DWI and DUI Results 2008

2008: Superior Court – Client who had never had a driver’s license lost control of a car after consuming alcohol resulting in a crash with passengers suffering injuries including one with severe head injuries and being permanently disabled. Charges were Assault by Auto (2C:12-1c(2) (3rd degree), Assault by Auto (2C:12-1a2) (4th degree), Driving While Intoxicated (39:4-50), Unlicensed Driver (39:3-10) and other motor vehicle offenses. Potential penalties were up to 6 1/2 years in State Prison.

Result: Attorney negotiated a plea to one count of Assault by Auto and a sentence of 3 Years Probation with no jail time and a two year drivers license suspension.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with Possession of Marijuana (2C:35-10(a)(4) (Disorderly Persons Offense punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a 6 month to 2 year driver’s license suspension) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2C:36-2) (same penalties).

Result: Client held securities licenses for which even a Conditional Discharge would cause a loss of employment. Attorney filed a Motion to Suppress the Automobile Stop and Search arguing that the Police Officer did not have a sufficient suspicion of unlawful activity to stop the defendant who was lost and made a u-turn. Attorney also argued that the Police Officer did not have probable cause to search a wooden box located in the center console of the car which contained the marijuana. The Court granted the Suppression Motion and all of the charges were dismissed.


2008: Superior Court – Client charged 3rd Degree Crimes of Burglary (2C:18-2) and Theft of Movable Property (2C:20-3a) by breaking into 10 automobiles and stealing stereos and GPS devices. Potential penalties were 5 years in State Prison and $30,000 in fines for each offense.

Result: Attorney negotiated a plea to one count of 3rd Degree Theft and client was permitted to apply to Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). Client was accepted into PTI Program and all criminal charges were eventually dismissed.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with Possession of Marijuana (2C:35-10(a)(4) and Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle (39:4-49.1). Potential penalties were 6 months in jail, a $1000 fine and a 6 month to 2 year licenses suspension on the criminal charge and a two year loss of license on the motor vehicle charge.

Result: Attorney obtained a Conditional Discharge on the criminal charge (1 year non-reporting probation and $800 in penalties) and obtained a dismissal of the motor vehicle charge with no suspension.


2008: Superior Court – Client with extensive criminal record was on probation for two 3rd Degree charges of Distribution of Heroin (2C:35-5b(3). Client was arrested on new charge of Possession of Heroin (2C:35-10a(1) and charged with a violation of his original probation for failure to report and for committing a new offense. Client was facing the 5 years in State Prison on the Probation Violation and 5 years in State Prison on the new offense.

Result: Attorney assisted the client into entering a drug treatment program and negotiated a plea arrangement for a probationary sentence with an extension of probation and no jail time.


2008: Superior Court – Juvenile – Minor charged with Criminal Mischief (Disorderly Persons Offense) for setting fire to a township shed.

Result: Charge amended to Disorderly Conduct (a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense) and a Deferred Disposition was entered by the Court. Four months later the charges were dismissed and the minor has no record of a criminal conviction.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with Disorderly Conduct (2C:33-2A(1) and Interfering with a Lawful Arrest (2C:29-2A(1)) both Disorderly Persons Offenses carrying with them a Criminal Record, 6 months in jail and a $1000.00 fine.

Result: Both criminal offenses were amended to Municipal Ordinances and client was fined $789.00 with No Criminal Record.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with Shoplifting jewelry at a department store a Disorderly Persons Criminal Offense carrying a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.

Result: Criminal charge was amended to a non-criminal Municipal Ordinance with a $433.00 fine. No Jail. No Criminal Record.


2008: Municipal Court – Client who was thrown out of bar re-entered it and was arrested and charged with Defiant Trespass (2C:18-3B), Possession of Marijuana (2C:35-10A), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2C:36-2). Client who had a prior drug conviction was not eligible for a Conditional Discharge and was concerned about the 6 month – 2 year driver’s license suspension for the drug offense.

Result: The Criminal Trespass was amended to a Municipal Ordinance with a $533.00 fine. The Drug Paraphernalia charge was dismissed. A guilty plea was entered to the Marijuana charge with a $500.00 fine. Attorney argued that the client who worked for a mutual fund would lose his job without a driver’s license and the Court made a finding of Exceptional Circumstances and did not suspend the client’s license.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI) (39:4-50) facing a 6 months to 1 year license suspension, Possession of CDS (Marijuana) in a Motor Vehicle (39:4-49.1) a mandatory 2 year license suspension), a criminal charge of Possession of Marijuana (2C:35-10a1) a fine of up to $1,000.00 with up to six months in jail and a 6 month to 2 year license suspension, a seatbelt violation (39:3-66), and Reckless Driving (39:4-96).

Result: Client was a 28 year old woman stopped for an alleged equipment violation (taillight not working). Her Breathalyzer result was .0% BAC, however, a urine sample was positive for marijuana and a Police Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) conducted an examination and concluded she was under the Influence of Marijuana and unfit to operate a motor vehicle. The Attorney hired a Drug Recognition Expert (Herbert Lecke) who prepared a report challenging the conclusions of the Police DRE. In addition, the Attorney filed a motion to compel the Prosecutor to supply additional Discovery including the Officer’s DRE Certification Card, DRE Resume, DRE Rolling Logs, and DRE Progress Log. The documentation eventually produced demonstrated that the Police Officer DRE was not fully certified until 3 months after he had evaluated the defendant.

