Articles Posted in DWI Defenses

While most DWI charges arise out of traffic stops effectuated due to a traffic violation, under New Jersey law, a person may be charged with a DWI even if they are not actually observed driving a vehicle. Instead, the State must prove that a defendant charged with a DWI was operating a vehicle at the time of his or her arrest. As demonstrated in a recent case in which the defendant was convicted of a DWI despite the fact that he was sleeping in his car prior to his arrest, operation is broadly defined and is not limited to driving. If you are charged with a DWI offense, it is advisable to consult a trusted New Jersey DWI defense attorney to examine the evidence that the State may try to introduce to prove your guilt.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, a police officer noticed a truck parked in a restaurant parking lot early in the morning. The restaurant was not open at the time, and there were no other cars in the lot. The officer approached the truck, which was running, and observed the defendant sleeping in the driver’s seat, with an empty beer can in the center console. Upon questioning by the officer, the defendant, who smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech, stated that he had consumed a few beers at a casino in Atlantic City and then dropped off a friend.

The defendant failed a field sobriety test, after which he was arrested and transported to the police station. A breath test conducted at the police station revealed the defendant’s blood alcohol level to be .17%. The defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. The defendant then appealed, averring that there was insufficient evidence to show that he was operating his truck while he was impaired by alcohol. Continue reading

Simply because a person is convicted of DWI does not mean that the person has no options for seeking relief from the conviction. Rather, under New Jersey law, if a criminal defendant produces sufficient evidence that his or her conviction should be vacated, the person may be eligible for post-conviction relief. In a recent New Jersey DWI case, the court explained the standard for granting post-conviction relief in DWI cases and when a request for such relief must be filed. If you are charged with a DWI and have prior DWI convictions, it is important to speak with a seasoned New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding your options.

Factual and Procedural Background of the Case

Allegedly, in 2018, when the defendant was charged with DWI, she sought post-conviction relief for a 1980 DWI conviction. In her petition for relief, the defendant verified that she was not represented by counsel when she pled guilty for the prior offense and that she had not been informed of her right to counsel. She also requested relief from an enhanced custodial term. The trial court denied the defendant’s petition, after which she appealed. During the pendency of the appeal, the Supreme Court of New Jersey clarified the grounds for granting post-conviction relief from an enhanced custodial sentence for a subsequent DWI conviction.

Standard for Granting Post Conviction Relief in a DWI Case

On appeal, the court noted that the trial court denied the defendant’s petition, in part, because it was filed beyond the five-year time limitation set forth under the current law. The trial court also held that the plaintiff had not established a prima facie case that she was entitled to relief. Continue reading

Many people assume that they cannot be convicted of a DWI in New Jersey if they are not stopped by a police officer while driving under the influence of alcohol. However, this is inaccurate as shown in a recent case decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, in which the court held that circumstantial evidence that the defendant had been driving his vehicle while intoxicated was sufficient to support a DWI conviction. If you live in New Jersey and are faced with a DWI charge, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss the state’s burden of proof and your potential defenses.

Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that the police were called to the parking lot of a convenience store around 8:00 am to check on the defendant, who was either unconscious or asleep in a parked minivan. When the officer who responded to the call approached the minivan, the defendant was in the driver’s seat, and the engine was running. The officer tapped on the defendant’s window numerous times before he woke up. When the officer spoke with the defendant, he noted the defendant was mumbling and was difficult to understand, and had an odor of alcohol.

Allegedly, the defendant submitted to field sobriety tests, which he failed, after which the defendant was arrested and charged with DWI. Subsequent chemical testing revealed the defendant’s BAC to be 0.16%. At the defendant’s trial, he stipulated to the facts regarding his intoxication but denied that he was operating the minivan at the time of his arrest. The defendant was found guilty of DWI, after which he appealed, arguing that the State failed to prove he was operating the minivan while he was intoxicated. Continue reading

If a person is charged with a DWI crime in New Jersey, the State must prove each element of the alleged offense to obtain a conviction. In other words, the State must not only prove that the defendant was impaired due to the ingestion of alcohol, but also that the defendant was operating a vehicle while he or she was impaired. Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence of the operation of a vehicle to obtain a DWI conviction. If you reside in New Jersey and are currently charged with a DWI crime, it is advisable to meet with a capable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss what evidence the State may introduce against you.

Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that the police were called to check on a suspicious vehicle parked in a residential area. Upon arriving on the scene, the police observed the defendant was asleep in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The police woke the defendant up and questioned him regarding where he was that evening. The defendant stated that he was at a birthday party for his brother and became tired on the way home, so he pulled over and fell asleep. The defendant admitted to consuming one glass of wine.

Allegedly, the defendant submitted to field sobriety testing, which he failed. He was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station, where he was given a breathalyzer test. The test showed that the defendant’s BAC was 0.08%. The defendant was charged with and convicted of DWI. He appealed, arguing in part that the trial court committed an error in finding beyond a reasonable doubt that he operated his vehicle while intoxicated. Continue reading

DWI defendants have numerous rights under the law, including the right to a speedy trial. In other words, criminal defendants have a right to be tried within a certain amount of time from when the charges against them are filed, and if they are not, the charges may be dismissed. Recently, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey discussed the factors weighed in determining whether a violation of a defendant’s right to a speedy trial has occurred in a DWI case. If you are a New Jersey resident charged with DWI, it is prudent to meet with a skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with DWI in November, 2013. There were numerous appearances scheduled and adjourned or continued. The trial was ultimately scheduled for May, 2015. At the time of the trial, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss based on the grounds the State violated his right to a speedy trial. The court denied the motion, and the defendant entered a conditional guilty plea, after which he was sentenced. The defendant then appealed the court’s denial of his motion to the law division, which affirmed the trial court ruling. Subsequently, the defendant appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed the prior order.

The Right to a Speedy Trial Under New Jersey Law

Under New Jersey law, to evaluate whether a defendant’s right to a speedy trial has been violated, the court will assess the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the prejudice the delay caused the defendant and the defendant’s assertion of the right to a trial. Continue reading

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you may be facing strict and debilitating penalties. Our New Jersey DWI lawyers understand the state’s criminal defense laws and we know first hand that experience counts. Having handled and resolved countless DWI cases, we know how to provide clients with a full legal defense in an effort to mitigate adverse consequences.. Acting quickly after being charged is imperative in these cases, so please do not wait to call our office.

Despite countless awareness campaigns surrounding the dangers of drunk driving, it continues to be a major problem. A new study published by the American Addiction Centers revealed some alarming trends about drinking and driving habits in the US. The report surveyed 600 Americans. When examining the number of times individuals had driven after drinking in the preceding 30 days, the survey found that 23.2 percent of people admitted to driving after drinking at least 1-2 times and 21.7 percent of respondents admitted to drinking and driving over 6 times. Shockingly, 36 percent admitted to driving while blackout drunk while almost 50 percent admitted to being passengers of a drunk driver. In addition, 53.5 percent of survey respondents said they feel capable of driving after drinking as opposed to 46.5 percent who said they do not.

Just because drunk driving is a major problem in the country does not mean everyone charged with the offense is guilty. New Jersey law makes it a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher if you are 21 years of age or older. The legal limit is lower for individuals under 21 as well as for commercial drivers. If you have been charged with a DWI, one of the following defenses may be applicable in your case:

Any person charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey is undoubtedly facing a stressful ordeal that can have potentially life-changing consequences. If you have been arrested or charged with a DWI, you need to consult a dependable New Jersey DWI lawyer immediately. A DWI is an extremely serious offense that can result in significant penalties and other negative consequences, especially if you are convicted.

