Defendants Can Require Live Witnesses for Gun Permit Database Searches

On December 27, 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its decisions in two cases: State v. Jose Carrion and State v. Tywaun S. Hedgespeth.

In both of these cases, the defendants were charged with unlawful possession of a weapon without a permit under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b). The police ran checks in the State Firearm registry which revealed that the defendants did not have lawful permits. The trial courts allowed the State to introduce affidavits regarding the search results instead of requiring the law enforcement officers to testify live.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that allowing the affidavits instead of live testimony violated the defendants’ rights under the Confrontation Clause.

However, the Court also ruled that defendants must give notice that they demand that the police witnesses be produced for live testimony at trial.  If defendants do not provide this notice, their confrontation rights will be deemed waived.

If you have been charged with a weapons offense, it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney right away. Call 201.343.4622 to schedule a consultation.