The Court entered a Directed Verdict of Not Guilty on the charge of Driving Under the Influence. Defendant pled guilty to charge of reckless driving and received a $200 fine and a 90 day license suspension. The tickets for Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle and the seatbelt were dismissed. A Conditional Discharge was granted on the criminal marijuana possession and the defendant was fined $800.00 with one year probation and no record of a criminal conviction.


2008: Municipal Court – Client observed by police officer vomiting from car then nearly hitting curb and driving into oncoming traffic lane. Client was falling down at scene and was taken to Emergency Room after continuing to vomit in patrol car. Blood test taken in hospital showed a blood alcohol level of .21% BAC. Client charged with DWI (upper tier – 7 to 13 month license suspension), Careless Driving (39:4-97) (2 points), Failure to Maintain Lane (39:4-88) (2 points), Seat Belt Violation (39:3-76f), and a criminal charge of Underage Consumption of Alcohol (2C:33-15A).

Result: Attorney challenged the admissibility of the Laboratory Report on the blood alcohol level because of the state’s failure to produce an affidavit from the nurse who drew the blood indicating it was done in a medically acceptable manner and the failure to produce a satisfactory chain of custody for the blood sample. Client pled guilty to a lower tier DWI based solely upon the observations of the officer at the scene and paid fines and costs of $658, had his license suspended for 90 days and had to serve 12 hours in the IDRC. The criminal charge and all of the other motor vehicle charges were dismissed.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with 2nd Offense DWI when officer observed him driving 100 mph, changing lanes 5 times, passing vehicle on both the left and right, and almost striking a concrete barrier. Client failed psycho-physical tests and had a Breath Test reading of .19% BAC. Potential penalties were DWI 2nd Offense (39:4-50) (2 year license suspension, $750 fine, 90 days community service, and 48 hours IDRC), Speeding (19:9-1.2) (39 miles over – 5 points), Failure to Maintain Lane (39:4-88) (2 points), Improper Passing (39:4-85) (5 points), and Reckless Driving (39:4-96) (5 points).

Result: Attorney demanded production of documentation on the Breath Test Machine and the Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) Report from the state. When it was not supplied Attorney filed a Motion to Compel its production. When the documentation was still not provided a Not Guilty finding was entered by the Court on the DWI. The motor vehicle charges of Speeding, Failure to Maintain Lane, and Improper Passing (totaling 12 points) were dismissed. The defendant pled guilty to a charge of Reckless Driving and was fined $506 with a 9 month license suspension.


2008: Municipal Court – Underage client charged with Driving While Intoxicated (39:4-50) based upon erratic driving on Garden State Parkway and physical observations. Client also charged with Speeding (19:0-1.2) (90 mph in a 65) (4 points), Failure to Maintain a Lane (39:4-88b) (2 points), Reckless Driving (39:4-96) (5 points), and Underage DWI (39:4-50.14).

Result: Attorney argued that .03% BAC was not sufficient to sustain a DWI charge, despite the officer’s observations. The client was found not guilty of the DWI and all of the motor vehicle charges were dismissed. Client pled guilty to the Underage DWI and was fined $325 and had his license suspended for 60 days.


2008: Municipal Court – Client charged with Upper Tier Driving While Intoxicated with a .14% Breathalyzer reading facing a 6 month to 1 year suspension of license, Reckless Driving (39:4-96) (5 Points), Speeding (39:4-98) (2 Points), and Driving While Suspended (39:3-40) (2nd Offense – 6 months license suspension and 1-5 days jail).

Result: Attorney obtained Expert’s Report indicating that the Breath Test was conducted with Canadian Ampules whose chemical composition was not properly authenticated. The Breathalyzer was not admitted into evidence and client pled guilty to a Lower Tier DWI (.08% BAC) with a 3 month license suspension and $750 in fines. The Speeding, Reckless Driving, and Driving While Suspended were dismissed.


2008: Municipal Court – Client who had a prior DWI was observed driving down the wrong side of the road by an approaching police officer. When stopped he was staggering and falling down and unable to say the alphabet. An Alcotest was administered with readings of .16% BAC (twice the legal limit of .08%). The potential penalty was a 7 month to one year loss of license as an upper tier DWI if treated as a first offense and a 2 year suspension if it was treated as a second offense.

Result: Attorney noted that the times reported for administration of the breath test as compared to the time of the arrest did not allow for the necessary 20 minute observation period. An Expert retained by the attorney prepared a report addressing the procedural issue. Attorney also argued that as 10 years had elapsed between the first and second DWI offenses, the client should be treated as a first offender. The Court sentenced the client as a first offender and the Prosecutor agreed that the State could not prove the level of intoxication was over .08% resulting in a 3 month license suspension and a $406 fine.


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