Florida is a party to the Interstate Driver’s Compact. This means that if you are a licensed (driver) in FL, any motor vehicle traffic summons, violations, tickets, etc. you receive in New Jersey will potentially transfer to FL if you are convicted.

Additionally, although New Jersey may assess a certain amount of points for any given violation, FL will assess points to your license according to its point schedule. For example, a violation of NJSA 39:97.2, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, is a zero point ticket in NJ. However, in Florida, it is a 4 points ticket. Many out of state residents make the mistake of hiring a lawyer who does not do the necessary research before going to court. Unsafe operation is a common plea bargain. A lawyer may think, and may tell you, that you will not get points in FL. This is not true.

The only tickets that do not result in points in FL are non-moving violations. There are number of non-moving, no point violations in Title 39 (NJ). The more experienced your traffic ticket lawyer is, the more aware he will be of these options.

I am presently defending a client who is charged with his fourth DWI offense. His third offense occurred in 1992. As a third or subsequent driving while intoxicated defendant, he would normally be facing a mandatory 180 county jail sentence. The facts of the DWI arrest are fairly straight forward. However, he is also charged with a refusal offense, making matters worse.

In many instances, avoiding jail time is the most important consideration for an individual who is facing similar charges. Therefore, one of the first task I take on when representing a client charged with a third, fourth, or fifth DWI offense is to see if there is a way to avoid jail time, EVEN if there is ultimately a conviction.

Well, you might be wondering how this is accomplished if jail is mandatory for a third or subsequent. First, a NJ DWI lawyer who understands driving while intoxicated laws will see if it is possible to challenge the prior convictions. In some instances, a conviction can be completely vacated, meaning washed away. More frequently, counsel may be able to obtain an Order from the prior court stating that the prior conviction can not be used to enhance the custodial portion of a subsequent offense. In that case, the subsequent court could only impose jail time up to the maximum sentence for the prior conviction. For example, if you were facing a third conviction, and I obtained an Order from the court of first conviction, then you could only be sentenced to a maximum of 90 days in jail (the maximum for a second offender). However, since the custodial portion of a second offense is not mandatory, the court does not have to send you to jail. In just about every case that I have handled and obtained similar relief, the sentencing court for the subsequent conviction has not sentenced my client to jail.

In a recent article published in the Star-Ledger, a study was presented showing that New Jersey is more likely to deport non-criminal illegal immigrants than any other state.

Typically speaking, I am advocating on behalf of those people who are not citizens and have been convicted of a criminal offense. As the over criminalization of America continues, the number of offenses that can lead to deportation seems to increase each year. In the overwhelming majority of the cases that I handle, my client is in the country legally, frequently as a legal permanent resident. Nonetheless, a relatively minor offense can lead to removal proceedings.

What one must remember is that having legal status in this country at least affords the individual some due process rights, including a hearing. As the legality of the immigrant’s presence dwindles, so do those rights.

If you have been researching second offense DWI penalties in New Jersey, I am sure it is clear at this point that if you are convicted as a second offender, you face a mandatory 2 year loss of license in New Jersey.

I represented a client charged with his second offense. His prior offense happened in 2004 so he was not eligible for the “10 year step-down.” His case presented some interesting issues, but the facts were not in his favor. However, when facing punishment as a second or subsequent DWI defendant, the court leaves you little choice other than to go to trial.

In this particular case, there was a strong possibility that if we went to trial and lost, the state would be asking for jail time, and I was inclined to believe the court would impose it.

Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle is a New Jersey traffic violation that carries with it extraordinarily harsh penalties upon conviction. Most notable, there is a mandatory 2 year loss of license if convicted of violating NJSA 2C:39:4-49.1. I am a Newark NJ lawyer who has successfully defended clients against these charges in the Newark municipal court and the Essex County Superior Court.

Typically, this motor vehicle violation will be issued in conjunction with a criminal complaint for drug possession, distribution, etc., for narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine, crack, prescription pills, etc.

