DWI And Refusal Charge Dismissed – Outcome: Suppression Of Evidence
Middlesex County, June 2021
Our client was arrested in 2019 and facing 10 years’ incarceration after a search of his backpack revealed the possession of heroin, leading to numerous 1st and 2nd degree criminal charges in Middlesex County Superior Court. A review of the discovery lead our office to submit a Motion to Suppress the evidence found due to a lack of probable cause for the officer to search our client’s bag. After arguing our Motion, the Judge was convinced that the officer did not have a valid basis to search the bag and suppressed the evidence therein. The suppression of this evidence means that the State will not be able to proceed, and will be forced to dismiss the case.
Branchburg DUI Charges Dismissed – Outcome: Returned To Parole Supervision
Mercer County, April 2021
Our client was facing incarceration due to violating the conditions of his parole. Despite the probation officer’s recommendation that his parle be revoked, our office was able to show the hearing official that the violations were minor, uncharacteristic, and arose due to events unlikely to reoccur. Based on our argument, our client was placed back onto parole under his previous conditions, and remains free to move forward with his life.
Violation Of Probation Charges Dismissed In The Warren County Superior Court – Outcome: We Were Successful In Getting The New Charges Against Him Dismissed, And He Was Released Home To Be Reunited With His Young Son.
Our client was in a deferred disposition program due to a prior matter and was working hard to move forward. New charges were brought forth in Warren County, which placed him in violation from that program. Our client was arrested and being held in the County Jail during the COVID-19 pandemic and was being denied release. Our firm investigated the new charges and determined that they were based on false allegations, and we sought a probable cause hearing and release. Based upon the Judge’s findings during the probable cause hearing, we were successful in getting the new charges against him dismissed, and he was released home to be reunited with his young son.
Charges Of Drug Possession Dismissed In The Somerset County Superior Court, Unfairly Incarcerated Client Freed – Outcome: We Were Able To Prove That There Was No Probable Cause To Pull Our Client Over In The First Place, Resulting In Suppression Of All Evidence, Dismissal Of All Charges, And Release Of Our Client To Be Reunited With His Family.
Our client was pulled over in Bernardsville for allegedly swerving while he was driving. The police held our client for over an hour to bring out the Canine Unit, and then conducted a warrantless search of his vehicle, resulting in his arrest. Despite the weakness of the case, the COVID-9 pandemic resulted in our client’s detention in the Somerset County Jail because no testimonial hearings were being performed. Our client placed his faith in our services, and we pushed the Court for the first possible hearing. We were successful in obtaining a hearing date, and were able to use the evidence collected at the time of the motor vehicle stop to prove that there was no probable cause to pull our client over in the first place, resulting in suppression of all evidence, dismissal of all charges, and release of our client to be reunited with his family.
Shoplifting Conviction Reversed On Appeal, Somerset County 2020 – Outcome: Judge Peter Tober Reversed And Vacated The Conviction Following A Trial De Novo In Somerville County Superior Court.
Our client was convicted in Hillsborough New Jersey of Shoplifting. The evidence against the client consisted of a video showing the client returning some items and purchasing some items. The store did not retain a receipt and only had records for returns and did not present any testimony from the clerk who handled the transaction. At trial Mr. Abate argued that the lack of evidence prevented the State from proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge disagreed and said “Mr. Abate you can appeal me.” We did. Judge Peter Tober reversed and vacated the conviction following a trial de novo in Somerville County Superior Court.
Dismissal, Client Saved From Deportation, Madison NJ – Outcome: All Charges Were Dismissed And The Client Was Released By ICE And Permitted To Remain In The United States And Continue His Path To Becoming A Legal Resident.
Our client was arrested under suspicion of Driving While Impaired under the influence of narcotics and possession of prescription medication without a permit. Client was held on detainer and faced deportation. Mr. Abate challenged the State’s case and determined that client was not under the influence of any impairing substance. Ultimately all charges were dismissed and the client was released by ICE and permitted to remain in the United States and continue his path to becoming a legal resident. This case came under the fog of the COVID-19 outbreak and required diligent skill to move the case to a conclusion before deportation occurred. We are very pleased to reunite the client with his family and clear his name.
Somerset County DWI Dismissed – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI Charges.
Our client faced a second offense DWI charge and possible Assault by Auto indictment. Mr. Abate and Mr. Portanova obtained a recording of the warrant application and determined that the warrant was improperly obtained. Mr. Abate argued for the suppression of the warrant, which was granted, suppressing the blood evidence collected with the same. DWI charges against our client were then dismissed.
John Portanova Obtains DWI Dismissal At Trial – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI Charges At Trial.
