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State of New Jersey v. Riyad A. Hasan

August 1, 2012

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RIYAD A. HASAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Indictment No. 09-06-00566.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 21, 2012 -

Before Judges Cuff and St. John.

After a jury trial, defendant Riyad A. Hasan was found guilty of third-degree knowingly exhibiting a document falsely purported to be issued by a governmental agency meant to verify his identity, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1c; and fourth-degree knowingly possessing the document, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1d. A bench trial was then held on the disorderly persons charge of shoplifting, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11b, and the judge found defendant guilty. The trial judge merged the possession charge into the exhibiting charge and sentenced defendant to one-year probation and time served, 277 days. On the shoplifting charge, defendant was sentenced to a 90-day custodial term to run concurrent to the exhibiting charge. In light of the record and applicable law, and following our review of the arguments on appeal, we affirm.

I.

In pre-trial proceedings, defendant's motion to suppress certain statements was denied by the trial judge. At trial, Michael Bailey testified for the State that on March 8, 2009, defendant entered a Wegman's supermarket in Mount Laurel, carrying a white opaque plastic bag, and proceeded to the baby formula section. Unbeknownst to him, his actions were being monitored on a video system by Bailey, Wegman's security personnel. Bailey observed defendant remove a can of formula from the shelf and walk to the "Nature's Market" section of the store with the can. He then removed a separate can from his bag, put it on a shelf, and placed the can of formula into the plastic bag. He left the store without paying and went to his car in the parking lot. After a few minutes, he reentered the store and proceeded to the customer-service desk to effect a return and refund of the formula. At this point, Bailey approached defendant and asked him if he had a receipt for the product. When defendant answered in the negative, Bailey requested that defendant accompany him to the security office. Once inside the office, Bailey asked defendant for identification (ID). Defendant handed Bailey an ID for a Jose Rodriquez, purportedly issued by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. When defendant was unable to recite the information on the card, Bailey asked him if the card was genuine. Defendant stated it was not and that he had purchased it on Broadway Street in Camden for $10.

Bailey telephoned the Mount Laurel Township police and Officer Brian Michigan responded to the store. Bailey recounted to Michigan what had transpired, and handed him the ID. At trial, Michigan testified that there appeared to be a license number on the back of the ID, which he entered into the computer database. The search result returned as invalid. Michigan also noted that the ID had Camden misspelled as "Camdem." Michigan placed defendant under arrest, orally gave him his Miranda*fn1 rights, and transported him to police headquarters. There, defendant was again read his Miranda rights. Defendant stated he bought the card in Camden for $10 and that the name on the ID was not his.

Joseph Vasil, a supervisor in the security investigations document fraud unit of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, testified as an expert witness for the State. He testified that the ID was not issued by the Commission. He further testified as to certain security features on governmental documents such as driver's licenses and his familiarity with documents issued by the State. During the final charge to the jury, the trial judge did not give the expert testimony model charge.*fn2

II.

On appeal, defendant raises the following arguments:

POINT I

THE DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW AS GUARANTEED BY THE FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ART. I., PAR. 1 OF THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION WAS VIOLATED BY THE TRIAL COURT'S FAILURE TO GIVE THE EXPERT TESTIMONY CHARGE FROM THE MODEL JURY INSTRUCTIONS (CRIMINAL) TO THE JURY. (Not raised below). POINT II

THE STATE FAILED TO ESTABLISH INTENT AS REQUIRED UNDER N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(b)(1) AND, THEREFORE, DEFENDANT'S SHOPLIFTING CONVICTION IS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE ...


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