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DUI & Case Success

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Read a client review of New Jersey Traffic Ticket Attorney Jonathan Kessous.


In April and May of 2016 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., Certified Criminal Trial and Municipal Court Law Trial Attorney with Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, P.C., defended K.K. from DWI related charges within two Municipal Courts in Middlesex County. K.K. was also charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident as well as Refusal to Consent to Provide Breath Tests, rendering him susceptible to an loss of his driving privileges for well over a year as well as mandatory ignition interlock installation on his vehicle. Mr. Kessous successfully resolved both municipal court matters to a loss of driving privileges of only three (3) months with no ignition interlock installation.

In April of 2016 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., Certified Criminal Trial and Municipal Court Law Trial Attorney with Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, P.C., defended C.H.C. from DWI and Refusal to Consent to Provide Breath Test samples in a city court within Middlesex County. C.H.C. was also charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident as well as criminal charges for Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of Justice as he struggled with the Police during the Arrest Process. Mr. Kessous successfully had the serious Refusal charge dismissed as he noted upon review of discovery demanded that the officers were so busy struggling with C.H.C. that at no time had they advised him of the consequences of a Refusal or his right to obtain independent breath test results from a hospital should he desire to do so. Furthermore, the criminal charges were amended to non-criminal local ordinances based upon a defense of intoxication as reflected within the State’s own charge of DWI. The Defendant was fined and lost his license for only three (3) months and avoided any criminal convictions.

In April of 2016 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., Certified Criminal Trial and Municipal Court Law Trial Attorney with Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, P.C., defended F.A. and W.H. respectively for individual allegations of Driving While Intoxicated within a city court within Union County. While F.A. also had been charged with Refusal to Consent to Provide Breath Tests, W.H. was determined to have been 150% over the BAC limit of .08 as a Fourth (4th) offender and susceptible to a six (6) month jail term and ten (10) years loss of driving privileges. After extensive litigation that included obtaining an Order by the Court for the State to Produce the police personnel files of the same officer who coincidentally arrested both Defendants, Mr. Kessous was able to obtain complete dismissals of all charges for both of his clients.

In June of 2015 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., NJ Supreme Court Certified Criminal and Municipal Court Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, successfully represented E.M. in a Municipal Court in Somerset County. E.M. was initially charged with a 2nd offense DWI and investigated for an Aggravated Assault with an automobile arising out of an accident where a party was injured. Mr. Kessous was ultimately able to resolve the matter to no criminal charges, with a guilty plea to a zero (0) point amendment and a $439 fine with a thirty (30) day suspension of his driving privileges.


In June of 2015 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., NJ Supreme Court Certified Criminal and Municipal Court Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, successfully represented I.V.O. in a Municipal Court in Ocean County. I.V.O. was charged with a DWI and other related offenses and had a reported BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .25, more than 4x times the legal limit. The Defendant was also facing criminal charges as it was alleged after he lost control of his vehicle and flipped it, he attempted to run away on foot from the police. Aside from the ordinary penalties he was facing, I.V.O. was also facing immigration consequences as he was not a U.S. Citizen. Mr. Kessous discovered that one of the officers involved in the investigation was subsequently terminated from the police for drafting fraudulent police reports. As Mr. Kessous pointed out to the State and the Court that the core police report for this investigation was also drafted by this officer, the State and the Court were persuaded to dismiss all charges rather than compel this tainted officer to be susceptible to rigorous and experienced cross-examination.


In June of 2015 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., NJ Supreme Court Certified Criminal and Municipal Court Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, successfully represented E.W. in a Municipal Court in Morris County. E.W. was charged with a 5th offense DWI and other related offenses and had a reported BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .13, more than 1 ½ times the legal limit. The arresting officer also noted the Defendant’s meandering driving with general confusion and claimed she observed evidence that he soiled himself prior to the stop. As a 5th DWI offender, E.W. was facing a minimum mandatory six (6) months jail, an additional ten (10) years suspension of his driving privileges (effectively rendering a permanent loss of his license), excessive fines, and other penalties. Mr. Kessous was able to exclude the purported per se (presumptively guilty) breath test readings as he pointed out to involved parties that the Alcotest Operator Certification of the officer had expired, rendering the result inadmissible. He then persuaded the State that the purported observations of intoxication could also reasonably have been a result of the Defendant’s age of 73 years old, thus injecting reasonable doubt on the State’s observational elements to the DWI. E.W.’s matter was ultimately resolved to a traffic violation with a $239 fine and ninety (90) days suspension of his driving privileges. Regularly utilizing a team of experts to mount his defenses for his clients, Mr. Kessous utilized the assistance of DWI consultants, Inc., renowned former New Jersey State Troopers with the NJSP Breath Test Coordinators Unit, to assist in effectuating this result in this particular matter.


In April of 2015 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., NJ Supreme Court Certified Criminal and Municipal Court Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, successfully represented V.C.C. in a Municipal Court in Somerset County. V.C.C. was accused of driving while suspended as a result of a DWI conviction related court ordered suspension as well as operating his motor vehicle absent the court ordered ignition interlock device from the DWI conviction installed in the car. If convicted, the defendant was susceptible to a mandatory ten (10) to ninety (90) days jail term as well as an additional 2 years suspension of his driving privileges. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the Court to reduce the charges and therefore avoid any jail or loss of driving privileges.


