We’ve repeatedly warned readers about the folly of driving while intoxicated under any circumstances here in the Garden State. Frankly, with the state laws what they are and the zealous nature with which county and municipal prosecutors pursue drunk driving convictions, is there any reason whatsoever to make one’s life any more complicated by adding a DWI to the mix? We think not. Yet, every day, motorists from all over the state, as well as those simply visiting, are caught driving while impaired by alcohol, prescription medications or illegal drugs, such as marijuana and meth.
As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, the attorneys here at the law offices of John F. Marshall are ready and willing to assist individuals who have been charged with traffic-related offenses such as DWI and drug DUI, as well as serious non-drunk driving-related crimes. Since most people do not expect to be charged with driving while intoxicated, the first step following a DWI arrest is to learn, quickly, about how to select a qualified defense attorney.
Most people have heard the old adage, “knowledge is power.” It’s true that one can educate him or herself about our state’s legal system and how cases work their way through the judicial process. You can also learn about the possible consequences from being convicted of the charges lodged against you. But this can also be a time consuming process. Certainly, along with informing yourself on the various legal points associate with your case, one should take some of that time to find a good DWI defense lawyer with trial experience.
Selecting an experienced attorney to represent you in a courtroom situation is an important part of defending your rights as a citizen, especially when the stakes are quite high. (We’ve covered the various penalties associated with a DWI conviction in the past, so we’ll leave that discussion for another time, but suffice it to say that the monetary costs and possible jail time for a drunk driving conviction can really get a person’s attention.)
Making sure that the attorney you pick is well versed in New Jersey drunk driving law and the details of landmark cases such as State v. Chun, et al. In addition to understanding the law as it applies to DWI and drug DUI, it is also a very good idea to ask a prospective lawyer about his or her knowledge of the commonly used breathalyzer machines. This last point is especially important if an accused person had his blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement take with a breath testing device such as the Alcotest machine.
As we’ve mentioned already, there is also no sense in complicating one’s case with actions that may give the prosecution additional ammunition to use against you. A traffic accident tied to a drunk driving incident can be a significant point when the state works its case against a defendant. But other actions or events can complicate matters for an accused drunk driver. Like the speeding episode we read about last month in which an out-of -state driver passed a police cruiser at a very high rate of speed. Needless to say, that was a red flag for the officer in charge that day.
According to news accounts, a Pennsylvania man traveling at what police claimed was 120mph along a stretch of Rte 42 in Gloucester Twp. a few weeks ago. Based on reports, a Mercedes passed a police car at double the posted limit a little after 3am on a Sunday morning. Giving chase, the patrolman stopped the suspect’s vehicle and allegedly found the 32-year-old exhibiting signs of intoxication. The officer had the driver perform a field sobriety test, which the man was reportedly unable to pass. He was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI, as well as a number of other moving violations. The man’s vehicle was impounded and he was released to a responsible party.
Pennsylvania man charged with DWI, doing 120 mph in Gloucester Township; NJ.com; February 11, 2013