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In April I was pulled over for a suspended license because I forgot to pay a parking ticket. I was given 39:3-40 and 39:3-10. I went to court and the prosecutor dropped both of those charges down to 39:3-29(Failure to show license). There was a mistake and I was charged with the 39:3-10 by the judge and the officer who took it to the clerk said he had it amended to the 39:3-29 and that this charge came with zero DMV or Insurance points. I went to get a new insurance policy and it is saying i have 5 insurance points on my license now. How do I handle this situation if it was not amended?

Answer: One of the options available is to withdraw the plea. You would need to file a motion for post-conviction relief which is not an easy process, but it happens on a fairly regular basis. This mode of action may be worth pursuing if it can help you to avoid unwarranted excessive rates of your insurance.

Two part question – I received a ticket yesterday for cell phone use. I was actually turning on the blue tooth on my phone to use my hands free and my phone was in my hands for all of 30 seconds at a red light but fine my cell phone was in my hand.

First question: what actually happens in court for this? It says the fine is 200-400 – why the large range? I’m also reading it’s no points unless it’s a third offense is this true?

Second question: is it worth fighting? The ticket is time stamped at 6:09 and if you look through my phone record for text messages, phone calls, and data use there is nothing within that time frame. I doubt I’ll take the time to do this as I will admit the phone was in my hand. To me it’s just silly – why is it okay to hold a cigarette but not a cell phone?

Answer: It is possible that what transpired may not have been a violation of the statute. However, it is highly unlikely that the state is going to roll over unless an attorney is involved. Even then, you may have to take the case to trial. But, it is quite possible that the cost may exceed the benefits to you.

My partner was terminated because of theft and misrepresentation. He was presented to local police and was charged with theft by deception and then the grand jury indicted him. He filed a civil suit. Grand jury indicted him 6 months later and then civil case was kicked into a stay and the prosecutors dropped charges with prejudice. Their excuse was that the civil case could now move forward. Civil trial set in 60 days.

Just discovered same partner did it again…this time a vendor sued us on collection and the NEW theft was discovered. He took the goods before they were put in inventory. In arbitration the vendor and us were awarded judgments against him. Can we file criminal charges in new case.

Answer: In this situation, you can report the new information to the police and try to get a new set of charges filed against your partner. However, it remains to be seen if the prosecutor will proceed with the case or will he dismiss it like the previous one.

I am trying to become a certified EMT in the state of California, in which you are automatically disqualified if you have a felony or a misdemeanor.

I have been arrested four times in NJ. Three times for DUI with a limit under .1 BAC, and once for shoplifting a cheap item (I am now four years sober).

I got a lawyer and I never went to jail or even spent time on probation. I have never been convicted by a jury. Only fines and community service.

Would these be considered as “misdemeanors” on my record?

Answer: DWI offenses are considered to be traffic offenses in the State of New Jersey. However, the shoplifting offense would be considered either as a misdemeanor or a felony in some states. There is a possibility of getting these offenses expunged from your record.

I made a left turn from a shopping center where it used to be legal to do so, but the rules changed and I was cited. I missed the sign indicating that the turn was prohibited. I tried explaining this to the police officer who said the sign was posted and there had been a 2 month grace period (but I had not driven to this location in more than two months). Do I have a chance pleading not guilty in traffic court? I am more bothered with the potential points than with the fine. I have a spotless driving record in the past.

Answer: It all depends on your driving record. If you have a clean prior record, you may be able to have the points dropped.

I was simply trying to put my phone on Bluetooth. Just want to know if my insurance company will be notified (this is in New Jersey) and if the insurance will hike up.

Answer: That is not considered to be a violation. The statute in New Jersey precludes liability for using a button on the phone to activate or deactivate a call. It can be argued that activating the Bluetooth qualifies under that portion of the statute.

It’s my first time getting arrested. Can I take a PTI program and not go to jail? Will it erase my criminal records?

Answer: The availability of a PTI program depends on the charges you are facing.

