Category: DUI/DWI

Reducing Points for a Traffic Violation Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Helping drivers across the Jersey Shore in Point Pleasant, Toms River, Jackson, Wall, Sea Girt, and Brick.

Reducing Points for a Traffic Violation Attorney Monmouth and Ocean County NJSpeeding in New Jersey (NJ) can mean expensive fines and moving violations points. Depending on how many miles over the speed limit you were traveling, a traffic court judge may suspend your NJ Driver’s License for 30 to 60 days. Fines and increased insurance premiums arising from a speeding ticket can result in you paying hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars, so it’s practical to consult an experienced traffic violation attorney who can reduce a New Jersey speeding ticket to a lower-point violation. Your proactivity can protect your driving privileges, minimize potential penalties you might face, and possibly mitigate the impact on your driving record and auto insurance rates.

At The Bronzino Law Firm, located in Brick, New Jersey, we conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your ticket and work to get your charges reduced to a no-point violation, such as unsafe or reckless driving, or dismissed altogether.

If you have been cited for speeding in Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Wall, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Jackson, Howell or anywhere in Ocean or Monmouth Counties contact us online or call us at (732) 812-3102 to arrange a free virtual legal consultation via Facetime, Whatsapp, zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype.

Am I required to make a court appearance for a Toms River, NJ Speeding Ticket?

If a court appearance is mandatory, the ticket will say so. You will be required to appear in court if you are cited for speeding by:

  • 40 mph or more
  • 20 mph or more in a Safe Corridor or Construction Zone

All motorists who receive a speeding ticket in NJ can either pay their fine directly or fight the ticket in court. Paying the ticket is considered a “guilty” plea and ends your case. If you appear in court, you can plead “not guilty” and challenge the ticket. It is important to contact the court directly if you choose to plead “not guilty” so that you can confirm your hearing date or if necessary, reschedule the proposed date with the clerk.

What If I Fail to Respond to a Traffic Ticket in Ocean County, NJ?

If you do not respond to a New Jersey traffic ticket, you will receive a “Failure to Appear” notice, which will give you a certain amount of time to comply with the instructions contained within it. Failing to comply with this notice will result in a bench warrant for your arrest that will remain open and active until the court recalls, withdraws, or discharges it.

Can a Brick, NJ Traffic Ticket or Violation Affect My Out-of-State Driver’s License?

Can a Brick, NJ Traffic Ticket or Violation Affect My Out-of-State Driver’s License?Unfortunately, it’s relatively common that drivers who do not live in New Jersey think that a NJ speeding ticket does not affect them. Since New Jersey is a member of the Interstate Drivers License Compact, participating states share information about each other’s drivers, traffic ticket convictions and any administrative actions (i.e. suspensions) taken against a driver from another state. This also means a driver can never escape the consequences of a traffic ticket conviction, even if the ticket is issued in another state.

Fortunately, drivers from other states can hire a New Jersey traffic violation attorney to handle a speeding ticket for them. Since New Jersey is strict about requiring drivers to appear in court for traffic matters, with or without an attorney, those living outside NJ can file an “affidavit of hardship” and have an attorney appear in court for them.

Contact an Experienced Sea Girt Traffic Violation Attorney Today

At The Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping our clients contest all manner of traffic violations (i.e., leaving the scene of an accident, DIU/DWI, driving without insurance, etc. ) in Ocean and Monmouth County towns such as Wall, Jackson, Point Pleasant, Sea Girt, Asbury Park, and the surrounding communities.

Attorney Peter J. Bronzino has built his practice based on the belief that every client deserves highly attentive and effective legal counsel. Attorneys prepared for what is in many ways a new legal landscape know that in this digital age, it’s possible to provide legal services in a safe and convenient way without compromising on quality.

Contact us online or call our Brick or Sea Girt Bronzino Law, LLC office at (732) 812-3102 for a free and confidential virtual consultation today to discuss your unique needs, concerns, or situation when it comes to any kind of family law matter.

