As a long-standing drunk driving defense law firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have been helping motorists fight intoxicated driving and drug impairment charges for many years. If there is anything that my colleagues and I have learned during this time, it’s to never underestimate the role that fate can play in one’s life. We were reminded of this just a few days back when we ran across a news article about a motorcycle rider who started his evening as the victim of an automobile accident headed to the hospital and ended as the recipient of a DWI summons, as well as more serious charges of CDS possession.
Before we describe the incident, it is important to mention that police allegedly found more than 100 bags of heroin either on the motorcycle rider’s person or loaded onto his bike. In either case, being charged with heroin possession and/or distribution should not be taken lightly. As criminal attorneys, as well as drunken driving lawyers, my legal team is well aware that a conviction for heroin possession/distribution comes with very harsh penalties under New Jersey law.
In fact, possession of ANY amount of heroin, which is defined as a controlled and dangerous substance (CDS), is guilty a third degree criminal offense with possible jail time of up to five years. The fine for a conviction of Third Degree Heroin Possession, at upward of $35,000, makes the fines and statutory assessments for drinking and driving seem like a drop in the bucket. Needless to say, this is a very serious offense to be hit with.
In the case of this particular motorcycle rider, the evening began on a very sour note. According to news articles covering the incident, the crash took place along a portion of Rte 37 at the intersection of Peter Ave. around 8pm on a Sunday night. Reports indicate that the 52-year-old Manchester, NJ, man was sitting on his motorcycle apparently lawfully stopped, and waiting for the traffic light to turn green, when his Kawasaki sport bike was rear-ended by another vehicle.
According to the Toms River police department, the car that hit the man was being driven by a 69-year-old Brick, NJ, resident. As a result of the crash, the biker was thrown into the intersection from his cycle. Once emergency responders had arrived, the injured motorcyclist was helicoptered away from the crash scene and over to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition after being treated for his personal injuries.
In the absence of detailed reporting, it would seem that in the course of his treatment in the emergency room, or possibly at the crash site itself, that medical personnel and/or police officers may have noticed that the biker had some evidence of intoxication. Police likely requested a direct blood draw to test the man’s blood-alcohol content (BAC), if any, and this is most likely what precipitated the drunken driving charge.
In addition, it also appears that the individual in question was either allegedly carrying on his person or otherwise had stored on his motorcycle what police described as 105 bags of heroin, as well as an unstated amount of oxycodone; both of these are listed as a CDS under the New Jersey legal statutes. As a result, Toms River police charged that injured motorcyclist with DWI, plus possession of heroin and oxycodone.
Manchester Motorcyclist Charged With DWI, Patch.com, July 1, 2014