DWI/DUI Defense | Freehold | Monmouth

Home/DWI/DUI Defense | Freehold | Monmouth

You have heard the statement…

“If you get written up for DWI there is no chance of beating it.”

This is a fallacy!

The Law Office of Michael A. Grasso, Esq., LLC focuses its services on DWI/DUl Defense since 2003. Simply put, Mr. Grasso is a highly competent and experienced DWI/DUI defense trial attorney, who gets results. Mr. Grasso designs your representation to specifically meet your personal demands as motor vehicle stops for DWI/DUIs typically and unfortunately lead to additional criminal charges to be filed against you by the State of New Jersey.

You have heard the statement, “If you get written up for DWI there is no chance of beating it.This is a fallacy! In fact everybody’s case is so unique that the defense cannot determine which outcome will occur until we have received every piece of evidence to be used against you at trial. This includes but is not limited to officer’s notes, officer’s certifications, whether the officers are National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration certified on Standardized Field Sobriety Field Tests, 7110 Draeger Alcotest certifications, data downloads and 7110 Draeger Alcotest repair records history just to name a few discovery particulars. The state is obligated by law to produce all discovery to the defense before proceeding with its prosecution.

We suggest that before you make the decision to appear in court without counsel to in the least schedule an appointment with Mr. Grasso and his staff of paralegals to obtain your free consultation so you know what options are available for your particular DWI/DUI prosecution. Mr. Grasso will personally dissect and examine with you the following stages of your DWI/DUI matter:

  1. OBSERVATION’S CASE: All observations made by the arresting officer prior to the taking of your breath sample. Such observations are further broken down into the following categories:
    1. Motor Vehicle Stop: Inclusive of all observations made by the arresting officer and other witnesses prior to you alighting from your motor vehicle. This includes but is not limited to: operation of your vehicle on the roadways; your rate of speed; ability to maintain lane; use of directional signals; response time to the police cruiser’s signals directing you to pull over; the manner in which you park your vehicle on the roadside; your verbal exchange with the officer; presence of alcohol odor; the demeanor you elicit while producing your license, insurance and registration credentials; the presentation of your articles of clothing and interior of your vehicular or vessel cabin; the condition of your physical appearance; etc.
    2. Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs): Reciting the alphabet, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, Nine step walk and pivot, One leg lift, and the Romberg test just to name a few. There are alternative tests to this list as each officer is obligated to determine whether you have suffered any physical injuries that may present the impossibility of you performing these standardized field sobriety tests with success.
    3. Processing at Headquarters: Mr. Grasso will obtain any and all video that was utilized not only at your motor vehicle stop but at the police headquarters or state police barracks. Every move you make and every word you speak will be counted for or against the state’s case. However, most DWI prosecutors do not expect to counter such a review and by making further discovery demands into what procedures were in fact executed at the station the defense typically gains leverage by shining light on this phase of the DWI investigation. Such protocol includes but is not limited to the drinking and driving report/ interview with you, reading of the standardized motor vehicle statement and twenty minute uninterrupted observation prior to the taking of your breath samples.
  2. PER SE CASE
    1. Breath: The State of New Jersey must obtain at least two (2) accurate breath samples from you prior to processing you successfully as an offender to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Or as one New Jersey judge puts it, “the alcohol deleteriously affected your ability to drive a motor vehicle.” In some cases the state may proceed with a DWI prosecution against you notwithstanding the 7110 Draeger Alcotest producing a .00 % Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading. However, the state must then prove your intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge during trial. Bear in mind, all DWI/DUI trials in New Jersey are bench trials unless there is a vehicular assault or death by auto attached to your N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 summons. In most cases, you will appear before a single judge with no jury. If no breath results have been accurately obtained in the range greater than .08% then the state will have to rely solely on the observations test which means the prosecutor must prove your intoxication on that alone. This is a very difficult task to achieve absent a motor vehicle accident or other aggravating surrounding circumstance. If breath samples are obtained the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that mouth pieces were changed before each drawing of breath in addition to a clean 2 minute lockout prior to the subsequent breath being drawn. No radio interference can exist in the custodial room where you give your breath and there must be a twenty (20) minute uninterrupted and continuous observation of you prior to the draw of any and all samples of your breath. If you refuse to give a breath sample penalties will be strictly applied. See Refusal section of this chapter. It is standard operating procedure for Mr. Grasso to enlist the services of a SFST and 7110 Alcotest expert to submit a written report with testimony to counter the readings elicited by the 7110 Alcotest.
    2. Urine: If the authorities have reason to believe that you are operating under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance they will request of you to give a sample of urine. Refusal does not apply to urine. If the state does seize a urine sample from you bear in mind the lab results will be admitted in to evidence against you at trial. We challenge urine and typically prevail most of the time as urine only renders a qualitative reading not quantitative. Mr. Grasso will enlist the services of a chemist or pharmacologist to submit a report and testimony to this effect.
    3. Blood: Blood draw in connection to a DWI case has recently been in the spotlight per the arguments surrounding the United States Supreme Court Case, Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013). Today, or anytime after April 17, 2013, if an officer draws your blood absent a warrant to seize same the defense can make application to the court to suppress the blood results, however damaging the results may be, and hence the state can lose the entire case. If a warrant was in fact obtained prior to the seizure of your blood to be used in a DWI case then the defense is afforded the opportunity to cross examine every person in a chronological fashion that came into contact with your specific blood sample. Usually two vials are obtained for purposes of DWI prosecution in New Jersey. Mr. Grasso makes an immediate discovery demand for the second vial for private phlebotomist to spin and screen your sample as the New Jersey State Police is only obligated to maintain same for a minimum period of ninety (90) days.