In March of 2015 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., NJ Supreme Court Certified Criminal and Municipal Court Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, successfully represented E.A.P. in a Municipal Court in Union County. E.A.P. was charged with DWI and reckless driving related offenses and purportedly had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) reading of .22, well over 3x the legal limit. Mr. Kessous was able to have the reading excluded based on an argument that due to a language barrier at the time of his arrest, the Defendant did not effectively waive his statutory right to have a third party transport him to a hospital for independent blood alcohol content testing.


In February of 2015 Jonathan Kessous, Esq., NJ Supreme Court Certified Criminal and Municipal Court Trial Attorney with the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, successfully represented R.Q.M. in a Municipal Court in Union County. R.Q.M. was charged with DWI offense after a motor vehicle accident and purportedly had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) reading of .18, well over 2x the legal limit. Mr. Kessous was able to have the reading excluded based on technical issues learned by Mr. Kessous during his participation as one of only a few litigants in the landmark State v. Chun DWI Supreme Court case years earlier. It was in the Chun matter that the parameters for the utilization of breath tests from the Alcotest were defined.


DWI Alcotest Excluded -From November 2014 through April 2015, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated while traveling on a local road in Linden, New Jersey. The Defendant, “R. Clark” was exposed to a mandatory seven (7) month to one (1) year loss of his driving privileges, thirty (30) days in jail, community service and monetary fines/assessments exceeding one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars. While DWI violations are ordinarily mandated by the Courts to be resolved within sixty (60) days from the date of violation, highly technical supplemental discovery demands along with an expert report requested by Mr. Vella extended the case beyond the sixty (60) day allotted time period. In addition, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging the admissibility of the breath test result, which was purported to be a .14%.

On the day of the Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would have a substantial problem proving the breath test was valid beyond a reasonable doubt due to a multitude of issues. First, Mr. Vella argued a discrepancy pertaining to the twenty (20) minute observation period. Specifically, Mr. Vella was able to point out an eight (8) second inconsistency in the Computer Assistance Dispatch Log. Next, Mr. Vella argued “R. Clark’s” cell phone was present in the Testing Room at the time the AlcoTest was administered. Mr. Vella argued the mere presence of the cell phone violated procedure and the purported test results could have been tainted due to electrical interference. Lastly, Mr. Vella also highlighted the fact the AlcoTest Operator failed to indicate whether or not the mouth piece was changed in between tests. Based on the aforementioned arguments, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor to litigate the matter based solely on the police officer’s visual observation of “R. Clark’s” performance of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.

Through the efforts of Mr. Vella, “R. Clark” received only a three (3) month suspension of his driving privileges and the mandatory minimum monetary fine.


DWI Alcotest Excluded – From the Summer of 2014 into Spring of 2015, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated while traveling north bound on the New Jersey Turnpike in Union County. The Defendant, “Robert G.” was exposed to a mandatory seven (7) month to one (1) year loss of his driving privileges, thirty (30) days in jail, community service and monetary fines/assessments exceeding one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars. While DWI violations are ordinarily mandated by the Courts to be resolved within sixty (60) days from the date of violation, highly technical supplemental discovery demands extended the case beyond the sixty (60) day allotted time period. In addition, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging the admissibility of the breath test result, which was purported to be a .17%.

On the day of the Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would have a substantial problem proving the exact level of intoxication due to a multitude of issues with the purported breath test. First, Mr. Vella argued a blatant discrepancy pertaining to the twenty (20) minute observation period. Specifically, Mr. Vella was able to point out inconsistencies between the AlcoTest Operator’s Supplemental Report and the Arresting Officer’s investigation report. Next, Mr. Vella argued the manner in which “Robert G.” was actually observed was deficient in terms of whether there was a continuous observation. Lastly, Mr. Vella also highlighted the fact the AlcoTest Operator failed to indicate whether or not the mouth piece was changed in between tests. Based on the aforementioned arguments, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor to litigate the matter based solely on the police officer’s visual observation of “Robert G.’s” performance of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.

Through the efforts of Mr. Vella, “Robert G.” received only a three (3) month suspension of his driving privileges and the mandatory minimum monetary fine.


DWI Dismissed – In April of 2015, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated arising out of a multi-car accident in a Municipal Court in Essex County. The Defendant, “Adebayo A.”, was exposed to a mandatory three (3) month loss of his driving privileges, monetary fines exceeding one thousand ($1000.00) dollars and possible incarceration for thirty (30) days. After months of intense litigation, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging how the DWI evidence was obtained during the initial investigation. More specifically, Mr. Vella argued there were no independent observations made by the arresting officer pertaining to intoxication. Mr. Vella pointed out there were no Standard Field Sobriety Tests conducted at the scene, no admission to consumption of alcohol by the Defendant at the scene and Defendant’s 5th Amendment Miranda Rights were violated post arrest at Police Headquarters.

On the day of Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would not be able to satisfy their burden of proof as it pertains to each and every element of the DWI infraction due to the Police Officer’s failure to conduct Standard Field Sobriety Tests at the scene of the accident and no admission of consumption of alcohol by the Defendant would be admissible at trial because of a violation of Defendant’s 5th Amendment Miranda Rights while he was in custody.

