Articles Posted in Non-resident DWI Arrests

Throughout the Garden State, the constant stream of news reports regarding drunk driving, specifically those found online and in the newspaper, illustrate the ongoing fight that law enforcement and our court system continue to have with the very real issue of intoxicated driving. As dedicated criminal and civil defense attorneys, my legal staff handles numerous DWI and drug DUI cases every week in counties such as Bergen, Monmouth, Middlesex and Atlantic, to name just a few.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, we see clients who have been charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs on city streets, as well as the parkway, interstate and local highways. For those who have ever wondered if theirs was the only DWI arrest to merit a courtroom fight, we would have to say, No. There are many hundreds, likely thousands, of otherwise law-abiding people who find themselves on a yearly basis facing serious charges and potentially costly penalties for offense that they do not believe they committed.

Granted, quite a few defendants in DWI and drug DUI cases will not understand the extent to which our DWI laws can affect the outcome of their drunk driving case, which is why it is important to seek the assistance of a qualified defense lawyer who has extensive experience in representing motorists accused of DWI or drug DUI offenses. This would include summonses for driving under the influence of alcohol, doctor-prescribed medications, and even the use or possession of illicit drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamine or cocaine.
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Given the current automotive landscape here in New Jersey, there is more than a good chance that a fair percentage of the population either personally knows of or has heard about someone who has been stopped by the police for some kind of traffic infraction during the last year or so. Of that broad group, the are usually some individuals who have been stopped and subsequently arrested and issued a summons for drunken driving or impaired vehicle operation due to some kind of controlled substance.

Whether one is charged with DWI or drug DUI, the need to find professional legal representation jumps to the top of the list of important decisions following such an event. While most drivers who are charged with drunken driving typically find themselves stopped for what may have seemed like a minor traffic infraction, there is a smaller group that receive DWI-DUI summonses at late-night sobriety checkpoints, otherwise referred to as DWI roadblocks.

Many of the random instances involving drunk driving and drug DUI police stops end up being published in the so-called police blotter sections of many Garden State media outlets. Although many traffic stops, which turn out to be alcohol- or drug-related, may not be all that remarkable, there is often a common theme that comes up again and again. And while the drivers’ names and arrest locations can, of course, be unique to those individual events, there can be seen patterns of stops and subsequent arrests.
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It should be not be surprising that as New Jersey civil and criminal defense attorneys, my colleagues and I make our job to represent individuals accused of crimes, misdemeanors and civil infractions. In particular, we are dedicated to helping motorists accused of DWI get a fair shake within our legal system. When a driver feels that he or she has been unjustly or erroneously charged with driving while intoxicated, we are ready to lend out expertise to their case.

With the above stated, it must be said that we do have a great deal of respect for the law enforcement officers, attorneys on both sides of the aisle, as well as the members of the judiciary, who make the law work for millions of people every day. What we do not respect is the few individuals in positions of power and influence who take advantage of their status to use the law to their own benefit, or those who they favor.

While we applaud the police officers who enforce our laws and put their lives on the line every day, but conversely, we are rarely sympathetic to those patrolmen who by their deeds show that they hold themselves to a different set of standards in cases of drunk driving or other offenses. Similarly, we find that officers of the court who likewise use the law to their own advantage have much to learn about fairness and equal treatment under the law.
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Most every motorist understands intuitively that drinking while intoxicated (DWI) can be a costly undertaking, not only in terms of post-conviction fines and increased insurance premiums down the road, but also in the unfortunate event of a crash causing injury or death. Yet, regardless of the disincentives to drink and drive, hundreds of Garden State drivers are arrested every month for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Traffic safety experts and law enforcement agencies, along with lawmakers understand the continuing problem with DWI and DUI offenders, which sometimes results in heavy-handed or extreme measures to achieve certain ends. As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, our job is to help those individuals who believe that they have been unjustly accused of a DWI, drug DUI or other related offense. We do see, from time to time, some rather worrisome changes in the way that certain locales treat DWI offenders, as well as those convicted of drunk driving.

Take, for instance, the ongoing efforts in one of our neighboring states to rein in intoxicated drivers. According to a news article we recently ran into, drivers arrested and charged with driving under the influence on a majority of Long Island may be looking forward to having their vehicles seized, impounded and possibly even sold off depending on events in the courtroom.
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As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I know that a large percentage of people have no real idea of the long-term effects that a DWI or drug DUI conviction can have on a person and his or her family. Furthermore, those who may be concerned about the financial implications of a drunk driving arrest and possible guilty verdict may not fully grasp the extent of the financial pain that may be felt for years after a conviction for intoxicated vehicle operation.

Here in New Jersey, as in many parts of the country, a drug DUI or DWI conviction can result in a range of penalties including license suspension, fines, insurance premium increases, jail time, probation, alcohol and drug education classes, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). But if a person’s job involves driving a car, truck or bus, the implications go well beyond the relatively minor financial penalties and other inconveniences of a guilty verdict — some may find that themselves facing firing, unemployment and a serious impediment to one’s career.

Even for those who don’t necessarily rely on their ability to drive can find an employer is much less enthusiastic about any kind of drunken driving conviction. Such can be the case for all manner of jobs and employment situations. Take, for instance, the story of a physician at the Newark-Wayne Community Hospital who received a censure by his state’s Department of Health following a guilty plea to a driving while intoxicated charge in 2013.
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When it comes to out-of-state drivers who are arrested for DWI or drug DUI here in New Jersey, it is important to remember that New Jersey and almost every other state in the nation participates in what is known as the “Driver License Compact,” or DLC for short. Briefly, the DLC is an agreement between 45 individual states and the District of Columbia, which allows the non-resident state to report any traffic-related conviction to the administrative division of the offending driver’s home state. In short, if one’s home state has a statute or equivalent law for an offense committed here in New Jersey, it will be treated as if the violation took place in the state where the driver resides.

