Articles Posted in Ocean County DWI Defense

Three individuals were recently taken into custody around Ocean County on charges of drunken driving, though the circumstances were rather different for each of the motorists accused of DWI. As Garden State trials attorneys and professional drunk driving defense lawyers, the legal team at the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall knows that DWI and drug DUI arrests can take place at any time of the day. As longtime advocates for motorists accused of driving while intoxicated, we also are well aware of the odd situations in which some people find themselves, which result in such encounters with the law.

Take the recent arrest of a 42-year-old Barnegat resident when he was observed by patrolmen asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle as it was idling in a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant drive-through. According to the news story we ran into, Stafford Twp. police were called to the scene of a possibly inebriated individual around 2pm on a Friday morning. Based on the police report, the driver had only moments earlier placed an order for some food with the staff at McDonalds when he apparently fell asleep while in line for his order.

The restaurant staff was unable to awaken the man, who apparently passed out in his car. Officers arriving on the scene reportedly roused the motorist and then charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol. He was also found to have had a number of outstanding warrants totaling more than $2,500. He was booked and eventually remanded to the Ocean County Jail in lieu of bail.
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There is no better advice that one could receive — at least when it comes to avoiding an arrest for DWI — than to not invite misfortune in the first place by simply not drinking before driving. That said, if one is arrested for and subsequently convicted of drunken driving, the penalties for driving under a suspended license, especially while intoxicated will not engender much compassion from any New Jersey court. Our laws here in the Garden State are very strict concerning drunken driving and drug DUI, and because of this there can hardly be a good reason not to consult with a qualified drunk driving defense lawyer when facing some serious charges.

As longtime New Jersey DWI-DUI attorneys, my colleagues and I are very familiar with penalties associated with first, second or subsequent drunk driving convictions. We also know that there are few situations where going it alone in a courtroom will result in a good outcome for a defendant. Here in New Jersey, there are no plea deals allowed in situations involving DWI or drug DUI charges, therefore understanding what one is facing before stepping into a New Jersey municipal courtroom is in most everyone’s best interest.

Of particular concern would be those motorists who already have one drunk driving conviction under their belt. While it is preferable to avoid a first conviction for DWI-DUI altogether, once on a driver’s record there should be a great incentive for a motorist to pick up the phone and contact a qualified DWI attorney should a second arrest occur. There is never a better time like the present to find out the legal ramifications of a second or third conviction when it comes to penalties in terms of monetary fines and that of potential jail time.
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The odds of receiving a drunk driving summons in New Jersey are not as slim as many might think, especially in cases where a driver may be returning home from a night out with friends and there is some alcohol in the driver’s system. Of course, one of the more tried-and-true ways to avoid a DWI arrest and related charges is to not get behind the wheel of any motor vehicle when one has had a couple of drinks, or more. At the same time, it is not unheard of to see motorists who have not had a drop of beer, wine or hard liquor end up being arrested for some kind of impaired driving.

As Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my legal team knows that the easiest way to find out whether one will be suspected of driving while intoxicated is to either get into an accident or drive in a (supposedly) careless or reckless manner. Even a simple vehicle equipment violation can open the door to scrutiny by a local police officer or state patrolman. Frankly, it doesn’t take much to get the attention of a law enforcement officer, no matter where one drives.

From the standpoint of the law, a motorist can be served with an impaired driving summons based on any number of alleged offenses, including consuming alcohol prior to hitting the road, ingesting an otherwise intoxicating substance, or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs or even legal, and doctor-prescribed, medications.
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A Toms River resident was tracked down by police after witnesses apparently saw the man’s late-model Toyota drive away from a car accident along a portion of Rte 37 early on a Monday morning. According to news reports, township patrolmen arrived at the scene of the crash, which took place at the intersection of Rte 37 and Garfield Ave. By the time officers had gotten to the accident site, the hit-and-run driver was already gone. The 6:30am wreck involved a Ford Explorer driven by a Bayville man, who was stopped at a red light when the impact occurred.

With the assistance of a witness to the incident, police searched for the hit-and-run driver, who was found shortly thereafter. Based on police reports, the man had apparently hit another vehicle as he fled the earlier crash scene. That collision took place near the intersection of Garfield and Delaware Ave., in the area of East Dover. Eventually, police were able to pull the man over near Fischer Blvd. and Windsor Ave., after which it was determined that the 31-year-old local resident was allegedly intoxicated behind the wheel.

As a result, the suspect was arrested and eventually charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The man was also reportedly charged with criminal possession of the drug Suboxone, for which he did not have a prescription. As Garden State DWI and drug DUI lawyers, my legal team has handled numerous cases involving drug DUI and possession. This particular instance is certainly a more complicated situation considering the two hit-and-runs.
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We have mentioned this more than once in this forum, but again, it bear repeating: Getting behind the wheel of an automobile is a foolhardy venture to start with, but complicating a certain drunk driving arrest with a serious traffic accident is something that will only makes a DWI defense all the more difficult. As Garden State trial attorneys experienced in drunk driving and drug DUI law, we know how thorny a drunk driving case can be when the defendant has injured or killed another individual in the process.