Mr. Portanova represented our client, who had a 0.08% BAC reading on the Alcotest. Working with our experts, Mr. Portanova was successful in having the reading suppressed, and the DWI was subsequently dismissed at trial.
Hunterdon County DWI Dismissed After 3 Years – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI Charges.
Mr. Abate recently received a dismissal of all charges in a DWI matter in Hunterdon County, NJ. Our client came to us for help immediately following his arrest for DWI, and for three years the firm investigated allegations of in-station video recordings that were being withheld. The case involved a traffic stop that dragged on for 45 minutes and involved police inability to gain probable cause for the stop, ultimately requiring a dismissal of all charges. This case required our firm to make 23 appearances in court! Our client, who lives in Pennsylvania and works in New Jersey, was thrilled to have the case dismissed and his life back.
Wayne NJ Drug DWI Dismissed – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI Charges.
Our client was arrested for a second offense of DWI based on drugs. Mr. Abate has received training in the Drug Recognition Expert protocols and contested the DRE examination and blood/ urine evidence. Based on the insufficiency of evidence, charges of DWI were dismissed. The only remaining charge was reckless driving with no suspension.
Dismissal of Refusal Charge Bridgewater New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal Of Refusal Charges.
Many attorneys believe that DUI refusal charges are difficult and recommend taking a plea. In this particular case, our client was visiting New Jersey from another state and was charged with DUI. Our client is an asthma sufferer who attempted to produce air flow for the breath test, but respiratory issues prevented a successful reading. Mr. Abate and his team recognized this and obtained the client’s medical history, which clearly documented that the pulmonary issues would have prevented a valid breath. Presenting this defense to the Court, the refusal charge was deemed inappropriate and was dismissed. If you have been charged with a refusal, contact The Law Offices of James A. Abate and his Team.
DWI Dismissed, Madison New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI Charges.
Our client was charged with DWI after losing control of his vehicle and striking a pole. Upon review of discovery in his case, it was easy to see that our client was clearly disoriented and exhibiting concussion symptoms due to the accident. Mr. Abate is trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Drug Recognition Expert evaluations. He recognized that the accident presented issues on evaluating the client for intoxication, as opposed to concussion/disorientation. Ultimately, Mr. Abate was able to convince the Prosecutor to dismiss the DWI charges. This would have been a second offense for the client, who now continues to maintain his real estate practice as a result of our success.
Shoplifting Charge Dismissed Somerset County – Outcome: Dismissal Of Shoplifting Charges & Arrest Was Expunged From The Client’s Record.
The client was arrested for shoplifting, but in fact, was simply wandering too close to the exit to check his cell phone. A shoplifting conviction is considered a crime of “moral turpitude” and thus can result in deportation. Fortunately, Mr. Abate was able to have testimony of the store’s witnesses excluded. Not only was the charge dismissed, but the arrest was expunged from the client’s record.
Westfield, New Jersey Dismissal Of Marijuana Possession Charges – Outcome: Dismissal of Marijuana Possession Charges.
The law concerning possession of Marijuana is in a state of uncertainty following the failure of the legislature to take action. Depending on what township you are in, different prosecutors act differently. In addition, police are uncertain whether to bear the expense of conducting forensic testing. Mr. Abate’s client was charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana. A conviction would have affected the future of the client who was studying in the engineering program of a top college planning a career with the US Government. Mr. Abate was able to have the charges dismissed with entry into a township ordinance saving the client thousands in fine, years on probation and a criminal record.
Dismissal Of Second Offense DWI Somerset County – Outcome: Dismissal Of Second Offense DWI Somerset County.
Mr. Abate frequently says the future can be better than the present. This case is an example of that saying. Mr. Abate’s client was found asleep in his vehicle waiting for a tow truck after becoming disabled in his vehicle. Mr. Abate obtained video evidence and presented expert testimony to demonstrate that the state could not prove the client was impaired beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Abate also presented expert testimony demonstrating procedural and calibration issues regarding breath testing conducted on the Alcotest 7100. As a result, the DWI charge was dismissed against the client. The client, who works in a professional capacity, was able to keep his job, profession, and home. Thus, his future is once again looking better than his present, or rather, his past.
The Future Can Be Better Than The Present # 2 – Outcome: Jail Avoided For 3rd and 4th DWI & Dismissal The Case For Violation Of Speedy Trial Rights.
“Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.” ― David Brooks
More than any case we have recently handled, the case of “Jack” shows that the future can be better than the present. Jack was arrested for his 3rd and 4th DWI within a few weeks of each other. Mr. Abate took both cases to trial. In one case he was able to avoid jail time for the client through a procedural application under State v. Laurick and also two rounds of appeals. In the second case, Mr. Abate filed an appeal and the case became stalled. Eventually, a Superior Court judge dismissed the case for violation of speedy trial rights. So two cases each carrying a mandatory 6 months in jail and the client did not serve a day in jail.
