On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 06-08-00735-I.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges S.L. Reisner and Alvarez.
Defendant was convicted by a jury of unlawful possession of a handgun, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b; possession of a defaced firearm, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3d; resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(2); and obstructing the administration of law, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1.
Following his conviction, defendant pled guilty to a "certain persons not to have weapons" charge, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b. On the latter charge, he was sentenced to five years, all without parole, concurrent with lesser sentences on the charges of which the jury convicted him. On this appeal, defendant challenges his convictions but not the sentence. We affirm without prejudice to defendant filing a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR).
The relevant trial testimony can be summarized briefly. At around 3:00 a.m., the Elizabeth police were called to the scene of a reported street fight outside a fast-food restaurant. Defendant was part of a group of people whom the police found gathered in front of the restaurant. After the police directed all of them, including defendant, to show their hands, defendant fled the scene rather than comply. While Officer Ben Caravalho was chasing defendant, he saw defendant throw a silver handgun into a salvage lot. Defendant resisted arrest when the police caught up with him. After defendant's arrest, Officer Caravalho recovered the gun from the salvage lot. He handled the weapon in order to secure and unload it.
On this appeal, defendant raises solely the following claims of ineffective assistance of counsel:
POINT I: THE DEFENDANT/APPELLANT DID NOT RECEIVE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL IN VIOLATION OF HIS SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I, PARAGRAPH 10 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION.
A. Defense Counsel Failed To Meet The Strickland Standard By Failing To Make A Motion To Test The Weapon For Finger Prints.
B. Defense Counsel Failed To Meet The Strickland Standard By Failing To Make A Motion To Dismiss The Indictment.
C. Defense Counsel Failed To Meet The Strickland Standard By Making Prejudicial Statements Regarding The ...