Based on his brief and oral argument, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor and Municipal Judge to reluctantly dismiss the charge.

This negotiation was a combination of this law firm’s commitment and expertise as it pertains to litigating DWI offenses and due to the development of mutual respect and good will with that particular municipality over a period of years as it is one of the many municipalities within Essex County that Garces & Grabler, P.C. appears in regularly.


DWI Alcotest Excluded – In 2015, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated while traveling north bound on Route 35 in Middlesex County. The Defendant, “B.P.” was exposed to a mandatory seven (7) month to one (1) year loss of her driving privileges, thirty (30) days in jail, community service and monetary fines/assessments exceeding one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars. While DWI violations are ordinarily mandated by the Courts to be resolved within sixty (60) days from the date of violation, highly technical supplemental discovery demands extended the case beyond the sixty (60) day allotted time period. In addition, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging the admissibility of the breath test result, which was purported to be a .10%.

On the day of the Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would have a substantial problem proving the breath test was valid beyond a reasonable doubt due to a multitude of issues. First, Mr. Vella argued a blatant discrepancy pertaining to the twenty (20) minute observation period. Specifically, Mr. Vella was able to point out inconsistencies between the Computer Assistance Dispatch Log and the arresting officer’s investigation report. Next, Mr. Vella argued the manner in which “B.P” was actually observed was deficient in terms of whether there was a continuous observation. Lastly, Mr. Vella also highlighted the fact the AlcoTest Operator failed to indicate whether or not the mouth piece was changed in between tests. Based on the aforementioned arguments, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor to litigate the matter based solely on the police officer’s visual observation of “B.P.’s” performance of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.

Through the efforts of Mr. Vella, “B.P.” received only a three (3) month suspension of her driving privileges and the mandatory minimum monetary fine.


DWI Dismissed – In November of 2014, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated arising out of a single car accident in a Municipal Court in Essex County. The Defendant, “Luis V.”, was exposed to a mandatory three (3) month loss of his driving privileges, monetary fines exceeding one thousand ($1000.00) dollars and possible incarceration for thirty (30) days. After months of intense litigation, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging the admissibility of the Police Officer’s testimony based on a violation of a Discovery Rule. Mr. Vella argued without the production of the Dashboard Video, DWI Narrative Report and Miranda Warnings Card signed by Defendant, the arresting officer should be barred from testifying at Trial.

Leading up to the Trial, the Prosecutor’s Office made every attempt to procure the following articles of Discovery. On the day of Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would not be able to satisfy their burden of proof as it pertains to each and every element of the DWI infraction due to the Police Officer’s failure to document the Defendant’s performance of Standard Filed Sobriety Tests in a report, no blood or urine samples was collected by EMS and no admission could be admissible since no Miranda Warnings Card signed by Defendant was produced.

Based on his brief and oral argument, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor and Municipal Judge to reluctantly dismiss the charge.

This negotiation was a combination of this law firm’s commitment and expertise as it pertains to litigating DWI offenses and due to the development of mutual respect and good will with that particular municipality over a period of years as it is one of the many municipalities within Essex County that Garces & Grabler, P.C. appears in regularly.


DWI DISMISSED -In the Fall of 2014, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated arising out of a motor vehicle accident in Orange, New Jersey. The Defendant, “Jesus Q..”, was exposed to a mandatory seven months to a one year loss of his driving privileges, thirty days in jail, thirty days community service as well as monetary fines exceeding one thousand ($1000.00) dollars. After months of intense litigation, including numerous Supplemental Discovery Requests and an Order to Compel Discovery, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion suppressing the assisting Police Officer’s testimony at Trial.

On the day of the Trial, Mr. Vella successfully argued the assisting Police Officer who administered the Standard Field Sobriety Tests should be barred from testifying due to his failure to document his observations in a DWI Narrative. By his own admission, the Police Officer acknowledged a report should have been made and he failed to do so. Without his report, Mr. Vella was able to point out the Officer could not possibly remember the Defendant’s performance of the sobriety tests along with his other preliminary observations, which would indicate possible intoxication. Subsequently, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Orange Municipal Prosecutor that they would have a substantial problem proving the DWI beyond a reasonable doubt and the matter was dismissed.

This negotiation was a combination of this law firm’s commitment and expertise as it pertains to litigating DWI offenses and due to the development of mutual respect and good will with that particular municipality over a period of years as it is one of the many municipalities within Essex County that Garces & Grabler, P.C. appears in regularly.


CDL DRIVER CHARGED WITH DWI HAS CASE DISMISSED – In the Spring of 2014, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated arising out of a motor vehicle crash with Irvington Police. The Defendant, “K.T.”, was exposed to a mandatory seven months to a one year loss of his driving privileges, thirty days in jail, thirty days community service as well as monetary fines exceeding one thousand ($1000.00) dollars. In addition, “K.T.” is a CDL holder which meant a DWI conviction would have resulted in termination from his employer. After months of intense litigation, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion suppressing both statements made by “K.T.” at the scene of the accident as well as the lab results of the blood sample taken from “K.T.” at Beth Israel Hospital. The lab result was purported to be .28%.
On the day of the Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Irvington Municipal Court Judge to enforce a Discovery Order suppressing the results of the lab report due to non compliance of a Discovery Order, as well as, a failure to produce chain of custody documents. Without these documents, Mr. Vella argued the results were tainted. Subsequently, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Irvington Municipal Prosecutor that they would have a substantial problem proving the DWI beyond a reasonable doubt due to the fact the arresting officer failed to administer any Standard Field Sobriety Tests and the incriminating statements made by “K.T.” at the scene clearly violated his Miranda Rights and would be suppressed at Trial. Ultimately, the DWI was dismissed.