This case took nearly 5 years to be resolved. During that time Jack got his life together, got sober and got married. His future ended up being better than his present.
The Future Can Be Better Than The Present – Outcome: Saved Our Client From Going To Jail.
“Almost every successful person starts with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present and I have the power to make it so.” – Theo Rossi
Our client –in the midst of a battle with leukemia– was facing a fourth offense of driving while intoxicated and a mandatory six-month jail sentence. He would likely die in jail. Most firms would realize there was nothing that could be done with facts such as this and accept a plea. Fortunately, we do not operate that way and set out to change the facts. First, we reviewed the client’s record and determined that procedural errors had occurred in one of the client’s prior convictions. Mr. Abate sought a judicial Order that this prior conviction could not be used to impose jail time. The Judge was adamant against issuing such an Order and Mr. Abate traveled to Southern New Jersey and ultimately persuaded the Court to issue such an Order.
The result was the client was now facing a third offence, which still would still expose the client to mandatory incarceration and a death sentence. In reviewing the client’s history, Mr. Abate noticed that there was now a 10-year gap between the second and third offenses. Mr. Abate convinced the prosecutor that the client was entitled to a “step down” and that the client should be considered a second time offender, which would remove the mandatory incarceration. Unfortunately, the Judge did not believe that such a result was legally permissible under the circumstances. Mr. Abate requested the opportunity to file a brief explaining why the “step down” was legally permissible.” Mr. Portanova set out to research the issue and wrote an extensive brief which eventually convinced the Judge that the client was to be considered a second offender, with no mandatory incarceration.
Nonetheless, the Judge sentenced the client to jail time –even though it was no longer mandatory– based on the client’s prior criminal record. At this point, we withdrew the guilty plea and sought to transfer the case to another Court as the sentencing judge now had knowledge of the client’s record, which could prejudice a fair trial. Upon transfer, the client was finally able to enter a plea which would not include incarceration. There were a number of opportunities where the firm and client were under pressure to just give up and let the client go to jail, where he would likely die, rather than get treatment for his leukemia. We used our extensive knowledge of the law and procedure to save our client from going to jail. More importantly, we never considered giving up.
We are extremely proud of this result. This was an effort of the entire firm and great thanks go to Mr. Portanova, paralegals Megan Brault and Allison Frederick for their skill, zeal and perseverance.
3 DWI Dismissals For John Portanova – Outcome: Mr. Portanova Obtained Dismissals In The Courts Of Rockaway, Kingwood Township, And Warren Township.
John Portanova brings to the firm his extensive experience as a trial attorney, along with a vast knowledge of the municipal courts, and excellent relationships with prosecutors and judges. Recently, 3 separate clients saw Mr. Portanova’s skill earn them dismissals of their DWI charges in the courts.
Long Hill Twp. Municipal Court – DWI Charge Dismissed – Outcome: DWI Charge Dismissed.
Mr. Abate obtained a dismissal of all charges against his client following a trial. The client faced a second offense DWI. In this case, the client returned home for the night, and had taken his heart medication, but then needed to run back out. Upon arrival at the scene, the police suspected that this client was driving under the influence of alcohol, with a drug interaction. Mr. Abate’s client has extensive cervical injuries that were pre-existing, and a gait specialist was hired to rebut the observations of the Officer during the standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). Next, Mr. Abate, who has completed certification as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), was able to successfully defend the case based on the procedures employed by the Police DRE and State Police crime labs. Finally, Mr. Abate was able to challenge issues of the preservation of in-station video, which ultimately lead to suppression of breath tests, and a dismissal of all charges against his client.
Bound Brook Municipal Court – DWI Charge Dismissed – Outcome: DWI Charge Dismissed.
Mr. Abate’s client was pulled over after accidentally turning into a wrong parking lot. When asked, his client advised the Officer of his significant pre-existing cervical injuries, and history of surgery. Mr. Abate, who is certified in NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, was able to determine that his client was not a candidate for field sobriety testing (i.e. would not be able to perform the SFSTs in a “standard” way). After reviewing the discovery in this case, a judicial finding led to the inadmissibility of the breath test, which meant that the State needed to prove that this client was intoxicated based on the SFSTs. Mr. Abate retained expert witnesses to further review the discovery. These experts, a retired State Police Coordinator and medical expert, issued reports which focused on the inability of the State to prove that his client was, in fact, intoxicated based upon his performance during the field sobriety tests, culminating in the dismissal of the DWI charge.
