Driving While Intoxicated/Drunk Driving Defense
DWI "Drunk Driving" and DUI "Driving Under the Influence" in the State of New Jersey are serious charges that will follow you for the rest of your life if you are convicted.
Not only will you lose your driving privileges if convicted of a DUI/DWI in New Jersey, but you must ordinarily even be sentenced to jail on a second or subsequent offense. Also, the additional insurance costs and MVC surcharges alone if convicted of a DUI/DWI will cost several thousands of dollars, and/or cancellation of your insurance.
The New Jersey DUI/DWI law is complex and you need competent representation. The NJ DUI lawyers at Garces & Grabler, P.C. are the team you want on your side.
Our experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorneys have trained under some of the foremost DWI defense attorneys in the State. While some defendants and lawyers alike may be of the opinion that a DWI or DUI case is a hopeless cause, we, along with our team of highly experienced DWI lawyers and DUI experts, leave no stone unturned. If a defect exists in a DWI or DUI prosecution, we assure our clients that our experienced NJ DUI defense lawyers will find it.
The New Jersey law firm of Garces & Grabler, P.C. maintains offices in Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Union, and Essex counties, and we handle DWI and DUI cases throughout New Jersey.
Our team of skilled and experienced DUI defense lawyers, working closely with software engineers, independent laboratory chemists and former New Jersey State Police Breath Test experts, routinely challenge and prevail in DUI and DWI prosecutions in New Jersey.
Our New Jersey DWI/DUI defense lawyers and their team are also one of a handful of law firms actively involved in several phases of critical and detailed inspection and cutting-edge litigation concerning the Office of the Attorney General’s rollout of the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C breath test machines, currently utilizing NJ specifications version 3.11 programming.
Our DWI lawyers hold the prosecution to its accurate reporting obligations and burden of proof by challenging all the potential issues in your DWI or DUI case.
Here are a few examples of how our NJ DUI lawyers defense team will fight to exclude evidence from your case that may result in a dismissal of your DUI or DWI charge in New Jersey:
- You were illegally stopped
- The Field Sobriety Tests do not reliably indicate that there was even probable cause to arrest you to compel submissions to breath testing
- Breath test operator was unlicensed or had expired license
- The officer failed to read the Implied Consent Warning
- Breath test machine was not properly operated
- There were errors with the new Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C machine as documented in its embedded memory systems
- There was a language barrier and you did not understand that the officer advised you that you had the right to obtain an independent blood/urine test
- The alcohol reading was contaminated by asthma spray, cough drops, paint, fingernail polish (all of which contain alcohol)
- You were physically forced to give blood or urine
- A refusal charge only applies to breath testing and not to the refusal of giving blood or urine
- Videos and/or dispatch tape(s) do not show that you were intoxicated
- Prosecution failed to provide our DUI defense lawyers with complete discovery (all of the investigations/reports on your case)
- Court failed to provide a speedy trial
- What is "blood alcohol concentration"?
- Can I refuse a Breath Test?
- Are Breath-Test results always accurate?
- What if I lose my license from a DWI or Refusal conviction but continue to drive?
- What is the punishment for drunk driving?
- How can I get to work if I cannot drive?
- If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?
1. What is "blood alcohol concentration"?
Blood Alcohol Concentration or "B.A.C." is the most common form of measurement of intoxication usually used for medicinal or legal purposes. The Blood Alcohol Concentration ("B.A.C.") is measured in terms of the volume of alcohol per liter of blood. This amount is commonly determined via blood testing utilizing proper equipment in a proscribed manner or through the submissions of breath samples into an Alcotest device.
2. Can I refuse a Breath Test?
Any person licensed to drive in the State of New Jersey is deemed to have given their consent to the taking of samples of their breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the "B.A.C." If a motorist refuses to submit to the Breathalyzer, they can still be charged with a "D.W.I." and will subject themselves to an additional serious charge known as a Refusal to Submit to a Breathalyzer. A Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test falls under the jurisdiction of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a. and if an individual is convicted of a Refusal they face a monetary fine of up to $500, no less than 12 hours but no more than 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and shall forfeit their right to operate a motor vehicle for a period of not less than 7 months but no more than 1 year. These penalties can be imposed to run after you have served your penalties arising out of the original charge of "D.W.I." for a 1st offense, and are required to run consecutively in this manner if convicted of both a DWI and Refusal violations for subsequent offenses.
