Articles Posted in Essex County DWI Defense

Anyone who has been arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will understand that it is not something one ever looks forward to. However, with the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney — one skilled in New Jersey drunk driving law and experienced in representing individuals in a courtroom — the most harrowing part of being the defendant in a DWI case may be alleviated to some extent.

At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our legal team offers decades of collective DWI, drug DUI, and criminal defense experience. Whether one is charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol, impaired by prescription meds or illegal drugs, breath test refusal or any number of drunk driving-related offenses, our lawyers are ready to help.

One thing that most drivers don’t necessarily understand is that BWI, otherwise referred to as “boating under the influence” or BUI, carries with it similar penalties to the automotive equivalent, DUI or DWI. Our familiarity with New Jersey DUI/DWI law allows us to represent both drivers and boaters who have been accused of operating their vehicles while allegedly intoxicated by alcohol, doctor-prescribed medications or illicit drugs (sometimes called controlled dangerous substances, or CDS).
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This being the Garden State it is not unusual to read about dozens of drunk driving arrests and drug-related DUI cases emanating any particular portion of the state. Certainly, Essex County is only one of a dozen or so jurisdictions that see concentrations of heavy DWI patrols and roadside sobriety checkpoint activities from time to time. As skilled DWI-DUI defense lawyers, the attorneys are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are familiar with the potential volume of drunken driving cases moving through our state’s court system every month.

When considering cause and effect, it can be stated with a fair amount of certainty that an increase in anti-DWI and drug-DUI enforcement can have a direct impact on the number of drunken driving arrests in any one area, and as a result, more drunken driving cases in municipal courtrooms throughout these areas. We take no joy in the increased incidence of drunken driving, regardless of the reasons, but we are aware that a percentage of DWI arrests are based on weak or insufficient evidence.

In towns and cities all around New Jersey, the summertime driving season brings with it the promise of increased drunk driving patrols and other traffic safety enforcement efforts. Being DWI defense attorneys, I and my staff of experienced DWI lawyers fully understand how some drunk driving arrests may either be unwarranted or faulty in some way, shape or form. This is why we also recommend that any driver accused of DWI or drug DUI should, at the very least, consult a qualified DWI lawyer to better understand his or her options going forward.
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As DWI attorneys representing New Jersey motorists and other individuals charged with one of many drunk driving or drug DUI offenses, my legal team has decades of collective courtroom experience defending drivers accused of driving a car, truck or motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).

Although we defend people who have been hit with a drunken or impaired driving summons, as motorists ourselves we are generally happy to know that state and local law enforcement officers work hard each day to maintain safety on Garden State roadways. However, though we commend the hard work of the law enforcement community for keeping our cities, towns and local communities safe from criminals and other more dangerous individuals, we do reserve the right to challenge the actions of some police officers and state troopers.

As a former municipal prosecuting attorney myself, I understand the extreme pressure that policemen find themselves under from one day to the next. So we are never truly surprised when we see, from time to time, the results of unjustified or groundless drunken driving arrests. From our extensive experience, I and my experienced team of DWI-DUI defense lawyers understand that a certain percentage of drunk driving arrests do not result in a DWI conviction. That’s a fact.
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How many times have you seen a driver ahead of you in traffic with a burned-out taillight? While it may seem insignificant to some, a simple $10 light bulb could cause big trouble down the road. Never mind the accident potential of a non-working brake lamp or a faulty turn signal, just consider the cost of a defective equipment ticket. Oh, you say, a couple hundred bucks or so, I’m too busy. And, really, what are the odds? Well, in our experience, the odds are pretty good that something may happen before that bulb gets replaced.

But what if a driver, who happens to have avoided fixing that turn signal or brake light bulb, finds out the hard way that he just maybe had a little too much to drink with his buddies at the bar? That burned-out bulb is now one big red flag for a municipal patrolman or state trooper. Unfortunately, by the time this scenario plays out, the cost of that little bulb may have gone up quite a bit depending on the circumstances. In any case, it’s safe to that driver will be into the state for more than the $10 or $20 it would have cost to fix that light in the first place.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys, we understand that human nature can get in the way of doing the right thing from time to time. We’ve represented numerous drivers over the years who may have indulged themselves a bit too much when they should have eased off. It’s difficult to know exactly how much alcohol is in one’s bloodstream or whether a person has consumed enough food at lunch or dinner offset the wine he or she drank.
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As long as DWI checkpoints and sobriety roadblocks have been used in this state there have been detractors who ask if the cost in equipment, manpower and officer overtime is really worth the effort of bringing in a handful of alleged drunken drivers from time to time. Here in the Garden State, the random operation of sobriety checkpoints certainly has given more than one driver pause to get behind the wheel of his or her car following an evening with friends at a restaurant, bar or private residence.

As long-time DWI defense attorneys, I and my team of experienced trial lawyers have dedicated ourselves to helping those motorists who believe that they did not deserve being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One of the many ways in which New Jersey drivers end up in front of a municipal or county judge is when they are arrested for DWI or drug DUI at one of the numerous drunk driving roadblocks that go up on weekends and during various national holidays.

