The Defense of Quasi-Entrapment in New Jersey

Have you been arrested or charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey? If so, it is imperative to reach out to a trustworthy New Jersey DWI attorney who has experience with this area of law. A DWI conviction should never be taken lightly because it can have far-reaching adverse consequences for many aspects of your life. You can rest assured that we understand the seriousness of these charges and will vigorously advocate for your rights throughout the entire legal process.

Not all criminal defenses that are available in criminal prosecutions are available in DWI cases. The New Jersey Supreme Court, for instance, has held that “entrapment” is not a valid defense in DWI cases. In order to succeed with a New Jersey entrapment defense, the defendant must prove that the police conduct constituted an inducement to commit a crime by objective standards. Put simply, the defendant must show that the crime would not have been committed had the police not encouraged or induced the defendant to commit it. It is important to note that the defendant must establish entrapment by a preponderance of the evidence.

The New Jersey Supreme Court contemplated whether a DWI defendant could raise a quasi-entrapment defense in State v. Fogarty. In that case, the defendant had asked his brother to drive him home because he was too drunk to drive after a wedding reception. In the parking lot, however, the brothers got into a fight and caught the attention of local police. An officer struck the defendant’s brother with a nightstick. When the defendant asked the officer to stop hitting his brother, the officer ordered him to leave the parking lot. When the defendant failed to listen, the officer ordered him to leave again and then proceeded to escort him to his truck. The defendant complied by getting into his truck but ended up backing into a police car. He was arrested for drunk driving and later convicted by a municipal court.

On appeal, the defendant invoked a quasi-entrapment defense, stating that he would not have gotten behind the wheel but for the officer’s command to exit the parking lot. This defense is considered “quasi” entrapment because the police officer did not know he had been drinking, so the officer did not, in fact, actively solicit him to commit a DWI. Agreeing with the defendant, the Appellate Division reversed the conviction and remanded to the municipal court. The New Jersey Supreme Court granted certification, reversed the Appellate Court’s judgment, and reinstated the conviction, reasoning that the defendant failed to establish an abuse of power by law enforcement.

If you have been charged with a DWI in New Jersey, you need to speak to a New Jersey DWI attorney without delay. With years of experience, we understand this area of law and can explore all of the possible defenses that may be applicable in your case. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns at every step of the way. Having the right attorney on your side can make all of the difference in your case. For more information, do not hesitate to call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.

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