August 17, 2014

Ocean County Woman Charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Plus Child Endangerment

As experienced DWI defense lawyers, my law firm understands how many drivers who are accused of DWI can be quite nervous about the serious consequences they may be facing following a drunken driving arrest. It is important to note, however, that some instances of drunk driving may be much more damaging for one person than for another. In fact, a DWI conviction -- or even simply an arrest for alleged DWI-DUI can severely impact some individual's future career opportunities.

Commercial truck drivers come immediately to mind when the topic of intoxicated driving comes up. But other people, not just professional drivers, can suffer the aftereffects of a DUI conviction in many ways. The question of trust, employee safety and company liability are all serious issues that companies, both large and small, must consider when an employee is found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Like it or not, the complications of a DUI-DWI arrest and subsequent conviction can have long-term effects on many New Jersey drivers.

We were reminded of the havoc that a DWI conviction can have on some individuals just a short time ago when we read a news report of a Bayville woman who was taken into custody by Toms River police after she allegedly slammed into a fire hydrant with her car early on a Friday afternoon. Apparently, the 50-year-old woman had recently been hired as a babysitter by a local woman to take care of her son at home. Based on police reports, the officers stated that the babysitter had been discovered drunk at her employer's home earlier that day.

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August 14, 2014

Drunk Driving Defense Update: Some New Jersey DWI Cases can be Appealed following a Conviction

Here in New Jersey, being arrested for DWI or driving under the influence of alcohol is different from many states because Garden State motorists accused of impaired driving are not permitted a trial by jury. Instead, drivers who have been charged with DWI or drug DUI will get a court trial with only a judge to decide the defendant's guilt or innocence. As with many aspects of the legal system, there are pluses and minuses associated with a non-jury trial.

As experienced DUI-DWI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know that with the lack of a jury trial, a defendant who is found guilty by a New Jersey municipal court judge in a standard drunk driving trial will usually be able to challenge that decision in a high court under the legal concept known as a "de novo appeal." In such instances, the de novo appeal for a New Jersey DWI conviction will usually be heard by a second, county level Superior Court judge.

Under our system of laws, an appeal is usually filed by one of the two parties following a particular legal outcome arrived at by either a judge or jury, and which typically seeks a formal change to an official court decision. In broad terms, in a typical de novo appeal, the judge will review the trial transcripts from the original hearing, as well as listen to additional arguments from the defendant's lawyer and the attorneys from the prosecutor's office that originally filed the charges against the motorist.

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August 9, 2014

Garden State DWI News: Internist at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital Censured due to DWI Guilty Plea

As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I know that a large percentage of people have no real idea of the long-term effects that a DWI or drug DUI conviction can have on a person and his or her family. Furthermore, those who may be concerned about the financial implications of a drunk driving arrest and possible guilty verdict may not fully grasp the extent of the financial pain that may be felt for years after a conviction for intoxicated vehicle operation.

Here in New Jersey, as in many parts of the country, a drug DUI or DWI conviction can result in a range of penalties including license suspension, fines, insurance premium increases, jail time, probation, alcohol and drug education classes, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). But if a person's job involves driving a car, truck or bus, the implications go well beyond the relatively minor financial penalties and other inconveniences of a guilty verdict -- some may find that themselves facing firing, unemployment and a serious impediment to one's career.

Even for those who don't necessarily rely on their ability to drive can find an employer is much less enthusiastic about any kind of drunken driving conviction. Such can be the case for all manner of jobs and employment situations. Take, for instance, the story of a physician at the Newark-Wayne Community Hospital who received a censure by his state's Department of Health following a guilty plea to a driving while intoxicated charge in 2013.

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August 7, 2014

Authorities Focus on Possible Drug Use by Essex County Tour Bus Driver following NYC Crash

As Garden State drunk driving attorneys, we understand how even a single DWI or drug DUI conviction can have a ripple effect through a person's personal and professional life. And while drinking and driving may cause serious consequences for the average commuter, not the least of which is the complication of getting around without the use of a car for months on end, the story can be much worse for a professional driver where the loss of driving privileges can severely affect his or her ability to earn a living.

As experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my legal team is well aware of the thousands of dollars that can be on the line when a motorist is facing a conviction for intoxicated driving, but as we mentioned previously, a professional truck or bus driver who loses his or her commercial driver's license (or CDL) may be looking at a dim future, certainly in the short run. For individuals like the Essex County man who is currently under investigation for his part in the crash of two double-decker tour buses in Manhattan recently, the threat of losing one's CDL, and hence one's livelihood, can be nothing short of catastrophic.

