Recent New Jersey DUI / DWI Case Results
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.
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.
Successfully 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 a 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.
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.
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 complainant's violent physical attack; an attack apparently fueled by racism against Latin Americans.
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 New Jersey court. Mr. Kessous was able to persuade the prosecutor and the Court to dismiss the charge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Defendant did not effectively waive his statutory right to have a third party transport him to a hospital for independent blood alcohol content testing.
Successfully 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.
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.
Represented client charged with 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.
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, a $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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Represented hospital employee for 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.
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.
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.
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.
Successfully 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.
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.
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 the 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.
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.