Sobriety Checkpoint DUI Charges Attorney in Brick and Sea Girt NJ

Serving Clients Charged at a DUI Checkpoint in Point Pleasant, Toms River, Spring Lake, Wall, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Sobriety Checkpoint DUI Charges Attorney in Brick and Sea Girt NJRecently there have been many questions around the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints in New Jersey. Be that as it may, they are a tool currently being used by law enforcement in order to reduce injuries and deaths that occur on our roads caused by drivers who are under the influence. The truth for most drivers is that facing sobriety checkpoints can be unnerving, even when you haven’t had a drop to drink. Knowing the best way to handle a sobriety checkpoint can help you protect your rights and your future.

Studies conducted by the American Beverage Institute have shown the practice of setting up sobriety checkpoints has been a useful tool to discourage drunk driving. Put simply, a sobriety checkpoint is police traffic stops where officers are set up on a roadway to stop vehicles randomly to check for drug or alcohol-impaired drivers. Frequently these checkpoints are set up during times when it is statistically shown that driving under the influence commonly occurs such as on holidays or late on weekend nights.

Sobriety Checkpoints at the Jersey Shore – Overview

At a sobriety checkpoint, police stop and interview each car as it comes down the road. Often they use traffic cones or other portable reflective signs in order to indicate that traffic must stop. Drivers are usually asked to lower their windows and produce their driver’s licenses, proof of insurance as well as their vehicle registration. The officer will then proceed to ask a series of questions to evaluate your current state of sobriety.

The officer at that point conducts a battery of initial sobriety tests. Should an officer suspect that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol due to the smell of alcohol, seeing open containers of alcohol or slurred speech, further investigation may ensue. These tests can include physical coordination tests as well as mental coherency tests.

If the driver fails the above-mentioned tests, the officer may ask the driver to perform a breathalyzer test. It is important to know that, by law, police officers may not subject drivers to undergo these sobriety tests unless there is valid suspicion of alcohol or drug impairment. The implied consent law states that drivers using New Jersey roads are required to submit to breath, blood and urine testing if a police officer has probable cause to believe they are intoxicated. You do have the right to refuse, but there are consequences for doing so. New Jersey law N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4(a) outlines those consequences clearly.

What are the signs of DUI that Police Look for at a Sobriety Checkpoint?

There are many physical signs of intoxication that police are trained to spot.   These include:

  • Blurry or bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • The inability to speak in complete sentences
  • An odor of alcohol or drugs emanating from the car or the driver
  • Open alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia in the car
  • Inappropriate or suspicious behavior

 

What are your rights and responsibilities at a sobriety checkpoint?

Contrary to a great deal of information on the internet, both Federal laws and New Jersey laws permit sobriety checkpoints. However, law enforcement officers must follow designated protocols.

Checkpoints must be scheduled, visible, and the public must be notified

Checkpoints cannot be set up randomly or simple for the purpose of stopping certain individuals. Supervisors must authorize the planning and conduct of the checkpoint ahead of time. That means police officers are not allowed to set up a sobriety check randomly at will to surprise the public. Checkpoints must be very visible and the public must be given notice. It has been shown that when people know ahead of time that officers will be out conducting sobriety checkpoints, they are more conscientious about refraining from driving under the influence.

You are not required to answer all questions or submit to search of your vehicle

Because New Jersey and Federal law makes these checkpoints legal, most people assume they have no choice but to answer all questions and participate in all tests at a sobriety checkpoint. This is simply not the case. You are required by law to provide the appropriate documentation when requested, including your vital information. However, you don’t have to answer other questions. Furthermore, you are well within your rights to refuse to allow officers to inspect your vehicle.