According to the news articles that are popping up on the internet following the much publicized bus collision in Times Square this past Tuesday, the New Jersey man who was piloting one of the vehicles may have been high on some kind of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) at the time of the wreck. Based on reports, while there was no evidence that the bus driver had consumed alcohol prior to the collision, police did take the man into custody after he allegedly failed a field sobriety test at the scene.

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August 3, 2014

Essex County Intoxicated Driving News: Caldwell Police Set to Participate in Upcoming Anti-DWI Campaign

Over the years, getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while possibly intoxicated has become more and more risky from a legal standpoint here in the Garden State. Not only is driving drunk dangerous from a traffic safety point of view, but the chances of being caught and prosecuted have been rising for those who take the chance that they may be legally drunk.

Whether one drives near the Jersey Shore or farther inland, police throughout the Garden State will be participating in the so-called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, a nationwide drunk driving enforcement effort beginning on August 15 and running through September 1. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I have represented numerous clients over the years who have been stopped for what seemed like a simple traffic infraction only to fine themselves arrested and charged with drunk driving.

Needless to say, the stakes can be quite high these days, as those motorists who are convicted of DWI or drug DUI face thousands of dollars in fines, fees and mandatory insurance premium increases. This upcoming campaign will likely include enhanced DWI-DUI road patrols, plus additional sobriety roadblocks and DWI checkpoints. As usual, this late summer enforcement effort is timed to coincide with the Labor Day holiday, a time of year that is known for its parties and special events where individuals often consume alcoholic beverages and then sometimes get behind the wheel in an impaired state.

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August 2, 2014

Statewide, New Jersey Police Departments Continue Tradition of Strict DWI and Drug DUI Enforcement

Few people would argue that drunk driving does not present a variety of public safety concerns. But this doesn't change the oft-repeated scenario of some innocent motorist being arrested for DWI or drug DUI without sufficient evidence. For those individuals who are charged with drunken or drug-impaired operation of a motor vehicle, even with poor or improperly collected evidence there is still a chance that the court may issue a guilty verdict -- all the more reason, in fact, to consult with a qualified New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyer attorney before stepping foot into a courtroom or talking with the local prosecuting attorney.

In reality, there are some motorists who do get arrested and subsequently charged with DWI or drug DUI when the facts do not necessarily support the accusations. As Garden State drunken driving defense lawyers, my law firm is dedicated to assisting individuals who believe that they have been unjustly accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Our job, in such cases, is to provide the best possible legal defense.

There is no doubt that those convicted of drunken driving can face stiff monetary fines and other penalties, including jail time, but DWI-DUI offenses are much less acceptable by society in general, the stigma of a drunk driving conviction can have a serious impact on a person's private life and professional career. In addition to affecting one's future employment, a DWI or drug DUI can have a negative effect on an individual's standing in his or her community, as well as causing potential problems with family members, including one's spouse or in-laws.

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July 31, 2014

Arrested by Police for Drunken Driving? Fighting Those DWI Charges can be a Viable Option

Making the decision to fight DWI or drug DUI charges in the Garden State can be fraught with much anxiety and many questions. As experienced trial lawyers, my colleagues and I have defended hundreds of people over the years against all manner of civil and criminal charges. Every month we meet with dozens of New Jersey motorists who have been accused of intoxicated or drug-impaired driving, with the intent to have those charges reduced or dropped altogether. We know that the trepidation many people feel walking into a courtroom is completely normal, but it should not prevent you from fighting for your rights.

As Bergen County DWI-DUI attorneys, we believe that taking a proactive approach to protecting your legal rights can pay off in the end. My legal team here at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall, is highly regarded throughout the state of New Jersey, not only because of our seasoned and expert defense attorneys, but also because of the results that we obtain year in and year out. When we prepare a client's defense case, we endeavor to exhaust every avenue while thoroughly investigating the details of the arrest, as well as presenting a comprehensive legal strategy as a challenge to the prosecution's evidence.

It goes without saying that law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey have a dim view of motorists suspected of DWI or drug DUI. Similarly, our state's drunk driving laws provide for some very harsh penalties for those drivers who are found guilty of violating the DWI-DUI legal statutes. Quite simply, a motorist is considered to have been driving under the influence in New Jersey if his or her blood-alcohol concentration (or BAC) is 0.08 percent or more. Penalties associated with DWI-DUI are also based on the BAC measurement determined at the time of the arrest.

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July 28, 2014

Prohibition Redux: Marijuana Getting the "Alcoholic" Treatment

As civil and criminal trial lawyers here in the Garden State, a large portion of our caseload is represented by client's who have been accused of drinking and driving. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a long-standing public safety problem here in New Jersey, which is why a great deal of time and effort is spent by state government, police agencies and our judicial system in the curbing of this admittedly dangerous activity.

