Articles Posted in Somerset County DWI Defense

A news report earlier this month pointed up the danger of drinking and driving, not only in terms of legal liability, but especially due to the serious nature of accidents that can take place when operating a motor vehicle while possibly intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs. As Garden State DWI lawyers, my law firm is always ready to assist those motorists who have been accused of drinking and driving on New Jersey roadways. However, as drivers ourselves, we also know there are numerous risks associated with driving under the influence, many of which can be life-threatening.

That said, and while we in no way condone impaired driving, we do understand that some individuals can be fully unaware of their inebriation due to beer, wine or hard liquor, as well as possible impairment resulting from taking doctor-prescribed medications prior to getting behind the wheel. For those who believe they were unjustly charged with a DWI or drug DUI, my skilled legal team is available to help defendants fight those charges in a court of law.

Sadly, the reality of driving in New Jersey can mean that some people will be involved in a serious automobile or trucking-related accident as a result of some kind of impaired vehicle operation. From a legal standpoint, being charged with drunken driving following an injury-related roadway crash can often mean that the local prosecutor will consider other, more serious charges stemming from the accident itself.
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Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in the Garden State is dangerous for everybody, but it could be that much more risky — at least from a legal standpoint — due to the fact that drunk driving enforcement is a priority for the July Fourth holiday already in progress. Whether one travels though counties such as Sussex, Union, Mercer or Atlantic, or any other part of New Jersey, our highways, interstates, parkways and surface streets are currently experiencing greater than normal vehicular traffic; similarly, police DWI-DUI patrols are also increased for this long holiday weekend.

As New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I fully understand the serious nature of any drunk driving or drug-related DUI arrest. Not even considering the possibility of a conviction for drunk or drugged driving, simply the stigma of being charged with driving under the influence can cause strife in a marriage, alienate one from friends and relatives, and even affect a person’s standing at work or in the community.

As experienced DWI lawyers, my legal team is ready, willing and able to fight for the rights of individuals who have been accused of impaired driving. We do so, not only because we believe in the law and our American legal system, but also because some arrests are faulty and can be proved so. During this time of the year, especially, drunken driving offenses are logged all across the Garden State. Much of the activity during weekends like the Fourth of July can be attributed to anti-DWI campaigns, which can include an increase in the frequency of roadside sobriety checkpoints as well as high-saturation DWI-DUI police patrols.
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As in many parts of the Garden State, police patrols in Somerset County, NJ, are always active on city streets, undivided highways and high-speed interstates. Whether one travels to and from work or school, going shopping or simply taking a driving vacation to the Jersey Shore for some needed R & R, the odds of coming into contact with a New Jersey State Police trooper or a local patrolman are usually quite high. As DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I have met dozens of average people who never thought they would ever be charged with a serious traffic offense, much less be arrested for drinking and driving.

Yet, every week, scores of Jersey residents and out-of-state drivers get pulled over for some minor infraction, opening themselves up to additional scrutiny from a law enforcement officer. A percentage of these individuals will be unlucky enough to have had something to drink in the hours prior to that traffic stop. Unfortunately, many of them will be taken into custody and charged with some kind of impaired driving offense. More and more, this group includes individuals who may be carrying some kind of illicit drug on their person, which can complicate matters when the time comes for court appearance.

Still others find themselves involved in a roadway collision. It’s no secret that drinking and driving only increases the chances of a motorist being involved in a single- or multiple-car accident. If alcohol or drugs were involved, the ante is raised sufficiently to make speaking with a qualified DWI-DUI defense attorney not only a good idea, but almost a necessity. Being experienced trial lawyers, we understand that accidents do happen. And while we do not condone drinking and driving, we also know that some people accused of DWI-related collisions may not have been legally drunk at the time of the wreck.
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Many hundreds of Garden State drivers are pulled over every month by police officers, during which a certain percentage of those individuals are accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Although a fair number of motorists are routinely convicted of DWI or drug DUI, there are many defendants who avoid a guilty verdict, as well as the stiff monetary penalties that come with it. Law enforcement officers certainly have a difficult and many times dangers job to perform, but they are not always correct in their assessment of some supposedly drunken drivers.

As experienced New Jersey trial attorneys, my colleagues and I have great respect for our men and women in uniform. But there are instances when we must stand back and consider the occasional downside that comes with the great authority that we give our municipal patrolmen and state troopers. It is because law enforcement officials have such power — to arrest and charge citizens with driving offenses and more egregious crimes — that we must hold them to a higher standard, understanding at the same time the challenging nature of their position.

In particular, as DWI defense lawyers, we find it hard to accept the illegal behavior of some policemen when it comes to drinking and driving. From our standpoint, having defended hundreds of motorists against charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), it is unconscionable when a patrolman violates the very laws that he or she is responsible to enforce. Quite simply, there is never a good excuse for a law enforcement officer to be arrested for drinking and driving, yet this can and does happen from time to time.
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Although it may seem to be an obvious point to make, it would seem that a small number of people still don’t understand that confronting the police in whatever circumstance is highly inadvisable these days. Especially under such circumstances as a simple traffic infraction, there is little advantage to calling out an officer who is only doing his duty. Even as DWI defense attorneys, the legal staff at my firm recognizes the important and indispensable role that law enforcement plays when ti comes to the general welfare of our society as a whole.

So the question arises, how should one react to being pulled over for a moving violation? Calmly, is what most people would generally agree is the approach any motorist should take when being questioned by a state trooper or local policeman. We’ve cautioned readers in the past regarding the folly of driving while possibly under the influence of beer, wine or liquor. The DWI-DUI laws here in the Garden State make the act a potentially expensive and inconvenient one, to say the least.

But when it comes to interacting with a policeman on the roadside, it is best to save any fight for the courtroom, since outbursts brought on by anger or frustration will generally not be tolerated by any patrolman. Certainly, being accused of drunken driving presents a motorist with trouble enough without potentially adding on to the list with a verbal onslaught or uncooperative behavior. In fact, refusing to provide a breath sample may seem like one way to retaliate against an unjustified arrest for DWI, but even that approach can backfire on some people.
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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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Having defended hundreds of motorists accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, my colleagues and I believe that anyone who is charged with a traffic infraction, civil offense or criminal action deserves the right to fight those charges in a court of law. Here in the Garden State, drunken driving is one of the more serious traffic-related offenses with which a person may be charged.

Furthermore, as experienced DWI defense attorneys, we believe that there are very few, if any, reasons for a drunken driving defendant to walk into a New Jersey courtroom without proper representation. The law can be complex; when it comes to serious DWI and drug DUI charges, for which there are rather stiff penalties if convicted, retaining a qualified lawyer with years of trial experience is an important consideration.

At the law offices of Jonathan f. Marshall, our legal team is skilled in representing clients who have been charged with any one of a wide range of drunk driving offenses, including breath test refusal, drug DUI and possession charges. As most anyone should know regarding drunk driving and other DUI-related violations, there is no sense in making a bad situation worse by involving others in one’s mistake. Being accused of a drunken driving accident presents one of the more difficult legal situations.
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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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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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