Professional Traffic and Criminal Defense Representation for People Charged with Traffic and Criminal Offenses in Camden County
A drunk driving arrest is never something to take lightly. Even if you have never been in trouble with the law before, a DWI conviction can lead to jail time, a fine, and a suspension of your driver’s license. And the consequences are far more severe if you have a prior DWI conviction or there are other factors at play, such as driving with a minor passenger in the car or driving with a suspended license.
Cherry Hill Township is an especially active area when it comes to law enforcement patrolling the roads for potential drunk drivers. If you get pulled over on any of the roads, including Route 70 or Route 38, the Marlton Pike, or Kings Highway, it may start as a simple traffic stop. But things can quickly escalate into a drunk driving arrest. If this happens to you, you should consider contacting Cherry Hill DWI attorney Matthew v. Portella.
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, we handle a wide range of traffic and criminal defense matters, including DWI/DUI cases. We understand just how serious these charges are for you and your family. And that is why we will make every effort to obtain the most favorable outcome possible in your case.
How Can You Defend Yourself Against a DWI Charge in New Jersey?
The basics of New Jersey’s DWI law are simple. A person commits an offense if they are operating or attempting to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or hallucinogen. In the case of an alcohol-based DWI, a person is considered intoxicated if their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is measured at 0.08 percent or greater by a chemical test such as a Breathalyzer or Alcotest machine.
There are many possible defenses to a DWI case in New Jersey. While every drunk driving case is unique, some of the more common avenues for challenging the State’s case include:
- Illegal traffic stop. A police officer cannot simply pull you over for no reason. The officer must first have a “reasonable suspicion” that you have committed some crime or traffic infraction. If the stop lacked such a basis, then any evidence obtained is inadmissible in court.
- Invalid test results. Police officers often administer “field sobriety tests” to determine whether or not a driver may be intoxicated. These tests are not that reliable. And if the officer failed to administer the test properly–or used a non-standardized test–that may cast further doubt on the results.
- Failure to give proper warnings. A police officer must advise you of your right to remain silent and speak with an attorney when placing you under arrest. The officer must also warn you of the consequences of failing to consent to a blood test following your arrest. Failure to give either of these warnings can render certain evidence obtained by the police inadmissible in court.
- Failure to properly administer chemical tests. There are certain procedures that law enforcement must follow when administering blood, breath, or urine tests in New Jersey DWI cases. A defendant may challenge the reliability or accuracy of any results obtained from tests that deviate from these procedures.
- Failure to prove DWI beyond a reasonable doubt. There are some things a prosecutor must prove to secure a DWI conviction. Reasonable doubt on any of these elements requires a judge to enter a judgment of acquittal. For example, the prosecution may not be able to prove you were actually driving or intending to drive a car when the police encountered you.
It is important to investigate and consider all possible defenses to a DWI charge. A conviction carries several potential consequences, which escalate depending on a defendant’s prior history of drunk driving convictions and other factors. To briefly rundown these factors:
- A first DWI offense in New Jersey carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a fine of between $250 and $400, and a 3-month driver’s license suspension or mandatory ignition interlock device.
- A second DWI conviction carries jail time of between 48 hours and 90 days, a fine of between $500 and $1,000, and revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license for 1 to 2 years.
- A third DWI conviction carries a jail sentence of 180 days, a $1,000 fine, and revocation of the defendant’s license for 8 years.
We Handle DWI and Criminal Defense Matters
Beyond DWI/DUI cases, the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, can represent you in many other types of traffic and criminal prosecutions. We handle drug crimes, sexual offenses, weapons charges, aggravated assault, and robbery and burglary charges, among other offenses. So if you need to speak with a qualified Cherry Hill DWI attorney, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.