Similarly, drug DUI is also viewed as a safety issue on public roadways, and so our state laws include penalties for driving under the influence of hallucinogenic, habit-forming and narcotic substances, typically grouped into what is known as controlled dangerous substances, or CDSs. Marijuana -- also referred to as pot, weed, hash or cannabis -- is on the prohibited CDS list.

Although New Jersey, the federal government, and most other states still view marijuana as an illicit drug when it comes to recreational use, more and more people are leaning toward the legalization of pot, even beyond the legalized "medicinal" applications that even our state has adopted. Look at the public attitude toward pot in places like Colorado and you will see there is a huge revolution in the making.

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July 28, 2014

Bergen County DWI News: Driver Hits Police Officer's Patrol Car at Drunk Driving Checkpoint

As many Garden State drivers already know, DWI and drug DUI roadblocks are frequent, if not somewhat random, occurrences throughout the New Jersey area. As Red Bank drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleague and I know that a percentage of motorists who are charged with DWI end up being arrested for intoxicated driving at these so-called sobriety checkpoints, which show up in certain "trouble spots" in and around Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic County, as well as numerous other parts of the state.

For the average person who turns up at one of these drunk driving roadblocks, if he or she has had any amount of alcohol to drink prior to the encounter, a potential nightmare scenario is being taken into custody on suspicion of DWI-DUI. Simply one or two bottles of beer or glasses of wine during dinner can sometimes result in a major legal problem for any driver charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. We are well aware of this because we defend many individuals who have been accused of drunken driving, as well as other alcohol- and drug-related traffic offenses.

My legal team also understands that when it comes to being stopped at a DWI checkpoint, those who are arrested or served a summons for drunken driving are many times curious whether these commonly used police enforcement tools are actually legal under the laws of the State of New Jersey, not to mention that of the U.S. Constitution. Clients may often ask about the fairness of DWI-DUI roadblocks, which is completely understandable given the random nature of these checkpoints.

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July 25, 2014

Arrested in New Jersey for Drug DUI: Could One's Fate Hinge on a DRE's Testimony?

Every day, dozens of drivers all around the Garden State find themselves in the unenviable position of being arrested and later charged with impaired driving. While the safety of our roadways is everyone's concern, as Monmouth County trial lawyers working in the area of DWI and drug DUI law, we understand how innocent individuals can occasionally be accused of offenses they believe they did not commit. One type of traffic-related offense that happens quite often in our state is that of impaired driving resulting from the use or abuse of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).

Under New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50[a]), motorists can be arrested for operating a car, truck or motorcycle if a police officer believes that the individual is under the influence of a hallucinogenic, narcotic, or habit-producing substance. Unlike drunken driving, which can be quantified by measuring an individual's blood-alcohol concentration (or BAC), a charge of drug DUI should usually be supported by the opinion of an expert in the field of drugs and medicines that have the ability to cause impairment.

While the requirements affecting a drug DUI arrest have been somewhat relaxed while the topic is being argued on appeal in the New Jersey court system, the issue of who can and should determine a driver's impairment is all the more important to those facing charges of driving under the influence of an illegal substance, or even a doctor-prescribed medication.

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July 23, 2014

Monmouth County DWI News: State Police to Watch for Intoxicated Toby Keith Fans this Friday

While country music star Toby Keith is playing the PNC Bank Arts Center this Friday evening, the New Jersey State Police will have their own event in progress that night, waiting for intoxicated fans to stop in at a sobriety checkpoint being planned in the area. According to news reports, state troopers will be manning a DWI roadblock in the along a stretch of the Garden State Parkway starting early during the concert and thereafter.

We mention this because here in New Jersey motorists often run across late-night sobriety roadblocks erected by state and local police agencies in order to catch potentially drunk or otherwise impaired individuals. This is in addition to the typical saturation patrols that can take place at certain times of the year when the incidence of drunken driving is known to be higher.

As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys, my legal staff knows how easily someone can be caught in a situation where an evening of fun can turn into a legal nightmare. Just a drink or two during an event such as a music concert or sporting event can result in some level of alcohol in one's bloodstream, which if high enough can result in DWI charges.

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July 20, 2014

Manchester Resident Convicted of DWI, Vehicular Manslaughter Four Years After Fatal Ocean County Car Accident

A little over a week ago a New Jersey driver was convicted in an Ocean County courtroom of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter in a fatal 2010 DWI-related traffic accident that left an Ocean Gate police officer dead. According to news reports, the jury deliberated less than one hour before rendering a guilty verdict in the case of Erick Uzcategui, whose vehicle struck an SUV driven by off-duty police officer, Jason Marles. As a result of the jury's decision, the 34-year-old Manchester, NJ, resident faces a prison term of between five and 10 years.

