Articles Posted in Union County DWI Defense

Having represented numerous defendants against various civil and criminal charges over the years, my colleagues and I handle a great deal of cases involving motorists accused of drunken driving, drug DUI, and other offenses related to impaired operation of a motor vehicle here in New Jersey. As skilled DWI defense attorneys, we know which cases may be tough going for our clients and which will be more routine. In some instances, we can even tell early on whether or not a DWI or DUI case may be thrown out due to insufficient evidence or improper police procedure.

Regardless of the cause of a drunk driving or drug-related DUI arrest, having a qualified legal professional on one’s side can not only be a smart move, but it can also be reassuring for the defendant to know that he has a knowledgeable expert in the area of drunk driving law representing his interests in court. As professional litigators, my legal team has extensive litigation experience throughout the Garden State. And, when asked by potential clients, we often hold that fighting a DWI-DUI charge is a wise course of action, especially considering the financial consequences.

Of course, the monetary aspects of a drunken driving conviction can frequently be a serious consideration, especially for those individuals who are facing a significant DWI-DUI offense. One serious charge that a percentage of drivers end up being accused of is DWI while having young children in the vehicle. Just as a DUI or DWI in a school zone can result in extensive penalties following a conviction, having kids in a motor vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can make for a rather difficult legal situation as well.
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While some non-boaters probably don’t know that the State of New Jersey legal statutes have a specific section that covers operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol, prescription meds or illicit drugs; however, anyone who does pilot a boat in state waters should be aware of the law that addresses such situations. As Garden State drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I know the downside to being arrested, charged and convicted of DWI, but it is important to note that BWI (boating while intoxicated) has its own consequences.

When it comes to operating a watercraft while under the influence, the BWI statute (specifically N.J.S.A. 12:7-46) acts very much like the automobile-related DWI law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50). If a boater is charged with BWI, my firm is staffed with a group of highly skilled and experienced attorneys who know how to handle such cases. For instance, a qualified DWI-DUI lawyer should understand that in order for the state to prove a person is guilty BWI, three elements must be covered:

First and foremost, the prosecution must show that the defendant was actually operating the watercraft or vessel in question. Second, the alleged operation of said vessel must have occurred on waters within the legal jurisdiction of the State of New Jersey. Finally, the third element involves proving that the accused boater was legally under the influence of an intoxicating beverage; or a hallucinogenic, narcotic, or habit-forming drug.
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Quite frequently during course of the summer it is not uncommon for New Jersey DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys to receive numerous inquiries regarding the validity of a BWI summons, better known as a boating while intoxicated offense. The fact that the bulk of these kinds of charges crop up during the warmer weather is hardly surprising given the marked increase in boaters and recreational fishermen who take to the waters off of the Jersey Shore, as well as on the inland waterways throughout the Garden State.

As Monmouth County DWI-DUI lawyers, we understand fully the confusion that surrounds a BWI arrest or issuance of a summons related to intoxicated boating. While most people understand that driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs is a serious offense when on New Jersey roadways, many find it somewhat difficult to equate the seriousness of drunk driving to the operation of a watercraft.

One of the possible trains of thought is that there are fewer boats on the water than cars on the turnpike, so why should drinking a little alcohol while piloting a powerboat be such a serious matter? Another rationalization could be that boats don’t travel as fast as cars, so collisions, if they occur, should be less dangerous. Unfortunately, New Jersey law enforcement agencies, as well as the state’s legislators, feel much more strongly about the dangers of drinking while operating a boat. Either way, the fact remains that BWI is a chargeable offense and a potentially costly one as well.
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It is probably safe to say that winter is over and done with here in the Garden State. Now, with summer officially in full swing, we feel obliged to remind readers that vacation revelry can lead not only to instances of drinking and driving, drug DUI and other related chargeable offenses, but it can also result in faulty judgment calls, especially during extracurricular activities such as power boating and sailing. As drunken driving defense attorneys here in Monmouth County, we know that drunk driving is just one of several potential violations that can and do take place along the Jersey Shore.

Many people who have visited this state’s fabulous ocean-side venues up and down the Garden State coast may already have experienced the embarrassment of receiving a DWI or drug DUI summons during a visit to the seashore. Those who came to enjoy boating and other watersports — either off the shoreline or in one of this state’s numerous waterways — may have found themselves being approached by law enforcement officers after a minor boating-related mishap or simple procedural error while negotiating New Jersey waters.

For some of those who may have imbibed a little bit before their encounter with local police, coastguard, or sheriff’s department personal may have found themselves cited for being intoxicated while piloting their watercraft. Boating while intoxicated (or BWI) has been an offense in New Jersey since the early ’50s. About twenty years ago, legislators in Trenton revised the BWI statutes to provide a handful of ways in which a boater can be charged with drunken operation of a vessel.
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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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A 53-year-old Plainfield, NJ, driver was taken into custody by members of the Garwood Police Department following a traffic accident near the intersection of South Ave. and Center St. According to news articles, a collision took place around 1am in the morning when a white van reportedly slammed into the back of another motor vehicle. Based on police information, a number of 911 calls were made calling officers to the scene as the driver of the van allegedly attempted to leave the scene of the crash.

Officers arrived shortly thereafter to find that one person had reportedly removed the driver of the van from his vehicle. Upon investigation, the patrolmen determined that the suspect was “so intoxicated” that he allegedly could not maintain his balance. As a result, the officers took the man into custody and arrested him for drunken driving. The other driver whose vehicle was hit complained to emergency responders of back pain and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

The suspect was taken to police headquarters where he was charged with additional offenses, including a couple criminal complaints — vehicular assault and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license reportedly due to multiple previous DWI convictions. The man was eventually released on $5,000 bail pending trial.
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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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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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