A common fact pattern in connection with this offense is the following: Driver pulled over by the police for an alleged traffic offense, the police have alleged probable caused to conduct a search and find narcotics on the driver, on passengers in the vehicle, or in a location within the car. The driver/owner of the vehicle is charged accordingly.

I am representing a client in an Essex County Municipal court who is charged with domestic violence related simple assault. There are cross-complaints between my client and my client’s spouse, each charging the other with DV assault.

In many cases such as these, the parties go through a cooling down period and decide that they do not wish to proceed with the complaints. In some cases, the individuals may be the complainant. In other cases, there may be enough evidence for the state to bring the complaint. This distinction does make a difference in DV related prosecutions.

For example, in the present case, the couple has a history of domestic violence related incidents. Both parties do not wish to proceed. However, since the state is the complainant, the decision whether to dismiss the charges falls squarely on the shoulders of the prosecutor and the judge. In this case, the judge is unwilling to accept the recommendation for dismissal. As a result the case will have to go to trial. Both parties are represented by private counsel.

During the course of the last several months, there have been important U.S. Supreme Court case law decisions regarding the rights of non-citizen criminal defendants pleading guilty to criminal offenses.

In many cases, a non-citizen pleading guilty to a criminal charge has no clue that deportation may be a consequence of the conviction. Prior to these important changes in case law, the court nor the defense counsel was required to inform a defendant that deportation could be a consequence of pleading guilty to a serious criminal offense. Sometimes, a non-citizen may not realize this until they are in immigration (ICE) custody.

In the wake of thousands of deportations as a result of guilty pleas given by unknowing and misinformed non-citizen defendants, the supreme court held that (and I am summarizing) deportation is not a “collateral” consequence of pleading guilty for the legal permanent resident, green card holder, illegal alien, work visa etc. In fact, the court ruled, deportation is a direct penal consequence of a criminal offense and the defendant has the right to be informed of the possibility.

In a case captioned State v Federico, the NJ Appellate Division held that a defendant convicted of a DWI offense and multiple other traffic offenses may not be sentenced to more than 180 days in county jail. The court reasoned that it has been the long standing policy to cap the term of imprisonment at 180 days for multiple convictions arising out of the same incident.

This case involved a defendant who was convicted of driving while intoxicated as third offender and also driving while suspended as a result of a a prior DWI conviction. If convicted of a third or subsequent DWI offense in NJ, there is a mandatory 6 month period of incarceration, 3 months of which may be served in a inpatient rehab.

in addition, driving while suspended as a result of a DWI conviction is a minimum of 10 days in jail, and possibly much more depending on the circumstances.

First, you may hear attorneys talk about discovery. Discovery is what any experienced attorney will request from the State during the trial preparation phase of a DWI matter. Discovery consist of many different items. My discovery demand consists of about thirty different items, including police reports, videos recordings, Alcotest instrument certification documents, digital data, CAD reports, just to name a few.

Second, what is the significance of this process. Well, many of the items that I request in my discovery demand are directly related to the admissibility of the Alcotest readings. Others will help us make important probable cause determinations, like video recordings and audio recordings. Some relate to the timing of the arrest and subsequent testing which will determine if certain timing related procedural requirements were violated.

Most importantly, in many instances, if you don’t demand it, and you don’t know what to ask for, you will lose you case. It is that simple.

On an ongoing basis, I am going to start posting examples of outcomes of cases I handle in the Newark Municipal Court. I am a Newark Attorney who represents many clients each year in the Newark Municipal and I get results.

Getting great results for my clients is not just a matter of showing up to court and being smooth. Great results are the product of pre-trial preparation, even with simple traffic matters. You must remember, the State must prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to do that, in most circumstances they will have to rely upon documents, photographs, witnesses, lab results, etc. As an experienced municipal court lawyer and criminal defense attorney, I fully make use of all the procedural rules available to me to put my client in the best possible position prior to trial.

On many occasions, I have used these procedural tools to my client’s advantage to get cases dismissed. Last week, I made two successful motions to dismiss based upon procedural grounds. Both cases were serious traffic offenses.

Contact Information