Raritan Township, NJ – Dismissal Of DWI Charges At Trial – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI Charges At Trial.
Mr. Abate obtained a dismissal of DWI charges at trial against his client. This would have been a second offense, subjecting him to a 2 year loss of license. Mr. Abate was able to have the breath tests suppressed in this case before the trial based on failure of law enforcement to provide proper certifications of the Alcotest. Mr. Abate retained medical experts to substantiate the client’s well-documented history of injuries, which factored in his inability to perform standardized field sobriety tests. Mr. Abate has received a certificate of completion in the practitioner course for SFSTs and was able to convince the Court that the testing was unreliable.
Woodbridge Township DWI Dismissed
Our client was arrested after police found two closed bottles of beer in a bag on the front seat of his car. He was tired after just getting out of a late-night work shift, and was not intoxicated. He told the officer that he hadn’t been drinking at all. When he got to the police station, he blew a breath reading that was below the legal limit – a 0.00%! Police nonetheless suspected that our client was using drugs, and charged him with driving while intoxicated.
In the State of New Jersey, driving while intoxicated means that you are accused of driving under the influence of liquor or drugs. Someone who is accused of driving under the influence of drugs needs to be evaluated for their use, using a different set of criteria than that used to establish sobriety with the standardized field sobriety tests. In these cases, a Drug Recognition Expert needs to be called in to do the evaluations.
Mr. Abate has completed training as a Drug Recognition Expert, and in this case, he was able to find many weaknesses in the State’s case and obtain a complete dismissal of all charges against our client!
2nd Offense DWI Dismissed For Destruction Of In Station Video, New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal Of DWI 2nd Offense.
Mr. Abate obtained dismissal of a second offense DWI charge. His client was a CDL driver and faced a lifetime loss of his CDL. Mr. Abate in his investigation determined that in station video had been destroyed and based on State v. Stein was able to have the DWI charges dismissed.
Carteret NJ, Domestic Violence Charges – Outcome: Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed.
Our client was charged with DWI following a domestic violence incident in which operation of the vehicle was based on the emergency doctrine. In addition, we were able to argue that breath test readings were out of tolerance. There were also issues of discovery and video not produced. As a result of the various issues the DWI charges were dismissed.
DWI Dismissed at Trial: Piscataway NJ – Outcome: All charges were Dismissed by court.
Mr. Abate conducted substantial litigation and investigation which resulted in the obtaining of videos from the police station. Police were shown to have violated pre breath test procedures that required suppression of the breath test. At trial on the observation case, Mr. Abate presented expert testimony that deprived the state from showing proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Readington Municipal Court Dismissal DWI – Outcome: This Week, Our Firm Enjoyed Another Dismissal Of A DWI Charge.
Mr. Abate’s litigation defeated the per se charge and left the State with a breath test that was insufficient to support a conviction. With the breath test out of consideration, the State elected to forgo the observation case rather than expose the police to Mr. Abate’s cross examination. Mr. Abate is certified in conducting the Standardized Field Sobriety tests and this influenced the decision to drop the charges against the client.
Old Bridge New Jersey DWI Breath Test Suppressed, 54 MPH – Outcome: No Jail
Mr. Abate’s client was apprehended driving at a speed of 112 MPH with a BAC of .23. Upon reviewing the Alcotest data, Mr. Abate observed that the first breath test resulted in a result that was out of tolerance. Mr. Abate further observed a failure to maintain a 20 minute observation of the client between test sequences. As a result, a motion was made to suppress the breath sample, which lessened the client’s exposure from 12 months to 3 months. Mr. Abate further prevented the extreme speed from enhancing the suspension or resulting in jail time.
Somerset Superior Court First Degree Sexual Assault – Outcome: Temporary Restraining Order Dismissed
Mr. Abate’s knowledge of the local police agencies and ability to quickly obtain discovery enabled his client to obtain dismissal of a TRO for Sexual Assault. Mr. Abate’s client had been falsely accused and was being blackmailed. Mr. Abate was able to unearth the plot by obtaining recording’s of the victims statement and TRO application which differed substantially. The result was a dismissal.
Union County Superior Court Juvenile Charges First Degree Sexual Assault – Outcome: No Jail Time, Minimal Megan’s Law.
The firm acted quickly and retained one of the leading Megan’s Law psychologists. This early action, along with strong knowledge of the Megan’s law application saved the client’s life. Instead of being removed from his family, the client will get in patient treatment. Mr. Abate was able to have the charges amended so that they occurred before he turned 14, meaning the client will be eligible to be removed from Megan’s Law at 18. 4 years, rather than 15 years.