Other rights afforded to motorist at sobriety checkpoints include:

  • The right to have your lawyer present before answering any questions
  • Miranda rights if police arrest you
  • A reasonable opportunity to secure property if taken into custody
  • The right to asserting your desire to leave if you are not under arrest

Failure to Follow Checkpoint Laws Could Get the Case Thrown Out

What are your rights and responsibilities at a sobriety checkpoint?It is important to remember that the laws that govern sobriety checkpoints are not only for the motorist but for police as well. If the police do not follow the law and you are arrested a judge could throw the charges out in court.

For example, when performing physical field sobriety tests it must take place on a level, well-paved stretch of pavement in order to ensure that uneven surfaces do not negatively impact the outcome. Furthermore, law enforcement officers must calibrate breathalyzer machines to exact specifications. The officer who performs the breath test must also be certified to do so. Breathalyzer machines that haven’t been properly maintained and calibrated have been known to give a false-positive reading.

If you or someone you know has been arrested at a field sobriety checkpoint it is critical to contact and consult an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Contact a Brick and Sea Girt NJ DUI and Sobriety Checkpoint Defense Lawyer Today

Being charged with DUI is no small matter. At Bronzino Law Firm, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights of our clients arrested at sobriety checkpoints for DUI across Point Pleasant, Toms River, Spring Lake, Wall, and Ocean and Monmouth Counties.

If you have been charged with a DUI, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us for a free and confidential consultation; please fill out the online form, or give us a call at our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.; we look forward to protecting your legal rights.

Types of Criminal Charges Reviewed by Ocean and Monmouth County Lawyers

Serving Clients Facing Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies in Asbury Park, Wall, Toms River, Brick, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Neptune, Spring Lake and across the Jersey Shore

Types of Criminal Charges Reviewed by Ocean and Monmouth County LawyersMost citizens don’t have much interaction with and knowledge of the criminal justice system.  However, if you or someone you know is charged with a crime it is important to understand the different types of crimes and what the possible penalties that can result are.

In New Jersey, as in other states, crimes fall under different classifications. In fact, Title 2C Section 2C:1-4 of The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice clearly defines the differences. This grouping usually reflects the seriousness of the different types of crimes committed and in most cases the penalties that are attached to the crime. The groups are infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. The reason for these classifications is to help create a more efficient system and make a pattern that citizens can follow when it comes to how being charged with these crimes impact them.

The major categories are in most cases determined by the amount of jail time that is possible. For example, when trying to figure out what the difference is between a misdemeanor and a felony, one can look to the maximum potential jail time for the crime for the answer.

What qualifies as an Infraction in NJ Law?

What qualifies as an Infraction in NJ?Generally, infractions are the least serious type of crime. Put simply, an infraction is the violation of a rule, ordinance or law. In most cases, there is no jail time associated with an infraction and it, depending on the jurisdiction, will not appear on a criminal record. In the majority of cases, payment of a fine will be the only punishment.  However, it is important to note that federal law classifies an infraction as a crime with a jail sentence of not more than five days. The most common example of an infraction is a traffic ticket, but other offenses can also be categorized as infractions, such as trespassing, littering, disturbing the peace as well as other petty offenses.

Though in cases of infractions police officers will usually just write a ticket and hand it to the person, however, infractions can turn into a more serious crime if left unaddressed or unpaid.

Commonly infractions have different classes (i.e. moving violations, non-moving violations, and other petty offenses). The law provides for an increasing range of fines and potential penalties for the different classes within the infraction category.

What is a Misdemeanor in NJ Criminal and Municipal Courts?

It is important to know that misdemeanors are more serious than infractions. Under federal law and in New Jersey, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense that carries a potential jail term of less than one year in county jail.

As with infractions, misdemeanors are sorted into classes as well. Federal sentencing guidelines divide the classes based on the maximum imprisonment for the offense.

