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Somerville Man Sentenced To 18 Months After Fifth DWI Conviction


Date: September 15, 2014

SOMERVILLE – On Friday, a Somerville man was sentenced to 18 months in jail for driving on the revoked list after his 5th drunken-driving conviction.

State Superior Court Judge Robert Reed told to 56-year-old Marshall Smit that it has been “pure luck” that he is not dead or caused a death due to his drunken driving.

Smit has previous drunken-driving convictions in the years 1998, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2013. His 5th conviction came after what his attorney, Frank Taddeo, called a “fender bender” on 20th of March 2013, on Union Avenue in Bridgewater.

Taddeo accepted, “He has a horrible driving abstract”, saying that Smit has no criminal history. He also said that his client is the only care provider of his mother, who needs “constant” care and attention. Smit told the judge that no other member in the family can take care of his mother and they cannot afford to hire live-in assistance at $3,000 a week. “There is a lot going on in his personal life”.

56-year-old Angelo Rodriguez, who is another Somerville resident, was sentenced to prison for driving on the revoked list after his 2nd drunken driving conviction. Rodriguez was sentenced to 10 days in jail for the offense on 26th of March 2013 that happened in South Bound Brook.

Rodriguez’s attorney, Kelley Lavery, asked Reed for leniency because of the “compelling circumstances” of the incident.

Lavery said that Rodriguez and his mother were returning from a wake when his mother, who was driving, started feeling ill. After Rodriguez took the wheel, he was stopped by police and charged, though no crash was involved.

Lavery asked Rodriguez to be sentenced as a “Weekend Warrior” which permits offenders to serve their sentences on weekends but Reed objected on it, saying that it’s an “insult” to those who serve in the armed services. Reed emphasized that the defendants he sentences are not permitted to serve their time on weekends. Reed also said that Rodriguez had “other alternatives” to driving, including calling a taxi or requesting medical help.

Rodriguez had driving under the influence convictions in 2006 and 2009.

News Source: www.DailyRecord.com

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About the Author

Attorney James A. Abate practices Criminal Defense, DWI Defense, Business Litigation, Real Estate & Personal injury cases in Union County, New Jersey.