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Simply because a person is convicted of DWI does not mean that the person has no options for seeking relief from the conviction. Rather, under New Jersey law, if a criminal defendant produces sufficient evidence that his or her conviction should be vacated, the person may be eligible for post-conviction relief. In a recent New Jersey DWI case, the court explained the standard for granting post-conviction relief in DWI cases and when a request for such relief must be filed. If you are charged with a DWI and have prior DWI convictions, it is important to speak with a seasoned New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding your options.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

Allegedly, in 2018, when the defendant was charged with DWI, she sought post-conviction relief for a 1980 DWI conviction. In her petition for relief, the defendant verified that she was not represented by counsel when she pled guilty for the prior offense and that she had not been informed of her right to counsel. She also requested relief from an enhanced custodial term. The trial court denied the defendant’s petition, after which she appealed. During the pendency of the appeal, the Supreme Court of New Jersey clarified the grounds for granting post-conviction relief from an enhanced custodial sentence for a subsequent DWI conviction.

Standard for Granting Post Conviction Relief in a DWI Case

On appeal, the court noted that the trial court denied the defendant’s petition, in part, because it was filed beyond the five-year time limitation set forth under the current law. The trial court also held that the plaintiff had not established a prima facie case that she was entitled to relief. Continue reading

Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, anyone who drives a car is deemed to consent to a chemical breath test. Thus, if a person stopped for suspicion of DWI refuses to submit to a test, he or she can face additional consequences. Police officers are required to inform DUI suspects of the potential consequences of refusing to submit to a blood test, by reading them a standard statement. Recently, the statement was called into question by a DWI defendant, who argued that the statement failed to advise her sufficiently of the consequences of her refusal. Upon review, a New Jersey appellate court ultimately rejected the defendant’s argument. If you are currently charged with a New Jersey DWI following your refusal to submit to a breath test, it is sensible to consult a proficient New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss these charges.

The Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that the defendant was stopped by the police for multiple traffic violations and for suspected DWI. During the investigation, the police officer who stopped the defendant read her the standard statement regarding the consequences of refusing to submit to a chemical breath test, but the defendant refused nonetheless. She was charged with numerous offenses, including DWI and refusal to submit to a breath test, to which she entered guilty pleas, contingent upon her right to challenge the sufficiency of the standard statement on appeal. During her plea hearing, she stated that she had consumed alcohol before driving on the date of her arrest, but that she would have provided breath samples if she was informed of the minimum penalties for a first-time offense. The defendant was sentenced, after which she appealed.

Sufficiency of the Standard Statement Regarding Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test

Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, anyone who drives a motor vehicle on a public road is presumed to consent to provide samples of their breath for chemical testing if the person is suspected of DWI. Further, the law provides that the police must inform a person arrested on suspicion of DWI of the consequences of refusing to submit to a chemical breath test by reading a standard statement prepared by the chief administrator. The law also requires a person who refuses to submit to a breath test to be charged with a violation for refusing. Continue reading

Many people assume that they cannot be convicted of a DWI in New Jersey if they are not stopped by a police officer while driving under the influence of alcohol. However, this is inaccurate as shown in a recent case decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, in which the court held that circumstantial evidence that the defendant had been driving his vehicle while intoxicated was sufficient to support a DWI conviction. If you live in New Jersey and are faced with a DWI charge, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss the state’s burden of proof and your potential defenses.

Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that the police were called to the parking lot of a convenience store around 8:00 am to check on the defendant, who was either unconscious or asleep in a parked minivan. When the officer who responded to the call approached the minivan, the defendant was in the driver’s seat, and the engine was running. The officer tapped on the defendant’s window numerous times before he woke up. When the officer spoke with the defendant, he noted the defendant was mumbling and was difficult to understand, and had an odor of alcohol.