Dismissal Of Second Offense DWI In Bedminster, NJ – Outcome: Dismissal
Mr. Abate obtained a directed verdict dismissing a second offense DWI in Bedminster NJ. The client had a .15 BAC, but the readings were not permitted as evidence as they were found not reliable due to a tolerance issue. The state was unable to produce sufficient testimony to convict the client on the observation case. Mr. Abate’s cross examination was a significant factor in the result.
Hanover Township .09 BAC Dismissed At Trial – Outcome: Mr. Abate’s client was relieved to have the DWI charges dismissed.
Mr. Abate recently had a successful trial result in Hanover Township. The client suffered from cervical injuries and advised the State Trooper. The Trooper did not care and had the client perform the SFST tests anyway. (A clear violation of NITSA). The client then was brought to the barracks and was unobserved for 20 minutes. Ultimately, the client went to trial and Mr. Abate brought in an expert in the DWI procedure and testing protocols as well as chiropractor.
Suppression Where Stop Based Only For High Beam. State V. Scriven 226 NJ 20 – Outcome: The judgment of the Appellate Division upholding the trial court’s suppression of the evidence was affirmed.
The trial court and Appellate Division concluded that a motor-vehicle stop based on use of high beam lights violated the Federal and State Constitutions. The language of the high-beam statute, N.J.S.A. 39:3-60, is unambiguous; drivers are required to dim their high beams only when approaching an oncoming vehicle. Neither a car parked on a perpendicular street nor an on-foot police officer count as an oncoming vehicle.
Third Party Did Not Have Authority To Consent To Search Of Premises. State V. Cushing 226 NJ 187
Outcome: The record contains ample evidence to support the Appellate Division’s conclusion that Betty Cushing did not have actual authority to consent to the search of defendant’s room and Betty could not have conferred through any power of attorney an authority that she did not possess herself.
In addition, it was not objectively reasonable for Officer Ziarnowski to rely on an apparent authority by Mylroie as the basis for valid third-party consent to his initial search of defendant’s bedroom.
Readington Municipal Court DUI Dismissed – Outcome: Dismissal
Mr. Abate represented a client who was charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Mr. Abate conducted an investigation and determined the car was not capable of being driven. On motion to the court, the case was dismissed. Bridgewater Municipal Court .14 BAC Reading Suppressed and Not Guilty verdict given at trial.
Third Offense DWI Avoids Jail Time – Outcome: Avoiding Mandatory Incarceration
Mr. Abate examined the full driver history and determined that between the first and second and second and third offenses there were more than 10 years elapsed. Thus, Mr. Abate employed a portion of the law which permitted the prosecutor to step down the offense from a third offense to a second offense and avoid the mandatory incarceration for a third offense.
Third offense DWI cases carry a mandatory 6 months in Jail. In this case, having an attorney who understood the DWI statute was the difference between going to jail and losing a job. The client was also able to avoid 8 years of drivers suspension.
DWI And Refusal Dismissed At Trial – Outcome: Mr. Abate was recently able to obtain a dismissal at trial for a client who faced a second offense DWI and Refusal.
The client faced 4 years of suspensions and jail time. Mr. Abate is one of the rare attorneys who has performed class work to become certified in performing Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Due to this training, Mr. Abate was able to determine that the client (who suffered from prior cervical and other injuries) was not a candidate for the SFST’s. Mr. Abate further learned that the client had not refused, but instead had trouble blowing into the Alcotest because he had his removable braces in. The police officer had failed to perform a oral cavity search and permitted the breath test to be performed with a foreign object in the mouth. The improper procedure resulted in a suppression of the refusal charge. The client gratefully avoided any penalty for the DWI and Refusal thanks to Mr. Abate’s knowledge and training with the SFST’s and legal requirements for a breath test.
DWI Dismissed For Unreasonable Time Before BAC Obtained – Outcome: Mr. Abate’s client obtained an absolute dismissal due to the time that had elapsed between the time his client was arrested and the time that a blood test was obtained.
The case highlights a problem that has been observed with the state’s Alcotest maintenance program. The client was taken to several stations and none had a functioning machine to obtain his breath BAC. The 3 hour wait was ruled unreasonable and the blood test was suppressed.
The Alcotest currently in use is 11 years old and its manufacturer repair contract expires in December. It appears that the contract’s expiration is producing maintenance problems. One of the reasons the case was dismissed was that the prosecutor and State Police refused to provide disclosure concerning these problems.
May 2016 Refusal Dismissed – Outcome: Mr. Abate was successful in having a refusal charge dismissed against his client.
