Whether it’s Snookie, Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson or any number of other famous personalities who have a little too much to drink, drunk driving and other traffic and civil offenses are not limited to the television screen. Not long ago, the husband of reality TV star Teresa Giudice (of ”Real Housewives of New Jersey” fame) apparently made a somewhat successful appeal after deciding to fight court-ordered penalties following his conviction for a DWI offense in Montville, NJ, early this year.
As a New Jersey defense attorney who represents motorists charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as drugs, I and my colleagues understand state and local laws pertaining to individuals arrested for drunken driving throughout the Garden State.
According to recent news articles, Teresa Giudice’s husband apparently received a reduction in the penalties following an appeal from an earlier drunken driving arrest. Based on reports, a Superior Court judge substantially cut the various penalties that Giuseppe ”Joe” Giudice faced after a March DWI hearing in Montville Municipal Court.
Giudice’s first DWI conviction reportedly resulted in maximum penalties, including loss of his driver’s license for 12 months, $500 fine, and 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). The municipal court judge in the original case also ordered Giudice to make a choice between 30 days of community service or a month in jail.
The recent Supreme Court decision eliminated the 30-day community service or jail time penalty completely. The presiding judge also cut the loss of license time to seven months and reduced the fine to $300. Giudice will still have to complete 12 hours at the IDRC. According to reports, the balance of the mandatory fines, less than $400, remained from the March decision.
According to police reports, Giudice’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) level following the DWI accident was 0.11 percent, above the legal definition of intoxicated driving — 0.08 percent — for a driver in New Jersey.
Court records show that the Morris County Assistant Prosecutor had argued for the original sentence to remain in force. It was suggested that Giudice had what amounted to a poor driving record — 39 points as of the time of trial.
Police reports show that Giudice’s vehicle hit a utility pole and then flipped over. Police said that Giudice left the scene of the accident and went to a neighbor’s house, where police located him about 45 minutes after the crash. The prosecutor argued that Giudice was hoping his BAC level would drop sufficiently before officers tracked him down.
Husband of Montville, NJ ‘Real Housewife’ Teresa Giudice gets reduction in DWI penalties, DailyRecord.com, August 21, 2010
‘Real Housewives of NJ’ hubby appeals Montville DWI sentence, DailyRecord.com, August 5, 2010