I got a ticket for failure to obey signals signs or directions. Will the municipal court be able to be more specific about the traffic violation I made (I no longer remember what the police officer told me at the time). I also got +4 points for this, but I did not find anything about points for this violation. Was that a mistake? If so, what should I do?

Answer: You should know that a 4-215 is a no point violation and a state of emergency has to be declared by the governor in order to charge someone with this offense. Also, it is confusing as to what you mentioned about getting 4 additional points, perhaps you had other tickets that you were unaware of.

It was a minor accident and I was not drunk at the time.

Answer: It depends on what you were originally charged with. It could have simply been a ticket for careless driving or it could have been driving with a revoked license under the DWI enhancement law which includes jail plus suspension. I’m afraid that unless you provide accurate and updated information on your charges, I cannot answer your question.

My driving record is clean. The reason I was speeding is I was running late for a funeral but the cop did not care and was very nasty towards me.

Answer: The potential penalties that you are facing are 10 points on your driving record, a loss of driving privileges for six months, probable increase in insurance rates and being dropped by your insurer along with thousands of dollars in fines and surcharges. Therefore it is highly imperative for you to seek qualified and competent legal counsel.

I have never been arrested. My car skid on the snow and a trooper came up and searched me. He took a legal prescription for pain off me and got a DRE which said I was impaired. The video and 911 call shows that I was not. In the urine test, my medication came up. My lawyer advised me to take Reckless Driving but I said that I’m not guilty. Now he’s saying that I should go to trial since I’m innocent but he told me that judge finds everyone guilty. He also said that he would be committing legal malpractice if he advised me to plead guilty. How much do lawyers charge to take over? Is there any honest place to report corrupt troopers?

Answer: It is a fact that you were charged with a DWI. Your lawyer had actually found a way to get the DWI dismissed but you turned it down. That is why they now want to go to trial but you seem to have a problem with that as well. After assessing your situation, it is clear that there are two paths, a plea-which you seem to reject, or a trial, which you also seem to reject. Your lawyer is not playing games. In a trial you can seek to suppress the urine and try to convince the judge that the officer’s observations are flawed. It’s either trial or a plea. If you would like to switch counsel, with the judge’s permission, it is likely that you’ll pay a premium on the fee as the substituting attorney would be required to drop everything, retain experts and file motions. It is unlikely that you’ll get any additional time from the court.

I was convicted of a second DUI and the judge ordered that I have an interlock device installed on my car for one year during suspension and one year after restoration. If I am not allowed to drive, why should I get the device installed and monitored every 1- 2 months? Are they asking me to drive a car during suspension? Will the NJ MVC enforce this or can I just wait until my suspension time is up and get the interlock then?

Answer: The basic reason why you should comply with the court’s ruling and install the interlock is that your suspension does not run while you are non-compliant. If you were suspended for two years, any time delay in getting the interlock installed will just be added on and extend your suspension period.


I received 2 tickets after an accident in which I was driving with a learner’s permit; driving without a license and careless driving. My trial was postponed until I got my provisional driver’s license. The ticket for driving without a license was dismissed but the prosecutor told me that if I pled guilty to unsafe operation of a motor vehicle instead of careless driving that there would be no points on my driver’s license and no surcharge. He lied because Motor vehicle gave me 2 points and threatened to suspend my Provisional driver’s license. The agreement stipulated that I would pay a larger fine in Municipal Court. I paid the larger fine and got the points off.

Answer: Someone with a provisional driver’s license is not eligible for zero points. You must file a motion to withdraw the plea as a remedy.

My brother has been on probation since 2010. He got took a guilty plea instead of going to trial in a case involving his ex-lover last year. He was let out in June and reported to probation for the first time and was locked up again for contacting the victim by mail

Answer: It is imperative that you consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your brother is facing indictable charges and the prospect of reduced charges seems unlikely. However, without being fully appraised of the underlying facts, an attorney cannot guide you in this matter. You do not have to post the facts of the case online, it is preferable to have a face to face consultation with an attorney and avail the privilege of confidentiality.

