Articles Posted in Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Most likely any parent of school-aged children would feel rather uncomfortable having their kids shuttled about by a person who was impaired by alcohol or drugs. The fact of the matter is, because we value our children and the promise they hold for the future, school systems and motor coach companies have strict requirements for anyone who drives young children around. At the same time, as experienced trial attorneys, my colleagues and I believe that anyone who is charged with a crime, civil or criminal, deserves the right to challenge those accusations in a court of law.

Without a doubt, drunken driving is one of the more reviled traffic-related offenses that occur on a regular basis here in the Garden State. As New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyers, our job is to represent defendants who have been accused of an offense such as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of beer, wine, liquor or prescription drugs. Our law offices also take on clients who have been charged with marijuana DUI or possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a car or truck.

We understand all too well how being accused of DWI or drug DUI can ruin one’s standing in his or her community or destroy professional relationships; never mind the loss of one’s career following a possible conviction for drinking and driving or drug-impaired motor vehicle operation. As it stands, those individuals whose job it is to drive a taxi cab, livery sedan, airport shuttle or school bus can suffer greatly once a charge of DWI or DUI has been levied. The potential loss of income following a conviction can be devastating to any professional driver.
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As with many drunk driving scenarios, the beginning of the ordeal for any motorist is usually when he notices a police car behind him with lights on and siren blasting. Unnerving as that initial moment may be for most, for those individuals who may have had a drink or two prior to the police stop the worst is yet to come. Never mind the embarrassment, the fear of being found guilty of drunken driving can result in a very awkward experience on the roadside.

As New Jersey trial lawyers experienced in defending motorists accused of intoxicated driving or drug DUI from taking some kind of prescription medication, we understand the trepidation that most anyone would feel after being called out by a New Jersey State trooper or municipal patrolman. We also know that if a person does not actively seek legal assistance to fight a drunk driving charge, the potential penalties for losing one’s case can be costly.

The skilled attorneys at our Monmouth County law firm are dedicated to providing a vigorous defense on behalf of our clients. In general, when considering whether or not one might retain counsel for a DWI-DUI or breath test refusal charge, it is important to ask a few questions. Top among these would be whether or not a prosecutor can prove you, as the driver, were intoxicated.
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As professional litigators, I and my skilled legal staff here at the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have been practicing law collectively for nearly a century. Because of this extensive experience in and out of the courtroom, I and my team understand New Jersey’s DWI-DUI statutes and we know how the law affects the outcome of drunken driving cases from Passaic and Bergen County to Atlantic, Ocean and Cape May County. When asked, we usually tell prospective clients that fighting a drunk driving charge is usually a wise course of action.

Having represented hundreds of defendants, many of whom have been charged with offenses such as DWI, drug DUI, impaired motor vehicle operation and breath test refusal, we know which cases are going to be tough to win and which may even be thrown out on technicalities. Having a qualified legal professional on your side can not only be reassuring, but it can help you avoid the most severe of DWI penalties should the court rule against you.

One of the more serious charges for a driver who is caught drinking and driving has to do with minor children in the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop. Just as operating a motor vehicle within 1,000 feet of a school zone while drunk, can result in much greater penalties following a possible conviction, having kids with you while DWI-DUI is similarly a bad combination.
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Anyone who needs an example of what not to do when it comes to drinking and driving — despite the obvious of not getting into a motor vehicle if you suspect you have had any amount of alcohol to drink — just take a look at the news article we ran across a short while ago. Incidents like this only serve to punctuate the argument that a drunken driving-related traffic accident can happen at the most inopportune time resulting in consequences that may only be fully realized much later.

As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, I and my colleagues have literally a century of legal experience between us assisting individuals accused of a wide range of offenses, not the least of which is driving while intoxicated. Looking at the news on a daily basis it’s evident that the Garden State has its share of impaired driving incidents every single day of the week.

Whether the charge is driving drunk, impaired operation of a car, truck or motorcycle, or driving under the influence of doctor-prescribed meds or even illicit drugs, this is an area of the law on which one does not want to find him or herself on the wrong side. With potentially harsh sentences and costly fines, fees and statutory assessments, being convicted of a DWI or DUI can be a shock to the average law-abiding citizen. Just consider that simply being accused of impaired or drunken driving can hurt one’s reputation, cause problems with personal relationships and even ruin one’s career.
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There are a myriad of things one shouldn’t do when driving, but operating a motor vehicle while impaired by prescription drugs, beer, wine or hard liquor is definitely at the top of that list. As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys, the DWI lawyers at my firm know all too well that drivers who drink alcohol, or even take doctor-prescribed medication, run a serious risk when getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Aside from the extreme physical dangers, the odds of being arrested for DWI or drug DUI increase with the frequency of driving under the influence.

Of course, the law prohibits a highway patrolman or municipal police officer from stopping a motorist solely on a hunch that the subject is drunk behind the wheel of his or her automobile. Here in the Garden State, a state police officer or city cop must witness a moving violation in order to pull a driver over. What this means is that although a motorist may be intoxicated while driving, until that driver makes an illegal turn, runs a stop sign, exceeds the posted speed limit, or breaks any one of the dozens of other moving violations, a policeman cannot simply stop a car because he thinks that the driver is drunk.

