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State v. St. Clair

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


September 9, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
DONALD F. ST. CLAIR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Municipal Appeal No. 46-08.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted August 31, 2010

Before Judges Grall and Alvarez.

Defendant Donald F. St. Clair appeals from his April 24, 2008 conviction in the Evesham Township Municipal Court of driving thirty-five miles per hour in a twenty-five-mile per hour zone, N.J.S.A. 39:4-98. The conviction resulted from defendant's guilty plea. He appeals and we affirm.

Prior to pleading guilty, defendant demanded a trial by jury and demanded to be apprised of the source of authority for the Motor Vehicle Code. The judge explained that the municipal court had jurisdiction over persons charged with driving offenses and that defendant did not have the right to a trial by jury for offenses carrying maximum penalties of less than six months in jail. The judge also explained that the Motor Vehicle Code set forth the laws applicable to drivers and that therefore, it was enforceable. After listening to the judge's responses to his questions, defendant met with the prosecutor and decided to enter a guilty plea. The municipal court imposed a $71 fine and $24 in costs. Although not entirely clear from the record, it appears defendant did not seek a stay of the sentence, has failed to pay the fine, and that his driver's license has been suspended as a result.

Defendant filed an appeal to the Law Division pursuant to Rule 3:23. On November 7, 2008, Judge Wells found defendant guilty on the de novo review, again explaining that there is no constitutional right to a jury trial on a motor vehicle offense, that the court did have jurisdiction over the disposition of the speeding ticket, and that the motor vehicle laws were indeed constitutional and enforceable.

Defendant's contentions on appeal are precisely the same as expressed in the municipal court and the Law Division. For the reasons stated by Judge Wells in his thorough and cogent analysis responding to defendant's contentions, we affirm. We consider defendant's arguments to lack sufficient merit to warrant further discussion in a written opinion.

R. 2:11-3(e)(2).

Affirmed.

20100909

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