A new study by Zendrive, a driving behavior analytics company, found that phone addicts are extremely dangerous behind the wheel, replacing drunk drivers as the ultimate threat on public roads. In fact, drivers nationally are 10 percent more distracted now than they were in 2018, according to the study. In addition, pedestrian deaths are at a 30-year-high, mainly because of distracted driving. The data revealed that individuals who cannot put their phone down actually get behind the wheel more. Specifically, they spend 150% more time on the road and drive 760% more miles than the average US driver. Essentially, it is virtually impossible to avoid distracted drivers on the road. While midnight to 3 a.m. is the known window to watch out for drunk drivers, phone addicts on the road are significantly impaired 24-7.

While distracted driving may be a bigger problem than drunk driving on the roads, drunk driving is still a major problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,874 deaths in motor vehicle crashes involving drunk drivers in 2017. This totalled 29 percent of all traffic fatalities for that year. In New Jersey, a driver is considered to be alcohol-impaired when his or her blood alcohol concentration is .08 grams per deciliter or higher. A driver can also be charged with a DWI if he or she is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. Any drugs, whether they are prescription, over-the-counter or illegal, can form the basis of a New Jersey DWI if they are thought to have diminished a person’s ability to drive safely.

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If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) either because of drugs or alcohol, you need to contact a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer as soon as you can. Whether it is your first offense or you have had prior convictions, we can help. We know the stakes are high, which is why we are committed to vigorously defending the rights of our clients from the moment we are hired.

Hoboken Police charged a New York man and a Jersey City woman with DWIs in separate incidents on St. Patrick’s Day. The 34-year-old man was pulled over when a police officer saw him speeding. When the police officer approached the man’s vehicle, there was an odor of alcohol emanating from the window. The man refused to do a breath test and failed field sobriety test.

That same day, a 25-year-old woman was charged with a DWI after her Jeep was involved in an accident with another car. The officers in that case said they could smell alcohol on the woman’s breath and also saw a cup that they believe contained alcohol inside the vehicle. Officers described the woman as being slow, dazed and confused. She failed a field sobriety test and her blood alcohol content (BAC) was determined to be over the legal limit once she provided a breath sample at the police station.

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Whether it a minor accident or one more serious, a motorist has an obligation to remain at the scene of the accident or they may open themself up to “hit and run” liability. This liability can be significantly more serious if the fleeing driver was intoxicated. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, whether you left the scene or not, we can help. Our New Jersey DWI attorneys will vigorously advocate for your rights and try to get you the best possible results in your case.

An off-duty New Jersey state trooper helped nab a drunk driver trying to escape the scene of an accident on foot. Law enforcement said the 44-year-old driver was drunk when his car sideswiped a van. The individuals in the van were not injured. Immediately after the crash and without warning, the driver ran from the scene. At that time, the off-duty trooper who had witnessed the accident got out of his own vehicle and chased the impaired driver, catching the driver and holding him until police arrived.

Fleeing the Scene of an Accident While Under the Influence

Under New Jersey law, if you are involved in a wreck, you are required by law to remain at the scene of any accident where there is property damage, injury or death until you have exchanged identifying information with the other parties involved in the accident. In addition, if injury, death or more than $500 worth of property damage occurs as a result of an accident – an official police report must be filed.

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Being charged with driving under the influence is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you need to get in touch with an experienced New Jersey DWI advocate who can help. We are committed to providing quality legal representation to each and every client. Our goal is to vigorously defend your case so that your charges are reduced or even dropped. Time is of the essence in these cases so it is imperative to act as soon as possible after being charged or arrested.

The SafeWise Study

A study, conducted by security website SafeWise, found that the state with the highest rate of drunk driving deaths in the country is Wyoming, with 7.59 deaths per 100,000 residents, followed by South Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico and Alabama. The state with the lowest rate of drunk driving deaths is New Jersey, with 1.39 per 100,000 residents. New York, Minnesota, Utah and Massachusetts are also among the states with the fewest drunk driving deaths in the nation. The report used statistics from the National Highway Safety Administration to come up with its findings.

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