a car. He was unable to post bail and spent months in county jail until Mr. Funk successfully negotiated and convinced the prosecutor that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute J.H. because the evidence clearly established the guilt of another person. The case was dismissed and J.H. was immediately released from jail.
STATE v. O.A. – Carjacking/Strong armed Robbery/Car Theft/Conspiracy (Indictment dismissed in exchange for minor amended charge) – O.A. was arrested and jailed for allegedly participating in a plot to forcibly steal a car after beating and robbing its occupants. O.A. was unable to post bail and spent months in county jail even though it was clear that O.A. did not commit the crimes for which he was indicted. He faced over 20 years in New Jersey State Prison and would have had to serve 85% of the sentence before being eligible for parole. Mr. Funk negotiated a plea deal through which O.A. would admit to committing the much less serious conspiracy to commit theft by tricking the victims into handing over money. He was sentenced to probation with credit for time served. He was released from jail on the date he was sentenced.
STATE v. F.A. – TerroristicThreats/Contempt (Motion to Suppress Evidence Granted – Indictment Dismissed) – F.A. was accused of calling the workplace of a former girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him, and leaving a threatening message on the answering machine. F.A. faced the prospect of spending years in State Prison. Mr. Funk successfully challenged the admissibility of the answering machine message and it was suppressed. The charges on the indictment were dismissed.
STATE v. F.T. – Burglary/Criminal Mischief (Motion to Dismiss Indictment Granted) – F.T. was accused of breaking down the door of a home for the purpose of stealing items from inside the house. Mr. Funk moved to dismiss the indictment based on the State’s failure to provide crucial relevant evidence during the discovery process. The court dismissed the indictment.
STATE v. P.D. – Healthcare Claims Fraud, Medicaid Fraud and Drug Distribution (Hung Jury) – P.D., a licensed New Jersey Pharmacist was accused by the Attorney General’s Fraud Unit of dispensing fraudulent prescriptions and then selling the medications through accomplices who pled guilty and testified against P.D. The charges were aggravated by the client’s status as a State licensed healthcare professional and carried potential prison exposure of over 50 years. After a month long trial during which the Attorney General presented thousands of documents and over 40 witnesses, a hung jury was dismissed by the court because Mr. Funk successfully prevented the Attorney General from proving whether P.D. committed the crimes alleged.
STATE v. T.B. – Distribution of Drugs to a Student Younger than 17 Years Old While on Public School Property (Successful Plea Bargain and Minimal Penalty) – The charges arose when the Vice Principal of the school searched T.B.’s car without a warrant while it was parked on school property. The nature of the charges exposed T.B., who had recently turned 18 and had no prior criminal record, to a potential 10 year State Prison sentence up to half of which could have been made to be served without the possibility of parole. In a case of first impression in New Jersey, Mr. Funk argued that the search of the car without a warrant by the Vice Principal was a violation of T.B.’s right to be free from warrantless searches and seizures under both the United States and New Jersey Constitutions. The trial court denied the motion and allowed the evidence to be used by the State in order to prosecute T.B. Instead of taking the case to trial and exposing T.B. to a potentially devastating prison sentence, Mr. Funk negotiated a deal with the prosecutor pursuant to which T.B. spent just 3 months in prison before he was released for good in December of 2007. Even after his client was released from prison, Mr. Funk continued to fight for him over the course of two more years by filing appeals with the Superior Court Appellate Division and New Jersey Supreme Court, both of which resulted in published cases (State v. Best, 201 N.J. 100 (2010) and State v. Best, 403 N.J. Super. 428 (App. Div. 2008)) which now define the law in New Jersey regarding the extent to which public school officials may search student automobiles on school property.
STATE v. L.M. – Drug Distribution, Distribution of Counterfeit Cigarettes and Money Laundering (Successful Plea Bargain and Minimal Penalty) – L.M. was charged by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Gaming Enforcement with committing illegal acts in and around the Atlantic City casinos. The indictment charged numerous co-defendants after a long investigation involving wiretaps, recorded conversations and undercover informants. L.M. faced over 50 years in prison if convicted yet Mr. Funk was able to secure a favorable outcome through a combination of motions and aggressive plea negotiation. In the end, the State and Mr. Funk reached an agreement through which L.M. entered prison in May of 2007. Soon after, Mr. Funk was able to secure L.M.’s release just six months later in December of that same year, a week before Christmas. He has been free ever since and is home living with his wife and children while running his successful business.
STATE v. M.E. – Distribution of Drugs, the use of which Resulted in Death (Motion to Dismiss Indictment Granted) – M.E. was accused of providing his friend with heroin, the use of which resulted in his friend’s death after an overdose. The case was dismissed after the Court found that the prosecutor made certain inappropriate comments to the Grand Jury while the case was being presented.