Answer: It cannot be ascertained from your question that who has a restraining order against whom. However, if a restraining order is still in effect and the victim decides to have it enforced, then it can cause trouble for the other person. But if things have been mitigated to a point where the restraining order is no longer necessary, then it is advisable to go back to court and file a request to have the restraining order lifted.

Answer: The consequences depend on what you have been charged with. It could have simply been a ticket for careless driving or it could be a charge of driving while revoked under the DWI enhancement which would entail jail plus suspension of license. It is therefore not possible to provide the answer with the insufficient information that you have provided.

Answer: You will have to remain incarcerated until the completion of your trial. If you’re convicted then you’ll have to serve any additional time required to satisfy your sentence.

Answer: Video footage of an attack does seem relevant. However, it all depends on whether you will be able to present the evidence in accordance with statutory rules. Often people bring in their smartphones with pictures or photos or videos and believe that the evidence will be admitted but they are disappointed when they do not get the TRO and the evidence is not admitted. It is important that you retain competent legal counsel to make sure this important piece evidence gets admitted in your hearing.

I have never been arrested in my life but if I fight it how long would I have to stay in jail?

Answer: In that case, you’ll have to stay in jail until the completion of your trial. If you are convicted ten you’ll have to serve any additional time required to satisfy the sentence that you have received.

I changed my address in December and never updated it. There were insurance surcharges from the NJ DMV from a previous ticket. A payment was missed and I had no knowledge of my license getting suspended. The balance owed along with the $100 restoration fee have been paid. In three weeks I have to go to court. Can I plead down my ticket because my job depends upon my ability to drive?

Answer: I have practiced in Bridgewater for the past 8 years and have handled hundreds of cases quite similar to yours. You are facing serious charges which could potentially result in loss of employment. You should take this matter seriously. However, Prosecutor Bateman and Judge Kellher are reasonable people and it is advisable that you retain competent legal counsel to navigate through the ice bergs on your horizon.

Can a ticket gotten on a provisional license that graduates to a full license by the time of the court date be negotiated down to zero points?

Answer: The chances to have that ticket negotiated down improve by retaining competent local counsel. It is possible but not guaranteed. If you feel that it is important to keep this issue off your record, then it is important that you hire an attorney.

If two people were videotaped by surveillance shoplifting and both were visibly putting it in bags but only one walks out with the cart of stuff with the other person behind them; can both of them be charged or only the one that walks out with it?

Answer: This is an issue that is dependent upon the facts but from what you have described it is possible that both people could be charged with shoplifting.

I was parked on the side of the road with a flat tire (the tire was pretty much gone) and the Rim just remained. I was sleeping in the car because I was waiting for my brother to come to change my tire. Since Xanax makes you extremely tired, I fell asleep in the car PARKED on the side of the road waiting for my brother to come. I failed the drunk test, took more pills than prescribed, and got charged for DWI, reckless driving, and careless driving. My keys were in the ignition because I wanted the heat/radio while waiting. They KNOW i took more than prescribed, and they took my urine. (I admitted i took more–wish I didn’t). What should I do? They didn’t take my blood or anything—nor did the cops “see” me driving. People just complained about me. Am I in serious trouble? No one got hurt

Answer: It seems that you have gotten into some serious trouble! There are many defenses to the charges that you’re facing starting with whether it was your intention to operate the vehicle as per the law. Secondly, it must be determined whether your state of intoxication was properly assessed by a Drug Recognition Expert or DRE! Most officers are not trained to detect intoxication due to drugs. Other Defense strategies may exist, but they can be very fact intensive. It is imperative that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible.

I got a DUI suspended license in NJ which I am getting restored December 25, 2013. I got pulled over on November 22, 2012 and have court in NJ for Driving on Suspended. The court date is after my license restoration date. Will this help me get the ticket dismissed? The cop said it would get dismissed since it is after my restoration date, but the lawyer that I spoke to said it’s going to be hard.

Answer: There is no defense in this case. Your driving license was suspended at the time you were pulled over. Furthermore, driver’s license suspension on a DWI is an enhanced charge. You can face mandatory jail time and possibly an indictment under 2C:40-26. Heed the advice of counsel!

