Newark NJ Drunk Driving (DWI) Defense Lawyers
Newark NJ DWI and Refusal Charges Dropped
Recently, Travis J. Tormey represented a client in Newark Municipal Court who was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, and refusal to submit to a breath test, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2. This was the defendant’s first alleged drunk driving offense, and she was facing a seven-month driver’s license suspension on the refusal charge and a three-month license suspension on the DWI charge. She was also exposed to DWI surcharges, which can total $1,000.00 each year for three (3) years.
The defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident on the New Jersey Turnpike when her vehicle hit a guardrail. The state police responded and the defendant was taken to the hospital. At the time of the accident, the airbag in her vehicle deployed and she may have suffered a concussion. The state trooper allegedly smelled alcohol on her breath and arrested her for driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, no field sobriety tests were conducted at the scene. At the hospital, the police allegedly requested that the defendant submit to a blood test or a urine test to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) in her blood. She refused. As a result, she was charged with DWI, refusal, and several other motor vehicle violations based on the accident.
Our firm was retained to represent the defendant and we immediately noticed major issues with the State’s case. First, the police officer never requested that the defendant submit to a breath test. Therefore, the defendant was improperly charged with refusal because the refusal statute only governs the refusal to submit to a breath test. Refusal to submit to a blood test is not a violation; the police have the right to take blood in these types of cases where a motor vehicle accident occurred and the defendant was taken to the hospital for treatment. In this case, the police failed to take blood and could not prove the defendant’s level of intoxication (if any). Further, because the officer failed to conduct field sobriety tests, the State would have had a very difficult time proving the DWI charge.
Based on these issues of proof, Mr. Tormey was able to negotiate a plea bargain with the State. The State agreed to dismiss both the DWI charge and the refusal charge, as well as all the other tickets. The defendant pleaded guilty to reckless driving, with a 60-day license suspension, which was an excellent result for the Tormey Law Firm and for our client.
To speak with one of our talented drunk-driving defense attorneys free of charge, contact our Hackensack offices anytime at (201)-330-4979. We are skilled at identifying issues in DWI cases that may prevent the State from moving forward with a case against you. Allow us to provide you with a free case evaluation today. Also, check out Mr. Tormey’s in-depth video series about DWI charges in New Jersey on YouTube, including our video about strategies for fighting DWI blood tests.