How Is A DWI Defined In New Jersey?
According to the statute, A DWI or driving while intoxicated, is defined as operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages or any substance that would intoxicate the person. The intoxication would typically be proven through scientific analysis or through the observation of the officer who stopped and arrested the person.
Most People Who Are Charged With DWI Do Not Have A High Blood Alcohol Concentration
It can be very hard to categorize people because most of my clients do vary. A person could be charged with a DWI even if they were not intoxicated simply because the officer misperceived that they were intoxicated.
In certain cases, people suffering from diabetic shock or some kind of seizure have also been presumed to be intoxicated, whereas it later it turned out they were not. These people were still charged with a DWI, which is why people generally need legal representation to have the best chances of success.
On other occasions, people were found to have high blood alcohol concentration readings from the analysis done on their breath sample, whereas there might have been other problems with that breath sample which artificially inflated it.
The alcohol concentration might have been a 0.29 or 0.30, but because something went wrong with the testing, it could very well show the reading to be double or more than what the actual true blood alcohol reading was.
There Is No Specific Kind Of Person Who Gets Charged With DWI
People who are charged with driving while intoxicated, are often people who were coming from a tavern, a restaurant, a wedding or a party, although many times that would not be the case. They could simply have had a glass of wine at home and then, unfortunately, they were stopped at a field sobriety checkpoint and the officer smelled an alcoholic beverage on the breath.
Alternatively, the person may have just admitted they had consumed an alcoholic beverage, so the officer may get them out of the car to do standardized field sobriety tests which could reveal in the officer’s mind that the person may be driving intoxicated.
You Cannot Just Go In And Explain The Judge You Are Not Guilty
People’s behavior after being charged for DWI tends to vary based on the different types of individuals who have come from different backgrounds. Most would obviously be upset, especially if they had been charged and did not think they were intoxicated.
People often think they could just go to court and be able to explain what happened, and that their explanation could possibly change the course they were on. Having an attorney who will advocate versus advocating for themselves would typically be the best way to go.
Someone who had never been in trouble before, would quickly see that the court would often not value their time the way they were expecting. They might spend a long time standing in long lines and waiting to speak to a prosecutor who had already met with maybe 50 people ahead of them. The prosecutor may already think the person was guilty because the officer wrote the person down for the DWI.
The process could be very disillusioning to people who had never been in trouble before.
It Would Be Public If Someone Was Charged With A DWI
I have seen the names of people who had been charged with DWI in local newspapers. The newspaper might even have an online webpage, so the names might be posted on there in a local newspaper section.
Things like mug shots and details of the arrest are not usually published, however, it would probably find its way somewhere into a police beat after the person was charged.
Your Employer Would Not Be Specifically Notified About The DWI Charges
In New Jersey, it would not be a private record if someone was charged with a DWI or any other traffic offense. Certain companies glean that information off the servers of the municipal courts who enter the tickets into a system after the officers wrote those tickets.
Oftentimes, records or information would be purchased by attorneys and disseminated to the different people charged with the DWIs by way of written letters. This is actually allowed under the New Jersey Court Rules and oftentimes that would have the effect of bringing the bad news back to the person in the form of a letter at their house.
The person would generally not be expecting this information to come to light, so they would be surprised when letters started arriving from attorneys who were advertising their services. As far as an employer was concerned, this would not necessarily be something they would find out right away unless the person who was charged told them about it themselves for some reason, or if they read about it in the newspaper.
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