police officer must be qualified as expert

SUPREME COURT PLACES STRICTURES ON POLICE OFFERING LAY OPINIONS AT TRIAL

N.J. Law Journal reports:

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday handed a victory to criminal defense lawyers, holding that a police officer not qualified as an expert can’t proffer lay opinion that goes to the issue of the defendant’s guilt. The Court, in State v. McLean, A-98-09, overturned a drug-dealing conviction because a detective, after testifying about transactions seen from an unmarked car while on undercover drug surveillance, opined that they were narcotics sales. Justice Helen Hoens wrote for the 6-1 majority that “the opinion offered by the officer does not meet the requirements needed to qualify it as a lay opinion” and that “permitting the officer to testify about his opinion invaded the fact-finding province of the jury.”

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About Lawrence "Larry" Berezin

I retired from the private practice of law after a 35-year legal career and fight parking tickets for people like you and me. I love sharing valuable information and beating NYC parking tickets for the driving community

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