Bordentown 2nd Offense DWI Dismissed after 16 months of Fighting
If you are charged with a 2nd offense DWI (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) in the state of New Jersey, you probably know you are facing (as long as it hasn’t been 10 or more years since your 1st) a license loss term of 2 years, 48 hours of county jail or intoxicated driver resource class, $889 or so in fines and costs, $3000 state surcharges, 30 days community service and 3 years ignition interlock on your vehicle. Worst of all, you are now on deck, so to speak, for 180 days mandatory jail if you are convicted one more time after your second which, let’s face it, is not beyond the realm of possibilities. But behold, it is possible to not get convicted of the 2nd offense of driving intoxicated. I was the lawyer for a person who was not guilty of such an offense yesterday in Bordentown Municipal Court. The person was charged in March of last year and hired me and an expert, a former New Jersey State Trooper. During the first and only status conference in August, the prosecutor offered the defendant to plead guilty as charged and he rejected the offer. The judge said the matter would be scheduled with the defense expert and the state’s witness. The court turned around and scheduled it on a day in September, the defense expert could not appear and refused to adjourn the case. On the day of trial it turned out that the state’s witness didn’t appear and the judge adjourned the trial over my objection without even hearing an objection from the prosecutor, talk about fair right? Anyway, when the case got set again in December everyone appeared and I renewed my motion to dismiss for the unfair ruling in September, this was denied. I then moved to dismiss based on the fact that the state’s witness, who was a New Jersey State Trooper, did not produce his video recording of the arrest, even though he referenced it in his arrest report. This was also denied by the judge. At that point the defendant entered a conditional guilty plea to driving intoxicated and was sentenced to 2 years loss of license and all the other penalties that go with it. We filed an appeal of the 2 denied motions and were heard in the Superior Court of Burlington County in February. The Superior Court Judge sent the case back to Bordentown because of the fact that the judge in that town didn’t allow for arguments on the 2 issues before he ruled. When we appeared back in Bordentown to make arguments in May and July the Trooper failed to appear both times and on the second time, the prosecutor offered defendant a deal to vacate the conditional plea to 2nd DWI and plead guilty to reckless driving. It took 7 appearances in 2 different court, but now the defendant got due process and good result because he was willing to fight and make the State bear their burden – now the case is closed. If you want to talk to me about a criminal or traffic case you are facing in New Jersey, call me at 732-223-8480 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.