What to Expect After Being Charged With a DWI
Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a), a person may not operate a motor vehicle “while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, or habit producing the drug.” A DWI is a serious traffic offense in New Jersey. Being arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated can be stressful, confusing, and frightening.
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, we provide legal representation to drivers accused of intoxicated driving. IF you’re charged with drunk driving, you need to be ready to take action to protect your rights. In this article, our New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney explains what to expect after being charged with a DWI.
What You Can Expect After Being Arrested and Charged with a DWI in New Jersey
- The Arraignment
An arraignment is the first formal step in the criminal justice process. The Cornell Legal Information Institute defines an arraignment as the part of the proceedings when “the defendant is brought in front of the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.”
In most DWI cases in New Jersey, an arraignment will occur within a week or two of the arrest. There are some significant advantages to consulting with a DWI defense lawyer before your arraignment.
- Investigation (Discovery)
You have the right to fight a DWI charge in New Jersey. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A significant part of building a successful defense against a DWI charge is obtaining, reviewing, and evaluating the evidence the State provides.
This stage of the process is called “discovery.” Discovery is the evidence that will be used against you at trial as well as evidence which your attorney provides to the State that helps you. Beyond conducting an independent investigation, your New Jersey DWI defense lawyer can also seek evidence directly from the prosecution.
- Court Appearances/Hearings
Much of the important work in a DWI case happens during the pre-trial stage of the case during which discovery is exchanged, motions may be filed (for example a motion to dismiss the charges or to suppress evidence), and hearings are conducted by the court. At the pretrial hearings, your attorney will advise the judge of the status of the case and whether it appears that the case will be resolved or will have to be tried. is
Many DWI cases are resolved without a trial. However, some proceed to trial in New Jersey. It is important for you to prepare your defense against DWI charges every step of the way to be able to get the best result possible.
In New Jersey, plea bargaining of DWI and Refusal to Submit Breath Samples charges is not permitted. Your attorney must be able to prepare, formulate, and present a defense to the prosecutor in an effort to resolve the case to a reduced charge based upon the facts and circumstances of your specific case.
Call Our New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney for Immediate Help
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, our New Jersey DWI defense lawyer will protect your rights and make sure that you get the best possible outcome on your charges. If you have any specific questions about what to expect after being charged with a DWI, we are more than ready to help.
Call today or connect with us online to arrange your completely confidential consultation. We have office locations in Haddonfield and Pleasantville, and we provide DWI representation throughout all of New Jersey.