September 18, 2014

Garden State DWI News: Could Government Seizure of Vehicles in Adjoining States Portend Jersey's Future?

Most every motorist understands intuitively that drinking while intoxicated (DWI) can be a costly undertaking, not only in terms of post-conviction fines and increased insurance premiums down the road, but also in the unfortunate event of a crash causing injury or death. Yet, regardless of the disincentives to drink and drive, hundreds of Garden State drivers are arrested every month for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Traffic safety experts and law enforcement agencies, along with lawmakers understand the continuing problem with DWI and DUI offenders, which sometimes results in heavy-handed or extreme measures to achieve certain ends. As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, our job is to help those individuals who believe that they have been unjustly accused of a DWI, drug DUI or other related offense. We do see, from time to time, some rather worrisome changes in the way that certain locales treat DWI offenders, as well as those convicted of drunk driving.

Take, for instance, the ongoing efforts in one of our neighboring states to rein in intoxicated drivers. According to a news article we recently ran into, drivers arrested and charged with driving under the influence on a majority of Long Island may be looking forward to having their vehicles seized, impounded and possibly even sold off depending on events in the courtroom.

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September 15, 2014

Garden State DWI News: Monmouth County Police Charge Multiple Drivers with Drunk Driving and DUI

Whether you live or travel in the Monmouth County area, municipalities such as Asbury Park, Manalapan Township and Red Bank all see their share of intoxicated and impaired driving these days. As long-time DWI defense lawyers, my legal team has represented hundreds of individuals from all around the Garden State who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription medications or illegal drugs, also known as controlled dangerous substances (CDSs).

Quite often one can find the results of police activities in the local police blotters published by news agencies all around the state. The following is a brief list of the kinds of police arrests that take place on a regular basis here in New Jersey. While the circumstances are always unique, the situations that arise are often very much the same when it comes to the how and why of many traffic stops; they illustrate the typical course of events that many drivers experience year in and year out when it comes to drunk driving and drug DUI.

Asbury Park Arrests include DWI and Drug Possession
Law enforcement personnel in the Asbury area have been making drug-related arrests for many years. In recent weeks, according to reports, police have made arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia, intoxicated driving and marijuana possession. During the long Labor Day weekend, officers arrested several people including a 32-year-old out-of-state man for heroin and cocaine possession, as well as five prescription legend drugs.

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September 10, 2014

FAQ: NJ Drunk Driving Arrests and the Consequences of a DWI Conviction -- Part Four

As New Jersey criminal and civil defense attorneys, my law firm understands how quickly a motorist can be put on the spot by a state trooper or municipal patrolman. The range of traffic violations is relatively extensive, but some of the more serious offenses have to do with impaired driving. Whether based on an accusation of drinking and driving, or being impaired by prescription medication or an illicit drug (also known as a controlled dangerous substance, or CDS), my law firm has represented hundreds upon hundreds of people over the years.

There is no doubt that drunk driving arrests are very much a part of police activities all across the Garden State, but that doesn't mean that these incidents are run-of-the-mill events for those drivers who end up being caught up in them. Saying that DWIs and drug DUIs are fairly commonplace should not diminish the seriousness of the charges that accompany such arrests; and many people often fail to grasp the future consequences of their actions in this regard.

At this point, it must be said that although my legal team is dedicated to defending those individuals accused of impaired driving, we hardly condone intoxicated driving or drug-impaired vehicle operation. As motorists ourselves, the safety aspects of such activities are not lost on the members of my legal staff. Regardless, the law provides that people who have been charged with a civil offense or criminal act have the right to defend themselves in a court of law. We know that not every DWI-DUI arrest is valid, which is why we believe that our clients should have the best possible legal defense when their day in court arrives.

Continue reading "FAQ: NJ Drunk Driving Arrests and the Consequences of a DWI Conviction -- Part Four" »

September 7, 2014

Arrested for DWI Over the Labor Day Holiday? How a New Jersey DWI-DUI Attorney Might Help

Now that summer is officially over, there are still many Garden State motorists awaiting their day in court to answer to charges of impaired driving lodged against them by local and state police during the long Labor Day holiday. Whether arrested for intoxication by alcohol or impairment via some kind of drug (either legally obtained prescription medications or illicit substances, like marijuana or cocaine), the odds of paying dearly for an error in judgment or momentary indiscretion can be quite high.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my law firm is dedicated to assisting those individuals who have been accused of a serious drunken driving offense. Though many people would disagree, until it actually happens to them, even an instance of breath test refusal can lead to costly penalties. If you or someone you know was arrested for drunk driving arrest, drug DUI, or CDS (controlled dangerous substance) possession, my colleagues and I understand how frightening the future may seem without a good plan in place.

