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.
For those who may wonder how bad things can get for some drivers who choose to drive drunk and then kill another person while intoxicated behind the wheel, look no further than the published news stories on the Web. The local and state news outlets are constantly covering any number of serious traffic accidents every week; many of them fatal and some of those tied to the use of alcohol or drugs by the driver being held responsible for the crash.
While many decent DWI attorneys can handle a case involving a simple traffic stop leading to a DWI summons or drug DUI arrest, it’s a whole other kind of situation when a driver is arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs at the time of a fatal automobile crash. Take the news article we ran across a little while ago describing the son of a Stafford Twp. councilman who was sentenced to jail for seven years following a conviction on vehicular homicide charges. The case stemmed from a 2011 DWI-related accident that resulted in the death of an elderly Barnegat, NJ, man.
According to news articles, 27-year-old Robert Kusznikow already had a several DUI conviction under his belt at the time of the accident, which took place on September 21, 2011, in Ocean County. Based on reports, Kusznikow was driving through Manahawkin when his Ford pickup veered off the roadway, hit a telephone pole and then struck 76-year-old Michael Grosso, Jr., who was legally unloading his SUV on a side street.
According to court records, Kusznikow accepted a plea agreement which required the defendant to serve a minimum of 85 percent of his seven-year prison sentence, as well as be stripped of his driving privileges for 10 years following his release from state prison. at the time of the sentencing, Kusznikow had already served part of his time, having been held in the Ocean County Jail since December 2011.
It could be assumed that the man’s history of DWI-DUI weighed heavily in the judge’s choice of sentencing. According to news reports, Kusznikow already had four separate DUI arrests to his credit prior to the 2011 accident; this included three episodes between April ’04 and April ’07.
Kusznikow Sentenced To Seven Years In State Prison For Drunk Driving Death, Patch.com, July 19, 2013
Stafford driver, son of councilman, gets 7 years for killing pedestrian while intoxicated, APP.com, July 19, 2013