NJ Laws Directions to Ken Vercammen and Associates Ken Vercammens Resume Ken Vercammen articles

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
A Law Office with Experienced Attorneys for Your New Jersey Legal Needs

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison NJ 08817
732-572-0500
1-800-655-2977

Personal Injury and Criminal
on Weekends 732-261-4005

Princeton Area
68 South Main St.
Cranbury, NJ 08512
By Appointment Only
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Drug Court

- Drug use in the US expanded with the crack cocaine epidemic of the mid-1980’s; the number of drug arrests skyrocketed

- The initial Criminal Justice System response was stricter laws that filled the US prisons

-As drug use was not influenced by the new laws, court dockets were overwhelmed and new strategies were developed to deal with the increase

-Expedited Drug Case Management, the early “Drug Courts” dealt with case processing issues only

-Even when mandated into treatment, most did not remain

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2C:35-14  Rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol dependent persons; criteria for imposing special probation; ineligible offenders; prosecutorial objections; mandatory commitment to residential treatment facilities; presumption of revocation; brief incarceration in lieu of permanent revocation.

a. Notwithstanding the presumption of incarceration pursuant to the provisions of subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:44-1, and except as provided in subsection c. of this section, whenever a drug or alcohol dependent person is convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for an offense, other than one described in subsection b. of this section, the court, upon notice to the prosecutor, may, on motion of the person, or on the courts own motion, place the person on special probation, which shall be for a term of five years, provided that the court finds on the record that:

(1) the person has undergone a professional diagnostic assessment to determine whether and to what extent the person is drug or alcohol dependent and would benefit from treatment; and

(2) the person is a drug or alcohol dependent person within the meaning of N.J.S.2C:35-2 and was drug or alcohol dependent at the time of the commission of the present offense; and

(3) the present offense was committed while the person was under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or alcohol or was committed to acquire property or monies in order to support the persons drug or alcohol dependency; and

(4) substance abuse treatment and monitoring will serve to benefit the person by addressing his drug or alcohol dependency and will thereby reduce the likelihood that the person will thereafter commit another offense; and

(5) the person did not possess a firearm at the time of the present offense and did not possess a firearm at the time of any pending criminal charge; and

(6) the person has not been previously convicted on two or more separate occasions of crimes of the first, second or third degree, other than crimes defined in N.J.S.2C:35-10; and

(7) the person has not been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for, and does not have a pending charge of murder, aggravated manslaughter, manslaughter, robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault, or a similar crime under the laws of any other state or the United States; and

(8) a suitable treatment facility licensed and approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services is able and has agreed to provide appropriate treatment services in accordance with the requirements of this section; and

(9) no danger to the community will result from the person being placed on special probation pursuant to this section.

In determining whether to sentence the person pursuant to this section, the court shall consider all relevant circumstances, and shall take judicial notice of any evidence, testimony or information adduced at the trial, plea hearing or other court proceedings, and shall also consider the presentence report and the results of the professional diagnostic assessment to determine whether and to what extent the person is drug or alcohol dependent and would benefit from treatment.

As a condition of special probation, the court shall order the person to enter a treatment program at a facility licensed and approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services, to comply with program rules and the requirements of the course of treatment, to cooperate fully with the treatment provider, and to comply with such other reasonable terms and conditions as may be required by the court or by law, pursuant to N.J.S.2C:45-1, and which shall include periodic urine testing for drug or alcohol usage throughout the period of special probation.  Subject to the requirements of subsection d. of this section, the conditions of special probation may include different methods and levels of community-based or residential supervision.

b. A person shall not be eligible for special probation pursuant to this section if the person is convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for:

(1) a crime of the first degree;

(2) a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:43-7.2;

(3) a crime, other than that defined in N.J.S.2C:35-7, for which a mandatory minimum period of incarceration is prescribed under chapter 35 of this Title or any other law; or

(4) an offense that involved the distribution or the conspiracy or attempt to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog to a juvenile near or on school property.

c. A person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for an offense under section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7), subsection b. of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.185 (C.2C:35-4.1), or any crime for which there exists a presumption of imprisonment pursuant to subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:44-1 or any other statute, or who has been previously convicted of an offense under subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-5 or a similar offense under any other law of this State, any other state or the United States, shall not be eligible for sentence in accordance with this section if the prosecutor objects to the person being placed on special probation.  The court shall not place a person on special probation over the prosecutors objection except upon a finding by the court of a gross and patent abuse of prosecutorial discretion.  If the court makes a finding of a gross and patent abuse of prosecutorial discretion and imposes a sentence of special probation notwithstanding the objection of the prosecutor, the sentence of special probation imposed pursuant to this section shall not become final for 10 days in order to permit the appeal of such sentence by the prosecution.

d. A person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a crime of the second degree or of a violation of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7), or who previously has been convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for an offense under subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:35-5 or a similar offense under any other law of this State, any other state or the United States, who is placed on special probation under this section shall be committed to the custody of a residential treatment facility licensed and approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services, whether or not residential treatment was recommended by the person conducting the diagnostic assessment.  The person shall be committed to the residential treatment facility immediately, unless the facility cannot accommodate the person, in which case the person shall be incarcerated to await commitment to the residential treatment facility.  The term of such commitment shall be for a minimum of six months, or until the court, upon recommendation of the treatment provider, determines that the person has successfully completed the residential treatment program, whichever is later, except that no person shall remain in the custody of a residential treatment facility pursuant to this section for a period in excess of five years.  Upon successful completion of the required residential treatment program, the person shall complete the period of special probation, as authorized by subsection a. of this section, with credit for time served for any imprisonment served as a condition of probation and credit for each day during which the person satisfactorily complied with the terms and conditions of special probation while committed pursuant to this section to a residential treatment facility.  The person shall not be eligible for early discharge of special probation pursuant to N.J.S.2C:45-2, or any other provision of the law.  The court, in determining the number of credits for time spent in residential treatment, shall consider the recommendations of the treatment provider.  A person placed into a residential treatment facility pursuant to this section shall be deemed to be subject to official detention for the purposes of N.J.S.2C:29-5 (escape).