Whether you were arrested in Middlesex, Hudson, Ocean or Bergen County, it is certain that the memories a carefree holiday weekend were overshadowed by the stark reality of a DUI-DWI charge. Sadly this is a scenario that plays out all too often; sometimes on the way home from a family gathering or a cordial neighborhood block party, many times traveling home from a night out at the bar. Whatever preceded, the end result can be thousands of dollars in fines and insurance premium assessments, loss of driving privileges and even jail time.

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September 2, 2014

Six Years after Fatal DWI, Convicted New Jersey Motorist is Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

If it's been stated once, it's been stated a thousand times: a New Jersey drunk driving defense can only be complicated by a traffic accident. As Garden State DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, I and my colleagues are serious when we say that causing an accident while possibly intoxicated is usually going to make for a difficult time in court. This is why we usually recommend that anyone involved in a DWI- or drug DUI-related car, truck or motorcycle collision seek professional legal help as soon as possible following the incident.

When someone suggests that a drunken driving charge can be complicated by a traffic accident, it is also important to point out that causing injury or death to another individual can compound the offense, which should be cause to contact a qualified DWI lawyer. Whether one lives in Atlantic, Bergen, Hudson or Sussex County, when you add an injury-related or fatal parkway wreck to a charge of driving under the influence, law enforcement and the local courts take a dim view of the situation. Naturally, if proven innocent of any drug- or alcohol-related charges, the motorist can possibly breathe a sigh of relief, but most serious DUI-DWI arrests are hardly "a walk in the park" when property damage or personal injury is involved.

Of course, it is interesting that despite the logic behind not drinking and driving, these incidents do, in deed, take place on a fairly regular basis all year long. To avoid a DWI summons, our suggestion, as usual, is to avoid getting behind the wheel at any time when a person believes that they may possibly have some alcohol in their system. The same thing goes for the taking of certain prescription medications, which may lead to a drug DUI.

Continue reading "Six Years after Fatal DWI, Convicted New Jersey Motorist is Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison" »

August 31, 2014

The School Year Starts Soon; Beware Extended Penalties of a DWI in a School Zone

In deference to the children who may be crying salty tears at the prospect of the start of yet another school year, summer is officially drawing to a close and classes are beginning very soon all over the Garden State. But the end of summer, for children at least, is not necessarily the end of the fun for many adults around the state. Whether near the Jersey Shore or farther inland, as kids are going back to school, those motorists who allegedly drive drunk will continue to face enhanced penalties when those intoxicated driving offenses take place in a school zone.

With summer winding down fast, primary and secondary school students are returning to reading, writing and 'rithmatic, yet the consequences for drunken drivers remains more or lass the same as it was around Memorial Day. As the warm weather gives way to the cooler days of fall, it may be instructive to remind individuals who might think about taking a drink or two before hitting the road -- whether or not kids are actually in school or not -- that municipal cops as well as state police are still on the lookout for motorists who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (drug DUI).

We find over and over again that many people who end up arrested for DWI or DUI in a school zone are surprised by the increased penalties associated with such an offense. These situations usually crop up when a driver is convicted of intoxicated driving, which took place within 1,000 feet of school property. It is important to note that some individuals accused of DWI do not realize that it makes little difference whether school was in session at the time of the initial offense or if children were even present during the alleged occurrence.

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August 29, 2014

Essex County DWI News: Bloomfield Twp. Officers Join other Police for "Drive Sober" Campaign

From Patterson to Edison, and Trenton on down the Jersey Shore, police all across the Garden State will be working overtime looking for drunk drivers this coming Labor Day holiday. As part of this annual effort to rein in any number of intoxicated celebrants and other drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol, doctor-prescribed meds, or illegal substances (drug DUI), the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is already in effect.