I was recently charged with a DWI and my BAC came back as a .21. However I was never arrested and left the scene of the accident and started taking shots when I got back home after I crashed my car. Then I called the police promptly. What are my options on going about this case? I was very coherent with the police officers and answered every question they asked. But I also never submitted to any tests. So how can they take my BAC and use it? I did go to the hospital however.

Answer: It is imperative that you consult with a lawyer. What you have described is a case of post-operation consumption. But although it appears that you refused the Alcotest, you still face the charge on that offense! In my opinion, ultimately it depends on why you ended up in the hospital and why you gave blood. This is a complex case. You must retain experienced DWI counsel.

I completed all IDRC requirements and 2 years after that, they want me to go to AA meetings for 8 months! Nowhere can I find that this is part of the penalty for a second DWI charge. I did the 16 week program, they lost paperwork so I did it again and they lost paperwork again. I have the receipts and proof that I did the program the second time and now they are also trying to make me do that also again. I feel they are targeting me as when I call IDRC and they hear my name and hang up every time! There is a little more to this but that is the gist of it. I would like to find an attorney who would like to pursue a case against the IDRC program. I do understand you have to work together but targeting me is not right! I have never been nasty or rude to anyone at these programs.

Answer: To get a restoration, it is necessary to comply with IDRC. If the substance abuse evaluation indicates that you have to do additional tasks and the IDRC says you have to do additional tasks, then you must do them. As far as the allegations that you are being unfairly targeted, that is a considerable burden. It is not the kind of litigation that anyone is going to offer a free consultation for. If you believe that you possess irrefutable evidence then you should get an attorney to review the case. Considering your record of 3 DWI convictions, you should save your money and comply with the IDRC.

Earlier this year, I had gotten a parking ticket for parking somewhere that everyone, including cops, park. I don’t remember the original amount of the ticket but I ended up forgetting about it. As a result, having my license suspended. I also did not realize my license was suspended until I was pulled over. I paid MVC the restoration fee and the parking ticket. My court date for driving with a suspended license was in October. I missed it and had to pay $500 dollars bail. The court was then supposed to mail me a summons for a new court date, which they never did! Instead I received THREE notices in the mail saying my bail was forfeited and is now $750 dollars and they’ve issued another warrant for my arrest. There are more details but not enough characters.

Answer: An attorney that practices license suspension cases may be able to get the warrant recalled. It can potentially be resolved under the parking adjudication act with a $100 fine. However, a $750 surcharge on top of that may be imposed on you. The prosecutor may reduce this to an administrative license violation such as failure to present documents, if you have competent legal counsel. It would prevent the surcharge.

I already served 4 of the 6 month administrative suspension period

Answer: It is impossible to venture a guess without all of the relevant facts. However, the time to request a hearing is prior to the serving of the suspension not during the last months of the imposed suspension.

The police officers took me to the station for a breathalyzer test they told me taking the test was optional and never informed me of the consequences of refusal is there anything I can do. I’m not from New Jersey I’m from Virginia so I’m unaware of what I can do.

Answer: It is a requirement that you take the Alco-test. A refusal to take the test results in the police proceeding with DWI prosecution based on their observation of you and a drivers’ license suspension. It also results in prosecution for refusing to take the test, namely a 7 month license suspension. The state can request the judge to either run the sentences consecutively or concurrently. This will affect your ability to drive back home. What the officer told you was completely wrong; if proven, it could result in a dismissal of the charges levied against you. There might be a problem proving it if the officer relates a different version. It is advisable to contact an attorney immediately.

I hear that DWI will no longer be the law in New Jersey, something about The “Shon” lawsuit. Is this true?

Answer: The “Shon” case is probably referring to the recently filed motion to enforce litigants’ rights in the Chun case. These arguments require sanctions from the state over failures to comply with computer programming and data production for the Alco-test from the state. The law basically remains the same. This only affects how the state may prove guilt under the law. Nothing has changed at this point in time.

Didn’t have lawyer for 2nd time, the 3rd one in 2004 they took license 4-10 yrs and gave me 2nd year fines. How can they skip over the 2nd and go to 3rd because they made a mistake?

