For those drivers accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or impaired by prescription drugs, we as drunken driving defense attorneys understand how difficult this kind of charge may be on these individuals and their families. But there is one important distinction for those who are pulled over on the side of the road, or waved into a sobriety roadblock, only to be arrested and charged with DWI or drug DUI: you did not injure or kill somebody else as a result of being in an allegedly impaired state.
We have said it here numerous times in the past, but being accused with causing bodily injury or killing another individual while also allegedly being drunk behind the wheel is a far more serious situation than being picked up for a minor traffic violation and then being slapped with a drunk driving summons.
As New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyers, I and my colleagues are well prepared to represent those motorists who find themselves accused of drunken driving, drug DUI or even impairment due to a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), such as cocaine or marijuana. But adding a car, truck or motorcycle crash to the list of related charges can be a game-changer.
As one might guess, there is a fair percentage of DWI cases where the accused motorist faces not only a drunken driving offense, but also possible assault charges or even that of vehicular manslaughter. Whether an accident involves simple property damage or more serious personal or bodily injury, the mere fact that there was a collision involving one’s motor vehicle has a great deal of relevance once the case comes before a judge.
Under these types of circumstances, there is really no good reason to walk into a courtroom without being backed up by a knowledgeable and skilled DWI-DUI attorney at one’s side. My legal defense team includes several former prosecutors, as well as a number of lawyers certified in the operation and maintenance of the Alcotest machine. Our wide range of trial experience, combined with our training in DWI and drug DUI law, can make a huge difference for those individuals facing an accident-related DWI offense involving physical injuries.
Having a good defense can be critical especially in cases where a defendant is accused of a drunken driving-related traffic accident. If found guilty under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, the level of severity vis-à-vis court imposed penalties is a matter of discretion on the part of the judge. Accidents involving a police officer as victim of a drunk driver can be particularly serious. Take the accident that occurred earlier this spring when a New Jersey motorist reportedly struck a state police vehicle along a stretch of Interstate 676 in the Camden, NJ, area.
According to news reports, two New Jersey state troopers were occupying the patrol car which was guarding an accident along I-676 on a Saturday morning when the crash occurred. The two officers from the Belmar Barracks, who were investigating a car crash at around 3am, had stopped their police cruiser in the roadway and were waiting at the scene when a second vehicle driven by a 38-year-old out-of-state driver hit them from behind.
Following the collision, both troopers were transported to Cooper University Hospital after they complained of pain. They were treated and eventually released, but the incident pointed up the fact that the collision could have been a great deal worse, not only for the policemen, but also for the driver who hit their vehicle. That man was arrested and charged with DWI, as well as marijuana possession in a motor vehicle.
N.J. trooper car hit by drunken driver, Philly.com, April 4, 2013