3. Are Breath-Test results always accurate?
No, not all Breath-Test results are accurate. This is the primary reason you need an experienced D.W.I. Attorney to look at your particular case. An experienced D.W.I. Attorney will look into other facets of the Alcotest device in question along with the process utilized by the testing officer to determine whether the results can be deemed reliable for admission within a court of law. This inquiry is not limited to but includes, for example, whether or not there were proper observations of the Defendant; mouthpiece was properly changed; the tests were performed within the required intervals and whether the B.A.C. scores are within an acceptable tolerance. As this office was one of only a few firms involved in the landmark STATE v. CHUN Supreme Court reliability hearings that ultimately defined the circumstances and requirements for admissibility of Alcotest breath test readings, we are particularly experienced in finding defects within the State's case against a defendant should same exist.
4. What if I lose my license from a DWI or Refusal conviction but continue to drive?
If a motorist is apprehended driving during their suspension period they will face serious repercussions. For a first offense Driving While Suspended due to a D.W.I. infraction, a Defendant is subject to a monetary fine of $1,000, a minimum revocation of their driver's license for a period of 1-2 years and a term of imprisonment not less than 10 days but no more than 90 days.
5. What is the punishment for drunk driving?
If an individual is convicted of a D.W.I., they are subjected to a monetary fine of up to $825, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days, no less than 12 hours but no more than 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and shall forfeit their right to operate a motor vehicle for a period of not less than 7 months but no more than 1 year.
Note: If an individual is apprehended for a D.W.I within 1000 feet of a school, they will be charged with Driving While Intoxicated within 1000 Feet of a School in addition to a D.W.I. Driving While Intoxicated within 1000 Feet of a School falls under the jurisdiction of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g) and is subject to a monetary fine up to $1,125, a term of imprisonment not to exceed 60 days and revocation of their driver's license for no less than 1 year but no more than 2 years. These penalties may be imposed to be served after you have already completed your D.W.I. penalties.
6. How can I get to work if I cannot drive?
Unfortunately the State of New Jersey does not recognize a hardship license or a temporary license for the sole purpose of driving to and from work from a DWI/Refusal conviction related suspension.
7. If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?
When an individual has been arrested on an allegation of Drunk Driving in the State of New Jersey, they need an experienced defense attorney to protect their constitutional rights. In light of recent judicial decisions, D.W.I. Defense has become extremely complicated. The penalties for a D.W.I. are serious as they include a monetary fine, jail time, loss of license and a substantial increase in your automobile insurance. A defendant needs the help of a dedicated seasoned defense attorney that will not only provide competent and zealous advocacy of your rights, but will aggressively attack every flaw in the Municipal Prosecutor's case. In addition, your particular case may require the drafting, filing and oral argument of a particular motion which may suppress evidence the Municipal Prosecutor may rely on, or even provide an argument for the defense attorney to convince the Municipal Judge to dismiss your case altogether. Ultimately, any individual charged with a D.W.I. can simply plead guilty. However, one should avail themselves to every possible defense, considering the harsh consequences and stigma which comes along with a conviction for drunk driving.
- Ignition Interlock Devices have become mandatory for all defendants convicted of a first drunk driving offense if their respective B.A.C. level is a .15% or more or any subsequent DWI violation. On a 1st offense, the interlock device shall be imposed for a period of no less than 6 months but no more than 1 year. Substantially additionally terms exist for subsequent convictions. An Ignition Interlock Device is a handheld breath-testing device, which is attached to the engine of your motor vehicle. The device is ordered by the Court to be attached to every motor vehicle owned, leased or principally operated by the defendant following the period of license revocation. The device requires a sober breath sample before starting the motor vehicle's respective engine.
- A defendant who fails to comply with a court order as it pertains to the installation of an interlock device shall have their respective driving privileges revoked for an additional period of 1 year. In addition, a defendant who is convicted of starting their respective motor vehicle by means other than providing a breath sample themselves or tampers with the interlock device itself may subject themselves to a criminal disorderly persons offense and shall have their driving privileges revoked for a period of 1 year.
- Many potential problems may arise with an Ignition Interlock Device. The most commonly used interlock device is one created by Draeger. The interlock device, for the most part, is alcohol specific, which means it will not test positive for a non-alcoholic substance. However, if an individual utilizes mouthwash, the device will register the presence of alcohol and register a violation. This law firm advises defendants subjected to an interlock device to avoid eating, drinking and smoking for at least a period of 10 to 15 minutes before providing a breath sample.
Dismissal of DWI Charges
In February 2011, New Jersey DWI defense attorney Jonathan Kessous, Esq. of the Criminal Traffic (DWI) Defense Unit of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented P.M. in a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. Mr. Kessous appeared in Court and persuaded the Municipal Prosecutor and the Judge to completely dismiss the charges based on the defense that the observations of the officer that appeared to be intoxication were, in fact, really indicia of an episode of psychological depression. As Mr. Kessous successfully advocated that there existed no objective basis to convict the Defendant under the DWI statute, P.M. drove home from the Court that very evening with not so much as a penny in fines.