  • Class A misdemeanor – less than one year but more than six months
  • Class B misdemeanor – more than 30 days but less than 6 months
  • Class C misdemeanor – more than 5 days but less than 30 days

Once again, the jail time is served in a local county jail as opposed to a high-security prison. It is usual for prosecutors to have a great degree of flexibility in deciding what crimes to charge, how to punish them as well as what kinds of plea bargains will be offered to the defendant.

What is a Felony Charge in NJ Criminal Court?

What is a Misdemeanor or Felony in NJ Criminal and Municipal Courts?There is no debate that a felony is the most serious type of crime. Generally, these are the crimes that can hurt the public, such as drug distribution or violent behavior. Consequences may range from massive fines of over a thousand dollars to going to prison for at least a year. However, the term felony is not uniform throughout the United States. The federal government defines a felony as a crime with a punishment of more than one year but states are less strict about the definition. New Jersey does not classify their criminal offenses at all. However, typically a sentence of more than one year that will be served in a state or federal prison will be considered a felony. As is the case with misdemeanors, Federal law breaks down classifications for felonies using sentencing guidelines by the amount of prison time.

  • Class A Felony – life imprisonment or the death penalty.
  • Class B Felony – twenty-five or more years of imprisonment.
  • Class C Felony – less than twenty-five years, but more than ten years of imprisonment.
  • Class D Felony – less than ten years, but more than five years of imprisonment.
  • Class E Felony – less than five years, but more than one year of imprisonment.

Felonies are usually crimes that are viewed severely by society and given that the punishments are so impactful, a criminal procedure must be strictly observed in order to ensure that the defendants’ rights stay protected. Felonies are usually crimes that include crimes such as murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping and arson to name but a few. However, felonies can also be punished in a range of ways so that the actual punishment matches the severity of the crime.

Contact a Toms River Misdemeanor, Infraction, and Felony Criminal Attorney Today

Being charged with any crime is a serious matter. At Peter J. Bronzino, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights of our clients across Neptune, Spring Lake, Brielle, and Toms River in all types’ criminal cases and infraction.

If you have been charged with a crime, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us at (732) 812-3102; or visit our access our online form we look forward to representing your legal rights.

Blood Test and DUI Charges Attorneys in Brick and Sea Girt NJ

If facing DUI Charges in Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, or Brick know your rights and hire an experienced trial lawyer

Blood Test and DUI Charges Attorneys in Brick New JerseyIt is important to know that even if you have broken the law, as a citizen of the United States and a resident of the state of New Jersey, you are afforded certain rights. Many have found themselves facing the legal system in cases that involve DUI. When stopped by police it is natural to want to assert your rights especially if you feel that you are being treated unfairly.  A common question is whether or not the police need a warrant in order to draw blood for the purpose of checking blood alcohol level. In short, a warrant is not always needed in this situation.

A short time ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court passed a ruling (State v. Shayna Zalcberg) that law enforcement officers do not always need a warrant before drawing blood from a person suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. The rationale is that alcohol is metabolized rather quickly by the body and as a result, the BAC can be lower if the test is delayed and may not accurately reflect the actual BAC of the driver while they were driving.

It is the totality of the circumstances surrounding the accident that can present exigent circumstances that relax the requirement for the police to obtain a warrant prior to drawing blood from a motorist.

The Life-Altering Consequences of a DUI Conviction

The Life-Altering Consequences of a DUI Conviction

In the State of New Jersey, DUI laws are strict and can be unforgiving. All convictions become part of a driver’s permanent record with the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles, which will impose a mandatory insurance surcharge on those drivers that have been convicted. That surcharge amounts to between $3,000 and $5,000 on average. Being that insurance is mandatory in New Jersey this extra charge can be an avoidable and costly lifetime expense.

When it comes to penalties, if you are a first time offender with a blood alcohol content (BAC) between .08 percent and .10 percent then you will be facing a fine between $250 and $400. Moreover, you will also be detained for up to 48 hours and can be sentenced to jail time of up to 30 days in addition to having your license suspended for up to one year.

