Regardless of past or present accomplishments, anyone charged with a crime in New Jersey can benefit from the help of experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorneys, and Charles "Ken" Zisa is no exception. The former Hackensack police chief and state assemblyman recently faced sentencing on a conviction for official misconduct and insurance fraud. The insurance fraud conviction has no minimum jail term, but the official misconduct conviction carries a minimum of five years in jail.
The jail time Zisa originally faced was much steeper. In May, a jury found Zisa guilty of three counts of official misconduct, one count of engaging in a pattern of official misconduct, and one count of insurance fraud. These criminal charges stemmed from Zisa’s allegedly improper involvement in two police investigations. In 2004, prosecutors alleged that Zisa had not allowed officers to interview the sons of his now former girlfriend, Kathleen Tiernan, while investigating an assault and robbery case. In 2008, Zisa appeared at the scene of a car accident in which officers suspected Tiernan had been drinking and driving. Zisa removed Tiernan from the scene, preventing any further investigation.
Had Zisa faced sentencing on all five convictions, he would have faced at least 17 years in prison. However, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Joseph Conte vacated two of the official misconduct convictions due to evidence issues. The judge also vacated the conviction for engaging in a pattern of official misconduct. The removal of these convictions substantially reduced Zisa’s potential jail sentence.
As this case illustrates, even multiple convictions that carry lengthy prison sentences may be vacated if New Jersey criminal defense attorneys bring to light problems with evidence or witness testimony. No matter what type of criminal charges you face in the state of New Jersey, you need a strong defense team to represent your interests.
The New Jersey criminal defense attorneys of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman have years of experience in representing persons accused of criminal offenses.