Our goal in every criminal or municipal defense case is to put our client in the best possible position given the facts of his or her case.
In that spirit, we were recently able to obtain a dismissal of a DWI charge against our client in Marlboro Township (Monmouth County) Municipal Court based upon key flaws in state’s case.
Our recent result in the Marlboro Township Municipal Court is a great reminder that not every DWI charge ends up as a conviction!
In this particular case, our client arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Marlboro Township. The arresting officer proceeded to bring our client back to the police station and, at that time, the Alcotest breath test was performed on our client. The Alcotest reading was allegedly 0.15% BAC.
That reading is significant since a BAC of 0.10% or higher carries elevated penalties in New Jersey. For example, while a first-time DWI ordinarily carries a license suspension of three (3) months, our client faced a license suspension of seven (7) months to one (1) year in addition to the placement of an ignition interlock device on his care during license suspension and then for an additional six (6) months to one (1) year following restoration.
Given the stakes, our team of municipal court defense attorneys immediately went to work looking for holes in the state’s case. In the landmark State v. Chun case, the New Jersey Supreme Court thoroughly addressed the scientific reliability of the Alcotest and adopted certain standards and procedures that must be followed by police and prosecutors before the Alcotest report can be admitted into evidence.
Of critical note is the fact that a test is not considered proper when the operator has not observed the defendant for a continuous twenty (20) minute period prior to obtaining breath tests.
We subsequently requested all relevant discovery from the state. As part of our review of the discovery, we found out that, based on a lack of specificity in the police department’s reports, it was impossible to confirm that our client was observed for the full, uninterrupted 20-minute period required by law.
The end result? We were able to exclude the reading from evidence on the basis of a comprehensive report prepared by our expert. Consequently, the state entered into a plea deal for a first tier DWI rather than the elevated ‘second tier’ charge and corresponding penalties ordinarily associated with a BAC of 0.15%. We also secured the dismissal of other related charges including reckless driving.
Our client was spared up to nine (9) additional months off the road and many more months of an inconvenient and costly ignition interlock device. This result greatly reduced the impact of the DWI on his employment, family, and social lives.
Are you facing DWI charges in New Jersey?
If you or a loved one needs strong representation in Marlboro Township Municipal Court or any other New Jersey municipal court, do not hesitate to contact the municipal court defense lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele today. We are here to defend the charges against you. Contact us now for your confidential and free initial consultation. You can also reach us by telephone (856) 546-1350.
Don’t just plead guilty and risk your driving privilege or driving record!
The outcome of every DWI case is very fact specific. Your particular case results will vary depending on a wide range of legal issues and other factors. The facts of your case may not apply to or relate to the results of the case described above.