Seaside Heights NJ DWI Lawyer

Former DWI Prosecutors Who are Dual Certified in Alcotest Testing and Field Sobriety TestingAlthough Seaside may be more popularly known as the location of MTV’s reality television show, The Jersey Shore, it is also a town that in recent years has come to have many DWI arrests. With a number of popular bars and restaurants in town including Karma, Bamboo and Hemingway’s, there is considerable alcohol consumption in the town that can result in drunk driving. Over the last two years, over 300 DUI and DWI charges were issued in Seaside Heights. The high amount of driving while intoxicated and under the influence of marijuana, heroin and other drugs is attributable to both the vigilance of Seaside Heights’ law enforcement officers and major highways like Route 35 and Route 37. If you or your loved one has been charged with DWI in Seaside Heights, you need to retain the most experienced attorney you can find as there is no plea bargaining. Your lawyer must possess the know how and skill to successfully present an issue to defeat the charge, otherwise, the prosecutor nor judge in Seaside Heights Municipal Court have authority to proceed with a downgrade. Our lawyers, several of whom are former DWI prosecutors, have the experience and knowledge needed to accomplish this objective. Take a hard look at our credentials, that which counts if you want success, and we are confident that we are a firm you should speaking to defend your driving while intoxicated violation in Seaside. Call us anytime 24/7 at 732-286-6500.

What Must be Presented by the Prosecutor to Prove a N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 Violation?

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which makes it unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds 0.08%. To convict someone of a DWI, the Seaside Heights prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant was “operating” the vehicle while they were intoxicated. This must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which is difficult when the defendant has strong legal representation. After the state proves the operational element of the offense, they must then prove that the person operating the vehicle was in fact intoxicated. This is done primarily through two tests, namely Field Sobriety Tests and the Alcotest 7110 (Breathalyzer).

  1. Field Sobriety Tests. The purposes of the field sobriety tests are twofold. First, these tests are given to drunk driving suspects in the field in order to help establish probable cause to believe that the suspect is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. After an intoxicated driving suspect has been arrested, the police will frequently administer a second series of tests in the police station in order to gather evidence to prove the defendant’s state of intoxication beyond a reasonable doubt. These tests often involve physical and psychological components. The most common ones that most people are familiar with are having to say the alphabet backwards, walk in a straight line, touch your index finger to your nose, etc. Failure to perform well in either the field or in the station will often be powerful evidence of intoxication at trial.
  2. Alcotest 7110 Breath Test Reading. While the field tests may be probative of a person’s level of intoxication, they are not dispositive. A lot of weight in DWI cases is given to the results of the breath test that is conducted upon arrest. In the State of New Jersey, the Alcotest 7110, manufactured by Drager Industries, is the primary way that this is done. The test consists of two separate readings per test, one reading via infrared sensing and the other reading consisting of an electrochemical component. All in all, after two tests, the four readings are compiled together to provide a very accurate indication of a person’s BAC. Procedurally, this test is very complicated for law enforcement officials to perform.

The lawyers at our DWI defense firm are well schooled in both of these areas. Several attorneys are dual certified in both Standardized Field Sobriety Testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and by Draeger Laboratories in the operation of the Alcotest.

What are the Penalties if Convicted of a DWI?If the State is able to convict based on evidence of operation of a motor vehicle, along with intoxication, demonstrated through either or both a Field Sobriety Tests and a Breathalyzer, then a defendant will be facing serious penalties. These penalties will only increase if the defendant has been convicted of a prior DWI. If this is a first offense, and the defendant’s BAC was between 0.08% and 0.10%, then the defendant will face a fine between $250 and $400, a three month license suspension and up to thirty (30) days of incarceration. However, if the BAS is above 0.10%, then the defendant will face a fine between $300 and $500, a license suspension between seven (7) months and one (1) year, up to thirty (30) days of incarceration, and a mandatory twelve (12) to forty-eight (48) hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Additionally, regardless of the BAC, the defendant will face a $1,000 surcharge for three (3) consecutive years and the possibility of the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in the defendant’s vehicle. If this is a second offense, and the defendant’s BAC exceeds 0.08%, then the defendant will face a fine between $500 and $1000, license suspension for up to two (2) years, up to ninety-days in jail, a mandatory term of community service for thirty (30) days, a $1,000 surcharge for three (3) consecutive years and the possibility of the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in the defendant’s vehicle. Finally, if it is a third or subsequent offense, and the defendant’s BAC is over 0.08% in any capacity, the defendant will be facing a $1,000 fine, license suspension for ten (10) years, up to 180 days in prison, a $1,000 surcharge for three (3) consecutive years and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in the defendant’s vehicle. These penalties are only heightened by any accompanying aggravating factors, such as driving while intoxicated in a school zone.

Type of Offense

Suspension

Fines & Other Penalties

Jail Term

Other Penalties

First Offense

(BAC .08-.099)

3 Months

$250-$400 fine;

$1,000 surcharge;

$100 DWI Fund;

$100 Alcohol Educ.;

$230 IDRC Fee;

$75 SNFA

Up to 30 Days

12 Hours IDRC;

Mandatory Ignition Interlock if BAC .15 or Higher

First Offense

(BAC .10 or More or Drug DWI)

7-12 Months

Same except fine $300-$500

Up to 30 Days

Same as above

Second Offense

2 Years

$500-$1,000 fine;

$1,000 surcharge;

$100 DWI Fund;

$100 Alcohol Educ.;

$280 IDRC Fee;

$75 SNFA

2-90 Days

48 Hours IDRC;

30 Days Community Serv.;

Interlock during suspension plus 1-3 Years after restored

Third Offense

10 Years

$1,000 fine;

$1,500 surcharge;

$100 DWI Fund;

$100 Alcohol Educ.;

$280 IDRC Fee;

$75 SNFA

180 Days

48 Hours IDRC;

Up to 90 days Community Serv.;

Interlock during suspension plus 1-3 Years after restored

Seaside Heights NJ DWI AttorneysWhile it helps that we have longstanding contacts with Seaside, what is pivotal to your success is our knowledge, experience and training. Since the court is prohibited from amending or downgrading a DUI ticket/summons absent a bona fide legal issue, the biggest hurdle in terms of success is your coming up with a genuine impediment to conviction. There is truly no substitute for skill in this respect. Politics have little relevance although we do also have decades of presence in this jurisdiction. For a full review of the facts of your case and our thoughts regarding your best options, contact our firm . We can be reached 24/7 at (732) 286-6500. The consultation if free of charge.

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