The investigation revealed that the client had wanted to submit to the Alcotest, but the first machine was not working. Mr. Abate then learned the police had taken the defendant to several other departments and those machines had not worked either. After 5 hours in police custody, the police threatened to get a blood warrant and would only release the defendant if he refused. This was improper as the arrest and attempted test were no longer within a reasonable period of time. The refusal charge was dismissed.
Bridgewater DWI Dismissed – Outcome: Bridgewater DWI Dismissed Based On Lost Anonymous Call Recordings February 2016
Mr. Abate’s client was pulled over on the basis of an anonymous call on Route 287 in Bridgewater, New Jersey by the State Police and charged with DWI. In the course of his investigation, Mr. Abate requested a copy of the anonymous call. After several months of litigation, Mr. Abate was informed that the State Police no longer had a copy of the anonymous call. Mr. Abate filed a motion to suppress all evidence as a result of the inability of the police to produce the anonymous recording. The State Trooper was brought in and underwent cross-examination by Mr. Abate. Ultimately, the court dismissed all charges against Mr. Abate’s client.
Undergoing a DWI is a nightmare. Having that nightmare be based on the word of an unknown, faceless accuser is ever more terrorizing. Thankfully, Mr. Abate’s diligence and knowledge of constitutional law stopped this nightmare. Our client can now sleep without the fear of this nightmare.
Possession Of Marijuana Charges Dismissed – Outcome: Mr. Abate was appalled by what he learned and filed a motion to suppress. Mr. Abate was ultimately successful in having all charges dismissed against the client.
For the most part, attorneys with clients that are eligible for a conditional discharge will not perform the work and invest the equity to seek dismissal of possession of under 50 grams of marijuana. Mr. Abate recently found himself in such a position, but his integrity would not permit such a abandonment of his duty to his client. Mr. Abate’s client was pulled over by an officer who obtained consent via threat to leave her stranded in the middle of Hunterdon County. The client lived in Allentown PA. The officer stated he was going to have drug sniff dog brought out to sniff the car. But when the dog was brought out, no attempt was made to sniff the car and the officer tricked the client to give consent to the vehicle search. Once in the car and without a warrant, the officer located a bag. The client advised it was not her bag. Not to be deterred, the officer searched the bag without consent and without a warrant.
Clinton Municipal Court, Clinton NJ Drunk Driving Charges – Outcome: Mr. Abate was able to suppress the breath test results. As a result, his client was able to keep her license.
Mr. Abate’s client was arrested for driving while intoxicated among other charges and faced a 12 month loss of license. Mr. Abate examined the state’s proofs and determined that the chemical breath test results were outside of the permissible tolerances and likely reflected a mouth alcohol reading.
Early Expungement Granted Somerset County Over Objection Of The Prosecutor – Outcome: Client was able to reapply for his old job and is back at work again
Our client had a youthful indiscretion and as a result a criminal conviction that was to have stayed on his criminal case history for 10 years. He went on to advance in a fortune 500 company only to loose his job many years later when the company changed its policy and ran back grounds on all employees. The client lost his job and was not eligible for an expungement for three (3) years. Mr. Abate was able to convince the Superior Court to grant an Early Pathway expungement. The client was able to reapply for his old job and is back at work again.
Client Facing 10 Years In Prison For Two Arrests Of Heroin Possession Admitted To Drug Court (April 2015) – Outcome: Admitted to drug court
In the State of New Jersey, possession, use, or being under the influence of heroin is a third-degree crime. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10, a person who has possessed heroin, no matter how small the amount, is guilty of a third-degree crime. Penalties include imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $35,000.00 in addition to a mandatory six-month loss of your driver’s license.
Our client faced two separate heroin possession charges from arrests in Clinton Township and was looking at a decade in State Prison. Through our review of the entire criminal record, we were able to determine a pattern of drug use controlling the behavior and convince the Hunterdon County Prosecutor that the client should be permitted to enter drug court. Rather than incarceration, the client will be receiving intensive drug treatment and be able to continue a career, education, and family life.
DWI Refusal Client Facing Additional 13 Month Suspension Clinton, New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal of refusal charges and dismissal of criminal charges for DWI with a minor in the car
Our client, a resident of Pennsylvania, was facing a 7 month loss of license for refusing to take a chemical breath test pursuant to New Jersey Statute Annotated 39:4-50.2. Our client also faced charges of DWI with a child in the car, which exposed him to another 6 month loss of license and criminal charges. As always, Mr. Abate and his staff dug in to examine the discovery, and low and behold, an officer had left a wireless microphone operational. Mr. Abate found evidence that the client had not refused to take the chemical breath test. The client had the refusal charge dismissed without need for a trial, as well as the criminal charges for DWI with a minor in the car, and will not be suspended by the State of Pennsylvania. Because the refusal charge was dismissed, the client’s arrest had no effect on his CDL license.