This negotiation was a combination of this law firm’s commitment and expertise as it pertains to litigating DWI offenses and due to the development of mutual respect and good will with that particular municipality over a period of years as it is one of the many municipalities within Essex County that Garces & Grabler, P.C. appears in regularly.


DWI Alcotest Excluded

In December of 2013, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated while traveling southbound on the Garden State Parkway in Essex County. The Defendant, “M.M.” was exposed to a mandatory seven months to a one year loss of his driving privileges, thirty days in jail, community service and monetary fines and assessments exceeding one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars. While DWI violations are ordinarily mandated by the Courts to be resolved within sixty days from the date of violation, highly technical supplemental discovery demands extended the case beyond the sixty day allotted time period. In addition, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging the admissibility of the breath test result, which was purported to be a .12%.

On the day of the Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would have a substantial problem proving the breath test was valid beyond a reasonable doubt due to a multitude of issues. First, Mr. Vella argued the AlcoTest Operator failed to document the exact time of the twenty minute observation period. Next, Mr. Vella argued the manner in which “M.M” was actually observed was deficient in terms of visibility and whether there was a continuous observation. Lastly, Mr. Vella also highlighted the fact the AlcoTest Operator failed to indicate whether or not the mouth piece was changed in between tests. Based on the aforementioned arguments, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor to litigate the matter based solely on the State Trooper’s visual observation of “M.M.’s” performance of the Field Sobriety Tests.

Through the efforts of Mr. Vella, “M.M.” received only a three (3) month suspension of his driving privileges and the mandatory minimum monetary fine.


DWI Dismissed

In November of 2013, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Driving While Intoxicated in a Municipal Court in Union County. The Defendant, “B.W.”, was exposed to a mandatory 3 month loss of his driving privileges, monetary fines exceeding one thousand ($1000.00) dollars and possible incarceration for thirty (30) days. After months of intense litigation, Mr. Vella filed a pre-trial motion challenging the admissibility of the State Trooper’s testimony based on a violation of a Discovery Rule. Mr. Vella argued without the production of the dashboard video, the arresting officer should be barred from testifying at Trial.

Leading up to the Trial, the Prosecutor’s Office was able to produce the aforementioned video. On the day of Trial, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor that they would not be able to satisfy their burden of proof as it pertains to each and every element of the DWI infraction due to the State Trooper’s failure to adjust the dashboard camera to objectively capture “B.W.’s” performance of the Standard Field Sobriety Tests. In addition, Mr. Vella pointed out substantial flaws and inconsistencies in the State Trooper’s DWI Investigation Report. Based on his brief and oral argument, Mr. Vella was able to convince the Municipal Prosecutor and Municipal Judge to reluctantly dismiss the charge.

This negotiation was a combination of this law firm’s commitment and expertise as it pertains to litigating DWI offenses and due to the development of mutual respect and good will with that particular municipality over a period of years as it is one of the many municipalities within Union County that Garces & Grabler, P.C. appears in regularly.


Acquittal concerning DWI (2d offense)

Jonathan A. Kessous, Esq. of the DWI Defense Department obtained an Acquittal concerning DWI (2d offense) and driving while suspended (2d offense- prior was from a DWI related /enhanced suspension) violations. A Motion to Suppress and Trial in a municipal Court in Mercer County was fully litigated. Despite the fact that the Defendant, S.R.C., was visibly intoxicated on the relevant Dash Camera of the officer and that he exhibited rude behavior towards the officer, the Court agreed with Defense counsel, after rigorous cross-examination, that the officer’s observations supporting allegations of operation of the motor vehicle were insufficient to truly substantiate any operating-related convictions. The Defendant was initially facing a mandatory jail sentence and possible immigration consequences.


Successful Motion to Suppress the BAC

Jonathan Kessous, Esq. of the DWI Defense Department represented J.W. in a busy municipal Court in Mercer County for a very DWI violation. After striking a light pole, J.W. was transported to the hospital where blood was drawn. His Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was determined to be .33, more than 4x the legal limit. However, as a result of Mr. Kessous’ motion to suppress the BAC results based on a lack of a warrant to draw the blood, or in the alternative, true informed consent, the reading was excluded. Due to the actual elevated reading, this final result saved the Defendant from a probable jail term, an extensive loss of driving privileges comparable to the ultimate resolution of a three (3) month suspension and ordinarily mandatory installation of a vehicle ignition interlock system.


Jail Time, Surcharges and suspension Avoided

Jonathan A. Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented S.J. in a Municipal Court in Middlesex County. Mr. Jones was charged with driving while suspended as a fifth (5th) offender and operating a vehicle without insurance as his insurance had lapsed. Our client was facing a jail sentence of thirty (30) days, eighteen (18) months additional suspension of his driving privileges and extensive fines and surcharges. Despite the exposure, Mr. Kessous was able to resolve the matter where incarceration and loss of driving privileges as well as extensive surcharges were avoided.


