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The New Jersey criminal courts are tasked with handling a high volume of cases each year. Thus, to cut down on unnecessary hearings, the court allows some people who are charged with less serious offenses to enter into the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), thereby avoiding a trial and conviction. The defendant must establish certain elements in order to be eligible for PTI, however, as demonstrated in a recent New Jersey DWI case in which the appellate court ruled that the defendant’s alleged crimes rendered PTI an unsuitable remedy. If you live in New Jersey and are charged with a DWI offense, it is wise to speak to a zealous New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your options.

Facts and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was involved in a collision outside of a fast-food restaurant. The police officer that responded to the scene observed the defendant sitting in his vehicle, with his fourteen-year-old son in the passenger seat. The officer spoke to the defendant and noticed a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath. As such, he asked the defendant to submit to field sobriety testing. The defendant consented and failed the tests. He was then transported to the police station, where a breath test revealed his BAC to be .21%. He was charged with DWI and numerous other driving offenses, as well as with second degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Allegedly, the defendant filed an application for admission into PTI. The criminal case manager recommended against his admission into the program, and his application was subsequently rejected. The matter then became before a trial judge, who overturned the rejection. The State then appealed.

Eligibility for Pretrial Intervention   Continue reading

In DWI cases, the State’s evidence often includes the defendant’s statements and evidence of the defendant’s blood alcohol level. As such, if a defendant is able to prove that such evidence should be deemed inadmissible, it may greatly weaken the prosecution’s case, which increases the chance of obtaining a not guilty verdict. Recently, a New Jersey court discussed when statements obtained from a defendant and the results of a blood test should be suppressed in a case in which the defendant was charged with multiple DWI offenses following a fatal crash. If you are accused of DWI crimes in New Jersey, it is prudent to meet with a New Jersey DWI defense attorney to evaluate your available defenses.

Factual History

It is reported that the defendant was involved in a car accident in December 2015, after which she was transported to the hospital. The other driver involved in the accident died from her injuries. The police arrived at the hospital to investigate the accident and found the defendant, who was alert, lying in a hospital bed without restraints. The officers informed her of her Miranda rights, and she both orally acknowledged and signed a card indicating that she was advised of her rights.

Allegedly, the defendant also completed a consent form permitting the police to obtain urine and blood samples. After the police obtained a blood sample, they left the hospital but returned after learning the other driver died. Shortly thereafter, another officer interviewed the defendant and observed that her speech was slurred and slow. When asked if she consumed alcohol, she became combative. The defendant was charged with multiple crimes, including DWI. She filed a motion to suppress the statements she made and the results of her chemical testing, which was denied. The defendant then appealed. Continue reading

While generally people charged with DWI offer a defense at trial, in some instances, it makes sense for a defendant to enter a guilty plea. Even if a defendant chooses not to contest the charges against him or her though, the court must take certain measures to ensure that the defendant understands the ramifications of his or her choice; otherwise the plea could potentially be vacated at a later date. The grounds for vacating a guilty plea were recently discussed in a New Jersey case in which the defendant argued the factual basis for his not guilty plea was insufficient. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated in New Jersey, you should speak to a dedicated New Jersey DWI defense attorney to determine the best strategy to seek a favorable outcome under the facts of your case.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the defendant crashed the car he was operating in 2011. He was transported to a hospital where it was revealed that his blood alcohol content was over twice the legal limit. As such, he was charged with a per se DWI offense, to which he entered a guilty plea. Then, in August 2018, the defendant was charged with a second DWI offense. Following the second charge, he moved to vacate his earlier conviction to avoid facing increased penalties as a repeat offender.

Allegedly, during oral argument on the matter, the defendant argued that he was not properly advised of the legal consequences of the plea and that the factual basis for the guilty verdict was inadequate. The lower court rejected the defendant’s reasoning, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

Under New Jersey law, if a DWI suspect declines to submit to a blood test, the police must obtain a warrant to conduct a blood draw. Thus, if blood is taken from a DWI suspect without consent or a warrant, it may constitute an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the suspect’s constitutional rights. However, there are exceptions to the rule, as demonstrated in a recent New Jersey case in which the court ruled that evidence of test results from blood samples that were taken during the treatment of a DWI suspect was admissible during his criminal trial. If you are accused of committing a DWI crime in New Jersey, it is smart to speak with a reliable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to calculate what evidence the State may be permitted to use against you.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant caused a multi-vehicle collision when he struck an SUV from behind, causing it to hit the car in front of it, which then became engulfed in flames. The three people in the car died immediately, and the individuals in the SUV sustained serious injuries. Emergency medical technicians that arrived at the scene noticed that the defendant, who also suffered grave harm, smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. The defendant was transported to the hospital for care, and as part of the normal procedure, samples of his blood were drawn, and urine samples were obtained via a catheter.