Allegedly, the defendant submitted to field sobriety tests, which he failed, after which the defendant was arrested and charged with DWI. Subsequent chemical testing revealed the defendant’s BAC to be 0.16%. At the defendant’s trial, he stipulated to the facts regarding his intoxication but denied that he was operating the minivan at the time of his arrest. The defendant was found guilty of DWI, after which he appealed, arguing that the State failed to prove he was operating the minivan while he was intoxicated. Continue reading

Many New Jersey DWI convictions were supported, in part, by the results of chemical testing. In 2018, however, the New Jersey Supreme Court invalidated the results of breath tests in many cases. Thus, in cases where a defendant’s conviction is based on a breath test, the conviction may be void. Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey analyzed whether observational evidence alone was sufficient to sustain a defendant’s conviction following the invalidation of the results of his breath test. If you are charged with a DWI offense in New Jersey, it is wise to consult a skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding what the State must prove to obtain a conviction.

Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest

Reportedly, the defendant was stopped in December 2011 for traveling 19 miles over the speed limit. When the police officer approached the defendant’s vehicle, he noticed the defendant smelled of alcohol and had difficulty producing his license and registration. The officer then asked the defendant to submit to field sobriety testing. During the tests, the defendant raised one arm for balance, failed the walk and turn test, and was swaying while standing in place. He then admitted to consuming one shot and two beers.

It is reported that the defendant was charged with DWI. He was convicted based on both the officer’s observation of his behavior and the results of a breath test. The defendant appealed. Following his conviction, the New Jersey Supreme Court rendered breath tests invalid in many cases, including the defendant’s case. Thus, the sole issue on appeal was whether there was sufficient proof to support a conviction based on observational evidence. Continue reading

If a person is charged with a DWI crime in New Jersey, the State must prove each element of the alleged offense to obtain a conviction. In other words, the State must not only prove that the defendant was impaired due to the ingestion of alcohol, but also that the defendant was operating a vehicle while he or she was impaired. Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence of the operation of a vehicle to obtain a DWI conviction. If you reside in New Jersey and are currently charged with a DWI crime, it is advisable to meet with a capable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss what evidence the State may introduce against you.

Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that the police were called to check on a suspicious vehicle parked in a residential area. Upon arriving on the scene, the police observed the defendant was asleep in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The police woke the defendant up and questioned him regarding where he was that evening. The defendant stated that he was at a birthday party for his brother and became tired on the way home, so he pulled over and fell asleep. The defendant admitted to consuming one glass of wine.

Allegedly, the defendant submitted to field sobriety testing, which he failed. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station, where he was given a breathalyzer test. The test showed that the defendant’s BAC was 0.08%. The defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. He appealed, arguing in part that the trial court committed an error in finding beyond a reasonable doubt that he operated his vehicle while intoxicated. Continue reading

DWI defendants have numerous rights under the law, including the right to a speedy trial. In other words, criminal defendants have a right to be tried within a certain amount of time from when the charges against them are filed, and if they are not, the charges may be dismissed. Recently, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey discussed the factors weighed in determining whether a violation of a defendant’s right to a speedy trial has occurred in a DWI case. If you are a New Jersey resident charged with DWI, it is prudent to meet with a skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with DWI in November, 2013. There were numerous appearances scheduled and adjourned or continued. The trial was ultimately scheduled for May, 2015. At the time of the trial, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss based on the grounds the State violated his right to a speedy trial. The court denied the motion, and the defendant entered a conditional guilty plea, after which he was sentenced. The defendant then appealed the court’s denial of his motion to the law division, which affirmed the trial court ruling. Subsequently, the defendant appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed the prior order.

The Right to a Speedy Trial Under New Jersey Law

Under New Jersey law, to evaluate whether a defendant’s right to a speedy trial has been violated, the court will assess the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the prejudice the delay caused the defendant and the defendant’s assertion of the right to a trial. Continue reading

Under New Jersey law, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Typically, a DWI defendant’s blood alcohol level is established via a breath or blood test. In many cases, the defendant may be able to avoid a conviction by discrediting the results of any test that was administered. Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, discussed what evidence is needed to prove that the results of a chemical test are deemed unreliable, in a case in which the defendant appealed his DWI conviction. If you live in New Jersey and are faced with DWI charges, it is wise to speak with a seasoned New Jersey DWI defense attorney about your case.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was stopped by a police officer for following too closely behind the officer, using high beams, and a lack of front headlights. During the stop, the officer noted that the defendant’s breath had an odor of alcohol. The defendant admitted to drinking, and the officer administered a field sobriety test, after which he arrested the defendant. The defendant was ultimately transported to a hospital, where he underwent blood tests, which revealed his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be .163%. He was charged with multiple violations, including driving while intoxicated and driving with a BAC over 0.08%.