Charges Dismissed

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department for the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented V.K. in a city Municipal Court in Union County for an allegation of abandoning his motor vehicle. As V.K. was an out-of-state resident, he trusted the law firm, as many other out-of-state residents have done over the years, to achieve the best possible results without the necessity of a personal appearance in a NJ court. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the prosecutor and the Court to dismiss the charge.


Charges Dismissed

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department for the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented A.K. in a Municipal Court in Somerset County for an allegation of careless driving arising out of a motor vehicle accident. Despite the fact that A.K. was the driver of the rear vehicle in a rear end collision, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the police officer, the prosecutor and the Court to dismiss the charge outright.


Motion to Vacate Guilty Plea Granted, Client Spared Surcharges

In the Summer of 2013, Pasquale O. Vella of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a fifty-six (56) year old woman who incurred surcharges from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Cathy A. was originally charged with 3 traffic tickets out of Irvington Municipal Court. Since Cathy A. was never issued a ticket in her life, she assumed the extent of her punishment was just a monetary fine in the amount of $261.00. Unfortunately, Cathy A. received a letter a few weeks later from NJ Motor Vehicle Commission informing her she was assessed 6 points on her license and surcharges in the amount of $200.00 for the next 3 years. Upon receipt of this information, Cathy A. decided to consult with the law firm of Garces & Grabler.

Mr. Vella consulted with Cathy A. and advised of her options. Mr. Vella then filed a Motion to Vacate the Guilty Plea in an attempt to re-open Cathy A.’s original traffic case in Irvington. Within one week of personally serving the motion on the Court, Mr. Vella appeared in Court on behalf of Cathy A. for oral argument. At oral argument, Mr. Vella successfully convinced the Court to vacate Cathy A.’s original guilty plea and activate the case onto the docket. Mr. Vella then negotiated a plea agreement with the Prosecutor where Cathy A. would not pay any additional fines and reduced the points originally assessed against her driver’s license.

After the Court appearance, Mr. Vella sent correspondence to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission directing them to adjust Cathy A.’s license and reimburse her for the surcharges already paid. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission complied with Mr. Vella’s request and Cathy A. was spared $600 in surcharges.

This result was achieved through Mr. Vella’s meticulous focus on the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and prompt response of drafting and personally serving a Motion to Vacate the Guilty Plea on the Court.


Charges Reduced

Samuel J. Perez of the Traffic and Criminal Defense Unit of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented J.E. in Trenton Municipal Court on charges of Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal to Submit to Breath Test, and an array of moving violations. As a second offender under the D.W.I. laws, J.E. was facing a mandatory minimum of a two (2) year license suspension, monetary penalties and surcharges in the thousands of dollars, up to 90 days in jail and 30 days of community service. Mr. Perez was successfully able to convince the prosecutor that the first offense, which occurred out of state, could not be counted against J.E. for purposes of sentencing. Ultimately J.E. pleaded guilty to the D.W.I. and received only a seven (7) month suspension.


Charges Dismissed

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department of the of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler represented H.G. in a municipal court in Middlesex County for a Shoplifting offense. As a school teacher a criminal conviction for such an offense would have been devastating. Mr. Kessous persuaded the security officer, the municipal prosecutor as well as the Court that the criminal charge should be dismissed as a result of our legal research that confirmed the legal technicality preventing an individual from being convicted for an “attempt” at committing any Disorderly Persons/misdemeanor level offense in a court of law in New Jersey.


Charges Reduced

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department of the of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler represented S.W. in a municipal court in Union County for a driving while suspended violation. As the violation was a result of a prior operating a motor vehicle without insurance conviction, S.W. was facing an enhanced penalty of an additional one (1) year loss of his driver’s license, $500 fine and up to ninety (90) days jail. Mr. Kessous persuaded the Court that based on a technicality the enhanced penalty may not apply as a matter of necessity. This saved the Defendant from extensive time of incarceration as well as the aforementioned penalties.


DWI Charges Reduced

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department of the of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler represented I.K. in a municipal court in Somerset County for a DWI violation. Using extensive DWI defense experience, transcripts from participation in the Supreme Court decision of State v. Chun and a laboratory forensic expert, Mr. Kessous successfully excluded admission of the breath test reading, thus saving the Defendant no less than four (4) months of an additional license suspension.


Charges Reduced

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department of the of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler represented F.R.S. in a MVC hearing to avoid a scheduled suspension of his driving privileges for six (6) months. Mr. Kessous completed the hearing without any suspension of our client’s driving privileges.


Charges Reduced

Jonathan Kessous, Esq., of the Criminal and Traffic Defense Department of the of the Law Offices o public consumption of alcohol and possessing an open container of alcohol. While these charges may not be of a critical nature to most people, Mr. J., as a major hospital in Northern New Jersey employee, was subject to background checks. Convictions of this nature could have been devastating to his employment. After extensive negotiation, Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss and/or amend all charges that related in any way to alcohol.

