Licensing Now Required for New Jersey Law Enforcement Officers

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

Policing in the United States has been scrutinized more and more over the past few years as the public's trust in law enforcement has reached a low point. Visibility and accountability have become crucial factors in the way police departments must function going forward — which is why it's a bit surprising that New Jersey has waited until now to address the issue.

In a move that will bring the state in line with 46 others, New Jersey has passed a long overdue bill that will require law enforcement officers to obtain a license as a condition of employment. Advocacy for a bill of this sort began over 15 years ago and was finally passed in July.

What It Requires

The bill names a list of disqualifications that apply to all prospective officers. These include basic, no-brainer rules such as:

  • Cannot have been convicted of a crime, an act of domestic violence, or anything that will prevent an officer from legally carrying a firearm
  • Cannot have more than two reckless driving tickets or DWIs
  • Cannot be named in a restraining order
  • Must pass a psychological evaluation by a psychologist

Existing officers do not qualify for a license if they have:

  • Mishandled or destroyed evidence
  • Falsified a report
  • Engaged in any sort of unethical practice
  • Displayed bias toward any specific group

Equally important, though perhaps not as obvious, the bill disallows an officer's association with hate groups or those promoting government overthrow or their online support of such groups.

How It Can Help You

The main purpose of the bill is to weed out individuals who are not suited for law enforcement and therefore creating a safer and more trusting living experience for New Jersey residents. It's an admirable goal and one that is sorely needed to standardize policing state and nationwide.

When it comes to your legal defense, however, the bill unlocks a lot of new potential strategies. Because the licensing of police officers will be required (beginning January 1, 2024), that means that the licenses of these officers are potential avenues for regulatory errors — which in turn can lead to a dismissal of charges.

How? For one, these licenses must be renewed every three years. What if an officer lets their license lapse — even unintentionally — before making an arrest? Is that arrest lawful? The law also mandates continued education training that must be kept up to date. It remains to be seen how New Jersey police departments plan to manage license updates and renewal, but at worst, it gives the defense more technical details to exploit while presenting their case.

An Experienced Lawyer Can Help

If you are facing criminal charges, the best way to help your case is to find the representation you can trust.

Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is an expert in New Jersey's criminal justice process. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm are ready to assist with your defense needs. Reach out online or by calling 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.