Many people incorrectly believe that a DWI charge is merely akin to a traffic offense and that they do not need to hire an attorney or retain knowledgeable counsel. The consequences of retaining an inexperienced lawyer were illustrated in a recent New Jersey DWI appeal, in which the defendant was found guilty of DWI and other charges, and his subsequent appeal arguing that his conviction was caused by the ineffectiveness of his attorney was dismissed on procedural grounds. If you are charged with a DWI offense in New Jersey, you should meet with a skilled New Jersey DWI defense attorney to analyze your possible defenses.
Facts and Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the defendant was stopped by a police officer in October 2017 while he was driving in Hackensack, New Jersey. Following the stop, he was charged with driving with an open container of alcohol, reckless driving, and driving while intoxicated. A trial was scheduled for January 2018. Prior to trial, the defendant’s attorney informed the court that he intended to file a motion to suppress, arguing that the police did not have probable cause to stop the defendant prior to conducting the investigation that led to the defendant’s arrest.
Allegedly, however, the defendant’s attorney did not provide the judge with a copy of the motion. The judge allowed the defendant’s attorney to orally present the motion but ultimately denied it. The trial was continued to April 2018, and following the trial, the defendant was convicted of DWI and sentenced as a second-time offender. He then appealed, arguing his trial counsel was ineffective. The State moved to dismiss his claims arguing they should be raised in a petition for post-conviction relief. The court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal, after which he appealed to the appellate court. Continue reading