Articles Posted in Drug DWI

blue pillsDriving under the influence of drugs, legal or illegal, can be a serious offense in New Jersey. If you or someone close to you has been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), it is important to reach out to an experienced New Jersey DUID attorney who can help you understand your rights. A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs can have serious and far-reaching consequences for your life. Don’t let this type of charge stain your clean record.

Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-50, drugged driving laws prohibit “any narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.” Illegal drugs, over-the-counter medication, and prescription medication can all form a basis for a New Jersey drugged driving charge, since all of these have the potential to impair an individual’s ability to drive, just as alcohol does. If you have a medical condition that necessitates the use of a banned substance, you must establish that it did not impair your ability to drive, or you must not drive.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drugged driving can have the same effects as drunk driving, putting others on the road at risk. According to one NIDA report, a nationwide study of deadly motor vehicle crashes found that almost 50 percent of the drivers who had tested positive for drugs had consumed a prescription drug, such as a painkiller or anxiety medication. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that in a recent survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety.

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There is no doubt that drinking and driving is an activity that happens with extreme frequency here in New Jersey. As Garden State DWI defense attorneys, my highly skilled legal staff has many years of representing motorists charged with being intoxicated behind the wheel of a motor vehicle on the roadways, interstates and highways of our state. While most people typically associate a DUI charge as being alcohol-related, a fair number of police arrests for impaired driving involve some kind of drug.

Of course, one person’s illicit drug may be another’s legal medication. And while there are more than a few arrests for drug DUI involving some kind of illegal drug (also referred to as a controlled dangerous substance, or CDS), many other drug DUI charges are based on impairment due to doctor-prescribed medications. The legal aspect of the actual substances may be starkly different — and a possible further complication to one’s DUI arrest — but in the eyes of the law, impaired driving is impaired driving regardless of the type of substance causing the impairment.

Since driving under the influence is more commonly linked to alcohol consumption, it may be instructive to remind the driving public that, just like too much alcohol, taking certain medications — prescription or over-the-counter — may interfere with a motorist’s ability to operate his car, truck or motorcycle. As many doctors will point out, every patient who is taking one or more kinds of doctor-prescribed drugs should be aware of the potential side effects of those meds, either alone or in combination.
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Whether you live or travel in the Monmouth County area, municipalities such as Asbury Park, Manalapan Township and Red Bank all see their share of intoxicated and impaired driving these days. As long-time DWI defense lawyers, my legal team has represented hundreds of individuals from all around the Garden State who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription medications or illegal drugs, also known as controlled dangerous substances (CDSs).

Quite often one can find the results of police activities in the local police blotters published by news agencies all around the state. The following is a brief list of the kinds of police arrests that take place on a regular basis here in New Jersey. While the circumstances are always unique, the situations that arise are often very much the same when it comes to the how and why of many traffic stops; they illustrate the typical course of events that many drivers experience year in and year out when it comes to drunk driving and drug DUI.

Asbury Park Arrests include DWI and Drug Possession
Law enforcement personnel in the Asbury area have been making drug-related arrests for many years. In recent weeks, according to reports, police have made arrests for possession of drug paraphernalia, intoxicated driving and marijuana possession. During the long Labor Day weekend, officers arrested several people including a 32-year-old out-of-state man for heroin and cocaine possession, as well as five prescription legend drugs.
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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.
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Of course, everyone knows that a drunken driving conviction can have a substantial impact on one’s wallet or pocketbook; that’s a given, right? Well, some people know that there can be thousands of dollars hanging in the balance before the final verdict is handed down in municipal court, but that’s not the subject of today’s discussion. Right now, we are talking about the perilous effects that a DWI or drug DUI charge can have on a person’s job, livelihood and even long-term career prospects.

You see, as Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know that there are a large number of more obvious consequences following a drunk driving or drug DUI conviction. These can and many times do include community service, license suspension, very stiff fines, and jail time. But these immediate and rather palpable consequences aside, most individuals fail to consider the truly devastating effect that a drunken driving or drug DUI conviction can have on one’s life and future happiness. Many people are simply not aware that they can end up with severe and long-lasting problems involving their job and career — not just now, but in the weeks, months and years following a DWI-DUI conviction.

As drunken driving defense experts, we understand why many normally law-biding citizens end up suffering much more serious personal and professional complications after being convicted of a drug DUI or DWI offense. Many first encounter the collateral effects of a conviction when they find that their job may be at stake for what seemed like an innocent lapse in judgment. Keep in mind that actions often do have consequences and, these days, drinking and driving can often trigger serious repercussions at work.
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As Garden State drunk driving attorneys, we understand how even a single DWI or drug DUI conviction can have a ripple effect through a person’s personal and professional life. And while drinking and driving may cause serious consequences for the average commuter, not the least of which is the complication of getting around without the use of a car for months on end, the story can be much worse for a professional driver where the loss of driving privileges can severely affect his or her ability to earn a living.

As experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my legal team is well aware of the thousands of dollars that can be on the line when a motorist is facing a conviction for intoxicated driving, but as we mentioned previously, a professional truck or bus driver who loses his or her commercial driver’s license (or CDL) may be looking at a dim future, certainly in the short run. For individuals like the Essex County man who is currently under investigation for his part in the crash of two double-decker tour buses in Manhattan recently, the threat of losing one’s CDL, and hence one’s livelihood, can be nothing short of catastrophic.

