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Despite frequent warnings from traffic safety advocates and police agencies all across the country regarding the dangers of drunken driving and the negative effects that a drinking and driving conviction can have on one’s personal and professional life, tens of thousands of motorists are arrested for DUI-DWI every month in the United States. Amazingly, almost one-third of all drunk driving arrests involve a repeat offense; based on this fact alone, it is certain that many American drivers, including motorists from the Garden State, are treading on dangerous ground when it comes to suffering not only physical injury, but also collateral effects on one’s career and livelihood.

Surprisingly, some may say, is that the overwhelming majority of DWI-DUI arrests entail a motorist being stopped returning from a likely pleasant outing with friends, family or coworkers. With the number of people participating in these kinds of social events, the odds of having at least one sober individual who could drive an intoxicated individual home is probably quite high. Yet, week after week, hundreds of New Jersey drivers are hit with summonses for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

It is perhaps wise to remind readers that even one drunk driving conviction can have a devastating impact on a person’s ability to get to work, or even cause problems for an individual as far as maintaining one’s job. These days, with an already tight job market, does it really makes sense to risk losing one’s job because of having a drink or two with friends? For anyone who questions the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, we have some sobering thoughts on the subject.
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We recently started addressing some of the more commonly asked questions regarding drunk driving arrests, DWI charges and DUI-DWI convictions here in New Jersey. For those individuals who have already experienced a drunken driving arrest first hand, some of the issues we have and will discuss may seem quite familiar. However, the best time to learn about the ins and outs of DWI and drug DUI defense is usually before one is arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Right off the bat, we will say that if you or someone you know has been issued a summons or otherwise charged with intoxicated driving or breath test refusal, it is usually in your best interest to seek out the help of a skilled trial attorney with years of experience in handling drunk driving cases for drivers accused of DWI or DUI here in the Garden State.

Over the years, as New Jersey DUI-DWI attorneys, my legal team has helped hundreds of people fight charges levied against them by local and state police in counties such as Bergen, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth. Whether a motorist has been accused of drinking and driving, operating a motor vehicle while impaired due to legal use of a prescription medication, or the taking of illicit drugs (maybe even a marijuana possession charge in a motor vehicle), our attorneys and professional legal staff are ready to lend their expertise to a client’s defense.
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As experienced DWI defense lawyers, my law firm understands how many drivers who are accused of DWI can be quite nervous about the serious consequences they may be facing following a drunken driving arrest. It is important to note, however, that some instances of drunk driving may be much more damaging for one person than for another. In fact, a DWI conviction — or even simply an arrest for alleged DWI-DUI can severely impact some individual’s future career opportunities.

Commercial truck drivers come immediately to mind when the topic of intoxicated driving comes up. But other people, not just professional drivers, can suffer the aftereffects of a DUI conviction in many ways. The question of trust, employee safety and company liability are all serious issues that companies, both large and small, must consider when an employee is found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Like it or not, the complications of a DUI-DWI arrest and subsequent conviction can have long-term effects on many New Jersey drivers.

We were reminded of the havoc that a DWI conviction can have on some individuals just a short time ago when we read a news report of a Bayville woman who was taken into custody by Toms River police after she allegedly slammed into a fire hydrant with her car early on a Friday afternoon. Apparently, the 50-year-old woman had recently been hired as a babysitter by a local woman to take care of her son at home. Based on police reports, the officers stated that the babysitter had been discovered drunk at her employer’s home earlier that day.
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Here in New Jersey, being arrested for DWI or driving under the influence of alcohol is different from many states because Garden State motorists accused of impaired driving are not permitted a trial by jury. Instead, drivers who have been charged with DWI or drug DUI will get a court trial with only a judge to decide the defendant’s guilt or innocence. As with many aspects of the legal system, there are pluses and minuses associated with a non-jury trial.

As experienced DUI-DWI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know that with the lack of a jury trial, a defendant who is found guilty by a New Jersey municipal court judge in a standard drunk driving trial will usually be able to challenge that decision in a high court under the legal concept known as a “de novo appeal.” In such instances, the de novo appeal for a New Jersey DWI conviction will usually be heard by a second, county level Superior Court judge.

Under our system of laws, an appeal is usually filed by one of the two parties following a particular legal outcome arrived at by either a judge or jury, and which typically seeks a formal change to an official court decision. In broad terms, in a typical de novo appeal, the judge will review the trial transcripts from the original hearing, as well as listen to additional arguments from the defendant’s lawyer and the attorneys from the prosecutor’s office that originally filed the charges against the motorist.
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Of course, everyone knows that a drunken driving conviction can have a substantial impact on one’s wallet or pocketbook; that’s a given, right? Well, some people know that there can be thousands of dollars hanging in the balance before the final verdict is handed down in municipal court, but that’s not the subject of today’s discussion. Right now, we are talking about the perilous effects that a DWI or drug DUI charge can have on a person’s job, livelihood and even long-term career prospects.

You see, as Garden State DWI-DUI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know that there are a large number of more obvious consequences following a drunk driving or drug DUI conviction. These can and many times do include community service, license suspension, very stiff fines, and jail time. But these immediate and rather palpable consequences aside, most individuals fail to consider the truly devastating effect that a drunken driving or drug DUI conviction can have on one’s life and future happiness. Many people are simply not aware that they can end up with severe and long-lasting problems involving their job and career — not just now, but in the weeks, months and years following a DWI-DUI conviction.