Reportedly, during the trial, the defendant’s expert testified that the nurse who drew blood from the defendant did not follow the recommended protocol for dissolving the additives in the vials blood is drawn into, which he stated could potentially cause a false elevation of the defendant’s blood-alcohol level. Continue reading

There are numerous factors a judge or jury can consider in determining whether a person is guilty of DWI, and in many cases, the court will rely on cumulative evidence in determining a person’s guilt. If the State does not have sufficient evidence to prove a defendant was driving while under the influence, the defendant should not be convicted. Recently, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New Jersey clarified that the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, standing alone, are not sufficient to prove guilt in a DWI case. If you are faced with DWI charges it is prudent to consult a skilled New Jersey DUI defense attorney to discuss your potential defenses.

Factual and Procedural Background

It is reported that the defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. He appealed, arguing in part that the court erred in considering the results of a horizontal gaze nystagmus test as proof of the defendant’s intoxication. On appeal, the court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Sufficiency of HGN Test as Evidence of DWI

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test involves the police holding a pen to either side of a defendant’s face and asking the defendant to gaze toward the pen while keeping his or her head still. A person’s eye will involuntarily jerk when looking to the side, but in instances in which a suspect is intoxicated the jerking will become exaggerated. Continue reading

Many people think that if they are charged with a DWI, a conviction is inevitable. DWI defendants have numerous rights, however, f their rights are violated during the course of a DWI investigation, the state may be prohibited from introducing evidence found during the investigation against the defendant. The Superior Court of New Jersey recently discussed what constitutes a violation of the right against unreasonable search and seizure and the right to Miranda warnings in a DWI case. If you are a resident of New Jersey currently charged with a DWI, it is advisable to meet with a knowledgeable New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding your case.

Factual Background

Allegedly, in April 2017, the defendant arrived at the home he previously shared with his estranged wife with damage to his car. The defendant’s wife called the police and reported the defendant entered the home through the basement, was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol, and appeared to be intoxicated. The police arrived at the home, and the wife permitted them to enter. Once inside, they found the defendant, who smelled of alcohol, had difficulty walking. In addition his speech was slurred.

It is alleged that the police asked the defendant to exit the home, which he did. Once outside, the defendant admitted to drinking alcohol and stated that he came to the home to finish a project. The police then asked the defendant to submit to a field sobriety test. The defendant complied but was unable to complete the test. The police arrested the defendant for driving while intoxicated (DWI).  A subsequent blood test revealed his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be .29%. Continue reading

New Jersey takes a tough stance against anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). If you were apprehended for a DWI, our accomplished New Jersey drunk driving lawyers are here to protect your rights. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the criminal allegations against you and devise an aggressive defense strategy accordingly. We know how to identify any procedural errors or constitutional violations that may have taken place in your situation.

Under state law, you could face DWI charges for getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. The legal limit is lower for minors and commercial drivers. You should also know that driving while impaired by any kind of drugs can also lead to a DWI charge.

A New Jersey police sergeant was charged with a DWI last month after he crashed into a motorcyclist in upstate New York and then fled the scene. New York State Police said they responded to a call just after 9pm and found the 49-year-old Canadian motorcyclist lying in a ditch with a broken leg. While the New Jersey police officer drove away, the front license plate of his Mercedes-Benz had fallen off where the crash had occurred. State troopers located the cop a few miles down the road, sitting in his car, which had significant damage and had broken down. According to the New York troopers, the New Jersey officer was visibly drunk and refused a breathalyzer test. He was charged with assault by auto, leaving the scene of an accident with an injury, and drunk driving.

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