A related agreement, known as the “Non-resident Violator Compact,” is observed by 44 participating states, which in essence safeguards the rights and privileges of non-resident drivers when operating a motor vehicle outside of their home state. For example, when a Garden State motorist is driving in a participating state, this interstate agreement ensures that the driver will have the same rights as the resident drivers of that state if he or she is arrested for drunken driving, drug DUI or other related impaired driving offense.

Under the non-resident agreement, if a motorist is charged with a traffic offense or other serious moving violation, he or she has the protection of due process. This also means that a New Jersey driver must comply with the terms of the member state’s traffic citation as ordered by that non-resident state, and any failure to comply can result in license suspension here in the one’s own state.
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Most people will never end up in a situation where fleeing from the law becomes a perceived option, but it is not unheard of to see the results of a police chase end with an arrest for drunken driving. While alcohol may reduce an individual’s ability to safely control a motor vehicle, it can also reduce one’s inhibitions. As local and state police officers already know, a truly intoxicated driver can often make decisions that most people would usually think twice about.

As Garden State DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I are often called upon to assist accused drunk drivers. Many of these individuals believe that they were unjustly charged with a serious drunken driving offense by a law enforcement officer. While some people may choose not to fight a DWI-DUI summons, others believe that they deserve the right to state their case in a court of law. For a smaller percentage, the choice of retaining a qualified trial lawyer may be driven by other, even more serious concerns.

Fleeing a patrolman can often complicate one’s DWI defense, if only for the reason that high-speed chases increase the opportunity for bodily injury, not only to the driver himself, but to the officers and bystanders who may be caught up in a potential traffic accident as a result. New stories like the one we read just last month point up that fact that these types of incidents can and do occur here in New Jersey from time to time. In this particular instance, the subject of the chase was an out-of-state man who allegedly stole the vehicle he was driving.
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Defending drivers accused DWI in here in the Garden State is a task best left to skilled legal professionals such as the experienced DWI and DUI defense lawyers here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. My trained legal team is well-versed in the legal statutes of the State of New Jersey, which include our state’s drunk driving laws. For anyone who wonders if the choice to drive drunk is ever a good one, consider the serious financial penalties and punitive measures that exist to deter people from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by some kind of narcotic or illegal substance.

Not long ago, we ran across a news article that illustrated the extremely sad results of an alleged drunken driving episode. With the dozens of DWI and drug DUI summonses that are issued every week by police all across the state, a significant percentage of alcohol- and drug-related traffic offenses involve property damage and bodily injury; a subset of these DWI-related incidents sometimes result in a fatality. Whether a charge of impaired driving involves alcohol, doctor-prescribed medication, or an illegal substance (such as marijuana or cocaine), having an experienced professional by one’s side is often essential, especially in situations of death or serious injury.

According to news articles, a well-known area benefactor and avid cyclist was killed in a reportedly alcohol-related automobile accident along a stretch of Rte 1 back in March. The crash, which took place on a Thursday evening, was allegedly caused by a drunken trucker in a commercial vehicle. Based on police reports, 67-year-old Charles Inman died when his vehicle was struck from behind by a Mack truck driven by a 65-year-old Pennsylvania man.
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While not as common as in-state traffic stops, more than a few Garden State residents get caught every week by police in nearby states for any number of traffic violations. Although a speeding ticket or citation for a vehicle equipment violation may not weigh heavy on the mind of some individuals, being arrested for drunken driving — whether her in New Jersey or somewhere out-of-state — can cause one to seriously consider the present and future implications of a potential DWI or drug DUI conviction.

It is a fact that as a licensed driver here in New Jersey, a motorist is required to obey the traffic laws and rules of the road here, as well as in other states in which one operates a motor vehicle. The sharing of DMV information between law enforcement agencies across the country has made out-of-state violations just as relevant as if they occurred in one’s own home state. This means that even if a New Jersey driver violates a traffic law out-of-state that he or she will still be subject to penalties, points and license suspension within New Jersey.

For reference, there are two interstate agreements that affect drivers when operating their vehicles in a state other than their own. The first is known as the “Driver License Compact,” which is an agreement between 45 of the 50 states in the Union, as well as the District of Columbia, that governs certain traffic violations and license suspensions for non-residents. Essentially what this means is that when a motorist is convicted of a traffic violation in a state other than the one where he or she resides, the non-resident state will report that conviction to the appropriate agency in the motorist’s home state.
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Generally speaking, the police are not too selective when it comes to stopping motorists on New Jersey parkways and interstates, city streets and rural routes for any number of traffic offenses and vehicle-related infractions. Whether any one of these routine police stops develops into a drunken driving arrest has much to do with the observations that the officer in charge makes during the stop and whether or not the driver has actually consumed an alcoholic beverage recently.

As Garden State residents already know, the focus on anti-drunk driving enforcement has resulted in frequent DWI awareness campaigns tied together with enhanced anti-drunken driving police activities, such as saturation patrols and roadside sobriety checkpoints. Ultimately, most anyone who travels on New Jersey roadways while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may find themselves on the receiving end of a DWI or drug DUI summons with the attendant risk of heavy fines and other penalties.

Most anyone who drives a motor vehicle here, or anywhere across the country, likely understands that with police traffic enforcement comes the potential for drunken driving arrests. Few, if any, people are immune from being stopped by a traffic cop for even the smallest offense or most minor of infractions. Quite often, arrests of everyday men and women can include some from the ranks of the rich and famous.
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