Running from August 15 through September 1, dozens of police departments throughout the state have received funding for additional manpower to thwart errant drunken drivers during the holiday weekend and the days leading up to it. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my legal staff knows that the stakes can be quite high for those motorists who are charged with driving while intoxicated. These days, the fines, fees and mandatory insurance premium increases can total in the thousands of dollars, which can cause significant hardship on some individuals if convicted of DWI-DUI.

As long-time DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I firmly believe that our system of law was created to provide a balance between the police who arrest and charge individuals and the defendants who believe they were unjustly accused. Getting one's day in court, however, will usually be used to best advantage if a person consults with a skilled trial attorney first, before ever stepping foot inside that courtroom.

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August 27, 2014

New Jersey DWI Police Blotter: Burlington County Arrests Include Drunken Driving and Drug Possession

Travel through any county in the Garden State and you will likely find that the police in local communities far and wide make a fair number of DWI and DUI arrests every month. Whether you live in Passaic, Essex, Somerset or Mercer County, the stories about drunken and impaired drivers that pop up in the news and on social media are strikingly similar -- though they each have their own unique aspects, circumstances and facts.

It is important to remember that many New Jersey drunk driving arrests begin with a seemingly minor traffic offense -- sometimes a very insignificant infraction, yet one that legally gives the police the right to pull the motorist over and investigate further. Such basic offense may include repeatedly crossing over a lane divider, making an improper turn, or even driving with a burned-out tail light.

While that original police stop may have been for a sometimes minor infraction, the patrolman in charge may take note of other evidence pointing to alcohol consumption, drug impairment, or possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Of course, observing an empty bottle of beer or wine cooler can easily trigger a request for the driver to exit the vehicle and take one of more of the standardized field sobriety tests that police officers use to determine intoxication. Furthermore, an officer may detect the odor of alcohol on a motorist's breath, which can also begin a series of events leading up to a drunken driving arrest.

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August 26, 2014

FAQ: NJ Drunk Driving Arrests and the Consequences of a DWI Conviction -- Part Three

Life in the Garden State can be enjoyable and fulfilling, so long as everything is going well. For thousands of drivers every year, however, a run-in with a traffic enforcement officer can certainly be one of the reasons that makes daily life a bit less pleasurable. While most traffic stops result in some kind of moving violation and related fine, which isn't cheap by any means, a fair number of roadway police stops end up in an arrest for impaired driving.

When it comes to being stopped for intoxicated vehicle operation, this kind of police encounter can make for an embarrassing trip to a local police department for a breath test and possible charges of DWI or DUI; after that comes a date in municipal court with sometimes very costly results. For many motorists charged with driving under the influence, there is hardly anything good to look forward to following a DWI-DUI arrest. With thousands of dollars in fines, fees and insurance premium increases hanging over the heads of accused drunk drivers, it's no surprise that this kind of life event is far and away from anything remotely enjoyable.

As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, my legal team has defended hundreds of individuals charged with impaired driving, breath test refusal and other alcohol-related offenses. In addition, my colleagues and I are well equipped to handle drug-related cases, such as marijuana DUI, cocaine possession, and prescription drug-related DUI offenses. It should be said that although we make it our job to defend individuals charged with DWI-DUI, we certainly do not condone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Continue reading "FAQ: NJ Drunk Driving Arrests and the Consequences of a DWI Conviction -- Part Three" »

August 25, 2014

NJ Drunk Driving News: NBC Today Show Exposé Shines the Light on Smartphone Breathalyzer Apps

Most anyone who has been formally charged with driving under the influence of alcohol here in the Garden State is probably familiar with the way in which local or state police obtain evidence of intoxication, that is, the use of a breathalyzer machine to determine a driver's blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC. For many people convicted of DWI, the machine most popular with law enforcement agencies across New Jersey is the Alcotest 7110 manufactured by Draeger Industries.

This particular BAC detecting tool, was first put into service more than 10 years ago. For anyone who has attempted to fight a DWI charge by calling into question the accuracy of the Alcotest device, it may not be a surprise to hear that a 2008 case heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court resulted in ruling that held the Alcotest 7110 to be scientifically reliable (State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 [2008]).

