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.
The question each motorist must ask himself is how can a lawyer really help me? There is no doubt that being stopped by a policeman for just a simple traffic infraction can wind up costing some individuals a lot of money, time and independence. And although being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or drug DUI can often seem like a no-win proposition, each case is different and a qualified DWI attorney can be a great asset to many individuals. Of course, this is only possible if one contacts a skilled lawyer before it’s too late.
Here in the Garden State, there is no allowance for the oft-mentioned “plea bargain” for drunk driving offenses. But even so, New Jersey is known to have one of the highest rates of successful DWI defense in the entire U.S. As a matter of fact — and being a former municipal prosecutor myself — I personally know that here in the Garden State, the state’s attorneys learn early on that it is more difficult to prosecute a case if the defendant has retained an experienced DWI-DUI lawyer.
Depending on one’s individual situation — be it a drunk driving charge or breath test refusal summons — the outcome could be more favorable if an experienced lawyer takes up your defense. Of course, there are no guarantees in this world, but a professional DWI lawyer can many times make the difference between a costly conviction and that of a more favorable sentence. Please keep one thing in mind: it is very important to avoid multiple DUI convictions, which invariably can lead to more difficult circumstances going forward.
Here are a few questions every good DWI defense attorney is bound to include in any successful DWI-DUI case:
— Was the initial traffic stop legal?
— Can the prosecution show proof of intoxication?
— Does the state have any blood or breath tests to support its case?
— Was the defendant actually operating the motor vehicle at the time of the traffic stop?
— Has the defendant been convicted of any previous DWI offenses?
— Were there any DUI drug charges involved?
— Did the defendant refuse a breathalyzer test or blood test?
As an accused drunken driver, most individuals who have been arrested or issued a summons for DWI or drug DUI should fully consider whether or not they want to go into the courtroom by themselves. Not only can such a situation be a scary experience, it can also be a foolhardy one as well. If there is anything we would like to convey to those considering going it “solo,” it would be that enlisting the help of a qualified drunken driving defense attorney — one who fully understands New Jersey DWI law and has years of trial experience — can make a great deal of difference in the outcome of many drunk driving cases.