Penalties can include: Fines, Jail Time, Suspension of your license, and Community Service

Know that if you are arrested for a New Jersey DWI (driving while intoxicated), you could be facing a number of penalties, including fines, jail time, suspension of your license, and community service.

A DUI in New Jersey and a DWI in New Jersey are one in the same. Whether your blood-alcohol content is equal to or over .08 percent or you exhibit impairment due to drugs or alcohol, you can be arrested for committing DUI. If your blood-alcohol level is .10 percent or more, you may face increased penalties in New Jersey.

New Jersey DWI Penalties for First-Time Offenders:

If you are a first-time New Jersey DWI offender, you will face certain mandatory penalties. You may be able to lessen some of these penalties with the help of a knowledgeable Freehold New Jersey DWI attorney.

If your blood-alcohol content is .08 percent or higher but less than .10 percent, you may be subject to the following penalties:

•Suspension of your license for three months

•Fines ranging from $250 to $400

•12 to 48 hours of DWI classes

•Prison time of up to 30 days

If your blood-alcohol content is equal to or greater than .10, the penalties increase to:

•Suspension of your license for up to one year

•Fines ranging from $300 to $500

•12 to 48 hours of New Jersey DWI classes

•Prison time of up to 30 days

If your blood-alcohol content is .15 percent or greater, you may be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your car for the duration of your license suspension and up to a year following license restoration.

New Jersey DWI Penalties for Second-Time Offenders:

Although the crime is still considered a misdemeanor under New Jersey DWI law, those convicted of a second DWI within 10 years of the first may face:

•Suspension of driver’s license for up to two years

•Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000

•30 days of community service

•12 to 48 hours of DWI classes

•Installation of an ignition interlock device during license suspension and for up to three years after restoration

•Prison sentences up to 90 days

New Jersey DWI Penalties for Third-Time Offenders:

A third New Jersey DWI offense is a much more serious crime. If you commit a third DWI offense within 10 years of your second, you may face:

•Driver’s license suspension for up to 10 years

•A fine of $1,000

•Up to 90 days of community service

•12 to 48 hours of DWI classes

•Installation of an ignition interlock device during license suspension and for up to three years after restoration

•Prison sentence for 180 days

Related DWI Penalties in New Jersey

Aside from being caught driving while intoxicated, New Jersey has other DWI-related laws on the books. For example, New Jersey penalizes those who are caught driving with an open container of alcohol in the car. A first open-container offense warrants a $200 fine. A second open-container offense warrants a $250 fine plus 10 days of community service.

If you are caught driving while your license is suspended due to a DWI, you will face additional penalties. These penalties can include:

•Additional suspension of your license for up to two years

•A $500 fine

•A New Jersey State Prison term ranging from six (6) to eighteen (18) months.


 

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