New Jersey DWI Charge When Not Driving

If you or someone you love has been charged with a DWI, you must not delay in reaching out to a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney who can protect your rights. With years of experience, we will thoroughly examine the facts of your case and determine a legal strategy accordingly. These cases are complex, and having the right attorney on your side can make all of the difference in your case.

The offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey consists of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Commercial drivers are legally intoxicated if their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 will be considered to be legally impaired if their BAC is 0.02 percent or higher. Thus, the legal limit varies depending on the type of driver you are.

There is a misconception among motorists that police must witness the defendant driving a motor vehicle in order to be convicted for a DWI, but this is actually not the case. In New Jersey, motorists do not have to be “driving” to be convicted of a DWI. While the State must prove both intoxication and “operation” in order to obtain a DWI conviction under New Jersey law, the term “operation” is defined in a very broad manner. In fact, the law does not define in any detail what it actually means to operate a vehicle. As a result, a number of drivers have been charged with DWI after being discovered by law enforcement asleep at the wheel in parked vehicles.

In situations in which a driver is in the car but not actually driving, a number of factors will be important, including the location of the driver, whether or not the engine was running, the location of the car, and what the driver was doing at the time he or she was approached by the police. For example, if the defendant is asleep at the wheel in a car parked on the side of the highway, a reasonable inference can be made that he or she had been driving shortly before stopping and falling asleep.

Just as in many other DWI cases, there may be a number of defenses at play in your case. We may be able to argue that you were not actually “operating” the motor vehicle even under New Jersey’s broad definition. However, in order to figure out if you have a defense, we have to examine the facts of your case.

If you were arrested for a DWI while you were in your car but were not driving, it is imperative to seek the help of a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney. At our firm, we can analyze the circumstances of your arrest and prepare a defense accordingly. You can rest assured that we will work diligently to keep your driving record clean. To speak to one of our attorneys in more detail, do not hesitate to call us at 877-450-8301 or reach out to us online.

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