2009: Municipal Court – Client charged with a 3rd Offense DWI (39:4-50), and Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test (39:4-50.4), Driving While Suspended (39:3-40) and Reckless Driving (39:3-40) after being pulled over for driving at an excessive rate of speed. Client was facing a mandatory 6 months in jail for the 3rd offense DWI as well as a 10 year suspension of his license for the DWI and a 10 year suspension on the Refusal for a total of 20 years.
Result: Attorney contended that the result of the field sobriety tests were not conclusive enough to convict the client of the DWI and the Prosecutor and Judge agreed. The DWI, Driving While Suspended and Reckless Driving were dismissed and the client pled guilty to the Refusal and was fined $1006 with a 10 year loss of license but no jail time.
2009: This arrest resulted from a motor vehicle chase though two separate towns. The Police Officer observed the client driving the wrong way on a highway and attempted to stop his car. The client fled leading the officer and was eventually stopped after running several red lights. In the jurisdiction in which the chase began the client was charged with 39:4-50 (Driving while intoxicated), 39:4-50.2 (Refusal of a Breathalyser), 39:4-96 (Reckless Driving), 2C:29-1A (a Criminal charge of Eluding a Police Officer), and 39:4-82.1 (Wrong Way on Divided Highway). In the town where the chase ended he was charged with 39:4-82.1 (Wrong Way on Divided Highway), 39:4-96 (Reckless Driving), and three counts of 39:4-81 (Failure to Observe Traffic Signals).
Result: The Client was facing extensive license suspensions of in excess of 2 years and up to six months in jail on the criminal eluding charge. He was charged with 24 points of tickets. In addition, a conviction on the criminal charge would have impacted this law student’s career. The Attorney was successful in negotiating a plea that resulted in no criminal record, no jail, and only a 7 month license suspension. The 24 points were reduced down to 6. In the original town the client pled guilty to 39:4-50 (DWI) which resulted in a 90 day suspension and $616 in fines, 39:4-50.2 (Refusal) with 7 months suspension of driving privileges concurrent and a $541 fine; 39:4-82.1 Wrong Way on Divided Highway (2 points) and $111 fine. The 2C:29-1A Eluding was dismissed along with the 39:4-96 (Reckless Driving). In the town where he was finally stopped guilty pleas were entered to two counts of 39:4-81 (Failure to Observe Traffic Signs) and had a $378 fine. The charges of 39:4-82.1 (Wrong Way on Divided Highway), 39:4-96 (Reckless Driving), and 39:4-81 were dismissed.
2009: Municipal Court – A domestic dispute was called into the police. When the police arrived the wife stated that her husband was intoxicated, had threatened her, and had driven away drunk. The police began a search for his vehicle which they located in a parking lot with the client near the car. The client appeared intoxicated, failed the field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. He refused to submit to a breath test. The client was charged with 39:4-50 (Driving While Intoxicated) and 39:4-50.2 (Refusal to submit to a Breath Test). If convicted, this would have been the client’s 4th DWI which could carry a sentence of $1,000 fine, a term of mandatory six months imprisonment in the county jail, a 10 year suspension of license, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. A conviction on the Refusal would carry with it an additional 10 year license suspension (for a total of 20 years) but no jail time.
Result: The client’s goal was to avoid the six months in jail and to minimize the suspension of his license. The attorney approached this problem from two different directions. Firstly, he filed Motions for Post Conviction Relief with the towns in which the client had previously been convicted seeking to prevent those uncounseled pleas to be used to enhance a jail sentence. Secondly, he raised a legal challenge to the State’s proofs on the operation of the vehicle (click this link to read the brief submitted to the court). The Prosecutor and the Court eventually agreed and the 4th Offense DWI charge (39:4-50), was dismissed. A plea of guilty was entered to the Refusal where an operation defense does not exist and the client received a 10 year suspension of driving privileges with $634 dollars in fines. No jail time was imposed.
2009: Municipal Court – Client was found sleeping in the back seat of his car which was being driven by his brother-in-law who was intoxicated. He was charged with allowing an intoxicated person drive his car under 39:4-50 which has the same penalties as a DWI.
Result: Attorney argued that the driver did not exhibit obvious signs of intoxication and obtained a dismissal of the charge.
2009: Municipal Court – Client was stopped for a DWI and assaulted a police officer upon his arrest and again at the police station. Client was charged with 39:4-50(g)1, DWI in a School Zone; 39:4-50.4a, Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer; 2C:12-1b(5)(a), Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer; 2C:29-2a(3)(a), Resisting Arrest; and 39:4-96, Reckless Driving. As this was the client’s second offense he was subject to a 4 year suspension on the DWI in a school zone and an additional 2 years suspension on the Refusal as well as up to 6 months in jail on the assault.