Allegedly, the police arrived at the hospital shortly thereafter, and directed staff members to retain blood samples for their investigation. The police then obtained a warrant for the samples, which showed that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration exceeded the legal limit. After the defendant was cleared for release, he was taken into custody. He was charged with numerous crimes, including three counts of reckless death by a vehicle, DWI, and driving with a suspended license. He filed a motion to suppress the results of his blood test, which the court denied. He then pleaded guilty to some of the charges, after which he appealed, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. Continue reading

Many people incorrectly believe that a DWI charge is merely akin to a traffic offense and that they do not need to hire an attorney or retain knowledgeable counsel. The consequences of retaining an inexperienced lawyer were illustrated in a recent New Jersey DWI case, in which the defendant was found guilty of DWI and other charges, and his subsequent appeal arguing that his conviction was caused by the ineffectiveness of his attorney was dismissed on procedural grounds. If you are charged with a DWI offense in New Jersey, you should meet with a skilled New Jersey DWI defense attorney to analyze your possible defenses.

Facts and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was stopped by a police officer in October 2017 while he was driving in Hackensack, New Jersey. Following the stop, he was charged with driving with an open container of alcohol, reckless driving, and driving while intoxicated. A trial was scheduled for January 2018. Prior to trial, the defendant’s attorney informed the court that he intended to file a motion to suppress, arguing that the police did not have probable cause to stop the defendant prior to conducting the investigation that led to the defendant’s arrest.

Allegedly, however, the defendant’s attorney did not provide the judge with a copy of the motion. The judge allowed the defendant’s attorney to orally present the motion but ultimately denied it. The trial was continued to April 2018, and following the trial, the defendant was convicted of DWI and sentenced as a second-time offender. He then appealed, arguing his trial counsel was ineffective. The State moved to dismiss his claims arguing they should be raised in a petition for post-conviction relief. The court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal, after which he appealed to the appellate court. Continue reading

Discovery is a critical part of any DWI case, as it allows the defendant to determine what evidence the state seeks to introduce at trial and helps prepare defenses to refute the implications of that evidence. Thus, if the state commits a discovery violation, it may greatly impact a defendant’s rights. In a recent New Jersey DWI case, the court discussed what a defendant must demonstrate in order to prove that a discovery violation has occurred. If you are accused of a DWI crime in New Jersey, it is in your best interest to speak to a capable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to evaluate what arguments you may be able to assert.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was stopped after making an unsafe lane change without a turn signal. When the police officer spoke with the defendant, he smelled alcohol. As such, the officer asked the defendant to submit to field sobriety testing. The defendant complied but failed the tests. A breathalyzer test subsequently revealed his blood-alcohol level to be 0.11%. He was then charged with DWI and other traffic violations.

Reportedly, the defendant, who was self-represented, was involved in several disputes with the prosecution. Specifically, he argued that the state failed to provide him with the evidence he sought. A trial was held, and the defendant was convicted on all counts. He appealed, and his appeal was granted, after which a second trial occurred. He was convicted a second time and again appealed. Continue reading

In New Jersey, both the State and the defendant have the right to examine witnesses at trial. Thus, in cases in which either party tries to admit an out of court statement in lieu of testimony, the statement may be barred under the confrontation clause. The parameters of the confrontation clause and any applicable exceptions were recently discussed in a New Jersey DWI case in which the defendant argued that the trial court erred in permitting a statement that implicated her guilt. If you are charged with a DWI crime in New Jersey, it is important to understand your rights, and you should convene with a knowledgeable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to assess your charges as soon as possible.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was charged with second-degree homicide by vehicle for striking and killing a person when she was driving while intoxicated. The defendant was convicted, after which she appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in refusing to admit evidence that her husband had been driving when the crime was allegedly committed. The appellate court found in favor of the defendant and remanded the case for a new trial. Following the second trial, the defendant was again convicted, after which she appealed, arguing that the trial court improperly admitted statements showing that the defendant’s husband stated at the scene of the crime that the defendant was driving when the accident occurred.