Guilty Verdict Overturned

Mr. Marius M. was previously convicted in Union County at trial with alternate counsel and sentenced to State prison for the crime of an Aggravated Sex Assault on a Minor. While serving in State Prison, the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. were retained to investigate and prepare a Post-Conviction Relief Application, which eventually resulted in overturning the verdict and the re-trial in September of 2009.

At that time, Michele Labrada, Esq. of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. ended the three- (3) week trial of alleged aggravated sexual assault charges, among other serious criminal allegations, to a winning conclusion. With the background assistance of the rest of the Criminal Defense Team, Ms. Labrada utilized almost twenty (20) years of exclusively criminal defense trial experience to mount a winning defense to the sixteen counts alleged in the indictment in Union County Superior Court. Instead of the forty- (40) year prison term sought by the prosecutor after previous convictions with a different attorney, this defense unit fought to reduce these false, unsubstantiated allegations to dismissals and a “NOT GUILTY” verdict. With a piercing knowledge of the law and a clear framework on strategy based on the facts of the case, the best verdict for our client resulted directly from the collaboration of the Garces & Grabler, P.C. Criminal Defense Team.

2nd Offense DWI Sentenced To Three-Month Suspension

The Traffic Defense Team of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of a 2nd Offense DWI violation arising out of a motor vehicle accident in Irvington, New Jersey. The Defendant, John W., was exposed to a mandatory 2-year loss of his driving privileges as well as 2 to 90 days in the Essex County Jail. While DWI cases are ordinarily mandated by the Courts to be resolved within sixty (60) days from the date of violation, highly technical supplemental discovery demands and motions to exclude the State’s proffered breath test results (nearly twice the legal limit), prepared by Jonathan Kessous, Esq. and Joseph Compitello, Esq. of this office, extended the case to twice the allotted time period. After pre-trial conferencing with three (3) separate Municipal Prosecutors, Pasquale Vella, Esq. of this office then effectively utilized the leverage obtained from the prepared applications to procure a plea agreement where John W. plead guilty to his 2nd DWI Offense to be treated as a 1st offense, with no admissible breath test readings, resulting in only a 3-month suspension of his driver’s license and the mandatory minimum monetary 1st offense fines and penalties.

After four months of extensive pre-trial conferencing, Pasquale Vella, Esq. negotiated a plea agreement with the Elizabeth Municipal Prosecutor whereby the remaining charges of Simple Assault and Criminal Mischief would be dismissed contingent on the Defendant’s payment of restitution in the amount of three hundred ($300.00) dollars. Mr. Vella vigorously argued that the injury sustained by the alleged victim was actually caused in part by her. This fact was reinforced by the alleged victim’s statement to law enforcement and the Elizabeth Prosecutor’s Office. Mr. Vella stated his client was entitled to the benefit of a plea deal based on his clean criminal history and the fact the alleged victim signed an affidavit of no prosecution previously prepared by this firm.

Defendant, “S.D.”, originally faced up to 10 years in Prison on the original charges; however, through the collaborative efforts of Ms. Labrada and Mr. Vella all charges were dismissed.

All Charges Dismissed in Superior & Municipal Court Case

Pasquale O. Vella, Esq. represented a client accused of 3rd Degree Terroristic Threats, 3rd Degree Possession of a Weapon for Deadly Purpose, 4th Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Simple Assault in Union County Superior Court. The Defendant, Annette B., was initially accused of stabbing her estranged husband with a butcher knife during a domestic dispute. Despite the victim’s statement and graphic pictures, Mr. Vella convinced the Union County Prosecutor’s Office to remand the case to the Linden Municipal Court.

After five months of pre-trial motions, Mr. Vella successfully negotiated a plea agreement with the Linden Municipal Prosecutor whereby all charges would be dismissed. Mr. Vella was able to point out substantial flaws in the State’s case, including but not limited to, an inconsistent statement given by the alleged victim, an independent account of the alleged incident by a third party witness and how the alleged wound was previously sustained by the victim.

Defendant originally faced up to 5 years in Prison on the original charges and subsequent Deportation proceedings.

Driving Charges Reduced — Client’s Driving Privileges Saved
Pasquale O. Vella, Esq. of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of 3rd Offense Driving While Suspended, 2nd Offense Driving With No Liability Insurance and Driving with a Suspended Registration in Linden Municipal Court. The Defendant, Mallory P., was placed on the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Revoked List due to his failure to pay insurance surcharges. In addition, the Defendant was unable to procure Liability Insurance until two (2) months after the date of the alleged violation. After an extensive and intense pre-trial conference, Mr. Vella and the Linden Municipal Prosecutor’s Office negotiated a plea agreement whereby the Defendant would plea guilty to three (3) amended downgrades of Failure to Exhibit Driver’s License, Registration and Insurance Card.

At Sentencing before The Honorable Louis M.J. DiLeo, J.M.C., Mr. Vella argued the Honorable Court should only impose a monetary fine and spare the Defendant a Suspension of his Driving Privileges and Jail Time. Mr. Vella stated the Defendant had no prior criminal history, is gainfully employed and is the primary provider for his family. Ultimately, The Honorable Louis M.J. DiLeo, J.M.C. agreed with the argument of Mr. Vella and sentenced the Defendant to a monetary fine only. Mr. Vella further convinced the Honorable Court to impose the mandatory minimums leading to a total fine of five hundred forty ($540.00) dollars.