Result: Attorney was able to negotiate an amendment of the DWI in a School Zone down to a plain DWI and obtain a dismissal of the Refusal charge. The client received a $750 fine and a 2 year license suspension. The Resisting arrest charge was dismissed and the client pled guilty to a Simple Assault under 2C:12-1A1 with a $250 fine plus 30 days community service.
2009: Municipal Court – Police observed client swerving between lanes and talking on a cell phone while driving. The client failed field sobriety tests. A Breathalyzer test gave a .00% reading. A DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) examined the client and determined that he was under the influence of a CNS stimulant. His urine test was positive for cocaine. The client was issued summons for 39:4-50 (Driving Under the Influence), 39:4-96 (Reckless Driving), 39:4-88 (Failure to Maintain Lane), and 39:4-97.3 (Use of Cell Phone while Driving). Client was facing a 7 month suspension of his license.
Result: Attorney negotiated the charge down to a lower level DWI and the client received a 90 days suspension of driving privileges and a $539 fine. All other charges were dismissed.
2009: Municipal Court – Client was pulled over by police for having a brake light out. The officer noticed signs of intoxication and an alcotest showed a blood alcohol level of .10%. The client was charged with DWI (39:4-50), Careless Driving (39:4-97) and Failure to Maintain Lamps (39:3-66) and was facing a license suspension of 7 months to one year.
Result: Attorney challenged the accuracy of the Alcotest and negotiated a plea to a lower tier DWI of a .08% BAC. The Careless Driving and the Failure to Maintain Lamps were dismissed. Client was fined $256 plus normal DWI costs and was given a 3 months license suspension.
2009: Municipal Court – Client was pulled over by police for speeding and driving over the line almost striking a curb. The client was ticketed for: 39:4-50, Driving under the Influence; 38:4-96, Reckless Diving; 39:4-88(b), Failure to Maintain Lane; 39:4-126, Failure to Signal; 38:4-97 Careless Driving; 39:3-29, No Registration in Possession; 39:3-29, No Insurance in Possession; 30:4-50(g)- DWI in a School Zone; 39:4-58.16 66mph in a 50 mph Zone; and 39:3-74 Obstructed View was facing a 2 year loss of license for a DWI in a School Zone.
Result: Attorney was able to argue that the offense did not take place at a time school children were present and the DWI in a School Zone was dismissed. Client pled guilty to the DWI and received a 7 month license suspension and a $306 fine plus DWI costs. All of the other charges were dismissed.
2009: Municipal Court – Client was pulled over by police for not signaling for a turn. The police officer smelled alcohol on client’s breath and administered field sobriety tests which the client failed. She was arrested for 39:4-96, Reckless Driving; 39:4-50 Driving Under the Influence, and 39:4-126, Failure to Signal. The Alcotest result was .10% which made it an upper tier DWI with a 7 to 12 month suspension.
Result: Attorney argued that the Alcotest reading was not accurate based upon the tolerances of the machine and an ambient air test failure. The Court agreed and lowered the reading to between a .08% – .09%. The reckless driving and failure to signal charges were both dismissed. A fine of $658 was imposed with a 3 month suspension of her driver’s license.
2009: Municipal Court – Police Officer observed client swerve over the shoulder line and almost strike a bridge curb. Client failed psycho-physical tests and was given a Breatholyzer which resulted in a reading of .14%. She was issued summons for Driving While Intoxicated (39:4-50) and Failure to Maintain Lane (39:4-88) and was facing a 7 to 12 month suspension of her license for the DWI.
Result: Attorney argued that the Officer failed to establish that he had continuously observed the client for the required 20 minute period before administering the breath test. The reading was reduced to a .08% and the client pled guilty to a lower tier DWI with a $256 fine and a 3 months license suspension.
2009: Municipal Court – Police officer observed client driving through a School Zone at a high rate of speed (71 in a 50) and cross the center line several times. The client was stopped and failed a field sobriety test. The client was issued summons for 39:4-50 (Driving While Intoxicated), 39:4-50g (DWI in a School Zone), 39:4-98 (Speeding), 39:4-97 (Careless Driving), and 39:4-88b (Failure to Maintain Lane). As the offense occurred in a School Zone the fines and penalties for a DWI are increased and client was facing a 2 year suspension of his license.
Result: Attorney argued that the offense occurred at a time when school was not in session and that no children were present. He was able to persuade the Prosecutor to exercise his discretion and dismiss the DWI in a School Zone charge. Client pled guilty to 39:4-50 (Driving While Intoxicated) and was fined $664 with a 7 month suspension of driving privileges. All other charges were dismissed.
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