Grounds for Recusal in a New Jersey Criminal Case

The confrontation clauses of the United States and New Jersey constitutions bar out of court testimonial hearsay that has not been tested via cross-examination, in lieu of in-court testimony. On appeal, the court explained that any narrative statement a person makes to a police officer about a crime is testimonial if the statement is made once any imminent danger to the person or anyone else has ended. Continue reading

In New Jersey, prosecutors are appointed by local governing bodies. Thus, if a person is charged with a DWI offense, an attorney appointed by the municipality will typically be tasked with presenting the State’s evidence against the defendant. Even if another attorney represents the State in criminal proceedings, however, it does not mean that a DWI defendant is entitled to a new trial, as demonstrated in a recent New Jersey case. If you are a resident of New Jersey currently charged with a DWI offense, it is in your best interest to meet with a proficient New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your rights and what defenses you may be able to assert.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the defendant was stopped in the early morning in May 2014 for driving erratically. After the officer who initiated the stop spoke with the defendant, he noticed the defendant was exhibiting signs of intoxication. Thus, the defendant was ultimately issued four summonses and charged with driving while intoxicated, speeding, failing to exhibit his registration and reckless driving. Subsequently, the defendant and the prosecution appeared in court together eight times over a period of a year nine months for hearings, arguments, and a partial trial.

Allegedly, on the second day of the trial, the defendant moved to dismiss his summonses, arguing that the individual that had been appointed as the municipal court prosecutor by the governing body had only appeared at one of the court proceedings. The defendant then entered into a conditional guilty plea to the DWI charge, and the remaining charges were dismissed. The court then denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss, which caused the defendant to file an appeal. Continue reading

In some instances in which a DWI accident is especially catastrophic and there was more than one person in the car at the time of the incident, it may not be clear who was driving. Thus, the State will likely have to determine who was driving and then who should be charged criminally based on circumstantial evidence such as statements from the parties involved. Recently, a New Jersey court assessed whether statements made by a defendant charged with DWI shortly after an accident were admissible in a case in which the defendant alleged he lacked the capacity to knowingly waive his right against self-incrimination. If you live in New Jersey and are charged with DWI based on statements you made during a police investigation, you should consult a trusted New Jersey DWI defense attorney to assess whether you may be able to have evidence of your statements precluded.

Facts Surrounding the Accident and Subsequent Statements

It is reported that the police were called to the scene of a devastating car accident in which it appeared the car had left the roadway and struck a tree. When the police arrived, the defendant was on the ground by the passenger side of the vehicle and was being tended to by EMS workers. The defendant’s nephew was hanging out of the passenger side window and was deceased when the police arrived at the scene.

Allegedly, when the police were investigating the accident they visited the defendant in the hospital, read him Miranda warnings, and then began questioning him. Through the course of the questioning, the defendant stated he and his nephew had been drinking prior to the accident, and that he could not recall the accident but knew that he was not ejected from the vehicle. He also stated he crawled to the passenger side to help his nephew. A blood test revealed that the defendant’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was between 0.17 and 0.23. He was charged with DWI and second-degree vehicular homicide. He filed a motion to suppress the statements he made in the hospital, which the court denied. After his conviction, the defendant appealed, arguing he did not have the capacity to knowingly waive his Miranda rights. Continue reading

Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, drivers are deemed to consent to submit to breath tests if they are stopped for suspicion of DWI. As such, if a driver declines to submit to a breath test, the driver can be charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, which may result in suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. In a recent New Jersey case, a court discussed the State’s burden of proof in a case in which a defendant is charged with refusal to submit to chemical testing.  If you are a resident of New Jersey currently accused of a DWI crime, it is prudent to confer with a New Jersey DWI defense attorney to assess what defenses you may be able to assert to protect your rights.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway, driving into a pole. A police officer responded to the incident, and upon speaking with the defendant observed that the defendant smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, and diminished balance and speech. As such, the police officer requested that the defendant submit to a breath test. The defendant refused. He was subsequently charged with DWI, failure to maintain a lane, and refusal to submit to a chemical test.

It is reported that the defendant was convicted on all counts, after which he appealed. The defendant’s appeal was granted, and a new trial was ordered, after which he was found not guilty of DWI but guilty of refusal to submit to a chemical test and failure to maintain a lane. Following a second appeal, a new trial was held on the refusal to submit to a chemical test charge. The defendant was convicted and again appealed. Continue reading

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