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State of New Jersey v. Robert Miceli

December 2, 2010

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ROBERT MICELI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Indictment No. 09-02-0213-A.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued October 26, 2010

Before Judges Messano and Waugh.

Defendant Robert Miceli appeals from an order entered by the Law Division affirming the Essex County Prosecutor's denial of his pretrial intervention (PTI) application. We affirm.

I.

We discern the following facts and procedural history from the record.

In the early morning hours of November 29, 2008, Miceli was returning from his ten-year high school reunion. A West Caldwell police officer observed smoke coming from his pick-up truck, which also appeared to have been damaged. The police officer initiated a motor vehicle stop and pulled behind Miceli's truck. Miceli sped up rather than stopping. The officer pursued Miceli until he eventually struck a tree. During the pursuit, Miceli drove over a curb onto a grassy area, then reversed and backed up toward the police officer, who had to take cover nearby. After he hit the tree, Miceli continued revving his engine until the officer broke Miceli's car window and succeeded in getting him out of the truck and handcuffed. A subsequent blood test revealed that Miceli's blood alcohol level was 0.181 percent.

As a result of the events described above, Miceli was charged with second-degree eluding, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b); obstructing the administration of law, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1(a); driving while intoxicated, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50; failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-91; careless driving, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-97; and reckless driving, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-96. On February 9, 2009, Miceli waived his right to have a grand jury hear his case. He pled guilty to an accusation charging him with third-degree eluding, driving while intoxicated, and careless driving. The remaining charges were to be dismissed at sentencing.

As part of the plea agreement, Miceli was permitted to apply for PTI, which he did on February 25, 2009. The Criminal Division Manager recommended against the application. The Essex County Prosecutor denied the application, for reasons extensively outlined in a letter dated April 30, 2009. After evaluating and weighing the factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12(e), the prosecutor concluded that, despite significant factors supporting admission to PTI, Miceli was not a "suitable candidate" for PTI because of the nature of his criminal conduct.

Miceli appealed the denial to the Law Division. After oral argument and the receipt of additional briefs, the Law Division judge denied the appeal in a written opinion dated June 12, 2009. The implementing order was entered on June 30, 2009.

Miceli was sentenced on September 25, 2009. He was sentenced to probation for two years, community service, and all required fees and assessments on the third-degree eluding charge, as well as the mandatory penalties for the motor vehicle offenses.

This appeal ...


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