NJ DWI Lawyer Helps Clients Avoid Losing their Privilege to Drive and Incarceration

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Every NJ DWI Lawyer knows that the system is more unfair to those accused of drunk driving than any other kind of offense because the field sobriety test is subjective - one sided - and the courts treat a DWI arrest as a traffic offense.

A New Jersey DWI case rests almost entirely on an officer's subjective opinion based on things like the field sobriety test.

However, at least some of the opinions of a police officer may not be well founded, so a person may be railroaded by a poorly trained officer.

In addition, a drunk driving charge is treated by the Courts as a traffic offense as opposed to a criminal charge.

The main distinction is that jury trials are not allowed in a traffic case which makes it easier for the prosecution to get a conviction.

Hence, most clients feel a sense of dread believing - mistakenly - that there is no way to successfully defend this type of charge.

NJ DWI lawyer always reminds his clients just because an officer charged them with a DWI, the charge is still a mere allegation which must be proven in Court.

Indeed, police officers frequently make mistakes which gives rise to recourse in Court.

Perhaps the police officer did not have a valid reason to stop you while you were driving through a town like East Brunswick, New Jersey for example.

Any NJ DWI lawyer who is an experienced practitioner in defending against drunk driving charges is well informed about the New Jersey State Statute 39:4-50 which prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or with blood alcohol concentration of .08% or above.

Drivers under the age of 21 may be convicted of drunk driving even if their blood alcohol concentration is below .08%.

Click this link to view the mandatory fines and penalties for a DWI conviction in court.

Click this link to view the mandatory consequence for driving drunk while under the age of 21.

No plea agreements or downgrades whatsoever are permitted in drunk driving cases.

Hence, a NJ DWI lawyer will advise a client that a plea of guilty or conviction carries mandatory penalties such as revocation of one's driver's license.

There are also mandatory fines and state surcharges that cost thousands of dollars over several years.

Additionally, drunk driving defendants are exposed to insurance surcharges in the thousands of dollars for at least three years.

A municipal Court Judge even has the discretion to incarcerate a drunk driver up to thirty days for a first offense.

Jail term for second and third offenses are mandatory.

Finally, injuring someone in an accident while being under the influence is an indictable offense.

CDL drivers face even more severe consequences for a DUI conviction.

CDL drivers, for example, may lose their license for an additional one year for a first offense and they may lose their license for life upon a conviction of a subsequent offense, although they may apply for reinstatement after 10 years.

So! Penalties which clients of a NJ DWI lawyer face for drunk driving are severe, even if given the minimums.

In order for the State to procure a conviction for drunk driving it must first demonstrate that the police conducted a valid motor vehicle stop of a suspected drunk driver driving through a city like Woodbridge, New Jersey, for instance.

The State accomplishes this task by establishing "reasonable suspicion" for the stop.

The State must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspected drunk driver "operated" the vehicle in question.

After "reasonable suspicion" and "operation" are established the state must further prove that the police had "probable cause" to arrest the driver for drunk driving.

The police establish probable cause to arrest an individual for drunk driving by administering a field sobriety test.

Once the officer who administers the field sobriety test subjectively - one-sidedly - determines that the subject is impaired, an arrest is made and the subject is transported to the police station.

The next element that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that the driver's blood alcohol content was .08% or over.
The police establish this by administering a breathalyzer test. Before administering the breathalyzer test, however, the police must adhere to the 20 Minute Protocol. Another method to obtain a BAC reading is by way of a blood test. Drivers are charged with refusal when they hinder police efforts to administer a breathalyzer test or draw a blood sample.

Statute of Limitations

Statute of limitation on DUI charges to be brought is 90 days from the date of the alleged offense.

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Getting arrested for a DUI may validate what others suspected for some time, that there is an underlying problem with alcohol or drugs.

If a DUI is a catalyst for an alcoholic to find long lasting sobriety, it is well worth the cost.

There are many resources to help individuals with drug or alcohol problems and most of them can be found online.

For instance, the largest self help group is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that may be found online or by calling 411 and asking for Alcoholics Anonymous Central Office.

Their only requirement is that you desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees. Their sole purpose is to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Click this link to our DWI frequently asked questions page.

Click this link to our DWI Did You Know page.

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