Although law enforcement agencies throughout the state have it in their authority to set up sobriety roadblocks, there are limitations and rules that must be followed. For example, the police are required by law to place a public announcement (stating when and where) prior to the erection of any sobriety or DWI checkpoint. Furthermore, the placement of these roadblocks must be in an area that has a history of prior DWI activity; in other words, they cannot be placed anywhere the police authorities choose.
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Back in what some of us might call the good ol’ days, having an out-of-date license plate tag or being tardy in making an auto insurance payment was a secret that could mostly be kept to oneself, at least until a driver broke a traffic law right in front of a cop. But that’s hardly the case anymore. These days, the information age can quickly catch up to those procrastinating motorists and other drivers for whom the calendar is merely a seasonal guidepost. For those who might not worry so much about driving their vehicle while possibly intoxicated, whether they know it or not, Big Brother is watching.

As we’ve explained in the past, New Jersey state law defines when it is legal for a police officer to stop a motorist on the roadway, after which a drunk driving summons may be forthcoming depending on the officer’s suspicions and observations of the driver. But having a hunch that a motorist may be inebriated behind the wheel of his or her vehicle is not sufficient legal grounds in the Garden State for a patrolman to stop a vehicle. Acting on the suspicion that an individual is impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs (drug DUI) should only come into play following a legitimate traffic stop.

But what does it take to cause a municipal policeman or a New Jersey state trooper to decide that a driver is in violation of one or more traffic laws? Simple observation can result in a routine police stop if the officer in charge sees an obvious violation, such as an illegal U-turn, failure to yield at a stop sign, even cutting through a parking lot to avoid waiting at an intersection. These and many other scenarios are all typical ways in which New Jersey drivers are constantly getting into hot water with the police.
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several decades you probably know almost intuitively that municipal patrolmen, as well as our New Jersey state troopers, all have a very keen eye for potentially impaired motorists. Making one’s way onto public roads in any condition other than fully sober can be a risky proposition not only in terms of safety to you, your passengers, and others on the road as well, but also financially.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, I and my staff of skilled legal professionals have for many years been protecting the rights of individuals accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs (drug DUI). My legal team understands drunk driving law and the potential fines associated with a conviction for any number of alcohol-related offenses.

Another thing that we know from our decades of collective courtroom experience is that law enforcement officers and the prosecutors who handle drunk driving cases tend to have a singular goal of catching, convicting and punishing motorists who get behind the wheel of a car or truck while intoxicated. Whether it’s alcohol, doctor-prescribed medication, or illegal substances, the law has strict rules for dealing with offenders.
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With one of the most densely populated states in the Union, New Jersey sees more than its fair share of drunken driving, drug DUI and underage DWI arrests every week. Most of the people who are stopped by a state patrolman, municipal cop or county police officer are understandably nervous over the episode, especially if it is their first traffic stop or if they are accused of driving while intoxicated. One thing that anyone caught in this type of a scenario is not to give up hope and remember that it is not a foregone conclusion that a DWI charge will automatically result in a drunk driving conviction and related penalties.

When choosing any attorney to help you defend yourself against a charge of driving under the influence, it is important to keep in mind that dozens of people face similar charges every week in this state. At the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our experienced trial lawyers know DWI law and understand how state or local prosecutors approach these types of traffic offenses.

If there is one thing very common to those individuals accused of drunken driving, it would be the doubt as to whether or not it is worth the time, effort and cost of fighting a DWI summons, drug DUI charge, breath test refusal accusation or other alcohol or drug-related traffic offense. To this we must say, that there are numerous good reasons to take your case to court.
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Over the many years that my legal firm has been helping motorists accused of drunken driving, I and my associates have been asked more than a few times, “Why do I need a DWI lawyer when I step into a courtroom on a charge of driving while intoxicated?” The simple answer would be, “Because you owe it to yourself to be fully prepared to face the prosecution, which will do its best to prove you guilty of DWI or drug DUI.” But this is only one basic reason.

It’s not a secret that drivers in the Garden State face a tough situation when they are stopped on the highway after having a drink or two. It’s a mistake to assume that heavy drinkers and so-called “party animals” are the only people to be arrested for drunken driving by state or local police. For many, a simple drive home after dinner with friends can sometimes lead to a traffic stop, possibly for some basic moving violation, only to escalate into a full-blown DWI arrest and a trip to police headquarters.

As drunk driving defense attorneys, I and my team of experienced trial lawyers are fully up to the task of representing individuals who have been accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor, beer, or doctor-prescribed medication. We know how scary a drunk driving arrest can be for normally law-abiding citizens. But the truly frightening thing about being arrested is that a conviction can result in serious and expensive consequences.
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There’s a lot to be said about being in the right spot at the right time; for some people it can mean a job promotion or recognition from the community. For others, however, it can mean a trip to police headquarters. What do we mean by this? Just to let you know that if you find yourself driving through Essex County in the vicinity of Bloomfield, NJ, make certain that you haven’t been drinking or taking prescription medication that might cause you to be impaired behind the wheel of your car.

Frankly, it’s hard not to find a place in the Garden State that doesn’t have at least several drunken driving arrested every week or so. We mention this because another police officer has been awarded for his work in stopping traffic violators and arresting drunk drivers and those who may be impaired by doctor-prescribed meds or even illicit drugs like cocaine, meth or marijuana. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, we know how easily a person can find themselves on the receiving end of a drunken driving summons.

According to news reports, a Bloomfield, NJ, patrolman was recognized as this past year’s top cop for issuing drunken driving and drug DUI summonses and citations in the county of Essex. Based on news reports, Officer Luca Piscitelli, who works on the Bloomfield police force, was recognized by a local Garden State organization earlier this year for his efforts in curbing drunk driving in Essex County. The group who bestowed the award on Officer Piscitelli is known as “New Jersey Remembers,” and was formed to honor those who have been killed by drunk drivers.
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