N.J. Supreme Court Paves Way for the Re-Opening of Over 20,000 NJ DWI Cases

November 16, 2018 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

For almost two years, cases affected by the conduct of Sgt. Marc Dennis have been stayed by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The stay was put in place after it was discovered that Sgt. Dennis had not been following proper procedure with the calibration of the Alcotest machines in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union Counties.

Shortly thereafter, Judge Joseph F. Lisa, J.A.D. was appointed as a Special Master to hear testimony and arguments from both the State and Defense Bar  to determine the accuracy and admissibility of results of the Alcotest machine when the calibration was not done in accordance with the requirements of State v. Chun. In an extensive opinion, Judge Lisa determined that the State could not sustain their burden of proof as to the scientific reliability of the Alcotest machine without the NIST-traceable temperature check being performed on the simulator solutions. Read More »

Marijuana DUI’s in New Jersey, Part 2

October 29, 2018 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

This is the second installment of a series of blogs discussing how different DUI laws are adopted in states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized. As New Jersey is on the cusp of legalization, this series will look at how other states handle Marijuana DUIs. This can give us an idea of how New Jersey may handle them as well.

The last state we looked at was California.   In this article we will be looking at the DUI laws related to marijuana in Colorado. Please review the issues involving testing we discussed in the last installment.  

One of the major differences we see in Colorado, is not only is there a charge for Driving Under the Influence, but there is also an offense called Driving While Ability Impaired (“DWAI”). This does not usually have a license revocation, and is a lesser offense. The State in these DWAI cases, must show that your ability to operate a motor vehicle has actually impaired, but not enough to rise to level of DUI. A DWAI is when marijuana affects you so that your ability to safely operate a vehicle, either physically or mentally, is less than what it ordinarily would be. Read More »

Marijuana DUI’s in New Jersey, Part 1

October 29, 2018 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

In this series of blogs we are going to discuss the effect on DUI laws in states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized. Since New Jersey seems to be on the cusp of legalization, this series will look at how other states handle Marijuana DUIs. This can give us an idea of how New Jersey may handle them as well. It is important to note that in many other states DUIs and DWIs are criminal offenses, while in New Jersey they are motor vehicle offenses.

The issue of how to test for marijuana are applicable to all states. The problem with blood tests and marijuana is that, unlike alcohol, marijuana can stay in your blood for several weeks after using it. Therefore, blood tests are not accurate in showing when the marijuana was consumed and how much was consumed. Further, depending on your habitual marijuana use, the level in your system can vary, regardless of recent use.

    Urine tests do not have the ability to detect THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), just marijuana metabolites. This is problematic because THC is the active ingredient that causes the high which could impair driving. However, especially with medicinal  marijuana that has a high cannabidiol (CBD) level and limited, if any THC, this is a issue. CBD does not cause intoxication and therefore CBD alone cannot impair a driver.

    California is similar to New Jersey, where in order to be found guilty of a DUI or DWI the State must be able to prove that 1) the driver was intoxicated, 2) the intoxication impaired the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and 3) the driver operated the motor vehicle. The following is from CALCRIM 2110: Read More »

Glove Box Defense – What is it and When to Use it

September 22, 2018 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

A sometimes useful defense for DWI and DUIs is known as the “glove box” defense. The glove box defense comes into play when the motor vehicle is pulled over on the side of the road or parked somewhere. It also helps if drugs, alcohol, or empty bottles or packaging are found in or around the vehicle. One of the key elements that the State has to prove to convict a person of a DWI or DUI is that they were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time they operated the motor vehicle or that they then had an intention to operate the vehicle. The glove box defense is saying “Yes, I may have been under the influence, but, it is plausible that I drove to the location you found me perfectly sober and drank the alcohol or taken the drugs while I was sitting here, and I was just going to take a nap. I did not have any intention of operating a motor vehicle at this time.” Read More »

DWI vs DUI in New Jersey

December 8, 2016 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

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 »

Out of State DWI Convictions May Count Towards Priors

October 4, 2016 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

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. Read More »

Defense to a Refusal Charge in New Jersey: The Confusion Doctrine

December 10, 2015 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog, Traffic Law Blog 

There are very few defenses to a refusal charge in New Jersey.  In order to be found to have refused a breath test in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4, the State must prove the following four essential elements:

(1) probable cause to believe that the defendant had either been driving or was in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated;

(2) police officers in fact arrested the defendant for driving while intoxicated;

(3) officers informed the defendant of the consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test and subsequently request that defendant submit to a breath test; and;

(4) the defendant refused to submit to the breath test.

[State v. Marquez, 202 N.J. 485, 503 (2010).]

If you are arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), however, it can be a confusing and intimidating situation.  There are many questions that may run through your mind, such whether or not you have a right to refuse the test or consult with an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to the breath test.  In fact, the various statements read by police officers to individuals arrested for suspicion of DWI can often compound this confusion.

Police officers first usually read the DWI the Miranda warning, followed by the “implied consent” warning.  While the Miranda warnings state that a defendant has the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney, the “implied consent” warning specifically informs the suspect that the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney do not apply to the taking of breath tests.
Read More »

Will a Prior Out-of-state DWI Conviction Enhance a Subsequent DWI in New Jersey?

June 17, 2014 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

Clients often inquire as to whether or not any previous out-of-state DWI convictions or other alcohol-related traffic violations will effect their New Jersey DWI matter.  A previous out-of-state alcohol-related traffic offense can indeed affect the penalties that will be imposed in your current New Jersey DWI case.  This is because the DWI penalties in New Jersey increase with each subsequent DWI conviction.  Due to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC) a New Jersey court can count an out-of-state conviction as a prior conviction for sentencing purposes if the statute under which they were convicted of having violated is considered to be of a “substantially similar nature” to a DWI in New Jersey.  N.J.S.A. 39:5D-4(2)(c). Read More »

Military DUI’s in New Jersey

March 9, 2014 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

Being convicted of a DUI as a member of the military can carry a variety of negative consequences, both professionally and civilly.  Military clients often contact Randolph H. Wolf to aggressively defend against military DUI convictions with several questions about the consequences they face.  This article will provide a brief overview of those consequences.

There are two types of military DUI cases: those where a military member is arrested by the civilian police for DUI and those where a military member was arrested for DUI while on base.  The procedures and consequences depend on which type of case you fall under. Read More »

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

March 2, 2014 · Posted in Blog, DWI / DUI Blog 

Although some states have begun legalizing marijuana for both medical (such as New Jersey) and recreational use (such as Colorado), much research has not yet been conducted on the effects of driving while under the influence of marijuana.  Answers to important questions such as how dangerous it is, how to test for impairment due to marijuana, and how the risks compare to driving while intoxicated, have been slow to reach the general public.  Read More »

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