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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.

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First Driving Under Influence of Drugs (DUID)

  • Fine – $300 to $500
  • Community Service – Per 4-50(h)
  • I.D.R.C. – 12 to 48 hours spent during 2 consecutive day s of at least 6 hours/day (& served per IDRC requirements)
  • License Forfeiture – 7 months to 1 year
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) –
  • Jail – Discretion of Court up to 30 days

Second Offense

  • Fine – $500 to $1,000
  • Community Service – Per 4-50(h) – 30 Days with the form and term deemed appropriate by the Court
  • I.D.R.C. – Court’s discretion to serve a minimum of 48 hours “detainment” through I.D.R.C.
  • License Forfeiture – 1 to 2 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be installed during and following the expiration of the license forfeiture period.In addition to installation during the forfeiture period, the IID must remain installed for 2 years to 4 years, commencing immediatly upon installation of the IID and return of the driver’s license per 39:4-50.18 after the required license forfeiture period has been served.
  • Jail – Mandatory 48 consecutive hours up to 90 days, which shall not be suspended or served on probation.

Third or Subsequent Offense

  • Fine – $1,000
  • Community Service – Per 39:4-50(h)
  • I.D.R.C. – Per 39:4-50(b)
  • License Forfeiture – 8 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be installed during and following the expiration of the license forfeiture period.In addition to installation during the forfeiture period, the IID must remain installed for 2 years to 4 years, commencing immediatly upon installation of the IID and return of the driver’s license per 39:4-50.18 after the required license forfeiture period has been served.
  • Jail – Mandatory 180 days in county jail or workhouse except the Court may lower term for each day up to 90 days served participating in an IDRC approved drug/alcohol inpatient rehab program

First Refusal (in connection with first offense)

  • Fine – $300 to $500
  • Community Service –
  • I.D.R.C. – Same referral to I.D.R. C. in connection with a 1st Offense
  • License Forfeiture – Forfeiture until installation of the HD to comply with 39:4-50.16, et al.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be installed during and following the expiration of the license forfeiture period. In addition to installation during the
    forfeiture period, the IID must remain installed for 9 months to 15 months, commencing immediately upon installation of the IID and return of the driver’s license per 39:4-50.18 after the required license forfeiture period has been served
  • Jail  – No jail time

Second Refusal (in connection with second offense)

  • Fine – $500 to $1,000
  • Community Service –
  • I.D.R.C. – Same referral to I.D.R. C. in connection with a 2nd Offense
  • License Forfeiture – 1 to 2 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be installed during and following the expiration of the license forfeiture period. In addition to installation during the
    forfeiture period, the IID must remain installed for 2 months to 4 years, commencing immediately upon installation of the IID and return of the driver’s license per 39:4-50.18 after the required license forfeiture period has been served
  • Jail  – No jail time

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First Offense .08% up to .10%

  • Fine – $250 to $400
  • Community Service – None
  • I.D.R.C. – 12 to 48 hours spent during 2 consecutive day s of at least 6 hours/day (& served per IDRC requirements)
  • License Forfeiture – Forfeiture until installation of the IID to comply with 39:4-50.16, et at.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be instelled and remain installed for 3 months
  • Jail – Discretion of Court up to 30 days

First Offense .10% up to .15%

  • Fine – $300 to $500
  • Community Service – None
  • I.D.R.C. – 12 to 48 hours spent during 2 consecutive day s of at least 6 hours/day (& served per IDRC requirements)
  • License Forfeiture – Forfeiture until installation of the IID to comply with 39:4-50.16, et at.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be instelled and remain installed for 7 months to  1 year
  • Jail – Discretion of Court up to 30 days

First Offense .15% or more

  • Fine – $300 to $500
  • Community Service – None
  • I.D.R.C. – 12 to 48 hours spent during 2 consecutive day s of at least 6 hours/day (& served per IDRC requirements)
  • License Forfeiture – Forfeiture from 4 to 6 months and until installation of the IID to comply with 39:4-50.16, et at.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be installed during and following the expiration of the license forfeiture period.In addition to installation during the forfeiture period, the IID must remain installed for 9months to 15 months, commencing immediatly upon installation of the IID and return of the driver’s license per 39:4-50.18 after the required license forfeiture period has been served.
  • Jail – Discretion of Court up to 30 days

Third Or Subsequent Refusal

  • Fine – $1000
  • Community Service –
  • I.D.R.C. – Same referral to I.D.R. C. in connection with a 3rd offense.
  • License Forfeiture – 8 years
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – Must be installed during and following the expiration of the license forfeiture period.In addition to installation during the forfeiture period, the IID must remain installed for 2 years to 4 years, commencing immediatly upon installation of the I ID and return of the driver’s license per 39:4-50. 18 after the required license forfeiture period has been served.
  • Jail – No jail time

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Court Orders/Requirements

  • The Court shall require an offender to not drive any vehicle other than the one which has the IID installed.
  • The offender shall be required to provide the Court with into identifying the motor vehicle on which the IID is to be installed and any other info deemed relevant by the Court.
  • An offender who does not own, lease or operate a motor vehicle shall attest to that and then their driver’s license shall be suspended for the required IID installation period.
  • An offender shall be required to immediately notify the court of the purchase, lease, OT access’ to operation of a motor vehicle if that occurs and install an IDD in the vehicle.
  • A person who does not have a valid New Jersey driver’s license at the time the sentence is imposed shall be prohibited from obtaining a driver’s license for the duration of that sentence. Upon obtaining a driver’s license, the person shall be sentenced to a period of IID installation as required.
  • The Court notifies the Chief Administrator of the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission when a person has been ordered to install an IID

Removal of the IID per 39:4-50.18

  • An IID shall be removed on tile date the person completes the installation period only if the person submits to the Chief Administrator of the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission a Certification from the Vendor that:
    • During the final 30 days of the installation period there was not more than I failure to take or pass a test with a BAG of .08% or higher unless a re-test was conducted within 5 minutes of the initial test that indicates a BAC of less than .08%; AND
    • The person complied with all required maintenance, repair, calibration, monitoring, and inspections requirements related to the IID.
  • If the Vendor does not issue a Certification to the person because there were 2 or more violations a noted above, then the Vendor shall forward the violation information to the Chief Administrator and to the Court, ft shall be the Court’s decision whether or not to extend the period of the IID installation for up to 90 days or issue the Certification to the Chief Administrator.
  • The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission must imprint a notation on the driver’s license stating that the person shall not operate a motor vehicle unless it is equipped with an 1ID and must enter this on the person’s driving record
  • The expiration date of the IID is not imprinted on the license
  • The IID must be installed before restoration of the person’s driver’s license

Grammatical Changes

  • Refers to one’s license suspension now as a license forteiture.
  • The statutes became mostly gender neutral

Contents of the Chief Administrator’s semi-annually Summary Report

  • Total number of offenders ordered to install m IID categorized by the offender’s number of convictions and place of residence;
  • Whether the offender qualifies for a reduced fee for monthly rental of an IID per 39:4-50. 17a categorized by family income exceeding 100% or 149% of the federal poverty level; the percentage these offenders constitute of the total number of offenders; and the number of these offenders that reside in each county;
  • The average length of time an offender maintains installation of the IID categorized by the offender’s number of convictions; and
  • The percent of offender who remove the IID because they are unable to afford continued installation.

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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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