Articles Posted in Assault by Auto

A news report earlier this month pointed up the danger of drinking and driving, not only in terms of legal liability, but especially due to the serious nature of accidents that can take place when operating a motor vehicle while possibly intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs. As Garden State DWI lawyers, my law firm is always ready to assist those motorists who have been accused of drinking and driving on New Jersey roadways. However, as drivers ourselves, we also know there are numerous risks associated with driving under the influence, many of which can be life-threatening.

That said, and while we in no way condone impaired driving, we do understand that some individuals can be fully unaware of their inebriation due to beer, wine or hard liquor, as well as possible impairment resulting from taking doctor-prescribed medications prior to getting behind the wheel. For those who believe they were unjustly charged with a DWI or drug DUI, my skilled legal team is available to help defendants fight those charges in a court of law.

Sadly, the reality of driving in New Jersey can mean that some people will be involved in a serious automobile or trucking-related accident as a result of some kind of impaired vehicle operation. From a legal standpoint, being charged with drunken driving following an injury-related roadway crash can often mean that the local prosecutor will consider other, more serious charges stemming from the accident itself.
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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.
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As many Garden State drivers already know, DWI and drug DUI roadblocks are frequent, if not somewhat random, occurrences throughout the New Jersey area. As Red Bank drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleague and I know that a percentage of motorists who are charged with DWI end up being arrested for intoxicated driving at these so-called sobriety checkpoints, which show up in certain “trouble spots” in and around Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic County, as well as numerous other parts of the state.

For the average person who turns up at one of these drunk driving roadblocks, if he or she has had any amount of alcohol to drink prior to the encounter, a potential nightmare scenario is being taken into custody on suspicion of DWI-DUI. Simply one or two bottles of beer or glasses of wine during dinner can sometimes result in a major legal problem for any driver charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. We are well aware of this because we defend many individuals who have been accused of drunken driving, as well as other alcohol- and drug-related traffic offenses.

My legal team also understands that when it comes to being stopped at a DWI checkpoint, those who are arrested or served a summons for drunken driving are many times curious whether these commonly used police enforcement tools are actually legal under the laws of the State of New Jersey, not to mention that of the U.S. Constitution. Clients may often ask about the fairness of DWI-DUI roadblocks, which is completely understandable given the random nature of these checkpoints.
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When it comes to out-of-state drivers who are arrested for DWI or drug DUI here in New Jersey, it is important to remember that New Jersey and almost every other state in the nation participates in what is known as the “Driver License Compact,” or DLC for short. Briefly, the DLC is an agreement between 45 individual states and the District of Columbia, which allows the non-resident state to report any traffic-related conviction to the administrative division of the offending driver’s home state. In short, if one’s home state has a statute or equivalent law for an offense committed here in New Jersey, it will be treated as if the violation took place in the state where the driver resides.

A related agreement, known as the “Non-resident Violator Compact,” is observed by 44 participating states, which in essence safeguards the rights and privileges of non-resident drivers when operating a motor vehicle outside of their home state. For example, when a Garden State motorist is driving in a participating state, this interstate agreement ensures that the driver will have the same rights as the resident drivers of that state if he or she is arrested for drunken driving, drug DUI or other related impaired driving offense.

Under the non-resident agreement, if a motorist is charged with a traffic offense or other serious moving violation, he or she has the protection of due process. This also means that a New Jersey driver must comply with the terms of the member state’s traffic citation as ordered by that non-resident state, and any failure to comply can result in license suspension here in the one’s own state.
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While a charge of drinking and driving is one of the more serious traffic-related offenses for a Garden State motorist to receive, there are other types of “impaired” driving that can be just as serious when it comes to accidents resulting in injury or death. The New Jersey court system is no stranger to personal injury lawsuits arising from impaired driving; and for years now, law enforcement, state legislators and numerous traffic safety advocates have warned about the effects of cellphone use and distracted driving, not to mention drowsy driving.

The recent news coverage of the fatal multi-vehicle crash involving a limousine carrying well-known comedian and NBC “30 Rock” television star, Tracy Morgan, has ramped up debate regarding serious and fatal traffic collisions caused by motorists who are simply too tired to drive. As with intoxicated driving, drowsy driving can be deadly; however, the proof of whether a driver was too fatigued to properly operate his or her motor vehicle may be more difficult to come by than that involved in drunken driving cases.

Nevertheless, this latest high-profile news story has brought the issue of drowsy driving to the fore, with Walmart employee, Kevin Roper, in the spotlight and facing serious charges, including that of vehicular homicide and assault by auto following the death of comedian James McNair. The crash, as many people already know, took place last Saturday along a portion of the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County. Mr. Roper, 35, has since entered a plea of not guilty across the board, though the case has much farther to go.
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As long-time Garden State drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I have seen just about everything over the nearly 100 years of our combined legal careers. In our capacity as litigators for New Jersey motorists, representing individuals accused of intoxicated driving or drug DUI has given us more than a little insight into the variety of alcohol-, prescription drug- and illegal substance-related traffic arrests. Quite simply, we understand the many and varied ways that drivers can be stopped and charged with driving under the influence.

For most motorists, at least those served with summonses or arrested for an alcohol- or drug-related offense, the usual scenario does not involve a serious traffic accident. In many instances, a driver will have been stopped after being observed making some kind of simple driving error or even a more overt moving violation, such as speeding, improper passing or running a red light.

