Articles Posted in Third or Subsequent Offense DWI

While few people who take the initiative and walk into our law offices ever ask the question, there are many more who may choose not to contact us based on some different answer to that same query. So, really, why should anyone bother trying to fight a drunk driving charge? Don’t the police have the upper hand? Isn’t it difficult to contest the validity of the prosecution’s evidence? And how can the average person know where to start if he or she even entertains the idea of challenging a drunken driving charge?

As experienced New Jersey trial lawyers, we’ve seen enough DWI and drug DUI cases to know that unless an accused motorists does make that concerted effort to fight for his or her day in court, they will never know what could have been if they hadn’t accepted a guilty plea and the penalty consequences that ultimately follow. By not choosing to fight a DWI, drug DUI, or breath test refusal charge, a person essentially places all the power in the hands of the police and the prosecutor’s office.

At this point we will add that the consequences don’t simply mean the fines and court fees, but they also entail insurance premium increases for years to come and the inevitable license suspension and all of the hassle and aggravation that can create. And let’s not forget the ordering of an ignition interlock device to be installed on the accused’s vehicle once his or her license is restores; that alone can prove to be embarrassing and inconvenient.
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Here in the Garden State, cases involving motorists who have been charged with DWI can be prosecuted in several ways. One of the more common approaches used by municipal prosecutors includes charges of driving under the influence based on a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. This type of case involves what is known in legal circles as a “per se” charge. As a well-established legal firm, my colleagues and I have nearly 100 years of collective trial law experience, including drunk driving and drug DUI defense of cases base on per se evidence.

In situations of drivers being charged for operating a motor vehicle while impaired based on a BAC measurement of 0.08 percent or above, those per se DWI charges refer to the legal definition, that is, the driver’s actions were inherently illegal. The New Jersey legal statutes essentially make driving with any BAC over the 0.08-percent limit an unlawful act. The per se aspect essentially says that the circumstances surrounding how or why the driver became intoxicated is not relevant to the prosecution of the offense.

Because per se DWI charges do not require extrinsic proof of any surrounding circumstances, it is much easier to prosecute a driver based solely on measurement of blood-alcohol content than other more subjective evidence, such as results from a roadside sobriety field test, etc. Drunk driving, from a per se standpoint, is essentially a chargeable offense made so by New Jersey statute. This is not exclusive to New Jersey, as many other states also have laws that make driving with a certain level of alcohol in one’s system illegal per se.
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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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Compounding any traffic offense with an injury accident is never a good situation. As a former municipal prosecutor, and now a professional drunk driving defense attorney, I understand the desire by police officers and our court system to punish motorists convicted of DWI or drug DUI. When an automobile collision is also involved, the stakes increase by a like amount.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I are ready and willing to assist those individuals accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs; even illicit substances like cocaine, meth and marijuana. We do know that our job will be complicated when a DWI-related car, truck or motorcycle wreck also involves a serious injury or death. My law firm has represented many clients who have been hit with an impaired driving charge in addition to possible vehicular assault.

Here in the Garden State, local and state police take a very dim view of motorists who even have the slightest appearance of intoxication. The same goes for the courts. New Jersey DWI law provides for stiff penalties for those convicted of intoxicated driving. One of the numerous penalties is the loss of driving privileges for a period of time. Considering the value that most people place on their mobility and personal independence vis-à-vis their automobile, license suspension can be a serious hardship.
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Addiction of every kind has reached major proportions all across the United States. Whether it is prescription or illegal drugs, gambling, Internet, video games or simply working excessive hours at the office or smoking too many cigarettes, an addiction of most any kind can complicate one’s life and cause trouble with one’s personal and professional relationships. But however it may be manifested, it would seem that more and more people are giving in to their desires.

It is easy to see how some pastimes or vices can become obsessions for many individuals. To allow one’s time to be usurped by one or more obsessive pursuits can be a very difficult situation, but when that obsession, or addiction, leads to serious legal problems, there really is no good reason to ignore the problem any longer. As New Jersey drunk driving defense experts, we have seen the results of alcohol and drug addiction, the results of which are not usually good.

Not surprisingly, over indulgence in drinking alcohol could be called the grandfather of all addictions, having been around for thousands of years before video games, online pornography and other pursuits. While we will leave it up to others to fill in the list, there is much to be said about the addiction that alcohol can have on certain people and the incidence of drunk driving by those self-same individuals.
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New Jersey DWI law provides for a variety of increasingly stiff penalties for those motorists who find themselves convicted of driving while intoxicated. As Garden State drunk driving defense attorneys, our job is to represent individuals who have been charged with DWI or drug DUI, as well as those who have refused a breathalyzer test or been accused of drug possession in a motor vehicle.

