Articles Posted in First Offense DWI

Being stopped by a New Jersey State Police officer or local cop for a traffic offense can be unnerving enough for most people without the added concern of being arrested for DWI. As Garden State drunken driving defense lawyers, my firm is all too aware of the emotions that can come to the surface when faced with a summons for driving under the influence. Often frightening, and certainly unsettling, the experience of being taken into custody is only overshadowed by the potential financial impact that a DWI or drug DUI conviction can have on an individual or his family.

The state of New Jersey has long since banned plea bargaining as a common avenue to having a drunk driving charge dismissed or downgraded. Because of this, many people might wonder why they should even consider retaining a DWI attorney at all. First and foremost, an experienced legal expert can look for flaws in the state’s case, which can range from the way the police officer conducted the traffic stop prior to the DWI arrest, to the procedures followed or skipped after the driver submitted to a breathalyzer device in order to determine his or her blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).

When asking why one should hire a lawyer for a DWI or drug DUI defense, it may be more important to ask what the secret to success is when it comes to avoiding a conviction. At the very least, someone accused of driving drunk should contact a qualified professional to determine if fighting a drunk driving summons would be fruitful or if a downgrade is possible. In our experience, identifying any potential issues that may undermine the state’s ability to prove the DWI-DUI offense is a key objective when discussing a defendant’s options going forward.
Continue reading

One often hears how bad things are in New Jersey for those individuals who find themselves in receipt of a summons for drunken driving, breath test refusal or any of a number of impaired driving charges. The fact is that the clock will likely never be turned back to the old days of a nod and a wink; when drunken motorists received a fine and maybe spent the night in jail, but mostly to sober up in order to head to work in the following morning. That was then, but this is now.

Safety advocates and anti-drunk driving groups continue to keep the pressure on federal, state and local governments and police agencies to rein in bad drivers and arrest those who operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs. The Garden State is one of the states with rather stiff penalties for those convicted of driving while intoxicated, but that’s not to say there aren’t others with similarly strict laws and attitudes.

And legal statutes aside, society itself is less and less tolerant of those who drink and drive. But there are instances that cause one to take a step back and consider the issues at play. There was an incident that took place over in the Boston area not long ago, which illustrates that one situation where a high school’s policy regarding underage drinking affected one apparently conscientious teenager in a very negative way.
Continue reading

With all of the focus on illegal immigration over the past decade or so, it is should not be a surprise that part of this debate regarding undocumented aliens leads to discussions of deportation for various crimes committed by individuals who have entered the country under questionable circumstances. While there are various points of view regarding the benefit to this country as a nation built by immigrants, the argument that those who flout our laws blatantly and with criminal intent is a strong one.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I are dedicated to helping those individuals who have been accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs and other controlled dangerous substances (CDSs). My staff has a great deal of experience in trial law, which includes both civil and criminal litigation.

Being charged with a drunken driving offense is serious, not to mention embarrassing and potentially detrimental to one’s personal, professional and public life. There is really no good reason why anyone should walk into a courtroom unprepared to fight for one’s legal rights following a DWI or drug DUI arrest. While there is never any guarantee of a not guilty verdict or dismissal of charges, having a qualified drunk driving attorney by one’s side is a smart choice.
Continue reading

As many drivers know there is nothing so discerning to a motorist as seeing those flashing patrol car lights in one’s rearview mirror. But that sinking feeling of being pulled over by a New Jersey state trooper or local patrolman can be compounded simply because a driver may think he had one too many drinks or if he is on prescription medication from a physician. The important thing to remember is it is never a mistake to consult with a qualified legal professional who understands drunk driving law.

While many people may wonder why a person would need to hire a DWI-DUI attorney, the benefits can outweigh the potential fines, license suspension, and even jail time consequences associated with a drunk driving conviction. Whether a person has been picked up for operating under the influence, driving while impaired by doctor-prescribed medications, or breath test refusal following a DWI arrest, the experienced trial lawyers at the law offices of John F. Marshall can help explain your rights under the law.

When trying to decide whether it is advisable to hire a drunk driving attorney to handle your case, it is best to look at the downside to not having a qualified legal professional at one’s side. Fines and monetary penalties aside, the potential of a license suspension if one loses his or her DWI or drug DUI case is a real and potentially life-disrupting after-effect of a conviction. For individuals who rely heavily on their ability to drive to and from work, school or other important daily activities should truly consider what the loss of driving privileges can mean.
Continue reading

It’s safe to say that most people who have more than a few decades under their belts may have seen and experienced quite a bit in their life so far. That said, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that being arrested by a police officer for anything would be a relatively scary proposition for almost anyone, not the least an average law-abiding citizen. The last thing that anybody wants is to be branded as is a scofflaw, or worse, a criminal.

But being arrested for a DWI or drug DUI is exactly what thousands of Garden State residents experience every year in this state. Having been stopped for a traffic violation can rattle most any motorist, but to find oneself being placed in the back of a patrol car and taken to police headquarters for a breathalyzer test and possible drunken driving charges, well that can be a downright frightening experience.

Not only can a DWI-DUI arrest be unnerving, but having been charged and then facing the serious consequences of a drunk driving conviction the potentially expensive penalties that go along with a guilty verdict can weigh on a person. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I truly understand what the average person is facing when that squad car door slams shut and the ride to police headquarters begins. Maybe you won’t be charged with driving while intoxicated, but many people are and those odds aren’t comforting.
Continue reading

Those arrested for drunken driving here in the Garden State don’t have much to look forward to should a conviction for DWI be the end result. In addition to the hundreds and even thousands of dollars in monetary penalties, such as assessments, fines, insurance premium increases and court fees, the law also requires convicted drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her vehicle for a period specified by the court.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my colleagues have the skills and experience necessary to represent individuals accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, prescription drugs, or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). While many people may not think that they have a chance to avoid a DWI or drug DUI conviction, the fact remains that if you don’t try, you won’t ever know what is or isn’t possible.