It could be said that ever since the police began using the first breathalyzer machines, some drivers have likely wondered if they, too, could measure their BAC levels before getting behind the wheel of a car or truck. The problem even into the 21st century is that the breathalyzer machines used by the police may be portable, but they are hardly convenient devices to carry on one's person state. Still, having a personal device that could warn a motorist that he or she is legally drunk is something that many people want to have - and do have now, thanks to smartphone technology.

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August 22, 2014

Drunk Driving Defense News: Don't Let a New Jersey DWI Put the Brakes on Your Career

Despite frequent warnings from traffic safety advocates and police agencies all across the country regarding the dangers of drunken driving and the negative effects that a drinking and driving conviction can have on one's personal and professional life, tens of thousands of motorists are arrested for DUI-DWI every month in the United States. Amazingly, almost one-third of all drunk driving arrests involve a repeat offense; based on this fact alone, it is certain that many American drivers, including motorists from the Garden State, are treading on dangerous ground when it comes to suffering not only physical injury, but also collateral effects on one's career and livelihood.

Surprisingly, some may say, is that the overwhelming majority of DWI-DUI arrests entail a motorist being stopped returning from a likely pleasant outing with friends, family or coworkers. With the number of people participating in these kinds of social events, the odds of having at least one sober individual who could drive an intoxicated individual home is probably quite high. Yet, week after week, hundreds of New Jersey drivers are hit with summonses for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

It is perhaps wise to remind readers that even one drunk driving conviction can have a devastating impact on a person's ability to get to work, or even cause problems for an individual as far as maintaining one's job. These days, with an already tight job market, does it really makes sense to risk losing one's job because of having a drink or two with friends? For anyone who questions the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, we have some sobering thoughts on the subject.

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August 19, 2014

FAQ: NJ Drunk Driving Arrests and the Consequences of a DWI Conviction -- Part Two

We recently started addressing some of the more commonly asked questions regarding drunk driving arrests, DWI charges and DUI-DWI convictions here in New Jersey. For those individuals who have already experienced a drunken driving arrest first hand, some of the issues we have and will discuss may seem quite familiar. However, the best time to learn about the ins and outs of DWI and drug DUI defense is usually before one is arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Right off the bat, we will say that if you or someone you know has been issued a summons or otherwise charged with intoxicated driving or breath test refusal, it is usually in your best interest to seek out the help of a skilled trial attorney with years of experience in handling drunk driving cases for drivers accused of DWI or DUI here in the Garden State.

Over the years, as New Jersey DUI-DWI attorneys, my legal team has helped hundreds of people fight charges levied against them by local and state police in counties such as Bergen, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth. Whether a motorist has been accused of drinking and driving, operating a motor vehicle while impaired due to legal use of a prescription medication, or the taking of illicit drugs (maybe even a marijuana possession charge in a motor vehicle), our attorneys and professional legal staff are ready to lend their expertise to a client's defense.

Continue reading "FAQ: NJ Drunk Driving Arrests and the Consequences of a DWI Conviction -- Part Two" »

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 11, 2014

Consider the Worst-Case Scenario when Facing DWI or drug DUI Charges in New Jersey

Of course, everyone knows that a drunken driving conviction can have a substantial impact on one's wallet or pocketbook; that's a given, right? Well, some people know that there can be thousands of dollars hanging in the balance before the final verdict is handed down in municipal court, but that's not the subject of today's discussion. Right now, we are talking about the perilous effects that a DWI or drug DUI charge can have on a person's job, livelihood and even long-term career prospects.

You see, as Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know that there are a large number of more obvious consequences following a drunk driving or drug DUI conviction. These can and many times do include community service, license suspension, very stiff fines, and jail time. But these immediate and rather palpable consequences aside, most individuals fail to consider the truly devastating effect that a drunken driving or drug DUI conviction can have on one's life and future happiness. Many people are simply not aware that they can end up with severe and long-lasting problems involving their job and career -- not just now, but in the weeks, months and years following a DWI-DUI conviction.

As drunken driving defense experts, we understand why many normally law-biding citizens end up suffering much more serious personal and professional complications after being convicted of a drug DUI or DWI offense. Many first encounter the collateral effects of a conviction when they find that their job may be at stake for what seemed like an innocent lapse in judgment. Keep in mind that actions often do have consequences and, these days, drinking and driving can often trigger serious repercussions at work.

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