As advocates for motorists accused of drinking and driving, drug-impaired motor vehicle operation and other alcohol-related violations, I and my colleagues maintain a healthy skepticism when it comes to charges levied by local and state police against drivers. But being skeptical of law enforcement officials does not mean that we do not respect the job that police officers do for our community.
Similarly, as officers of the court, we have a responsibility to the truth. One thing we do know is that fabricating stories in an effort to reduce guilt or avoid justice altogether is not the best course for most people who seek justice from the courts. Taking statements from all sides with a grain of salt allows one to keep an open mind and lends better perspective to important legal matters.
When it comes to being accused of drunken driving, most people want to avoid any consequences. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, I and my experienced team of trial lawyers understand the law and can use our skills and training to best advantage for our clients. This is important, since a conviction for driving under the influence can result in penalties ranging from the loss of one’s license to heavy fines and even jail time.
Because my law firm is dedicated to helping drivers accused of DWI-DUI, we are quite serious when it comes to reducing or eliminating those consequences. Instances where an individual has lied to police about important or fundamental facts of a roadway accident or other drunken driving-related incident can have implications later on during that person’s DWI hearing.
Anyone who has been picked up for DWI or drug DUI may weigh the benefits of having a qualified legal professional represent them in court versus going it alone. We can only say that a DWI attorney has skills and knowledge that the average person does not. Choosing not to retain a lawyer means that a defendant will be turning his or her back on a tremendous resource the day that they walk into that courtroom by themselves and face the judge, prosecutor and arresting officer.
We mention this today because of a news item we ran across a while ago. It’s one thing to be arrested for drunk driving, but it’s a wholly different story when the charges also involve property damage or even bodily injury; and lying to a police officer in the course of an accident investigation, especially if the lie is transparent or easily refuted by the facts, may only make one’s case more difficult when fighting the charges in court.
This may have been the case as described in a news article last March. According to that piece of reportage, a 44-year-old Morris Twp. man allegedly filed a false police report when he told officers that he had been the victim of a hit-and-run traffic accident in the vicinity of Frederick Place in Morris County. Based on police reports, the man called to report a hit-and-run, but after police arrived at his residence to take the report, they allegedly found the caller intoxicated.
Police said the man told patrolmen that his vehicle had been struck by a hit-and-run driver in Morristown. However, on further study, police determined that the crash happened near Frederick Place after they located the vehicle’s missing mirror near a mailbox that had been hit by a car. According to the news story, the officers felt that they had probably cause to arrest the man on DWI.
As a result, the driver not only was facing drunken driving charges, but also reckless and careless driving, as well as leaving the scene of car crash and failure to report a traffic accident. These were in addition to the not insignificant charge of filing a false police report.
Man Faked Hit-and-Run Story, Charged With DWI, Cops Say; Patch.com; March 26, 2013