Answer: It’s not an illegal sentence. A perpetrator is entitled to the 10 year step down only once. Courts have explicitly stated that once a driver has received the benefit of the 10 year step down, they should have no expectation of a further step down. (State v. Burroughs). The un-counseled conviction may not be used for incarceration (State v. Connelly), but it has not yet been found to be applicable to the suspension term. You may be able to withdraw the plea in the second or third conviction and fight the charges using post- conviction relief statutes.

Son is an honor student in grad school. Just began a graduate assistantship. Never even got a parking ticket! Dad passed away 3.5 months before the DUI, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Cops said the extenuating circumstances would help son’s case, plus the fact that he was very cooperative. Attorney says they won’t help. Who’s right?

Answer: There may be mitigating factors in a case but they cannot be perceived as defenses. The son will be subject to the statutory sentencing scheme. Therefore, if he is facing a 7 month to 1 year suspension, this will provide an adequate reason for the prosecutor to potentially offer a minimum sentence. He still has to adhere to the statutory scheme. The lawyer basically, is correct.

I read that calling and administrative hearing can slow or stop the suspension of your license? Is this true and if so how is it done?

Answer: It is not possible in this context because a court ordered suspension goes into effect immediately.

Answer: This matter will probably be heard in the Superior Court. The probable charge that is applicable is vehicular homicide. It is imperative that you start speaking to criminal defense attorneys in Union County.

My car ran out of gas on the turn pike. My car got hit twice after several hours of waiting I walked to the nearest house because my cell phone had died. At first police where very nice they took me to police station awaiting state trooper… He got there and things took a turn for the worst I took a field sobriety test and then hours later refused breathalyzer.

Answer: Considering that the information is limited, various defense tactics can potentially be utilized. In light of the facts, you could face multiple suspensions. Recently in a case before the Supreme Court, an avenue was provided to beat the refusal on the notice. That was for the Appellate court. However you should seriously consider retaining experienced legal counsel so that you may have the best chance.

I never had a license! What are the chances to not do any mandatory jail? Can I pay a fine instead of serving jail time? Or is there anything I can do to not go to jail, like probation, community service or something else?

Answer: Driving while on the DWI revoked list results in mandatory incarceration. The time can potentially be a minimum of 10 days or it can also result in a felony charge. There are a number of factors that decide which end of the incarceration spectrum you are looking at. If incarceration is mandatory, that time may possibly be served in a program but that depends on the county and judge. It is Advisable that you immediately consult with experienced legal counsel for practical advice on how to proceed.

I know that municipal courts handles MVA related cases and tickets, but wouldn’t MVA related charges as serious as this be transferred to the county court? Are there statutes or other source of information that would indicate which types of cases can or cannot be heard in municipal court?

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Are there certain laws that would bar certain types of cases from being passed through the municipal court?

Answer: It is a probability that the cases will be referred to the county prosecutor for further evaluation. He/she will then make a decision on whether to elevate the matter to a superior court. In the end, it is going to be a question of discretion.

I received a speeding ticket but the officer wrote my father’s name and info on the ticket. How would he fight this based on the ground that he was not the one operating the vehicle?

Answer: It always helps to consult with an attorney. There may be video footage of the traffic stop supporting your point of view. It is a fact specific determination. If your dad’s name is Carl and your name is Carl JR. that will not be enough. Other factors that are important are whose license number the officer wrote down and why. If the officer got someone else’s documents from you, you can expect tougher charges and penalties.

On the particular day I switched cars and drove on a car with very different action. I am only secondary driver on this car.

Answer: Based on my experiences, you are looking at a driver’s license suspension of up to 6 months. At that speed, it is not a matter of if you will get suspended, but for how long. It is advisable to hire a lawyer that has experience in that particular court. You also potentially face jail time and 5 points on your license. Jail time is rare, but when someone is doing 110 in a 65 it’s more likely. Reckless driving is a charge that accompanies high speed infractions as well which carries 5 points of its own, jail possibility of its own and another 6 months of suspension.