DWI Client Facing 12 Month Suspension Bridgewater, New Jersey – Outcome: .24 reading (3 times legal limit) reduced to 8 month Suspension
Our client was arrested for DWI after a warrant was sought for her blood. Mr. Abate opposed the warrant based on Delaware v. Franks and State v. Howery, as the officer left off important details in applying for the warrant. Although the motion was ultimately unsuccessful at suppressing the blood evidence, the 5 month fight over the warrant convinced the prosecutor to depart from the 12 month loss of license sought by the Police. The client received an 8 month suspension.
Client Charged With Driving On The DWI Revoked List With No Insurance Roselle Park, New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal of both charges and no jail time
The draconian DWI laws force New Jersey residents to make the best of poor options. Our client, who has a family to support and no way to get to work besides driving, was charged with driving on the DWI revoked list, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50-g. To make matters worse, his insurance had lapsed. He faced a mandatory one year suspension and a minimum of ten days in jail. Mr. Abate secured the client a dismissal of both charges.
Sexual Assault – Outcome: No Charges Filed Against Client
June 9, 2014: Being arrested on the extremely serious charges of sexual assault can have life-destroying ramifications. The Law Offices of James A. Abate, LLC were recently retained by the family of an individual that was falsely accused of sexual assault. We and our investigators conducted a swift and thorough investigation, which resulted in obtaining highly exonerating texts and social media postings that completely cleared our client of any wrongdoing. Upon presenting this information to the police, a decision not to prosecute was made. Our client will never have to go through the harrowing ordeal of being arrested on a false accusation and can move forward with his life knowing that these charges won’t follow him.
DWI Client Facing 12 Month Suspension Carteret, New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal
September 3, 2014: After working on this case for more than a year and a half, Mr. Abate was able to have all DWI related charges against our client dismissed in Carteret, NJ. Our client faced a first offense of Driving While Intoxicated, which carries an up-to-one year loss of license penalty. Because our client is the owner and operator of a transportation company, a plea was not an option. After reviewing discovery provided by the State, experts on DWI procedure, medical issues, and computer software issues were retained in order to strengthen Mr. Abate’s defense of our client. At its conclusion, the State was unable to proceed, and the DWI charges were dismissed on speedy trial grounds.
DWI Client Facing 12 Month Suspension South Bound Brook, New Jersey – Outcome: Receives 90 Day Suspension
June 6, 2014: We are excited to share another great result for one of our clients who was facing a charge of driving while intoxicated in South Bound Brook Municipal Court under 39:4-50. Our client faced a 1 year suspension but became eligible for a 90 day suspension when we obtained a suppression of our client’s chemical breath test based on post operation consumption. This was a novel case in which our client became stuck in the tow path during one of the many snow storms this past winter. It was at that point that the client became intoxicated. Based on the inability to operate the vehicle, a claim of operation was uncertain and the breath test was suppressed.
DWI Client Facing 12 Month Suspension, Readington, New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal
February 28, 2014: Yesterday we received another great result for one of our clients facing a charge of driving while intoxicated in Readington / White House Station Municipal Court located in Hunterdon County under NJ Statute 39:4-50. Our client faced a 1 year suspension. During trial of the case, we showed that the standardized field sobriety tests did not support a charge of DWI, and that the officer was basing the charge of intoxication on a portable breath test, which is notoriously unreliable. Additionally, we were able to suppress the Alcotest results. As a result, our client received a complete dismissal.
DWI Client Facing 12 Month Suspension, Springfield, New Jersey – Outcome: Receives 1 Month Suspension
October 24, 2013: Yesterday we received another great result for one of our clients facing a charge of driving while intoxicated in Springfield Municipal Court under 39:4-50. Our client faced a 1 year suspension and became eligible for a 1 month suspension as the breath test result was suppressed. Our client was observed speeding by 29 miles over the speed limit and was found to be intoxicated by a local officer. The client was charged with the speeding violation under 39:4-98. That charge was dismissed as the officer was unable to show that he had a clear view of the driver on radar as other cars were also in the vicinity.
Upon investigating the case, we determined that the standardized field sobriety tests had been performed improperly. Our client was asked to walk and turn and to do the one-legged stand in high heels. Upon review of the police report, we determined that it was questionable whether the defendant was observed for the required 20 minutes. Additionally, it was dubious that the Alcotest operator had changed the mouth piece. The result was that the prosecutor agreed to suppress the chemical breath test results. Since my client had not reached the age of 21 (and there was no breath test) she became eligible for the juvenile DWI sentence of 1 month.
