Client from India who is Legal Resident on work visa cannot renew NJ Driver’s License because the name on the Federal SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program Database System) and the Department of Motor Vehicles do not match.
Our firm was recently hired to help a citizen of India here on a work visa renew his NJ Driver’s License. The problem arose because the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program Database System (SAVE) has a programming error. Due to the way the name appears on a passport from India, the SAVE database merges the person’s first and middle name into a single first name. The SAVE database is a component of the Department of Homeland Security that was created “as a fast, secure and efficient verification service for federal, state and local benefit-granting agencies to verify a benefit applicant’s immigration status or naturalized/derived citizenship.” Read more
New Jersey Restraining Orders: Proving Intent to Harass
If you are the defendant in a restraining order case who is being charged with harassment, it is vital that you contact an experienced New Jersey restraining order attorney to discuss your case. The criminal charge of harassment is quite broad and nature and, as a result, is often alleged by the plaintiffs in restraining order contexts.
New Jersey case law, however, requires that the defendant have acted with an actual intent to harass in this context. Many times, the defendant’s alleged harassing conduct was not done with an actual intent to harass the plaintiff, but instead was done for some other reason. As such, the plaintiff’s failure to prove that the defendant acted with an intent to harass can be a winning defense in many of these cases. Read more
New Jersey DWI/DUI FAQs
The DWI attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf have been representing defendants charged with DWI/DUI for over more than 25 years. We know not only the law, but also how the system works and we use our knowledge and experience to help protect your rights and fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome.
The following are some of the most commonly asked DWI questions. Read more
NJ Restraining Orders: Do New Jersey Courts Have Personal Jurisdiction Over an Out-of-State Defendant?
Often times, victims of domestic violence flee their home state in order to escape the violence of their alleged perpetrators. In these instances, the State of New Jersey does protect victims of domestic violence who come to New Jersey looking for refuge from their alleged abusers. In this regard, New Jersey’sPrevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-17 to -35, permits fleeing victims of domestic violence to file for a protective order in a place where the plaintiff resides or is sheltered at the time of the filing. See N.J.S.A. § 2C:25-28 (“[A] plaintiff may apply for relief under this section in a court having jurisdiction over the place where the alleged act of domestic violence occurred, where the defendant resides, or where the plaintiff resides or is sheltered.”) Read more
New Jersey Bail Reform – Major Changes Effective January 1, 2017
On January 1, 2017, substantial changes to the processing of criminal cases in New Jersey will go into effect. Although the changes made under New Jersey’s criminal law reform will affect almost all aspects of a New Jersey criminal case, the focus in particular will be on the following two areas of criminal law in New Jersey: (1) pretrial release and bail; and (2) the right to a speedy trial. Read more
Out of State DWI Convictions May Count Towards Priors When Charged with Violating N.J.S.A.2C:10-26 (Fourth Degree Operating a Motor Vehicle During a DWI Suspension)
Just recently, in State v. Luzhak, the New Jersey Appellate Division construed N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, fourth degree operating a motor vehicle during a license suspension stemming from DWI, to apply to DWI convictions from anywhere in the United States. In that case, the defendant, who had two prior DWI convictions, one from 2013 in Maryland and the other from 2010 in New Jersey, was issued a motor vehicle summons in Woodbridge for driving with a suspended license in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-40.
The defendant was subsequently indicated for fourth-degree operating a motor vehicle during a second license suspension stemming from a DWI, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(b). The defendant thereafter filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, arguing that the 2013 DWI conviction in Maryland did not qualify as a predicate DWI conviction pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(b). The defendant’s argument was essentially that, since N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(b) did not specifically reference license suspensions due to out-of-state DWI convictions, the statute should be interpreted to specifically require previous license suspensions pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, New Jersey’s DWI statute.
The Appellate Division first reviewed the legislative history regarding N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26 and noted that the Senate intended to impose
“criminal penalties for persons whose [drivers’] licenses are suspended for certain drunk driving offenses and who, while under suspension for those offenses, unlawfully operate a motor vehicle.”
The court also noted that the law was prompted by reports of fatal or serious accidents caused by those with multiple DWI convictions, who continued to drive with suspended licenses. In addition, the court further noted that prior decisions have held that out-of-state convictions for an offense equivalent to a DWI were to be considered as a prior offense for enhanced sentencing purposes on a subsequent DWI conviction.
Using this analysis, in addition to New Jersey’s strong public policy against drunk driving, the court held that N.J.S.A.2C:40-26(b) contemplated convictions for DWI or its equivalent in foreign jurisdictions — even those jurisdictions which are not a party state in the Interstate Driver License Compact. In short, what this means is that DWI convictions from anywhere in the United States can expose you to the criminal penalties as set forth in N.J.S.A.2C:40-26, a fourth-degree crime. Those penalties include a mandatory 180 day county jail sentence in addition to up to two years of license suspension on top of the already existing suspension.
Despite the Appellate Division’s decision, other defenses may remain. For example, if we are able to establish that your out-of-state DWI conviction was based exclusively upon a violation of a proscribed blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.08%, then that conviction may not count against you as a prior DWI conviction. If you have been charged with violating N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, contact the DWI attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf today. We will review your case for possible defenses to this charge. Call us today at (732) 741-4448 for a free consultation.
On September 19, 2016, it was released that State Police Sgt. Marc Dennis, a former coordinator in the State Police’s Alcohol Drug Testing Unit (“ADTU”), has been suspended pending an investigation into his calibration of Alcotest instruments. Sgt. Dennis was responsible for the calibration of Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C units in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union Counties.
Specifically, the State is alleging that Sgt. Dennis failed to use the proper thermometer to test the simulator solutions prior to starting the calibration of the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C units. This step is necessary under the Supreme Court’s decision in which set forth the necessary steps the State Police must undertake to properly calibrate the Alcotest instrument. Read more
Just recently, the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf represented a client that was being charged with their fourth cell phone violation in New Jersey. As a fourth offense, pursuant to New Jersey’s hands free driving law, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3, the client faced a fine of between $600.00 and $800.00 dollars, the assessment of 3 motor vehicle points, and up to 90 days of driver’s license suspension. Read more