Having represented numerous defendants against various civil and criminal charges over the years, my colleagues and I handle a great deal of cases involving motorists accused of drunken driving, drug DUI, and other offenses related to impaired operation of a motor vehicle here in New Jersey. As skilled DWI defense attorneys, we know which cases may be tough going for our clients and which will be more routine. In some instances, we can even tell early on whether or not a DWI or DUI case may be thrown out due to insufficient evidence or improper police procedure.
Regardless of the cause of a drunk driving or drug-related DUI arrest, having a qualified legal professional on one’s side can not only be a smart move, but it can also be reassuring for the defendant to know that he has a knowledgeable expert in the area of drunk driving law representing his interests in court. As professional litigators, my legal team has extensive litigation experience throughout the Garden State. And, when asked by potential clients, we often hold that fighting a DWI-DUI charge is a wise course of action, especially considering the financial consequences.
Of course, the monetary aspects of a drunken driving conviction can frequently be a serious consideration, especially for those individuals who are facing a significant DWI-DUI offense. One serious charge that a percentage of drivers end up being accused of is DWI while having young children in the vehicle. Just as a DUI or DWI in a school zone can result in extensive penalties following a conviction, having kids in a motor vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can make for a rather difficult legal situation as well.
The New Jersey state law that covers DWI with minors in a car comes under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15. For individuals convicted of this type of offense, the law calls for an additional six-month license suspension following such a conviction. Potentially serious outcomes, vis-à-vis monetary penalties and the like, after a conviction for DWI with minors aboard comes to mind whenever we read news stories about a parent, grandparent or child care professional who has been arrested for being drunk while transporting youngsters in a car, SUV or minivan.
Take the news article we ran across not too long ago regarding a 42-year-old New Jersey mother who was picked up for drunk driving by Linden police following a multi-vehicle accident along a stretch of E. Elizabeth Ave — the circumstances were apparently compounded when police found that her 2-year-old son was riding unrestrained in the back seat of her car.
According to news reports, the local woman was headed west when for some reason her ’01 Oldsmobile hit another vehicle from behind in moving traffic. Following the initial impact, police reports indicate that the woman’s vehicle then struck another vehicle parked on the roadside. Based on the news article, the officers in charge questioned the woman, who allegedly told them that she didn’t know what occurred prior to the wreck.
Officers in charge of the investigation ended up charging the woman with drunk driving while having a child in her vehicle. In addition, she was reportedly issued summonses for careless driving, failing to use a child seat, and failing to produce an insurance card. She was subsequently charged with endangering the welfare of a child, which is a second-degree criminal offense. At the time of the news article, she apparently had been jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail pending her court date.
While there were thankfully no injuries tied to this event, the possible fact that the woman’s toddler was allegedly riding in the rear of her vehicle without a car seat, coupled with the intoxicated driving offense could make for a costly experience depending on what transpires in the courtroom.
Linden mom charged with DWI with 2-year-old in car, 7Online.com, September 23, 2014