According to the news articles that are popping up on the internet following the much publicized bus collision in Times Square this past Tuesday, the New Jersey man who was piloting one of the vehicles may have been high on some kind of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) at the time of the wreck. Based on reports, while there was no evidence that the bus driver had consumed alcohol prior to the collision, police did take the man into custody after he allegedly failed a field sobriety test at the scene.
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Few people would argue that drunk driving does not present a variety of public safety concerns. But this doesn’t change the oft-repeated scenario of some innocent motorist being arrested for DWI or drug DUI without sufficient evidence. For those individuals who are charged with drunken or drug-impaired operation of a motor vehicle, even with poor or improperly collected evidence there is still a chance that the court may issue a guilty verdict — all the more reason, in fact, to consult with a qualified New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyer attorney before stepping foot into a courtroom or talking with the local prosecuting attorney.

In reality, there are some motorists who do get arrested and subsequently charged with DWI or drug DUI when the facts do not necessarily support the accusations. As Garden State drunken driving defense lawyers, my law firm is dedicated to assisting individuals who believe that they have been unjustly accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Our job, in such cases, is to provide the best possible legal defense.

There is no doubt that those convicted of drunken driving can face stiff monetary fines and other penalties, including jail time, but DWI-DUI offenses are much less acceptable by society in general, the stigma of a drunk driving conviction can have a serious impact on a person’s private life and professional career. In addition to affecting one’s future employment, a DWI or drug DUI can have a negative effect on an individual’s standing in his or her community, as well as causing potential problems with family members, including one’s spouse or in-laws.
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Making the decision to fight DWI or drug DUI charges in the Garden State can be fraught with much anxiety and many questions. As experienced trial lawyers, my colleagues and I have defended hundreds of people over the years against all manner of civil and criminal charges. Every month we meet with dozens of New Jersey motorists who have been accused of intoxicated or drug-impaired driving, with the intent to have those charges reduced or dropped altogether. We know that the trepidation many people feel walking into a courtroom is completely normal, but it should not prevent you from fighting for your rights.

As Bergen County DWI-DUI attorneys, we believe that taking a proactive approach to protecting your legal rights can pay off in the end. My legal team here at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall, is highly regarded throughout the state of New Jersey, not only because of our seasoned and expert defense attorneys, but also because of the results that we obtain year in and year out. When we prepare a client’s defense case, we endeavor to exhaust every avenue while thoroughly investigating the details of the arrest, as well as presenting a comprehensive legal strategy as a challenge to the prosecution’s evidence.

It goes without saying that law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey have a dim view of motorists suspected of DWI or drug DUI. Similarly, our state’s drunk driving laws provide for some very harsh penalties for those drivers who are found guilty of violating the DWI-DUI legal statutes. Quite simply, a motorist is considered to have been driving under the influence in New Jersey if his or her blood-alcohol concentration (or BAC) is 0.08 percent or more. Penalties associated with DWI-DUI are also based on the BAC measurement determined at the time of the arrest.
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As civil and criminal trial lawyers here in the Garden State, a large portion of our caseload is represented by client’s who have been accused of drinking and driving. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a long-standing public safety problem here in New Jersey, which is why a great deal of time and effort is spent by state government, police agencies and our judicial system in the curbing of this admittedly dangerous activity.

Similarly, drug DUI is also viewed as a safety issue on public roadways, and so our state laws include penalties for driving under the influence of hallucinogenic, habit-forming and narcotic substances, typically grouped into what is known as controlled dangerous substances, or CDSs. Marijuana — also referred to as pot, weed, hash or cannabis — is on the prohibited CDS list.

Although New Jersey, the federal government, and most other states still view marijuana as an illicit drug when it comes to recreational use, more and more people are leaning toward the legalization of pot, even beyond the legalized “medicinal” applications that even our state has adopted. Look at the public attitude toward pot in places like Colorado and you will see there is a huge revolution in the making.
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Every day, dozens of drivers all around the Garden State find themselves in the unenviable position of being arrested and later charged with impaired driving. While the safety of our roadways is everyone’s concern, as Monmouth County trial lawyers working in the area of DWI and drug DUI law, we understand how innocent individuals can occasionally be accused of offenses they believe they did not commit. One type of traffic-related offense that happens quite often in our state is that of impaired driving resulting from the use or abuse of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).

Under New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50[a]), motorists can be arrested for operating a car, truck or motorcycle if a police officer believes that the individual is under the influence of a hallucinogenic, narcotic, or habit-producing substance. Unlike drunken driving, which can be quantified by measuring an individual’s blood-alcohol concentration (or BAC), a charge of drug DUI should usually be supported by the opinion of an expert in the field of drugs and medicines that have the ability to cause impairment.

While the requirements affecting a drug DUI arrest have been somewhat relaxed while the topic is being argued on appeal in the New Jersey court system, the issue of who can and should determine a driver’s impairment is all the more important to those facing charges of driving under the influence of an illegal substance, or even a doctor-prescribed medication.
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