Articles Posted in Middlesex County DWI Defense

Being drunk and acting drunk can be two different things. As New Jersey trial lawyers and specialists in defending motorists accused of driving while intoxicated, I and my staff of experienced attorneys understand the law and how it may apply to individuals who have been charged with DWI or drug DUI. One thing that is quite often used against individuals who are charged with a DWI-DUI offense is the observations of the arresting police officer regarding the suspect’s physical appearance or actions. Again, this entails a judgment based on whether or not a driver looks or acts inebriated.

The fact is, there can often times by an innocent explanation for the oft-cited symptoms of intoxication, and these can sometimes be pointed to as counter arguments against the prosecution’s evidence pertaining to the arresting officer’s claim that he observed certain “objective” symptoms of intoxication in the drunk driving suspect.

What police officers quite often list as telltale signs of drunkenness can include bloodshot and/or watery eyes, a certain degree of slurred speech, a flushed appearance to the motorist’s face, and even a so-called unsteady gait when walking outside of his or her car. But it should be remembered that there are, in fact, non-alcohol-related causes for many of these so-called objective observations.
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The skilled attorneys at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall have successfully defended motorists arrested for and charged with drunk driving, drug DUI, breath test refusal and other alcohol and prescription drug-related offenses in Monmouth, Sussex, Middlesex and Union counties. Our commitment to our clients is demonstrated by the aggressive and vigorous defense; and our legal staff is knowledgeable in all aspects of New Jersey DWI law, criminal statutes and offenses involving drug DUI and possession in a motor vehicle.

As Garden State DWI-DUI defense lawyers, we understand how frightening a drunk driving arrest can be to the average person; if only because most drivers who are charged with a first-time offense for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol are likely law-abiding individuals with families and good standing in their community.

Unfortunately, law enforcement personnel are usually more interested in whether a crime or civil offense has been committed and less about the background of the alleged offender; that is something for a judge to consider when the case comes to trial. As attorneys, we endeavor to pursue the facts and present our client’s case in the best possible light, while working to call into question the prosecution’s arguments and evidence that is being used against the defendant.
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Nobody ever said that being arrested and charged with a DWI was going to be a pleasant experience. For most people, getting a drunk driving summons or being held in jail overnight to “dry out” can not only be an embarrassing experience, but it can also be rather frightening. This is especially true when one begins to consider the repercussions of such an encounter with the possibility of a conviction and any associated penalties; those fines, fees and statutory assessments can run in the thousands of dollars, which makes a drunken driving arrest potentially costly from a financial standpoint as well.

For the record, the state of New Jersey has for some time banned the legal practice of plea bargaining for those defendants who are facing charges of driving while intoxicated. This is generally the case, unless there is some serious legal issue at stake or if there is a major flaw in the prosecution’s case. Barring a genuine legal issue, judges are barred from entertaining any thought of a dismissal or even the downgrading of a drunk driving charge.

As professional DWI defense attorneys, we know that the secret to success in avoiding a conviction (or in winning a downgrade in a defendant’s charges) is identifying certain key issues that reduce the strength of the state’s arguments. This is where our firm’s unique DWI law training and trial experience can prove invaluable. At my firm, the attorneys who make up the Jonathan F. Marshall legal defense team have credentials that are, quite frankly, second to none.
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As Garden State DWI defense attorneys, we know that our perspective on drunk drivers may be somewhat different that that of the police or legislators in Trenton. Where law enforcement agencies do not have much sympathy for drivers who drink and drive on New Jersey roadways, our job as DWI defense lawyers is to consider all of the facts and the specific circumstances of each case and present a thoughtful argument to the court on our clients’ behalf.

When it comes to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, my colleagues and I know that errors in judgment can and do occur on a regular basis in this country. We know that many people who are arrested for drunken driving (who the law refers to as first-time offenders) never consciously decided to break the law, but rather did not realize they we legally impaired to begin with. Of course, once a traffic stop is made, it can be up to the opinion of the officer in charge whether or not to arrest the motorist.

With all the focus on anti-DWI enforcement, it is not too surprising that there will be from time to time motorists arrested and charged with drunk driving who have been either unfairly accused of DWI or who may have extenuating circumstance that made the officer believe that individual was impaired at the time of the traffic stop. Either way, it is the job of this law office to provide an important service of representation to these and other people who seek our counsel.
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In our line of work there is no lack of odd circumstances that arise when considering the range of cases involving drunken driving or drug DUI. Here in the Garden State, police agencies and the officers who work for them are not the least bit sympathetic to drivers who even have merest appearance of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. While this can sometimes result in a motorist being arrested erroneously for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, other DWI arrests are much more legitimate. However this doesn’t mean that nothing can be done when the time comes to go before a judge.

Whatever the circumstances, as a New Jersey law firm providing legal representation to individuals charged with one or more of any number of drunk driving offenses, we highly recommend consulting a qualified DWI trial attorney before taking one step into a courtroom. There is no excuse, with free consultations available from many reputable DWI lawyers, that any person accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription medication not be informed about his or her rights under the law.

Of course, as we stated previously, there are exceptional or at least odd circumstances where a motorist may find himself arrested for DWI-DUI following a police stop. Such was apparently the case a short while back when a Middlesex County man was taken into custody and charged with drunk driving after a police officer noticed a vehicle parked in a restricted area of the Mountainview state prison off Petticoat Lane in Hunterdon County, NJ.
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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.
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With years of experience representing New Jersey motorists who have been accused of driving under the influence of beer, wine, hard liquor or drugs, our law firm is committed to seeing that those accused of an offense get their day in court. While some drivers are found guilty of DWI or drug DUI, others may be found not guilty or have their cases thrown out due to insufficient evidence or improper police procedures.

There is no “typical” drunk driving arrest, though many follow the general pattern that begins with a traffic stop for what could be termed an insignificant infraction. After the arrest and formal charges, it is up to the person charged with driving while intoxicated to choose whether or not he wants to walk into a courtroom with counsel.

Determining if a drunken driving arrest was made properly hinges many times on the totality of facts, which a layperson may not be able to easily assess in the time between being charged and the hearing date. As experienced DWI defense lawyers, we often recommend that anyone facing such circumstances take advantage of the often free consultation offered by professional DWI attorneys.
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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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You might think that you are done with the past, but it is often the case that the past is never quite done with you. For Garden State drivers who are stopped by either a New Jersey State Police trooper or a local police officer, there is more than a grain of truth in this simple statement. As New Jersey drunken driving defense attorneys representing motorists arrested in Monmouth, Passaic, Bergen and other counties around the state, we know how a simple traffic stop can escalate into a DWI arrest or something worse.

“Worse,” of course, is a relative term; but as experienced trial lawyers we understand that defending against a drunk driving or drug DUI charge can sometimes entail other aspects altogether. Take, for instance, the story of a Somerset, NJ, woman who was pulled over ostensibly for a typical traffic infraction, yet ended up in deep trouble with the law not so much for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, but for possible identity theft 20 years prior.

According to news reports, 37-year-old Rocio Reyes-Chavez was stopped by Plainsboro police earlier this year when officers apparently observed the driver violating one or more local traffic laws. Once pulled over, the driver allegedly handed the officer in charge a driver’s license obtained following the theft of a Florida resident’s identity sometime in the early 1990s. At the time of the drunk driving stop, it was apparently not obvious to police that the woman was living under an assumed name.
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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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