Defendant originally faced up to twenty four (24) days in Prison, two and one half (2 ½) years Suspension of his Driving Privileges and a fine of six thousand ($6,000.00) dollars on the original charges.

Assault Charge Dismissed

Jonathan Kessous of Garces & Grabler, P.C. successfully represented a Defendant in a Municipal Court in Mercer County charged with Assault by a civilian complainant as a result of a neighborhood dispute. The Defendant’s initial inclination was to plead guilty to a criminal offense that he did not commit due to his fear of possible immigration consequences. Mr. Kessous, along with co-counsel per diem and additional counsel, persuaded the municipal prosecutor that the defendants were, in fact, the victims of the civilian complainants violent physical attack; an attack apparently fueled by racism against Latin Americans.

Mr. Kessous even persuaded the municipal prosecutor to have the county prosecutor’s office review the civilian’s criminal record; a record that Mr. Kessous discovered was rife with prior violent offense convictions. Along with photos and the medical records depicting the beating suffered at the hands of the civilian neighbor, the Municipal Prosecutor agreed to forward the matter to the county prosecutor to consider indictable charges against the civilian complainant following the dismissal of his baseless charges against our client.

Sentence Reduced

Pasquale O. Vella, Esq. of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in a Motor Vehicle, 2nd Offense Driving While Suspended, Failure to Give Proper Turn Signal and 2nd Offense Violation of Probation in Belleville Municipal Court. After four (4) months of intense litigation, Pasquale O. Vella, Esq. and the Belleville Municipal Prosecutor’s Office negotiated an extensive all encompassing plea agreement whereby the Defendant, Leonard L. would plea guilty to Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving While Suspended and Violation of Probation with the remaining charges being dismissed.

 

Driving Charges Reduced

Jonathan Kessous of this office represented a client out of the Cranbury/Plainsboro Municipal Court for the serious offenses of a 3rd offense Driving with a Suspended license and Driving without Insurance. Her exposure was a minimum/mandatory 1 to 18 months additional suspension, 10 days in jail, and thousands of dollars in insurance surcharges and increased insurance expenses.

Despite overwhelming evidence against her, Mr. Kessous was able to resolve the matter to 2 counts of failure to exhibit a license and insurance cards and a minor, 2-point moving violation.

Driving Privilege Suspension Reduced

Jonathan Kessous of this office represented a client in a Motor Vehicle Commission hearing objecting to an initial Driver’s license suspension recommendation of 180 days for operating a motor vehicle during a suspension period. The Defendant previously entered a guilty plea in municipal court without an attorney, representing himself. As a result of Mr. Kessous’ efforts, the suspension time was negotiated from 180 days to only 15 days loss of driving privileges. As a result of this resolution, the client was able to save his employment which required traveling extensive distances to and from his home.

Driving Charges Dismissed

Jonathan Kessous of this office successfully represented a prior workers’ compensation client in the Woodbridge Municipal Court for a 3rd offense violation of Driving with Suspended license privileges, Mark D. He was susceptible to 6 months additional loss of his driving privileges, thousands of dollars in fines, assessments, surcharges, and increased insurance costs as well as a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. The client initially was inclined to proceed pro se. Concerned for our client, we persuaded him to allow us to represent him. Ultimately, we obtained a complete dismissal of the charges based on the State’s inability to timely produce certified MVC proofs of timely Notification of the suspension.

Driving Penalty Reduced

Jonathan Kessous of this office represented a client accused of Driving with Suspended Driving Privileges, James J., in a municipal court in Somerset County. As a 5th offender, Mr. J was susceptible to thousands of dollars in fines, assessments, insurance surcharges, and increased insurance expenses, an additional 6 month suspension, and a mandatory 10 days jail. Despite the difficulties with the case, Mr. Kessous was able to resolve the matter to a negotiated plea to a minor document violation of failure to produce a license. This penalty carried only a fine of $183.

Motor Vehicle Charges Reduced

Pasquale Vella of this firm represented a NJ Transit bus driver in a municipal court in Middlesex County. Our client was charged with leaving the scene of an accident while operating her bus as well as a 4-point ticket of improper passing. Aside from the points violation, a conviction for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident would have resulted in a mandatory 6 month loss of her driving privileges, along with a probable termination from her employment.

Despite witness statements, Mr. Vella successfully negotiated these devastating charges to a mere failure to report the accident which carried only a $139 fine and a 2-point violation. Our client’s employment was secured.

2nd Offense DWI Found Not Guilty at Trial

Pasquale O. Vella, Esq. of the Law Offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of a 2nd Offense DWI violation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The Defendant, Carlos A., was exposed to a mandatory 2 year loss of his driving privileges as well as 2 to 90 days in the Union County Jail. After 4 months of intense litigation, including but not limited to motions to exclude the State’s proffered breath test results, Mr. Vella prevailed at Trial.

At Trial before The Honorable Richard J. Obuch, J.M.C., Mr. Vella vigorously cross examined both arresting Union County Police Officers exposing substantial flaws in their investigation and arrest of the aforementioned Defendant. Ultimately, The Honorable Richard J. Obuch, J.M.C. found the State did not prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and found the Defendant Not Guilty of the DWI offense. If convicted by the Elizabeth Municipal Court, the Defendant’s exposure included a Fine of $500-$1000, County Jail from 2 to 90 days, 2 year loss of his driving privileges, Ignition Interlock Device from 1 to 3 years, 6 to 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, Revocation of Registration for 2 years and Automobile Insurance Surcharges of $1000 for a period of 3 years.