It is only after one of these routine traffic stops that a police officer may question the driver regarding his activities prior to the stop. Although New Jersey law prohibits a patrolman from stopping a motorist purely on a “hunch” that the driver is inebriated, once stopped at the roadside, the line of questioning may lead to suspicion of drinking and driving, or even some kind of drug-related DUI.
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From time to time we all read news articles that, on the face of it, seem like just one more in a string of typical day-to-day mistakes that some people make when driving a motor vehicle here in the Garden State. However, there are instances when a simple lack of good judgment may result in some serious consequences, not only for the individual who may have erred, but for those who suffered personal lose as a direct result.

While many car, truck or motorcycle accidents can be similar in many ways to the dozens of others that occur every week in counties like Monmouth, Middlesex and Atlantic, there are certain roadway collisions that distinguish themselves as being more unique than most. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, we have a great deal of experience representing various individuals accused of variety of alcohol-related traffic wrecks.

While multi-car drunken driving accidents are sure very common in a state with millions of motor vehicles travelling every day along its roadways, single-vehicle accidents do occur with amazing frequency as well. Some of these types of traffic incidents end up being allegedly attributed to alcohol consumption or drug use on the part of the driver.
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While many people know that drunk driving is a risky activity, to say the least, fewer know the true consequences of being found guilty of a DWI or drug-related DUI that results in bodily injury or death. As New Jersey DWI lawyers, we understand how frightening it can be to face potential jail time for what seems to be a simple error in judgment. Regardless of whether a defendant in DWI and drug DUI cases believes he or she is innocent of wrongdoing, the fact is that municipal prosecutors all across the Garden State pursue aggressive legal action against those motorists accused of drunken driving when tied to injury-related automobile accidents.

Whether you or a loved one have been accused of intoxicated driving combined with vehicular assault or death by auto charges, the value of having a qualified drunk driving defense attorney on one’s side is immeasurable when compared to the possible negative aspects of a DWI conviction. It goes without saying that the monetary penalties are often the least of one’s problems when faced with mandatory jail time following a guilty verdict in a DWI or drug DUI case.

Taking an aggressive approach to defending our clients, the legal team at the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall recognizes that not every drunken driving case is as clear cut as the local prosecutor may have the court believe. Our skilled defense lawyers have nearly 100 years of combined litigation experience, all of which can make a difference when fighting serious charges of driving while impaired by alcohol, doctor-prescribed meds, or illicit drugs (otherwise known as controlled dangerous substances or CDS).

From time to time, there are certain DWI-DUI cases that present considerable challenge from a legal standpoint, especially those involving significant property damage or bodily injury. The most serious of these would be drunken driving-related traffic accidents resulting in the death of one or more individuals. It goes without saying that the penalties for DWI in an injury-related or fatal accident case are much greater than other DUI-DWI cases that do not include personal injury or possible claims of wrongful death.
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Middletown police filed multiple arrests in late April and early May for motorists in the area who were suspected of drunken driving and other DUI-related traffic offenses. As Garden State DWI defense lawyers, my team of experienced trial attorneys understand the fear and apprehension that a drunk driving arrest can cause the average person. But regardless of the circumstances under which a driver has been accused of intoxicated operation of a motor vehicle, the prudent course is often to contact a qualified DWI lawyer for advice and counsel.

Although the state of New Jersey has banned plea bargaining in cases of DWI and drug DUI, there are still instances where the state’s evidence does not hold up in court. As such, a skilled drunk driving defense lawyer has the litigation background and legal training to handle a DWI-DUI case and perhaps lessen or reduce the potential penalties following a drunken driving conviction. There are occasions where the court will dismiss a DWI charge, based on lack of evidence or improper police procedures that are specified by law.

As with many kinds of criminal and civil court cases, the secret to avoiding a conviction or obtaining a downgrade in charges, and therefore penalties, is identifying certain points that will help to undermine the prosecution’s case against the defendant. Interesting enough, many DWI and drug DUI charges arise from what began as a simple or relatively routine traffic stop.
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One doesn’t necessarily need a New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney to tell you that injuring or killing another individual in an alcohol or drug-related car accident can pose some serious complications to any DWI defense case. Even so, few people truly realize how serious the consequences can be for a drunken driving-related car or truck collision that involves injury or death.

As experienced Garden State drunk driving defense attorneys, my colleagues and I take our responsibility very seriously when we assist those who have been accused of a drug or alcohol-related impaired driving charge. We also use an aggressive approach when representing our clients in these kinds of serious DWI-DUI cases. From time to time we have clients who are defendants in DWI cases that involve an injury-related drunk driving accident. Whenever situations like this crop up, we highly recommend that those accused of DWI or drug DUI consult with a skilled trial lawyer experienced in drunken driving cases.

Here in New Jersey, the potential penalties following a conviction for a drunk driving accident involving serious bodily injuries or fatalities are significantly greater than the more run-of-the-mill DWI-DUI cases that are not injury-related. It goes without saying that DWI and drug DUI offenses that are tied to a fatal car crash carry the most severe punishments. For these kinds of cases, if the defendant is found guilty of drunken driving, the result will be felony conviction and mandatory prison time.
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