e. The probation department or other appropriate agency designated by the court to monitor or supervise the persons special probation shall report periodically to the court as to the persons progress in treatment and compliance with court-imposed terms and conditions.  The treatment provider shall promptly report to the probation department or other appropriate agency all significant failures by the person to comply with any court imposed term or condition of special probation or any requirements of the course of treatment, including but not limited to a positive drug or alcohol test or the unexcused failure to attend any session or activity, and shall immediately report any act that would constitute an escape.  The probation department or other appropriate agency shall immediately notify the court and the prosecutor in the event that the person refuses to submit to a periodic drug or alcohol test or for any reason terminates his participation in the course of treatment, or commits any act that would constitute an escape.

f. (1) Upon a first violation of any term or condition of the special probation authorized by this section or of any requirements of the course of treatment, the court in its discretion may permanently revoke the persons special probation.

(2) Upon a second or subsequent violation of any term or condition of the special probation authorized by this section or of any requirements of the course of treatment, the court shall, subject only to the provisions of subsection g. of this section, permanently revoke the persons special probation unless the court finds on the record that there is a substantial likelihood that the person will successfully complete the treatment program if permitted to continue on special probation, and the court is clearly convinced, considering the nature and seriousness of the violations, that no danger to the community will result from permitting the person to continue on special probation pursuant to this section.  The courts determination to permit the person to continue on special probation following a second or subsequent violation pursuant to this paragraph may be appealed by the prosecution.

(3) In making its determination whether to revoke special probation, and whether to overcome the presumption of revocation established in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the court shall consider the nature and seriousness of the present infraction and any past infractions in relation to the persons overall progress in the course of treatment, and shall also consider the recommendations of the treatment provider.  The court shall give added weight to the treatment providers recommendation that the persons special probation be permanently revoked, or to the treatment providers opinion that the person is not amenable to treatment or is not likely to complete the treatment program successfully.

(4) If the court permanently revokes the persons special probation pursuant to this subsection, the court shall impose any sentence that might have been imposed, or that would have been required to be imposed, originally for the offense for which the person was convicted or adjudicated delinquent.  The court shall conduct a de novo review of any aggravating and mitigating factors present at the time of both original sentencing and resentencing.  If the court determines or is required pursuant to any other provision of this chapter or any other law to impose a term of imprisonment, the person shall receive credit for any time served in custody pursuant to N.J.S.2C:45-1 or while awaiting placement in a treatment facility pursuant to this section, and for each day during which the person satisfactorily complied with the terms and conditions of special probation while committed pursuant to this section to a residential treatment facility.  The court, in determining the number of credits for time spent in a residential treatment facility, shall consider the recommendations of the treatment provider.

(5) Following a violation, if the court permits the person to continue on special probation pursuant to this section, the court shall order the person to comply with such additional terms and conditions, including but not limited to more frequent drug or alcohol testing, as are necessary to deter and promptly detect any further violation.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, if the person at any time refuses to undergo urine testing for drug or alcohol usage as provided in subsection a. of this section, the court shall, subject only to the provisions of subsection g. of this section, permanently revoke the persons special probation.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, if the person at any time while committed to the custody of a residential treatment facility pursuant to this section commits an act that would constitute an escape, the court shall forthwith permanently revoke the persons special probation.

(7) An action for a violation under this section may be brought by a probation officer or prosecutor or on the courts own motion.  Failure to complete successfully the required treatment program shall constitute a violation of the persons special probation.  A person who fails to comply with the terms of his special probation pursuant to this section and is thereafter sentenced to imprisonment in accordance with this subsection shall thereafter be ineligible for entry into the Intensive Supervision Program.

g. When a person on special probation is subject to a presumption of revocation on a second or subsequent violation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection f. of this section, or when the person refuses to undergo drug or alcohol testing pursuant to paragraph (6) of subsection f. of this section, the court may, in lieu of permanently revoking the persons special probation, impose a term of incarceration for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than six months, after which the persons term of special probation pursuant to this section may be reinstated.  In determining whether to order a period of incarceration in lieu of permanent revocation pursuant to this subsection, the court shall consider the recommendations of the treatment provider with respect to the likelihood that such confinement would serve to motivate the person to make satisfactory progress in treatment once special probation is reinstated.  This disposition may occur only once with respect to any person unless the court is clearly convinced that there are compelling and extraordinary reasons to justify reimposing this disposition with respect to the person.  Any such determination by the court to reimpose this disposition may be appealed by the prosecution.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the court at any time during the period of special probation to order a person on special probation who is not subject to a presumption of revocation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection f. of this section to be incarcerated over the course of a weekend, or for any other reasonable period of time, when the court in its discretion determines that such incarceration would help to motivate the person to make satisfactory progress in treatment.

h. The court, as a condition of its order, and after considering the persons financial resources, shall require the person to pay that portion of the costs associated with his participation in any rehabilitation program or period of residential treatment imposed pursuant to this section which, in the opinion of the court, is consistent with the persons ability to pay, taking into account the courts authority to order payment or reimbursement to be made over time and in installments.

i. The court shall impose, as a condition of the special probation, any fine, penalty, fee or restitution applicable to the offense for which the person was convicted or adjudicated delinquent.

L.1987, c.106, s.1; amended 1999, c.376, s.2; 2001, c.129, s.2.

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Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year

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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

This means:
YOU DONT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.

Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

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