Edison Township DWI Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been charged in Edison Township with DWI or another serious traffic offense, you are probably asking yourself many questions. What do I do now? How do I avoid losing my license, paying large fines, and even, possibly, spending time behind bars? The answer is simple, you hire the best representation that you can afford.
Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have been representing those charged with DWI related offenses in and around Edison Township for the better part of a century between all of us at the firm. Our team consists of a number of former DUI prosecutors and attorneys with highly specialized training DUI/DWI defense. We stand ready to not only educate you regarding the charge you are facing but also to fight to make sure that the potentially life-damaging consequences of a conviction never come into play. Our Edison DWI attorneys can represent individuals with respect to a:
- First Offense
- Second Offense
- Third Offense
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- Underage DWI
- DWI in a School Zone
- Breathalyzer Refusal
- Marijuana DUI
- Breath Tests
- Blood Tests
- Field Sobriety Testing
DUI Charges in Edison NJ
The law that governs a DWI violation in New is set forth at NJSA 39:4-50. Under this statute, a person commits a DWI offense where they operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Therefore, there are essentially two elements that the prosecution will have to show to uphold a conviction for DWI. These two elements are operation and intoxication.
The operational element of the offense is often easy for the prosecution to prove. They have three methods of accomplishing this, each of which is fairly obvious and fairly easy to establish. The first method involves direct evidence of operation. This is established where an officer witnesses the accused actually operating a motor vehicle prior to their arrest. The second method that the prosecution may use is through admission of the driver or someone else in the vehicle that the accused was operating the vehicle. The third and final method that the prosecution may use is the admission of circumstantial evidence. This means that, where the arresting officer did not actually witness the accused operating the vehicle or have them admit to operation, the circumstances of where the vehicle and accused are found allow the prosecution to create a presumption of operation. To put this in simpler terms, if an officer arrives at the scene of an accident, he may not have seen the person operating prior to the accident, but he knows that someone drove the vehicle for it to get there in the first place. It is also of note that sometimes intent to operate will be enough to establish this element of the offense as well. The law does not require an officer to wait for an obviously intoxicated person to get behind the wheel and drive to make an arrest.
As for the intoxication element of the offense, once again the prosecution has three methods of establishing their burden. The first of these are the field sobriety tests. Most people are familiar with these as the tests that ask you to recite the alphabet backwards, walk a straight line, balance on one foot or touch your finger to your nose repeatedly. An officer also has at their disposal the use of a breath test. In the State of New Jersey, the breathalyzer that is used is the Alcotest 7110 produced by Draeger Industries. The results of this test are admissible based on the holding of the landmark State Supreme Court decision of State v. Chun, however, officers need to follow an extremely precise procedure or else the reliability of the results can and should be drawn into question by competent representation. The final method, though not commonly used by officer, is a blood test.
Penalties That Apply To Your Edison DWI Charge
If the prosecution is able to establish both of these elements, a conviction can work some serious consequences on your life. Where your BAC is at least .08% but less than .10%, a first offense conviction will result in a license suspension of at least 3 months and a fine between $250 and $400. Where your BAC is above .10%, however, on a first offense the period of license revocation is 7 to 12 months, and the fine is from $300 to $500. An individual found guilty of their first DWI will also be required to perform 12 hours of alcohol education through the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC) and pay a surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years. For a second or third offense, the penalties only get more severe. A second DWI offense includes a 2 year license suspension, a fine of $500.00 to $1,000.00, two to ninety days in jail, 30 days of community service, and forty eight hours in the IDRC. The installation of an ignition interlock is also mandatory for a second offense, the device that tests your BAC before starting your car, as is the annual surcharge of $1,000 for three years. For a third or subsequent offense, an individual is required to serve 180 days in jail, pay a fine of $1,000, and have his or her license suspended for 10 years. There is also an annual surcharge of $1,500, not $1,000, for three years.
DWI Attorney In Edison NJ
All of these penalties fail to underscore the more serious consequences a loss of license can have on your ability to maintain gainful employment and avoid other socially stigmatizing effects a DWI conviction can have on your life. You cannot afford to face these charges alone. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have the tools to help you not only fight, but succeed in defending against these charges. Do not hesitate to contact us today for a consultation with an experienced attorney about what we can do to help you on your Edison Township DWI charge.