If you decide to represent yourself do not say that you’re not used to driving that car. It just looks like you are trying to make excuses. 60 miles over the limit is not something that you do with a lack of experience with a vehicle.

Answer: For a first offense, the interlock is not mandatory for a BAC reading below .15. A driver’s license is suspended for a period of seven months to one year. There is no option for an interlock instead of a suspension. The best option you have is to hire an attorney and fight the charges.

I am in the process of being convicted of a DWI/DUI and Reckless Driving. My question is that is it possible to get a DWI reduced to a minor traffic violation? It would be a 1st offense for me, and I have no other traffic related offenses on my record. I’ve read that in NJ there are technically no grades to traffic offenses and there are no classified distinctions between a minor and major traffic offense. However I’ve read that a DWI is considered to be a major traffic offense.

Answer: Plea Bargains are not available on a DWI charge. Certain DWI lawyers are able to cast certain doubts on the prosecution’s case to an extent that the prosecutor would rather seek to dismiss the case than to take it to trial and get the charges dismissed as a result.

I was arrested Friday (24th) morning for driving under the influence of alcohol. My court date is Friday, October 31st. I know I can do something other than sitting around just waiting for this court date. I know I made a huge mistake and I need to rectify it somehow even if I can’t get rid of the penalties.

Answer: The best thing that you can do is to retain counsel. Judges are restricted by the statutory minimum penalties, which on the first offense includes a seven-month loss of your driver’s license. You may feel guilty about the situation and don’t ever want it to happen again but you don’t have to enter a guilty plea. A lawyer will assist you in negotiating your way around potential errors committed by the police. There are no statutory plea bargains for a DWI case. A good legal counsel will be able to help you beat the charges and avoid penalties.

Was drunk driving and in an accident last night. I banged my head and my friend in the car wasn’t hurt. No one else was involved. My BAC level was .140. I left the ER and wasn’t charged. Are the cops letting me slide?

Answer: The limited amount of information prevents me from responding accordingly! Were you evaluated by police at the scene? How was your BAC evaluated? Was blood drawn? Was there a warrant issued? It is highly unusual for police to let a potential offender go without an arrest but they have up to 30 days to charge you.

I did an 81 in a 35mph zone and got a speeding ticket on River road Edgewater this is my first speeding ticket. I’m 19 & I’ve only had one prior ticket 2 years ago. It was a 2 points careless. Is it possible to get no points and keep my insurance from going up?

Answer: If you’re going at 46 MPH over the speed limit, then you are looking at a drivers’ license suspension.

I was arrested Friday (24th) morning for driving under the influence of alcohol. My court date is Friday, October 31st. I know I can do something other than sitting around just waiting for this court date. I know I made a huge mistake and I need to rectify it somehow even if I can’t get rid of the penalties.

Answer: The best thing that you can do is to retain counsel. Judges are restricted by the statutory minimum penalties, which on the first offense includes a seven-month loss of your driver’s license. You may feel guilty about the situation and don’t ever want it to happen again but you don’t have to enter a guilty plea. A lawyer will assist you in negotiating your way around potential errors committed by the police. There are no statutory plea bargains for a DWI case. A good legal counsel will be able to help you beat the charges and avoid penalties.

Was drunk driving and in an accident last night. I banged my head and my friend in the car wasn’t hurt. No one else was involved. My BAC level was .140. I left the ER and wasn’t charged. Are the cops letting me slide?

Answer: The limited amount of information prevents me from responding accordingly! Were you evaluated by police at the scene? How was your BAC evaluated? Was blood drawn? Was there a warrant issued? It is highly unusual for police to let a potential offender go without an arrest but they have up to 30 days to charge you.

I did an 81 in a 35mph zone and got a speeding ticket on River road Edgewater this is my first speeding ticket. I’m 19 & I’ve only had one prior ticket 2 years ago. It was a 2 points careless. Is it possible to get no points and keep my insurance from going up?

Answer: If you’re going at 46 MPH over the speed limit, then you are looking at a drivers’ license suspension.