But no one should in any way construe that operating a car, truck or other vehicle while impaired is okay so long as one isn’t caught. As we alluded to previously, there are serious and irreversible consequences to drunk driving, not the least of which is the very great risk of getting into a bad accident. In fact, this is one of the reasons why New Jersey drunken driving laws include harsh penalties for those convicted of DWI and drug DUI.
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There is little that can worry a driver more than being stopped by a city or township police officer or state police trooper after having had a couple drinks prior. The fear of getting a ticket for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by liquor, beer or wine, and even prescription medication can be overwhelming to some. Having to stand up in front of a municipal or county judge to answer for a DWI charge can be humiliating, to say the least. Never mind the financial and social cost.

And this is when nothing else bad has occurred to cause the traffic stop. As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys, I and my staff of qualified DWI lawyers know that being arrested for drunk driving or receiving a DUI summons is no picnic especially if the arrest coincided with a traffic accident, injury to another driver or passenger, or worst of all, an untimely death. The fact is, neither the police nor New Jersey’s court system is even mildly sympathetic to individuals who drive while intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by doctor-prescribed medication.

With hundreds of drunk driving cases passing through New Jersey courts every month, it’s no surprise that many of those will have involved a collision or some other more serious offense. Because of the seriousness of some drunken driving incidents, many states have laws on the books that penalize drivers for committing DWI-related offenses under a variety of circumstances, not the least of which is driving drunk with a minor riding inside the car with that person.
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Here in the Garden State the law defines impairment while operating a motor vehicle as having a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more, though many a motorist has been arrested and charged with drunken driving while having a lower BAC. As legal defense lawyers, our role is to represent those individuals who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs, also known as drug DUI. While not every person is found innocent of charges, it is our right as citizens to have our day in court and face our accusers.

When it comes to establishing hard evidence that a motorist is guilty of drunken driving, state and local police lean heavily on the results provided by devices such as the Alcotest and other breathalyzer-type machines. These devices take a sample of a suspect’s exhaled breath and make a chemical analysis of the molecules contained in that sample. Consuming even a small amount of beer, wine or hard liquor is known to dull an individual’s senses and can decrease driver reaction time behind the wheel. A breathalyzer test, or occasionally an actual blood test, are ways in which police can measure how much alcohol is circulating in a person’s bloodstream.

It goes without saying that anyone who wishes to avoid a DWI charge and possible conviction should never, under any circumstances have a drink before getting behind the wheel of a car, truck or other motor vehicle. If Murphy’s Law has anything to say about it, a driver who imbibes just a little will likely run afoul of the police sooner or later and end up facing a judge while trying to defend himself against charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. A qualified DWI attorney can be helpful during this process.
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You can be sure that state and local police here in the Garden State have next to no tolerance for drunken driving on public roads; and neither does our court system. Besides the potentially embarrassing and career-changing arrest for driving while intoxicated, there is also the probability of being convicted of DWI, which itself has penalties that make this a traffic offense worth avoiding if at all possible.

Another thing that police and others in the judicial system find abhorrent is drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol while a child is riding in the same vehicle. Aside from actually causing an accident while legally intoxicated, having a minor along for the ride is probably up there on the list of things not to do.

While a drunk driving arrest or conviction may ruin a career or set one back in the running for a higher position at work, driving drunk with one’s child, a friend’s kid or some neighbors’ children can result in a parent being ostracized by an entire community. Depending on how forgiving one’s spouse is, a marriage could easily be at stake as well.
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Although it is hardly a stretch to say that a single DWI or drug DUI conviction can change the direction of an individual’s entire life, it’s certainly not unusual for a one-time drunken driving arrest and eventual guilty verdict to greatly impact a person’s career. Aside from the damage that a DWI or DUI conviction can do to someone’s personal relationships or standing in their community, jobs have been lost and careers ruined because of drunk driving.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my firm is dedicated to representing individuals accused of driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle while impaired by prescription drugs (drug DUI), as well as those arrested for possessing marijuana and other drugs in a car, truck or other motor vehicle. It may seem difficult for some people to believe the wide-ranging effect that one or more DWI or DUI convictions can have.

This is especially true for those individuals who have intimate contact with the public, or those with jobs that involve the trust and safety of individuals throughout society; the occupations that come quickly to mind would be police officers, state and local officials, judges, school officials, and even teachers and school bus drivers.

With so many drivers on the road it’s no surprise that drunken driving arrests occur every day all across the Garden State. As a New Jersey DWI defense attorney with offices throughout the state, I’ve dealt with a wide variety of motorists who have been charged with drunken driving or prescription drug DUI. Our Bergen County drunk driving defense lawyers have the experience to handle cases not unlike the ones reported below.


According to news articles, a car was pulled over as part of an early morning traffic stop which looked like a case of CDS possession and possible drug DUI. Officers had apparently noticed that the man’s passenger was not wearing a seat belt just before 4am on a Monday. Based on the police report, the stop occurred at the corner of Jackson Plc. and Rutherford Ave. in Lyndhurst. While interviewing the two occupants, patrolmen observed that the 19-year-old passenger had a quantity of the prescription drug Xanax on his person. Determining that the man did not have a prescription for the medication, police charged him with possession of prescription drugs and failure to wear a seatbelt.

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