Articles Posted in DWI Appeal

DUI-related crashes are often more likely to be fatal than other accidents, and people that cause deadly DUI collisions may face significant charges and penalties. As with any other crime, however, the prosecution must prove each element of the charges the defendant faces, and if any evidence used to support the State’s case was obtained unlawfully, it might be precluded. Recently, a New Jersey court issued an opinion addressing the grounds for precluding a blood test result in a case where the defendant argued that his arrest was unlawful and his blood sample was not given freely. If you are charged with a DWI offense, it is critical to speak to a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer promptly to discuss your possible defenses.

The Defendant’s Crime

It is reported that the defendant was involved in a collision on a New Jersey morning in August 2014. A car that the defendant struck spun off the road and caught fire. One of the individuals in the car died due to his injuries, and the others were critically wounded. The defendant was taken to a hospital where his blood was drawn. The results of the test indicated he was under the influence of several illicit drugs. He was ultimately charged with and convicted of numerous crimes, including vehicular homicide and assault by auto while under the influence of an intoxicating narcotic. He appealed, arguing in part that this arrest was unlawful and he did not voluntarily submit to a blood test, and therefore, his test results should have been precluded.

Grounds for Precluding a Blood Test

On appeal, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that his blood test was not voluntary because he was advised by the police that it was required, noting that the evidence made it clear that his consent was willingly and intelligently provided. Further, the court noted that while it was undisputed that the defendant was not advised he was under arrest before he consented to a blood draw, the defendant argued he was subject to a de facto arrest and, therefore, his consent was unlawful. Continue reading

Typically, people who decide to enter a guilty plea to DWI charges are represented by counsel who has fully explained their rights as criminal defendants and the implications of entering such a plea. However, regardless of whether someone enters a plea with or without the presence of an attorney, the court is required to provide a defendant with a colloquy to ensure they fully understand the consequences of pleading guilty. If a proper colloquy is not provided, it may constitute grounds for post-conviction relief. As explained in a recent New Jersey opinion, though, a request for post-conviction relief must be timely; otherwise, it may be denied. If you are charged with a DWI crime, it is smart to speak to a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer to determine your rights.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was arrested for a first offense DWI in 2010. He was represented by counsel during his plea hearing and entered a guilty plea. He specifically admitted that he drove under the influence of alcohol and did not object to the admission of a report regarding his blood alcohol level into evidence. He stated he understood the evidence was more than adequate to support his conviction, and that is why he decided to plead guilty. Further, he advised the judge that he entered his plea voluntarily and freely.

It is reported that he was sentenced to the minimum fines and penalties, and his license was revoked for seven months. In June 2019, the defendant filed a petition for post-conviction relief, arguing he was not provided a proper colloquy. The trial court denied his petition, finding that the colloquy was adequate, and the defendant appealed. Continue reading

In some cases in which a defendant is charged with a DWI crime, it makes sense to enter a guilty plea. A defendant must weigh the evidence possessed by the State and the potential penalties he or she may face prior to making the decision to admit to guilt, though, as in many cases, the decision cannot be reversed. This was illustrated in a recent New Jersey opinion in which the court assessed a defendant’s petition for post-conviction relief in a DWI case, arising out of the trial court’s refusal to allow him to reverse his guilty plea to a drug DWI offense. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated, it is advisable to speak to a dedicated New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your rights.

The Defendant’s Trial

It is alleged that the defendant was driving his car when it slid off the road. The police responded to the scene of the accident, after which the defendant admitted to drinking liquid PCP prior to operating the vehicle. He was charged with a DWI crime, which was his second DWI offense, and other crimes. At his plea hearing, the defendant clearly acknowledged that pleading guilty as charged could result in the loss of his license for up to two years and monetary fines.

It is reported that the defendant nonetheless entered a guilty plea. At his sentencing hearing, however, he informally sought to withdraw his plea, stating that a two-year license suspension would be devastating. The court denied his request and imposed monetary penalties and a two-year license suspension on the defendant. He then filed a motion for post-conviction relief. The court denied his motion without a hearing, and he appealed. Continue reading

In a New Jersey DWI case, the State must prove in municipal court beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the charged offenses. A defendant that is convicted despite insufficient evidence has the right to appeal to the law division. The law division must abide by certain requirements on review, and if it does not, its decision may be overruled as well. In a recent opinion, a New Jersey court discussed the law division’s obligations in evaluating a DWI defendant’s appeal in a case in which the defendant argued the State’s evidence was inadequate to prove his guilt.  If you are charged with a DWI offense in New Jersey, it is critical to understand your rights, and you should meet with a seasoned New Jersey DWI defense attorney as soon as possible.

Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. He appealed to the law division, and his conviction was affirmed. The case then went through numerous rounds of appeals and remands, each of which resulted in rulings affirming his conviction. He appealed his conviction to the Superior Court a third time, arguing in part that the law division erred in applying an appellate standard instead of conducting the de novo analysis which was required by law. The court agreed and once again remanded the matter to the law division for review.

Standard of Review on DWI Appeals

Under New Jersey law, when a defendant appeals from a conviction in a municipal court, the law division must defer to the municipal court’s credibility findings but must otherwise develop its own conclusions of law and findings of fact. In other words, the law division is required to review the evidence anew, or de novo, based on the record developed in the municipal court while giving due regard to the ability of the municipal court judge to assess the credibility of the witnesses. Continue reading

Typically, when the police suspect a person is guilty of driving while intoxicated, they will request that the person provide a breath sample. As New Jersey’s implied consent laws require drivers to submit to a breath test, the failure to do so may result in a refusal charge in addition to other DWI offenses. Recently, a New Jersey court clarified the State’s burden of proof in cases involving refusal, in an opinion in which the defendant argued there was insufficient evidence to uphold her conviction. If you live in New Jersey and are accused of refusing to submit to a breath test or another DWI related crime, it is advisable to talk to a New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding what evidence the State must produce to convict you.

History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was involved in an accident on an evening in September 2017. Specifically, she drove her car into the side of another car that was stopped at a red light. A police officer investigating the accident spoke with the defendant and noticed that her speech was slurred and her eyes were glassy. She appeared confused as well but denied that she consumed alcohol or took any medication.

Allegedly, per the officer’s request, the defendant performed field sobriety tests, but she was unable to complete them. The officer then arrested the defendant for DWI and transported her to the police station. Once at the station, the defendant refused to submit to a breath test. She was subsequently charged with DWI, reckless driving, and refusal to submit to a breath test. She was convicted of refusal and careless driving, after which she appealed, arguing there was insufficient evidence to uphold her refusal conviction. Continue reading

In New Jersey, when a person is suspected of DWI, the police must obtain either a warrant or the person’s permission prior to obtaining a blood sample. In certain instances, however, the police may obtain a blood sample absent consent or the authority to do so from a judge. The circumstances under which a warrantless blood draw may be conducted were recently discussed in a New Jersey appeal in which the defendant was convicted of aggravated manslaughter. If you are a New Jersey resident currently charged with a DWI crime, it is wise to speak to a New Jersey DWI defense attorney about the rights you are afforded under the law.

History of the Case

It is reported that a police officer responded to the scene of an accident where he learned that two young girls who were walking down the side of a road were struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant. When the officer spoke with the defendant, he appeared to be impaired, in that he smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. He was asked to submit to field sobriety tests, which he failed. The officer then noticed that the defendant’s right hand was injured and transported the defendant to the hospital for medical care.

Allegedly, while the defendant was at the hospital, a blood draw was conducted that revealed the presence of prescription anxiety and pain pills and a BAC of 0.183%. The officer involved was not trained in administering a breath test. The two girls involved in the accident died, and the defendant was charged with aggravated manslaughter. The defendant filed a motion to suppress the results of his blood test, which was denied. He then pled guilty, and following his sentencing, appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion. Continue reading

Under New Jersey law, a person charged with DWI has the right to a fair and impartial trial. Thus, if it is clear that a trial judge is biased or otherwise engages in misconduct that is prejudicial to the defendant, it may constitute grounds for a new trial or re-sentencing. In some instances, though, even if a trial judge behaved inappropriately, it may not mean that a conviction or sentence should be vacated, as demonstrated in a recent New Jersey DWI opinion. If you live in New Jersey and are faced with charges that you drove while intoxicated, it is in your best interest to confer with a dedicated New Jersey DWI defense attorney to determine what defenses may be available in your case.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was stopped by a police officer for swerving in and out of multiple lanes of traffic. When the officer spoke with the defendant, he noticed his car smelled of alcohol, and the defendant had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. The defendant submitted to field sobriety tests, which he performed improperly. He was then charged with DWI, and a breath test revealed his BAC to be .13%. The defendant was convicted in the municipal court, after which he appealed.

Allegedly, on appeal, the law division judge confirmed the defendant’s convictions but found that the license suspension imposed was improper as the municipal judge considered the defendant’s lack of credibility in determining an appropriate length. Thus, the length of the defendant’s license suspension sentence was reduced, and the sentence was stayed. The defendant appealed again, arguing his conviction and sentence should be vacated due to the municipal judge’s misconduct. Continue reading

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 opinion 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

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 action 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 opinion 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

Contact Information