As drunken driving defense experts, we understand why many normally law-biding citizens end up suffering much more serious personal and professional complications after being convicted of a drug DUI or DWI offense. Many first encounter the collateral effects of a conviction when they find that their job may be at stake for what seemed like an innocent lapse in judgment. Keep in mind that actions often do have consequences and, these days, drinking and driving can often trigger serious repercussions at work.
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As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I know that a large percentage of people have no real idea of the long-term effects that a DWI or drug DUI conviction can have on a person and his or her family. Furthermore, those who may be concerned about the financial implications of a drunk driving arrest and possible guilty verdict may not fully grasp the extent of the financial pain that may be felt for years after a conviction for intoxicated vehicle operation.

Here in New Jersey, as in many parts of the country, a drug DUI or DWI conviction can result in a range of penalties including license suspension, fines, insurance premium increases, jail time, probation, alcohol and drug education classes, and possible installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). But if a person’s job involves driving a car, truck or bus, the implications go well beyond the relatively minor financial penalties and other inconveniences of a guilty verdict — some may find that themselves facing firing, unemployment and a serious impediment to one’s career.

Even for those who don’t necessarily rely on their ability to drive can find an employer is much less enthusiastic about any kind of drunken driving conviction. Such can be the case for all manner of jobs and employment situations. Take, for instance, the story of a physician at the Newark-Wayne Community Hospital who received a censure by his state’s Department of Health following a guilty plea to a driving while intoxicated charge in 2013.
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For anyone arrested on a drunk driving offense, the immediate issue is usually finding a good lawyer to help defend against the state’s prosecution of those charges. In short, your time has come and action should be taken to seek legal counsel regarding one’s DUI-DWI case. For the balance of the people out there who may be wondering about the pros and cons of a DWI arrest and possible conviction, it may be a good idea to consider the worst-case scenario and then go backward from there.

As New Jersey DWI attorneys, my law firm does defend many individuals who have been accused of impaired driving — either through the use of alcohol or the taking of legal narcotic medications (perhaps even the taking of illicit drugs) — but we in no way condone intoxicated vehicle operation or driving a car, truck or motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The best way to avoid a DWI or drug DUI is to avoid consuming any amount of alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Here in the Garden State few motorists have anything good to look forward to if a DWI-DUI conviction is the ultimate result. In addition to the often thousands of dollars in fines, fees and insurance premium increases, accused drunk drivers should also expect the installation of an ignition interlock device on their car once their driving privileges have been restored.
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As Garden State drunk driving attorneys, we understand how even a single DWI or drug DUI conviction can have a ripple effect through a person’s personal and professional life. And while drinking and driving may cause serious consequences for the average commuter, not the least of which is the complication of getting around without the use of a car for months on end, the story can be much worse for a professional driver where the loss of driving privileges can severely affect his or her ability to earn a living.

As experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my legal team is well aware of the thousands of dollars that can be on the line when a motorist is facing a conviction for intoxicated driving, but as we mentioned previously, a professional truck or bus driver who loses his or her commercial driver’s license (or CDL) may be looking at a dim future, certainly in the short run. For individuals like the Essex County man who is currently under investigation for his part in the crash of two double-decker tour buses in Manhattan recently, the threat of losing one’s CDL, and hence one’s livelihood, can be nothing short of catastrophic.

According to the news articles that are popping up on the internet following the much publicized bus collision in Times Square this past Tuesday, the New Jersey man who was piloting one of the vehicles may have been high on some kind of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) at the time of the wreck. Based on reports, while there was no evidence that the bus driver had consumed alcohol prior to the collision, police did take the man into custody after he allegedly failed a field sobriety test at the scene.
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Although the majority of drivers here in New Jersey are likely aware of the more immediate effects of a drunken driving arrest and conviction — such as license suspension, fines, insurance premium assessments and even jail time — fewer people have considered the longer-term effects of a DWI-DUI. As Garden State trial lawyers and experts in the area of drunken driving defense, my legal team is well aware of the often more serious, and possibly life-altering effects of a DWI or drug DUI conviction.

While the average motorist would not likely consider who critical his or her driver’s license is to daily life, those with jobs that require the ability to drive, not just to and from work, but drive a vehicle during the course of their work day. For those individuals who rely on their personal driver’s license (not to mention a commercial driver’s license, or CDL) to make a living, there could be very dire consequences should they be arrested for drunken driving or drug-impaired vehicle operation.

For anyone whose job involves driving, the thought of losing one’s job may only come to the fore when he or she sees the flashing lights of a police cruiser in the rearview mirror. The fact is, when all is going well, most people never take into account the downside of a drunk driving arrest. But as the inevitable hearing date draws nearer, it often becomes more and more evident that the services of an experienced DWI-DUI defense attorney may be needed.
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There are any number of events that can lead up to a drunk driving arrest — speeding, improper lane change, a burned-out headlight or tail lamp — almost anything can trigger a traffic stop by a municipal police officer or state trooper. Of the many different scenarios that can eventually lead to DWI or drug DUI charges, one situation that has become more and more frequent of late is the phoning in of a bad driver complaint to local police departments or the state patrol.

Over the past decade, law enforcement agencies have received more and more phone calls from concerned motorists who wish to report suspected drunk or impaired drivers. This has become extremely easy for almost anyone to do thanks to the explosion of cellphone and smartphones. More often than some may think, anonymous callers alert police of some suspected intoxicated driver on the parkway, surface streets or interstates, after which an arrest may be forthcoming.

For any driver who ends up receiving a drunk driving summons from a patrolman following a call from one of these frequent tipsters, there may be a lingering question of whether the initial police stop can be legally justified. To be sure, in order for a drunk driving arrest to be valid, there are indeed evidentiary and legal requirement that should be met. In general, because of the myriad of possible factors, it is wise to consult with a New Jersey DWI attorney; after which he or she will be able to analyze the facts surrounding the “tipster” situation and make a determination or whether or not the arrest (and the charges levied) were based on correct legal principals.
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