For first-time drunk driving offenders, a conviction can come with significant penalties that can affect the driver in numerous ways. Fines for a first offense can run from $250 to $400, depending on the amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream at the time of the arrest (this blood-alcohol content (BAC) can range between 0.08 and 0.10 percent. It should be remembered that these fines will increase to between $300 to $500, if the defendant’s BAC was measured at more than 0.10 percent. And this would be the “good news.”

The bad news is that offenders convicted for a third or subsequent time can not only lose their driver’s license for 10 years, but can be assessed fines in the thousands of dollars. Given the severity of penalties for third and subsequent offenses, we believe that representation by an experienced DWI defense attorney is in a defendant’s best interest. Sometimes the challenge is quite great, such as in the case of an individual we read about a while back who was convicted a sixth time for DWI by a Cumberland County court.
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With all of the focus on illegal immigration over the past decade or so, it is should not be a surprise that part of this debate regarding undocumented aliens leads to discussions of deportation for various crimes committed by individuals who have entered the country under questionable circumstances. While there are various points of view regarding the benefit to this country as a nation built by immigrants, the argument that those who flout our laws blatantly and with criminal intent is a strong one.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I are dedicated to helping those individuals who have been accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs and other controlled dangerous substances (CDSs). My staff has a great deal of experience in trial law, which includes both civil and criminal litigation.

Being charged with a drunken driving offense is serious, not to mention embarrassing and potentially detrimental to one’s personal, professional and public life. There is really no good reason why anyone should walk into a courtroom unprepared to fight for one’s legal rights following a DWI or drug DUI arrest. While there is never any guarantee of a not guilty verdict or dismissal of charges, having a qualified drunk driving attorney by one’s side is a smart choice.
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Being arrested for DWI is one thing, but being charged with a roadway accident, or worse, one that involves a death is certainly a serious situation that usually calls for the skills of an experienced trial attorney who understands the drunk driving laws here in the Garden State. And we will add that while a thorough understanding of the law is definitely a prerequisite, retaining a lawyer who has defended motorists against drunken driving, CDS and drug DUI charges is also important.

As a former municipal prosecutor, I and a number of my legal staff have worked both sides of the aisle in DWI and DUI litigation. No matter where you drive here in New Jersey, whether it’s Bergen, Union, Sussex or Atlantic County, if you are pulled over by a state trooper or city cop and issued a drunken driving summons, your legal fight will be helped a great deal with the assistance of a qualified DWI-DUI attorney. On the far end of the scale, being implicated as the cause of a fatal drunk driving-related car, truck or motorcycle collision only raises the stakes to a much higher level.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, our job is to represent motorists accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs (drug DUI). One thing is certain, at least in cases involving an alcohol-related traffic death, if the police and local prosecutor believe that the driver who caused the crash was impaired by alcohol, prescription meds or illegal drugs like cocaine or marijuana — the consequences can be truly serious and very harsh.
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Traveling the Garden State Parkway, coastal highways or city streets while legally intoxicated could be much more of a gamble in coming years for those who already have a drunken driving conviction under their belt. As New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyers, my firm understands the serious nature of any drunk driving arrest, not to mention the conviction that could follow. But for those already convicted of a first-time drunk driving offense, the next time might be even more expensive than it is today.

According to news reports, the New Jersey legislature is considering a piece of legislation that would increase the fines and other penalties well beyond what are on the books right now. As experienced drunk driving attorneys and skilled trial lawyers, we know that even with large-scale anti-DWI campaigns, frequent roadside sobriety checkpoints and high-saturation DWI patrols, the chances of someone being stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol are pretty good.

Whether one lives in Monmouth, Ocean, Sussex or Middlesex County; or if a driver is simply traveling through the Garden State, state and municipal police officers are always on the job looking for potentially drunk drivers. And while a patrolman cannot stop a car simply on a hunch that a driver is impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs, there are more than enough potential traffic and vehicle offenses happening on a regular basis to give a policeman any number of excuses to pull a drunk motorist over.
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Those arrested for drunken driving here in the Garden State don’t have much to look forward to should a conviction for DWI be the end result. In addition to the hundreds and even thousands of dollars in monetary penalties, such as assessments, fines, insurance premium increases and court fees, the law also requires convicted drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her vehicle for a period specified by the court.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my colleagues have the skills and experience necessary to represent individuals accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, prescription drugs, or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). While many people may not think that they have a chance to avoid a DWI or drug DUI conviction, the fact remains that if you don’t try, you won’t ever know what is or isn’t possible.

When it comes to being found guilty of a drunk driving offense, many of those people who are convicted receive not only harsh monetary penalties but also possible jail time or other punitive measures. One of the increasingly common penalties that individuals find themselves being ordered to follow by the court is the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
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