Driving While Under the Influence (or DWI)
Driving While Under the Influence
McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC’s Municipal Court attorneys fight charges of driving while under the influence (or “DWI”).
Charges of driving while under the influence are serious matters, with severe penalties. New Jersey has some of the toughest DWI laws in America. If you are found guilty of DWI, you face jail time, loss of your drivers license, severe fines and penalties, and years of insurance surcharges. Losing your license can impact your job and your personal life. Conviction of DWI is an expensive proposition. It is important not to face these charges alone.
Our attorneys fight for the rights of drivers accused of violating New Jersey’s strict drunk driving laws. We represent accused drivers at trial and in negotiations in Municipal Court, and in New Jersey’s Superior Court on appeals from the Municipal Court.
DWI’s are tried by a judge sitting without a jury in the Municipal Court where the alleged offense occurred, so if you were pulled over here in Totowa, New Jersey, your trial would be in the Totowa Municipal Court. Those charged with DWI are entitled to discovery of all the state’s evidence in advance,, and statements of the witnesses against them.
The legal limit in New Jersey is 0.8 per cent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). If your BAC is above this, you are over the limit and should not drive. It is amazing how few drinks it takes to be over the limit.
While DWI’s are tough charges to defend with severe penalties, there are viable defenses. These include:
- Challenging the legality of stopping you in the first place – the police must have a reasonable suspicion of a violation of the law to pull you over
- Examining the testing information
- Challenging the field sobriety test
- Examining to ensure that the testing procedures for the Alcotest machine were properly followed (the Alcotest replaced the New Jersey breathalyzer)
- Filing motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence – if the state’s evidence is suppressed, it will not be able to prove its case, and the burden is on the state to prove you violated the law
- Having experts testify for you
- Gathering evidence and reviewing police dashboard cameras
- Utilizing medical or other health conditions which may affect the results of field sobriety tests or breath testes
- Using independent witnesses to establish that the defendant was not drinking
- Using an officer’s failure to read the New Jersey Implied Consent Warning before the breath test
- Challenging the legality of randomly conducted roadblocks
Because of the severe penalties for DWI it is important to utilize every defense available. It is important to have a good attorney on your side. The fees you spend on fighting DWI’s are money well spent, given the severity of the charges and penalties, including the license suspension, fines, and surcharges. We will be at your side every step of the way. We will fight aggressively to defend your rights.
If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, e-mail us to set up an appointment or call (973) 890-0004. Our attorneys appear in Municipal Court throughout New Jersey to represent drivers defending charges of DWI. We will fight for your rights.