DWI Alcotest Successfully Challenged
In January of 2011, New Jersey DWI defense attorney Jonathan A. Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic/DWI Defense Unit of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a Ms. Isabella S. in a municipal court in Mercer County for a DWI and a Refusal to provide proper breath test samples, among other traffic related charges. Upon motion, Mr. Kessous convinced the arresting officer, municipal prosecutor and ultimately the presiding judge to dismiss both of the DWI and Refusal allegations, thus saving this Defendant thousands of dollars in surcharges and fines, as well as a mandatory 7-month loss of her driving privileges.
Mr. Kessous argued at the hearing that the Alcotest instrument has a history of difficulties obtaining readings with people who have diagnosed respiratory ailments, as documented with the Chun hearings before the Supreme Court within which Mr. Kessous personally had appeared. As an asthmatic, Ms. S. could not be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of intentionally frustrating the breath testing process. Concerning the DWI, as there was no reading upon which the State could rely upon for a conviction, they were relegated to proceeding on observations of Ms. S. by the arresting officer on the eve in question. New Jersey DWI lawyer Mr. Kessous had indicated that the failure of Ms. S. to take her prescribed diabetic medication may reasonably have lead to a diabetic episode, the consequences of which often result in breath that mimics an odor of alcohol as well as poor coordination. Therefore, the State could not ultimately prove the charge of intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt.
DWI Charges Dismissed
In January of 2011, New Jersey DWI defense attorney Jonathan A. Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic/DWI Defense Unit of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a young man, Mr. J.B., in a busy municipal court in Middlesex County for a DWI violation.
New Jersey DWI lawyer Mr. Kessous convinced the municipal prosecutor and the presiding judge to dismiss the DWI allegation, thus saving this Defendant thousands of dollars in surcharges and fines as well as a three (3) month loss of his driving privileges, despite a dash camera video which captured the events of the night of the arrest.
DWI Alcotest Excluded
New Jersey DWI defense attorney Pasquale O. Vella, Esq. of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented in a township Municipal Court within Union County a decorated Navy E-6 Petty Officer accused of Driving While Intoxicated. The Defendant, “A.B.”, who was Honorably Discharged from the Navy after six (6) years of service, was exposed to a mandatory seven (7) month to one (1) year suspension of his driving privileges, thousands of dollars in fines and a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. Despite “A.B.’s” breath test readings being almost 3x the legal limit, Mr. Vella extensively litigated the issue of the reliability of the Alcotest reading. New Jersey DWI lawyer Mr. Vella convinced the township Municipal Prosecutor to exclude the results of the Alcotest thus saving an additional four (4) months of suspension of driving privileges as well as what should have been a mandatory interlock device in his motor vehicle.
This negotiation was a direct result of the development of mutual respect and good will with the Union Township Prosecutor’s Office over a period of years, as Garces & Grabler, P.C. appears in regularly in virtually all of the municipal courts in Union County as a direct result of operating offices both in Plainfield and Elizabeth.
New Jersey DWI Attorney Persuades Court to Dismiss DWI Charges
In December of 2010, New Jersey DWI defense attorney Jonathan Kessous of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. successfully persuaded a Municipal Court within Essex County to dismiss a DWI for Ms. T.R. Ms. R. had been involved in a one-car accident that resulted in blood testing on suspicion of operating her vehicle while intoxicated. To aggravate the circumstances, Ms. R. had made some incriminating statements at the scene and a not so cordial exchange between her and the officers had been ensued at the time. Nonetheless, after multiple appearances by our NJ DUI lawyers and their team persistently demanding all laboratory graphs, notes and charts for independent expert inspection and a filed Motion to Compel the State to produce these materials, DWI attorney Mr. Kessous was able to effectively persuade the Court that the DWI allegation as a whole was suspect and must be dismissed, saving this single mother of two (2) children many months of a loss of her driving privileges and thousands of dollars in DMV/MVC surcharges and increased insurance expenses.
See more DWI/DUI successes in New Jersey
2nd Offense DWI Charges Dropped Jonathan Kessous
2nd Offense DWI Charges Dropped Michael Richmond
Garces & Grabler, P.C. will see to it that your rights were not violated and that your DWI case was not built on flimsy evidence.
Speak with an experienced New Jersey DUI/DWI attorney immediately. Call us toll free at 1–800–923–3456 or contact us online to discuss your legal matter today.