These are some of the cases recently handled by Ivan Raevski.
Note: Names and minor details of the circumstances are changed to protect identity of the clients.
C. was a successful professional making about $75,000.00 per year working for a bank. He had many lines of credit and credit cards in his name. At the peak of the real estate market he purchased a 2 family home in Elizabeth, NJ, for $450,000.00 with intent of living in one part of the home and renting the other. Everything was going well until the real estate market crashed bringing the value of the home under $300,000.00.
At around the same time C. lost his job and experienced serious health problems preventing him from finding meaningful employment. Renting his home also became more difficult because of the economic downturn. C. used his credit cards and lines of credit to live while he was not working for several years. His debt was growing and when it was around $70,000.00 he was sued by the credit card companies and was also facing foreclosure on his home. Creditors were harassing C. on a daily basis making his life miserable. C. went to a financial advisor and it was recommended that he should file bankruptcy.
After a free consultation with Ivan Raevski it was decided that C. should file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to wipe out his credit card debt and try to avoid foreclosure. After going through the bankruptcy, C. was able to completely discharge his credit card debt and all judgments obtained by the credit companies against him. C. was also able to keep his home and financed vehicle. As soon as the bankruptcy petition was filed, creditor harassment ceased and C. was able to start rebuilding his life and his credit with a clean slate.
L.K. and S.K. were divorced for 3 years. Since the separation, L.K. had physical custody of the children and S.K. had liberal visitation rights. S.K. was ordered to pay child support to L.K. Then 3 years later, S.K. made a motion to the Court seeking physical custody of the children alleging that L.K. was neglecting the children and was too liberal as a parent.
The Court ordered a DYFS investigation which was inconclusive as to the neglect issue. I helped L.K. hire a child custody expert to access the situation and through the expert’s testimony was able to convince the Court that L.K. did not neglect the children and was a good parent.
L.K. remained the physical custodian of the children and continued to receive child support.
R.’s wife went to the police and told them that R. forced himself upon her sexually without her consent the previous night. While R. was at work and could not defend himself or plead his case, his wife convinced the Municipal Court Judge that she was afraid of R. and needed protection even though she exhibited no signs of physical abuse and did not call the police on the night of incident.
The Judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) and R. was no longer allowed to enter his own home or contact his wife and children in any manner. In addition he was ordered to pay the mortgage on the house, child support and spousal support. A Final/Permanent Restraining Order hearing (“FRO” or “PRO”) was set for 10 days after the TRO was granted. If convicted of domestic violence at the FRO hearing, R. would forever lose his right to enter his own home and have unsupervised visits with his children. R. would also be photograthed, fingerprinted and put into a permanent database which would prevent him from obtaining a job requiring security clearance in the future along with his right to own/buy firearms.
I investigated the allegations and interviewed witnesses to get a clearer picture of what really took place. Several witnesses came forward to testify that the wife was planning to divorce R. and had an alterior motive in obtaining the PRO. Through witness testimony and legal argument, I was able to convince the trial Judge that no domestic violence actually took place and the wife was using this trial to gain advantage in the subsequent divorce proceedings. All charges against R. were dismissed and the TRO lifted allowing him to see his kids whenever he wanted without state supervision.
S. was driving on Garden State Parkway in Sayreville, New Jersey. At that stretch of the Parkway, the speed limit is only 45 mph. S. was going 73 mph and was pulled over for speeding in violation of N.J.S. 39:4-98. In addition to the fine, 15-29 mph over the limit, is a 4 point ticket which would significantly increase S.’s insurance premiums for the next few years.As general ruleevery single point on a person’s record costs approximately $1,000.00 if you take into account the fines and raised insurance premiums. I was able to work out a plea agreement where the charge would be amended to Unsafe Driving violation which does not carry any points. Thus S. was able to avoid the potential 4 points on her driving record and increases in insurance premiums.
DWI, DUI & Refusal Charges
M. was driving after having several drinks at the bar and was pulled over by police in Fair Lawn, NJ. He refused to provide a breath sample when asked to do so. M. was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Refusal in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.Penalties for Violation of the NJ drunk driving statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, include: •First Offense DWI or DUI: $250-$400, IDRC, 3 months – 1 year suspension, possible 30 days in jail. •Second Offense DWI or DUI: $500-$1,000, 30 days community service, 2-90 days in jail, 2 year suspension. •Third Offense DWI or DUI: $1,000 fine, 180 days in jail, 10 year suspension.
I successfully negotiated a plea agreement with the Prosecutor insuring that M. will receive the minimal penalties allowed by the law. M.’s driver license was suspended for only 3 months and he received no time in jail.
J. was drinking with another man he met at the bar. After buying some more alcohol they continued to drink at J.’s home. After consuming too much alcohol J. apparently assaulted the other man who suffered fairly serious injuries and had to spend a day at the Hospital. Police was called and J. was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b).Aggravated Assault is a Second or Third Degree crime depending on the circumstances and at this point J. was facing up to 10 years in state prison if convicted. The Prosecutor offered a plea bargain, if J. pleads guilty, he would receive 2 years in prison.
I was able to convince the prosecutor and the Judge that J. deserves another chance at life without going to jail. After extensive negotiations with the Prosecutor and the Judge, J. was allowed to enter a Pre-Trial Intervention Program (“PTI”). Judge ordered J. to complete Anger Management and Alcohol awareness courses and complete 2 years of probation. If the terms of the probation are completed successfully, the charges against J. will be dismissed and he will not have a criminal record allowing him to continue with his “green card” application.
Possession and distribution of CDS (“drugs”)
L. was driving on N.J. Turnpike with 2 friends. L.’s car had a broken tail-light and he was pulled over by the state troopers. L. and the other passengers were ordered out of the car and the car was searched. The search revealed 90 small packages of cocaine in the trunk of the vehicle. Since the cocaine was in small packages it looked like it was for sale and L. was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine (a class A substance) in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5 and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.At the police station, after some pressure by the police, L. confessed that the cocaine was his and signed a confession. At this point L. was facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Conviction was almost certain since he signed the confession.
I conducted an investigation of the booking process and the way the confession was obtained and discovered that the confession was obtained illegally in violation of L.’s constitutional rights. L. asked for an attorney prior to confessing and the police failed to let him contact an attorney before continuing with the interrogation. The initial search of the car was also questionable.
I filed a motion to suppress the confession and the evidence (“cocaine”) itself based on an illegal search. The Judge agreed and suppressed the evidence and the confession forcing the Prosecutor to lower the charges and drop the case down to Municipal Court. L. was ordered to pay a fine but avoided going to prison and having a felony on his record.
Y.W. decided to file for divorce from his wife of 40 years, I.W. The marital assets were fairly insignificant, however several years before the divorce, Y.W. was injured at work and filed a worker’s compensation claim. The worker’s compensation case was settled for about $100,000.00
During the divorce I.W. argued that the worker’s compensation award was part of the marital estate and that she was entitled to half according to equitable distribution. I was able to convince the Court that the worker’s compensation award was for permanent disability which under New Jersey law makes it personal money and thus the wife was not entitled to a share of this award.
W.U and H.U. mutually decided that divorce was the only way to resolve their marital issues. They agreed upon the terms of the divorce and property division. They had no mutual children. I drafted a separation/divorce property settlement agreement, had H.U.’s attorney review it and put it through the Court system in less than 2 months. The couple was divorced quickly and easily without the significant expenses of litigation to mutual satisfaction.