Now that 2011 has arrived, more than a few motorists probably awoke thinking about a drunk driving arrest or summons they may have had during the holidays. As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney, I understand how a carefree night out can end with drunk driving or prescription drug DUI. What many people do not realize is how often this scenario actually plays out, not only on the way home from a pub or bar, but even from a friendly cocktail party or year-end holiday celebration.
The question may drivers ask themselves after the fact is how can a lawyer really help me? Being pulled over and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) of legal or illegal drugs can sometimes seem like an open and closed case, even to the defendant. But every situation is different and a drunken driving defense attorney may be helpful. But only if you ask.
Although there is no plea bargaining in New Jersey when is comes to drunk driving and DUI offenses, the Garden State nonetheless has one of highest rates of successful DWI defense in the nation. In fact, as a former municipal prosecutor myself, I know that in New Jersey state prosecutors learn early on that it’s more difficult to prosecute a case if the accused motorist has retained a lawyer for his or her defense.
Depending on your circumstances and that of your drunk driving or breath test refusal case, the outcome could be more favorable if a qualified and experienced lawyer handles your case. While there are no guarantees, a professional DWI attorney can make the difference between a costly conviction and that of a more favorable sentence. One thing to remember is that individuals should do what they can to avoid multiple DUI convictions, as that is sure to make one’s life more difficult going forward.
Some of the questions a lawyer needs to ask going into a DWI or DUI case include the following:
- Was the accused actually operating the motor vehicle?
- Was the traffic stop legal to begin with?
- Does the prosecutor have proof of intoxication?
- Are there any blood or breath tests to support the prosecution’s case?
- Were there any DUI drug charges involved?
- Did the motorist refuse to take a breathalyzer test or blood test?
- Has the defendant been convicted of previous drunken driving offenses?
As an allegedly drunk driver, anyone who has been arrested or issued a summons for DWI or drug DUI should consider carefully whether or not they want to go into the courtroom alone. What many do not realize is that a qualified drunken driving defense lawyer who understands New Jersey DWI law can help formulate a defense strategy.