If you have a BAC higher than .10 the penalties get worse with fines increasing to between $300 and $500 as well as jail time of up to 30 days,  in addition to a loss of driving privileges for between seven months and a year.

Should you become a repeat offender, the penalties will increase exponentially.  However, even one DUI conviction can have a long-lasting impact on your life. If you are facing a DUI in New Jersey there is no doubt that you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Why you need an experienced attorney if you are facing DUI charges

If you’ve been arrested for Driving Under the Influence, or any other drunk driving-related offense, it is highly recommended that you seek the legal advice of an experienced DUI lawyer. A good DUI attorney can help to minimize or help you avoid severe penalties and consequences often associated with DUI.  In short, an experienced DUI attorney can make the difference between going to jail, losing your license, and getting a non-guilty or a reduction of the charges.

In New Jersey, a DUI arrest is a serious matter. For anyone who has been arrested for driving under the influence, there’s a good chance they will be facing jail time, having their license suspended, and/or paying hefty fines.  In addition, there may be potential hardships they may encounter at work especially if their job involves driving.

Why you need an experienced attorney if you are facing DUI chargesThough some legal matters can be handled alone, a DUI arrest warrants the legal advice of a qualified DUI attorney who knows how to handle the intricacies of your DUI case. Due to the fact that DUI laws are highly centralized and specific, DUI cases are best handled by experienced DUI attorneys who have specialized knowledge in this area, including knowledge of traffic laws and motor vehicle laws. Moreover, a good DUI attorney will have the knowledge of how to challenge certain aspects of your DUI charge based on his or her specialized knowledge of breathalyzers, blood test, and chemical testing procedures.

Contact a Monmouth and Ocean County Drunk Driving Attorney to Protect Your Rights

Being charged with DUI is no small matter. At Peter J. Bronzino Law Firm, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights of our clients arrested for DUI across Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey.

If you have been charged with a DUI, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us at (732) 812-3102; we look forward to representing your legal rights.

Signs Police Officers Look for to Determine Impairment from Drugs and Alcohol

Providing Legal Advice to Clients Facing DUI in towns throughout Ocean County towns such as Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey

Signs Police Officers Look for to Determine Impairment from Drugs and AlcoholGetting a DUI in New Jersey is a very serious matter. Law enforcement officers and courts do not take DUI offenses lightly. In recent years there has been a special emphasis on police undergoing training to identify the signs that a motorist is driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol. There are more than 100 visual cues that indicate whether a driver has been using a substance that can impair their abilities before driving. The ability to spot these dangerous drivers on the road has the potential to save lives and reduce DUI offenses. These efforts have been largely successful. According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, traffic fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes decreased by 1.1 percent from 10,996 in 2016 to 10,874 in 2017.

It can be helpful in avoiding confusion if drivers know the things that police will be looking for in order to avoid misunderstanding and misidentification of driving while impaired.  These include but are not limited to:

Improper Lane Usage/Weaving

One of the most easily recognizable indicators of drunk driving is weaving between traffic and failure to stay within your driving lane. It has been well documented that being under the influence of alcohol makes it difficult to maintain a vehicle on a steady course in addition to lowering an individual’s overall awareness.

The red flags those officers look for include:

  • A driver veering into a lane when it is not safe to do so
  • Driver who demonstrate a lack of awareness of other vehicles
  • Driver who fail to maintain a steady course in the center of a lane
  • Vehicles that are swerving or making sharp turns
  • A driver who is weaving in and out of lanes and other vehicles

When an officer witnesses someone driving in such a manner, they will more than likely stop that vehicle for further investigation.  However, it is important to note that these same behaviors can be caused by fatigued or distracted drivers who are not under the influence.  Driving should not be done under these circumstances as it can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence.

Lack of Awareness for Other Road Users/Traffic Signs

In order to be sure our roads are safe for everyone, it is critically important to be aware of what other road users are doing and to pay attention to traffic signs. Seeing a driver that shows a lack of awareness of their surroundings is grounds to suspect a DUI.