The crash that led to the arrest and eventual conviction of the driver, reportedly took place on Thanksgiving back in 2010. At the time, according to court records, the defendant was operating his BMW sport utility vehicle along a section of the Garden State Parkway when he apparently lost control of the vehicle and slammed into the back of Officer Marles' Jeep Grand Cherokee. The force of the impact cause the policeman's vehicle to spin and subsequently crash through a nearby guardrail, after which the vehicle rolled and caught fire.

Based on news articles, the police believed the driver of the BMW to have been impaired due to alcohol consumption and possibly drug use involving cocaine and a steroid known as Oxandrolone. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, we noted that the outcome of this case came after a rather extended period of time. Almost four years after the initial incident, many people were likely frustrated by the slow pace of the case; with blame settling squarely on the defendant's lawyers for an unhurried approach to defending their client.

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July 18, 2014

Underage Alcohol Consumption: What Looks Like Teenage Hijinks Can Mean Serious Consequences for Kids

Although the summer is not even half over, it seems like some parents are counting the days until the school year starts up again. But the fact of the matter is, summer vacation is still in full swing. For those families with junior high and high school kids, anxiety levels can be quite high as it is not unusual for some teens to experiment with alcohol or drugs during long unsupervised periods like this. While graduation parties are long past, family gatherings, vacation get-togethers and impromptu beach parties can bring youngsters together in close proximity to beer, wine and hard liquor; needless to say, the results can be very unsettling for many parents.

While some mother and fathers may feel that a little experimentation on the part of their teens is unavoidable, others believe it is simply unacceptable; the State of New Jersey is certainly sides with the latter. This time of the year, even teenagers who are just a couple years away from legal drinking age must surely feel that 21 is still a lifetime away. When parties and summer gatherings bring adults and kids together, it is not surprising that the temptation to sneak a drink an be strong for some of these kids.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, we are not here today to argue the moral aspects of underage drinking, but we do have a number of caveats that any underage teen or young adult should consider before indulging oneself when alcohol is nearby and plentiful. Especially for those driving-age kids, the dangers of intoxication could have deadly results when alcohol in any form does not receive the respect that it deserves, and which can only come with age and experience.

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July 17, 2014

Brick Township Driver may Serve Prison Time for Fatal 2012 Ocean County DWI Auto Accident

Driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunken driving, driving under the influence (DUI), or impaired operation of a motor vehicle -- whatever you call it, drinking and driving in the Garden State is definitely not something that the police or our courts look at favorably. In fact, wherever you reside -- be it Middlesex, Morris, Atlantic or any of the 20 or so other counties -- the odds of being arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense can increase once a person gets behind the wheel of a car or truck after even one drink.

As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, my law firm is committed to helping motorists who have been accused of DWI or drug DUI fight for their rights in courtrooms throughout the state. Over the many years of representing individuals charged with drunken driving, my colleagues and I have litigated dozens upon dozens of drunk driving cases. It goes without saying that many DWI-DUI cases involve traffic accidents, some of which are rather minor, while others entail more serious outcomes. And, there is a certain percentage of DWI-related accidents that entail more tragic results.

As skilled Monmouth County trial attorneys with expertise in drunk driving law, my legal team has defended numerous clients accused of a DWI- or DUI-related traffic collision. Because we believe that everyone deserves a proper defense under the law, my firm is ready and willing to represent our clients' best interests. On the other hand, we understand the need for highway safety and therefore we do not condone the mixing of alcohol and driving.

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July 14, 2014

New Jersey Drunk Driving Defense Notes: Nothing Wrong with Fighting an Undeserved DWI-DUI

For those individuals out there who may be on the fence about fighting a drunken driving charge in a New Jersey courtroom, we have a few words of encouragement. While it may seem difficult to challenge the often monolithic institution represented by state and local law enforcement agencies, our court system is another significant -- and very important -- institution where the so-called "little guy" can dispute the charges levied against him by the state.

If a motorist is pulled over for a traffic infraction, only to find herself taken into custody and cited with drinking and driving, there are options available. From the standpoint of protecting oneself from harsh monetary fines and other penalties, it is always a good idea to consult a qualified DWI or drug DUI trial lawyer. In particular, for anyone who has been charged with a DWI-DUI offense, the first question that should come to mind is, "How can I fight this drunken driving charge?" As Garden State DWI defense attorneys, our initial comment would be to act as quickly as possible.

My colleagues and I have been defending drivers accused of intoxicated and drug-impaired driving for many years. We know that time is one of the more critical factors when deciding to fight a DWI or drug DUI charge. Certainly, it is highly recommended to contacting a skilled DWI attorney early on in order to get the best possible advice that may help guide the accused motorist through the steps often necessary to avoid a drunken driving conviction.

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