When it comes to being found guilty of a drunk driving offense, many of those people who are convicted receive not only harsh monetary penalties but also possible jail time or other punitive measures. One of the increasingly common penalties that individuals find themselves being ordered to follow by the court is the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
Continue reading

For those motorists who have already taken note of the increased number of municipal and state patrol officers plying the Garden State Parkway, highways and surface streets this summer, get ready for more of the same this coming holiday weekend. Police presence on New Jersey roadways this summer, as with most every past year, has been fairly obvious, if only because of the anti-DWI and DUI enforcement that comes with warmer weather and summertime revelers; but Labor Day will be especially active from the standpoint of drunk driving enforcement.

As DWI defense lawyers whose job it is to represent drivers accused of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, refusing a breathalyzer test, or possessing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in their vehicle, the skilled attorneys at my law firm have the legal experience to help defendants get through a DWI case and on with their lives.

During the summer months, as well as various holidays throughout the year, police departments in many New Jersey towns and municipalities step up their drunken driving patrols, as well as conduct random sobriety checkpoints in areas well-known for DWI-related arrests and accidents. As with most of these anti-DWI campaigns, the “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” anti-DWI campaign currently in effect entails increased police patrols (aka “saturation” patrols) and even some DUI roadblocks, all of which will probably net dozens of unsuspecting drivers who may or may not be legally intoxicated.
Continue reading

It is not uncommon for the New Jersey State Police, as well as local and municipal police departments, to carry out some rather heavy anti-drunk driving mobile patrols at various times during the year. If you are from New Jersey or find yourself driving through the Garden State on a fairly regular basis, you likely have noticed this kind of DWI enforcement presence from time to time.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys, we are in a position to provide legal services to those motorists who have been accused of operating their car, truck or motorcycle in violation of state laws pertaining to driving while intoxicated or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Fortunately, here in the Garden State, DWI offenses have yet to be criminalized.
Continue reading

No matter who you are or what your station in life, few if any people have immunity from a drunken driving arrest in this state. The apparent danger of drinking and driving long ago pushed intoxicated operation of an automobile, truck or motorcycle beyond that of a moving violation to one of the most serious traffic offenses in the Garden State.

As experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorneys and skilled trial lawyers, my legal team understands the law as it specifically applies to drunken driving, as well as the penalties associated with a conviction for drunken driving or operating a motor vehicle while impaired by prescription medication or illegal substances (such as marijuana or cocaine). As knowledgeable DWI attorneys, we also understand how the stigma of a drunken driving arrest and/or conviction can impact a person’s life, both public and private.

Frankly, it’s not that uncommon here in New Jersey to read of a sports hero, entertainer, state official or even a police officer who has been slapped with a DWI or DUI charge while driving his or her vehicle on public roads. From time to time we will run across news stories that detail the events leading up to the arrest and conviction of a well-known personality for drinking and driving or being impaired by drugs.
Continue reading

Many of our clients and potential clients express concern about a police officer’s justification for making a drunk driving stop. And rightly so, since portions of both the U.S. Constitution and that of the State of New Jersey have been written with the intent of protecting individuals from, among other things, unreasonable motor vehicle stops. As professional trial attorneys, we are dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights and we know that the law does not allow the police to stop someone, nor subject them to a detention from free movement, unless the police have a legitimate reason for doing so.

When it comes to the reason for making a legitimate traffic stop that may or may not result in a DWI or drug DUI arrest, the law requires that a police office must have an “articulable and reasonable suspicion” that the subject, or driver in this case, has violated some article of the law. The standard that can be applied to this kind of a proper traffic stop may include first-hand observation of a motorist’s driving behavior, or it can be based on information phoned in or otherwise communicated to the police by a third party(s), such as information provided by other law enforcement entities in the way of motor vehicle look-up info, radio transmissions from roving patrols to be on the lookout for a certain vehicle, etc.

Sometimes we are asked if an anonymous tip from another driver or pedestrian is sufficient evidence on which to base a legal traffic stop. In short, an anonymous source can only be used if it is reliable or based on something that can only be established through corroboration of facts. What this means, typically, is that the officer must confirm certain facts alleged by the tipster before effecting the traffic stop. (Note that the only exception to this requirement is where the community caretaker function or a valid roadblock apply.)

With an articulable and reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law has taken place on the roadway, a municipal patrolman or state trooper is then free to make a proper motor vehicle stop. Many times, these incidents may be the result of an observed traffic offense, such as speeding, improper passing, failure to yield at a traffic light, failing to signal a lane change or turn, or any number of other infractions that a police office is able to see happen.

In some cases, a physical problem with the subject’s automobile, truck or motorcycle may result in a routine traffic stop if the problem is in violation of the state’s traffic laws. Inoperative headlamps, taillights, license plate light or signal lamps may trigger a police stop. Similarly, defective vehicle mechanical items that could affect the safety of the occupants of the subject’s vehicle, other motorists and passengers sharing the road, or pedestrians near the roadway on which the subject’s vehicle is traveling may also provide a valid reason for a stop.
Continue reading

Contact Information