Articles Posted in Second Offense DWI

There are many reasons people come up with to avoid retaining a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer. Some believe they can effectively represent themselves during a DWI or drug DUI hearing, while others simple want to avoid paying anyone to speak for them regardless of how much experience the attorney may have. Quite frankly, here in the Garden State we have seen some very aggressive prosecutors who press hard for a drunk driving conviction.

As a former municipal prosecutor myself, I and my colleagues understand the strategies employed by the state’s attorneys. In addition to knowing the New Jersey DWI and drug DUI statutes, I and my staff also have decades of trial experience under our collective belts. It is unlikely that the average motorist who finds himself caught up in a drunk driving case has the experience and know-how to effective argue his case in front of a judge.

That said, we understand that many people may not have the money to retain a qualified DWI lawyer, but many people do not think things through to their logical end. One might be able to save on attorneys fees, but in the possible event that the defendant losses his case and ends up being convicted of DWI or DUI, the savings on legal fees can easily be offset by the potential monetary penalties totaling thousands of dollars in fines, court fees and mandatory increases in the convicted driver’s auto insurance premiums.
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Here in the Garden State, our courts are full of drunk driving and drug DUI cases being prosecuted by any number of municipal and state attorneys angling to get a conviction the fastest and easiest way that they can. As New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyers I and my staff of skilled trial attorneys know that there is no better way to end up paying huge fines and other statutory penalties than to roll over and admit guilt without ever attempting to fight the state’s accusations.

One of the most common mistakes that many motorists make after they have been arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or otherwise impaired by prescription medications is to assume that the police and the local prosecutor’s office has the upper hand with all the evidence to win a guilty verdict. Better yet, by placing all of its cards on the table in a “show of strength,” a defendant might simply enter a guilty plea just to be done with what he or she believes in the inevitable outcome of a DWI hearing.

What we’d like to say is that no matter what your situation it may be in your best interest to at the very least consult with a qualified legal professional regarding your drunk driving arrest before stepping foot into a courtroom on your own. While there are no guarantees in this life, understanding one’s rights from a legal standpoint is never a bad idea when so much is on the line. A New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyer can give you some perspective on your options.
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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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The New Jersey State Senate recently set in motion a bill that if made into law would require any DWI offender — even first-timers — to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle as a mandatory condition of their sentencing. According to news articles the new legislation, if passed, would amend the state’s DWI laws to include wording requiring all convicted drunken driving offenders to have an ignition interlock installed in their cars for varying lengths of time.

As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I have worked for many years helping motorists who have been charged with DWI- and DUI-related offenses. We understand how a single indiscretion can lead to an expensive, inconvenient, embarrassing and often life-changing drunken driving conviction. In fact, numerous personal and professional relationships have been damaged or outright ruined as the result of a conviction for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, doctor-prescribed medicines, or even an illicit (read: a controlled dangerous substance [CDS]) drug like marijuana or cocaine.

Having worked in this field for many years, both as a defense lawyer and as a municipal prosecuting attorney, I have a deep understanding of the strategies and tactics that the attorneys for the state employ to secure a conviction. My goal, and that of my legal team, is to provide the best possible defense for those individuals who believe that they have been falsely accused of drunken driving, drug DUI or breath test refusal. Whatever the cause of the DWI-DUI charges, a qualified DWI defense lawyer must consider all the facts in order to help his or her client achieve a just outcome.
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Most people already understand that being arrested for drunk driving here in the Garden State is hardly a walk in the park. Besides the legal issues, just the mere fact that one has been picked up for drinking and driving can cause problems professionally, as well as personally. Once all the embarrassment has passed, then there’s the worry about penalties if one is convicted of DWI or drug DUI.

As DWI defense attorneys, the legal experts at the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall understand the pitfalls of self-representation when a drunken driving charge is looming. At the very least, it’s wise to consult with an experienced trial lawyer who knows the ins and outs of New Jersey’s DWI law. Considering the potentially expensive and long-lasting effects of a drunken driving conviction, retaining a qualified legal professional to represent you can be a good way to fight a DWI-DUI charge from the get-go.

Seriously, one should always consider the possible downside to losing a drunk driving case. Most anyone who has been accused of drunk driving knows what’s at stake. If found guilty, a defendant can be looking at a wide range of penalties — anywhere from $250 to $1,000 in monetary fines and even possible incarceration (which can range from “just” two days in jail all the way up to six months). Of course, when it comes to a DWI charge, the main factor in determining sentencing is whether or not the offense was a first-, second-, or third-time offense (for anyone who may be wondering, we have seen individuals who have exceeded three DWI offenses in their lifetime).
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There’s little defense for poor decisions made in haste. Whether that applies to being pulled over for a minor traffic infraction, leading to a DWI or drug DUI summons; or if its making the wrong choices heading into a court hearing on a charge of driving while intoxicated, a poor decision in either instance can lead to license suspension, steep fines and penalties and even the loss of one’s job or standing in the community.

Regardless of the circumstances, never assume that a qualified DWI defense attorney is not worth talking to, at the very least to more completely understand your rights as well as the possible outcomes of a DWI or DUI case. As a defendant, knowledge is power. An experienced drunken driving lawyer has the skills and knowledge it takes to negotiate legally in a courtroom setting.