2nd Offense DWI Charges Dropped

Jonathan Kessous of the Law offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of a second offense DWI violation. The Defendant, Marvin P., was exposed to a mandatory 2-year loss of his driving privileges as well as 2-90 days in the Mercer County jail. After over 18 months of intense litigation, including but not limited to motions to exclude the state proffered breath test results that were almost 2x the legal limit and a motion to dismiss the proceedings, the DWI violation was ultimately dismissed, saving the Defendant from the penalties of a 2nd offense DWI as well as thousands of dollars in increased insurance expenses and surcharges.

2nd Offense DWI Charges Dropped

Michael Richmond of the Law offices of Garces & Grabler, P.C. represented a client accused of a second offense DWI violation in Millstone. The Defendant, Craig K., was exposed to a mandatory 2-year loss of his driving privileges as well as 2-90 days in the Mercer County jail. After over 12 months of intense litigation, including but not limited to motions to exclude the state proffered blood test results that were 150% above the legal limit, a motion to change court venue and a motion to dismiss the proceedings, the DWI violation was ultimately dismissed, saving the Defendant from the penalties of a 2nd offense DWI as well as thousands of dollars in increased insurance expenses and surcharges.

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Saved my life twice!!
, Jul 13, 2016
Staff was very helpful and explained the case as it went along.
, Jul 21, 2016
Gracias x hacer todo lo posible dios los bendiga
, Aug 3, 2016
I was very impressed with the professionalism and quick turn-around time from all the participants from GGL that assisted me. I would like to especially thank my attorney Jonathan Kessous. His credentials are very notable he is one of four attorneys throughout the entire state of NJ certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Trial Specialist in both Criminal and Municipal Court Law matters. My case was very serious and could have resulted in jail time or suspension of my license. Jonathan was able to resolve my case very favorably. I am extremely thankful for his assistance. I would also like to recognize and thank his Paralegal Jasmin Caba and his Personal Assistant Marianne Crisitello for their assistance in communicating and preparing me for my trial. They are a great team and I would highly recommend them.
, Feb 27, 2017
thank you guys for representing me!
, Jun 17, 2016
Outstanding service very professional attorneys thumbs up all the way
, Feb 4, 2017
very satisfied with the outcome. You did a very good job
, Dec 26, 2016
Thanks for everything my life change Good bless thanks
, Jul 21, 2016
Great Experience. Wouldn't hesitate to give you a call back when i mess up again. Great Service, Great Lawyer. Couldnt ask for more. Thank You Guys Once Again.
, Jul 23, 2016
Thank you very much you guys were helpful compassionate in my situation I really appreciate the ladys in Perth Amboy are very nice I recently send it a friend and she has the same opinion.
, May 24, 2016
Excellent service.
, Apr 1, 2017
Felt very well taken care of. Excellent!!!!!
, Jul 19, 2016
Like to thank u for your profession and with my traffic ticket
, Jul 24, 2016
Yo ELSA, estoy muy agradecida y muy feliz de haber escogido como mi abogado. Es un buen y excelente preparado e inteligente ABOGADO. Trabaja muy profesional y consciente igual todo su personal que trabaja en su oficina. Me ayudó mucho con mi Caso. Lo recomiendo a cualquiera persona que necesita sus servicios de un buen ABOGADO.
, Feb 17, 2017
Good job
, Jun 15, 2016
100% satisfaction, very good. I like to recommend.
, Jun 16, 2016
Knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly guy. Thanks for the service!
, Jun 13, 2016
A well-prepared staff who handled everything we asked. Made us feel welcome and handled everything professionally.
, Jun 13, 2016
I would like to say thank you for all your help you've giving me.
, May 24, 2016
G.G.L... Are the best in the business...
, Jan 26, 2017
Far exceeded my expectations. Mr. Vella was confident and professional. Should I require legal assistance in the future I won't hesitate to call them.
, Oct 21, 2016
Great job , thank you very much, I'm glad I found you,
, Oct 22, 2016
Excelente
, May 23, 2016
Very professional and know what they're doing which is hard to find nowadays. Arlindo Araujo was very clear, precise, and on point!!!
, Jul 20, 2016
Great attorney , Pat Vella . Got all points dropped from my record . I owe this man 100xs over ! Thank you !
, Oct 21, 2016
Very please with law firm
, Apr 2, 2017
Jonathan A Kessous did an outstanding job in handling my case. He was able to get the most serious charge and several other charges against me dropped and my fine greatly reduced. I was most impressed with his professionalism.competence and the timely manner in which he responded to all my questions and concerns. This demonstrated to me that I was a priority and not just a client!
, Jun 13, 2016
Se los recomiendo muy buen abogado y lucha asta conseguir lo mejor para el cliente
, May 26, 2016
Tuve una buena experiensia confien son los mejore.yo tube dos caso y sali muy bien gracias a ellos
, May 7, 2016
Thanks for helping and you have the best service
, Jul 26, 2016