What are the chances of my license not getting suspended in Freehold NJ for getting a DWI? I was leaving a bar in Freehold and was pulled over. I was charged with aDWI and got a hand full of their tickets. Failure to maintain lane, careless driving, reckless driving and inspection stick overdue. I was taken to the hospital to get my blood drawn. The main thing is my license. What are the possibilities of it not getting suspended?

Answer: A warrant is required for a blood draw according to a recent Supreme Court ruling even if it means that someone has to wake a judge up at 3 am in the morning. DWI cases cannot be plea bargained therefore you require a valid defense. You are going to need the services of a lawyer.

I live in NJ. I recently got DUI in Nova Scotia Canada. I need a lawyer. I have 2 DUIs 10 yrs. ago in NJ. Help please. The Court date is Oct 30. I will be traveling. I don’t think I can make the court date as I will be traveling abroad for work.

Answer: You should hire a Canadian lawyer because this is a criminal offense that has been perpetrated in Canada. People with a DWI on their record are denied entry into Canada, so it’s surprising that you were admitted with 2 prior offenses.

“My mother is 77 years old and lives in a senior community in town. I work 2 jobs and could not spend time with her – I think she was depressed and went to have a few drinks and was caught one night driving home drunk. She did it again. We went to court and she had to pay fines and do community service in town. She had problems with the senior community for smoking in her unit and we were told she could not smoke in her unit or so many feet from outside her residence. She went in her car just up the road to smoke and someone ratted her out and the cops came….I obtained the public defender and she said she will probably have to go to jail for 6months – she asked me to obtain something in writing from her Doctor to help prevent this. Will they really sentence a 77 yr old to jail?”

Answer: For a comprehensive answer to that particular question, I need to know more about her history and the nature of the charge. A driving on suspended license charge entails mandatory incarceration. For a first offense, it would be 10 days rather than 180 days. Mandatory incarceration for that amount of time would entail a third DWI offense (not driving while suspended) or a criminal indictment to a fourth degree offense (requiring multiple license suspensions and/or multiple DWI’s). Thus, the information provided does not make much sense. Alternatives to incarceration such as SLAP are also available.

“I have a warrant for the dui for missing my court date and the matter is about 18 months old at this point. I am nervous because it was the second time i was charged with dui before the age of 21, but my first was down-graded to reckless driving. My issue is i need to be able to take care of it on a trip home and be able to settle the matter and not have to deal with jail time, and the community service, and classes. I do not know if that is possible so that’s why i am reaching out. And, is it possible to pay off all fines and surcharges up to date to get like a time-served style suspension since my license has been suspended this whole time anyway so that i could come home to Florida and get a license here.

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Another issue is when i was arrested i did not have a valid license on me. It wasn’t suspended at that moment but i received a ticket for driving on suspended along with my dui i guess because i never went and got a license after my previous suspension from the my first situation (i didn’t have my own vehicle, i was driving a friend’s car home from a late night after hours bar, “Richie’s”) so i don’t know if that makes the offense worse or not.”

Answer: Hire an attorney as soon as possible! The attorney can evaluate your case as well as conduct discovery. If a plea bargain is the best available option, then it can be done without returning to New Jersey (subject to the court and rules of the county assignment judge; for e.g. it’s permissible in Somerset County). If the best outcome can be achieved through a trial, then your attorney will schedule that. He can also coordinate with you to be present at trial.

“I was stopped at a traffic light, waiting in the left turn only lane. I was checking my phone and didn’t realize the light turned green and sat there for about 20 seconds. Unfortunately there was a police officer behind me. He pulled me over and issued a summons for careless driving and DUI after I blew a .16. What defenses do I have? Can I beat these tickets?”

Answer: The encounter that you had was probably a community care taking encounter. A police officer has the least investigatory authority in that circumstance. It is advisable for you to have an in office consultation with a DWI lawyer where you will have attorney client privileges.

The penalties that you face are significant suspensions and fines. Plea bargaining is not an option for a DWI charge. It is advisable to retain appropriate legal counsel and fight your charges.

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