It doesn’t make much, if any, difference where a collision involving alcohol or drugs takes place; be it in Mercer, Union, Bergen or Atlantic County, when a motorist is facing a combination of drunken driving charges plus vehicular assault (or worse, death by auto), the job of any DWI-DUI attorney will be made that much difficult by the circumstances surrounding the collision.

Yet, in spite of common sense and public service campaigns to the contrary, dozens of people find themselves in similarly serious legal predicaments every month. Here in the Garden State, driving while intoxicated is not looked upon with any sympathy by the police, the courts or the community at large. The attitude of society for those who cause a serious injury accident, and most certainly a fatal traffic collision, often borders between contempt and hatred.
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As Garden State DWI and drug DUI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I often remind potential clients that when a police officer makes a traffic stop the action itself can be construed as a “seizure” within the legal definitions stated in the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution. As most every legal professional knows, over the years there has existed some doubt as to what truly constituted a valid traffic stop. But these doubts were essentially wiped away following the landmark Supreme Court decision of Delaware v. Prouse.

One of the more popular reasons, at least among police officers, for stopping many a motorist is the common moving violation known as failure to maintain one’s lane; this justification for making a routine traffic stop is second only to pulling a car or truck over based on one of the more typical vehicle equipment infractions, such as a burned out headlight or taillight (in fact, if you find yourself driving a vehicle with a burned-out or broken lamp anywhere on the car or truck, be prepared to have a state trooper or municipal patrolman stop you on the roadside).

When it comes to common moving violations – mainly, straying from one’s lane — drivers who find themselves having a difficult time staying within the lane markers during the evening hours will more than likely end up having a conversation with a law enforcement officer on the shoulder of the roadway. If it’s simply a matter of fatigue, a motorist may simply get a warning; but if that individual has consumed any alcohol recently, much less admits to the fact, complications will likely arise.
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While police in Cape May, Ocean, Atlantic and Monmouth counties are all rather busy with drunken driving activity during the warmer months, it is a certainty that all during the year New Jersey State Police, municipal patrolmen and other law enforcement officials are kept active with DWI and drug DUI arrests no matter what the season. And it goes without saying, as the New Year holiday approaches, that instances of drinking and driving tend to become more frequent thanks to family gatherings, office parties and overall holiday celebrations.

As Garden State drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I receive our share requests for no-obligation consultations from motorists who have been accused of impaired driving. While there is no single scenario that illustrates a typical drunken driving arrest, if the police are following proper procedures it generally begins with a legitimate traffic stop for a driving offense or vehicle violation.

If there was no legitimate reason for the initial police stop, then there may be grounds for a dismissal of the subsequent DWI-DUI charges. Most people who are stopped by police and then arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol are well advised to seek the advice of a skilled attorney with expertise in the area of drunken driving law.
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There are times when drunk drivers are much more likely to be stopped by New Jersey State Police or municipal patrolmen, but it’s safe to say that anyone who drinks and drives in the Garden State also runs the risk of being arrested for DWI. As New Jersey drunken driving defense experts, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall understand the risks faced by drunk motorists and the penalties associated with potential convictions.

Whether one lives, works or commutes in Bergen County, Essex County, Hudson or Middlesex counties, the chances of being stopped for even the most basic of traffic infractions can open the door to further scrutiny by a police officer. When that happens, and depending on the individual’s physical or mental condition, a patrolman may suspect some kind of impairment by the way in which the driver acts or speaks.

It isn’t that uncommon for a motorist to be asked by a policeman to exit his vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests, which is often the first step toward a full-blown DWI arrest. As DWI-DUI lawyers, we have seen a myriad of scenarios where drivers find themselves facing serious and potentially costly drunk driving charges following a simple error in judgment on the roadway.
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As is often the case here in the Garden State, when the police observe a motor vehicle being driven in an erratic or dangerous manner, it is incumbent on those officers to look into the situation. If a patrolman deems it necessary to pull a driver over due to a traffic violation or vehicle problem, then what happens during that traffic stop could result in a warning, traffic summons, or even an arrest. Quite frequently, absent any other serious violations of New Jersey criminal statutes, arrests of motorists generally fall under alleged intoxication by alcohol or impairment or through the use of prescription medications or illicit drugs.

While use or possession of illegal drugs (sometimes known as controlled dangerous substances, of CDSs) in a motor vehicle can lead to criminal charges as well, driving under the influence is nothing to sneeze at. Look at the news pages of any large metropolitan area and one can see the numerous arrests of drivers and other individuals for DWI and drug DUI. As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, the members of my legal staff assists dozens us motorists every month who have been accused of impaired driving.

No matter the location, whether here in Monmouth County, up in Bergen or down in Atlantic County, there are a variety of police stops every day that involve some kind of chargeable offense. The following news items from Ocean Township, as a for instance, illustrate the range of arrests that take place daily; any one of these could happen in the dozens of towns or cities throughout New Jersey.
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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.
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