The loss of one’s driving privileges is nothing to ignore, especially if you absolutely need a car to get to work or school. The loss of mobility can not only be a burden on family and friends, who may be asked to help get a convicted drunk driver here and there, but it can affect one’s ability to find a job or even to hold on to one. Before walking into a courtroom unprepared for the consequences, consider a consultation with a qualified legal professional well versed in drunk driving law.
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As we’ve stated previously, those who follow the news, here in New Jersey, know that drunk driving arrests are pretty much a part of the automotive landscape. Considering the various scenarios that can result in a motorist being arrested, charged and tried for operating their car or truck while under the influence of alcohol or doctor-prescribed medication (drug DUI), we as DWI defense lawyers understand how seemingly law-abiding citizens can find themselves in a courtroom trying to explain how they never realized they were drunk in the first place. It’s not an easy road.

For every driver who is stopped for an apparently minor traffic violation there is always the chance that he or she may be served with a summons for drunken driving. These encounters with state and local police are just a precursor to that inevitable appearance before a municipal or county judge. To expect leniency is piling hope upon hope, which rarely works in the real world of DWI law. If nothing else, the years of anti-DWI messages and physical enforcement should tell anyone accused of driving while intoxicated that the police and the courts hold a very dim view of individual whom they believe are DWI offenders.

Whether one is charged with impairment based on consuming alcohol, prescription drugs or even illegal substances such as cocaine, meth or marijuana, the course should be clear; walking into a courtroom unprepared is not a strategy for success. At the very minimum, one should consult with a qualified DWI/DUI defense attorney to better understand the situation and options going forward.
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Drunk driving is an equal opportunity offense here in the Garden State. So long as you own a car, or have the opportunity to drive one regardless of whether it is your own vehicle, an individual has one of the major elements of a drunken driving arrest. The other part would be the actual imbibing of an alcoholic beverage (or in the case of a drug DUI, taking of prescription medication or ingesting an illegal controlled dangerous substance (CDS), such as meth, weed or coke).

As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys, I and my staff of experienced civil and criminal defense lawyers understand the impact that a DWI or DUI conviction can have on a person. It goes without saying that more than one career, personal relationship or otherwise unblemished reputation has been ruined by a single charge of driving under the influence of alcohol of doctor-prescribed medicine, much less an actual conviction. Aside from steep monetary fines, penalties and surcharges, loss of driving privileges and occasionally jail time can be attached to a conviction for driving while intoxicated.

Although most typical motorists are not in the public eye, those individuals who are have a much higher profile and can suffer even more from the public humiliation of being arrested for a DWI incident. Whether convicted or not, these people may feel their reputations tarnished and public persona diminished to some degree. Whatever the cause of a traffic stop, if a person has been drinking the police may decide to arrest him or her, no matter how well known or loved by the public.
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Look at the headlines any day of the week and one can see the volume and frequency of drunken driving arrests here in the Garden State. Is it just us, or do we just have bad luck when it comes to being charged with driving under the influence? Probably a little of both, but one thing is for certain, in a state as densely populated as New Jersey, there is bound to be a large number of any legal offense, civil or criminal. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, we fully understand how almost any driver can become a statistic of law enforcement.

This is not to say that we condone drunk driving, but we do know that law of averages suggests a certain percentage of motorists accused of drinking and driving are not going to be convicted, whatever the reason. For those who may think it’s worth the gamble, we would be inclined to dissuade those individuals of any notion that they can drink any alcoholic beverage and get away with it. Too many people have seemed to make a career of being arrested for DWI or drug DUI, and the results are not usually good.

For one, the penalties for repeat offenders can certainly add up. And this doesn’t include the car insurance premium increases mandated by law for first- second- and multiple-time offenders who are convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by liquor or prescription drugs. Never mind the associated penalties and related costs for individuals who are arrested, charged and convicted of impaired driving by a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), such as meth, cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs.
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While the New Jersey’s state police and local PDs run pretty heavy drunken driving patrols from time to time, here in New Jersey the laws on drunken driving treat a DWI as a vehicle violation or civil offense. Unlike other surrounding states, our has yet to criminalize the mere act of driving while intoxicated. Of course, things can get much more involved when property damage or personal injuries are involved, so there is a fine line that a DWI or drug DUI defendant must be aware of.

As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, I and my team of experienced defense attorneys know full well that an arrest for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is not the same as a conviction. When it comes being convicted of DWI, it would appear that a significant percentage of the public would prefer that even a first-time offender face the same penalties as any criminal. Others feel that lumping convicted DWI offenders in with common criminals is perhaps excessive.

A non-scientific poll conducted by the editors of Patch.com illustrated the divide between those who would criminalize drunken driving offenses and those who feel drivers need at least some leeway, especially when it comes to first-time offenses. Naturally, many people are swayed by the headlines of hundreds and even thousands of innocent people killed by drunken drivers across the nation every year. And as of last May, New Jersey lawmakers have begun to look into the possibility of creating legislation to keep those arrested for repeat DWI off the road at least until their case is heard in a court of law.
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