Domestic Violence Defendant Exonerated at Trial – Outcome: Dismissal
June 26, 2013: Our client, a male unmarried teacher purchased a home with his fiancée in Somerset County. Shortly after the purchase, the couple began arguing and had numerous police visits. After our client expressed buyer’s remorse and wanted to sell the property, his fiancée filed a restraining order.
Our client believed the restraining order was retaliatory and sought to gain a leg up on a fight over ownership of the property. Our client faced the nightmare of being forbidden to step foot in a property he had signed a mortgage to purchase.
Our client was arrested for Simple Assault under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 and faced 6 months in jail. A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was also issued. The Superior Court would decide if a Final Restraining Order (FRO) would be issued pursuant to The Prevention of Domestic Violence Law, N.J.S.A.2C:25-17 (PDVL). Our client now had an arrest record – and if an FRO was issued, he would have been placed on the domestic violence data base, a big problem for a teacher. By filing the charges, the plaintiff obtained the resources of the domestic violence team.
We attempted to reason with the plaintiff, who oddly wanted to discuss the real estate issues rather than her allegations of domestic violence. It became clear that there would be no resolution and a trial on the FRO would be necessary. In preparing for the FRO hearing, we were able to uncover that the plaintiff had prior FROs issued against her. We also uncovered allegations of past violence committed by the plaintiff. Following trial, the judge found for our client and dismissed the TRO. The Simple Assault charge was later dismissed in the Bound Brook Municipal Court.
There is a lesson to be learned from this case – unmarried couples should never purchase real estate without consulting with separate counsel. Married couples have automatic protections of their rights over real estate. When things go wrong between unmarried owners of real estate, it would be necessary to bring an action for the partition to force a sale. This can cost thousands of dollars. Legal counsel prior to the sale can prevent this.
Client Facing Charges of Drug Possession, Scotch Plains, New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal
July 2014: After a yearlong battle, the Law Offices of James A. Abate was able to obtain a dismissal before trial of charges of possession of narcotics against one of our clients. Upon our investigation of the charges, we determined that the defendant was in his own back yard which was surrounded by a closed fence. Mr. Abate filed a motion to dismiss based on the warrantless search of the of the defendant’s property. After briefs were filed and due consideration, the judge dismissed the charges under NJSA 2C: 35-10, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
Domestic Violence Victim Protected after 5 Day Trial Somerset County, New Jersey – Outcome: Issuance of Final Restraining Order (FRO), Dismissal of Charges against Victim
June 2014: Mr. Abate recently obtained a Final Restraining Order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act for a client in Somerset County Family court. The Order was obtained after a five day trial. The abuser attempted to use the legal process against Mr. Abate’s client and filed for his own restraining order as well as frivolous criminal charges against the victim in the Municipal Court. The abuser went as far as to manipulate the legal system to have the victim arrested for a violation of his TRO. It was at this point that Mr. Abate was retained. Through Mr. Abate’s advocacy, the Family Court judge recognized the facts for what they were and granted the victim a FRO at the same time dismissing the abuser’s TRO. Mr. Abate was also able to convince the Somerset County prosecutor that the TRO violation was a trumped up charge and a dismissal was given. Finally, Mr. Abate was able to have the municipal court charges against the victim dismissed. The abuser now faces criminal charges for filing false reports.
The learning point from this case study is that there is a great deal of power in the courts and that power can be manipulated. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is intended to be a shield, but all too often is used as a sword. Mr. Abate has seen the TRO/FRO used to obtain an advantage in property rights, child custody, divorce, monetary obligations, and even to bully a person to drop their charges. The family court judges are some of the most highly trained jurists, but to ensure your ordeal is told properly and that your evidence is considered you should always retain legal counsel for the family courts.
Domestic Violence Victim Gets Final Restraining Order Somerset County, New Jersey – Outcome: Issuance of Final Restraining Order (FRO)
July 24, 2014: The Law Offices of James A. Abate recently helped a client who was seeking relief from physical and mental abuse from her ex-husband who was stalking her. After hearing from our client, the defendant, and witnesses, the judge agreed that the defendant was a danger to our client, and Mr. Abate was able to obtain a Final Restraining Order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in the Somerset County Family court. This FRO has provided our client with peace of mind, and the ability to create a fresh start in life.
Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed City of Union (Union County), New Jersey – Outcome: Dismissal
July 2014: The Law Offices of James A. Abate recently obtained the dismissal of a charge of simple assault against one of our clients. Upon conducting an investigation of the charges Mr. Abate was able to defend our client using a medical/ psychological expert. After the submission of the expert was filed with the court, the prosecutor and victim agreed that the charges should be dismissed.
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