Indications of a lack of awareness include:

  • Not seeing or ignoring stop signs and other traffic signals
  • Pulling out in front of other vehicles in such a manner as to force them to avoid a collision
  • Driving in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic
  • Driving notably too slow or too fast for the speed limit
  • Using the incorrect turn signals when turning

Demonstrating a lack of awareness for others on the road may make you are a potential threat to yourself and others. However, lack of awareness is not always caused by DUI. Causes can include being distracted while driving as well as poor weather conditions.

Rapid acceleration or Erratic Breaking

It is well known that being under the influence of alcohol compromises a person’s ability to judge speed and distance as well as lowering reaction time. This can often be seen when accelerating or stopping a vehicle.

Common indicators that can raise a police officer’s suspicion that someone is under the influence include:

  • Harsh or dramatic breaking when coming to a stop or for no apparent reason
  • Speeding up suddenly or erratically
  • Dramatic speed fluctuations
  • Driving faster than the legal speed limit

Breaking erratically can potentially cause harm to others sharing the road in the form of rear-end collisions especially under adverse weather conditions. Though accidental breaking and inadvertent rapid acceleration are not unheard of, they can still be potentially dangerous to other drivers on the road.

Using a Vehicle Improperly

DUI Traffic Stop Attorneys and What the Police Are Looking ForA motor vehicle can be inherently dangerous when not used in the proper manner. Improper use is often a clear sign that someone is impaired. Though a driver may be able to control their vehicle and drive within the correct speed limits, other signs may raise suspicion of a DUI.

Some of the common actions that raise law enforcement concern that a driver may be under the influence include:

  • Using the wrong turning signal
  • Driving at night without headlights
  • Prolonged driving with the windshield wipers on in dry conditions
  • Driving with a flat tire

Though many of these things may seem mostly benign, when taken into account with other factors, they may cause an officer to feel that further investigation is warranted.

DUI Traffic Stop Attorneys and What the Police Are Looking For

Once an officer finds that there is sufficient cause to stop a driver on suspicion of DUI there are some common signs a police officer will look at to confirm their suspicions. These include:

  • Difficulty with answering basic questions or giving incorrect or evasive answers
  • The smell of alcohol on the driver or coming from the vehicle
  • Seeing open alcoholic beverages in the vehicle
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Poor hand-eye coordination and mobility

Any of the above-mentioned conditions is cause for an officer to ask you to submit to a breathalyzer exam or a field sobriety check. However, it is important that officers remember that many of the causes listed above can have benign reasons. For example, an apparent difficulty in answering questions can be caused by nervousness and slurred speech can be caused by medical conditions or speech impediments. Moreover, many mouthwashes use alcohol, the smell of which can cause an officer to believe that you have been drinking.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI it is critical that you seek good and experienced legal representation.

Consult Peter Bronzino at Our Brick Or Sea Girt Office Locations

At Peter J. Bronzino our team of attorneys is experienced in supporting and fiercely representing our clients who are facing DUI charges in Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, Brick, and all of Eastern New Jersey.  No matter your situation you don’t have to confront it alone.

To connect with our firm today in a confidential and comprehensive assessment of your case, please fill out the online form or through our Brick offices at (732) 812-3102.

DUI Lawyer Brick, NJ: Impact of Arrest and Conviction on Mental Health

Serving Clients in towns across Monmouth and Ocean Counties including our Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Wall, and Spring Lake office locations.

DUI Lawyer Brick, NJ: Impact of Arrest and Conviction on Mental HealthIf you or a loved one are arrested for a DUI/DWI you may not only face court charges, but your mental health may suffer from the effects of the stigma that surrounds driving under the influence. Though some states may differentiate between driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) (i.e., impaired driving while high on drugs or prescription medication), New Jersey does not. Drivers are charged under NJ Rev Stat § 39:4-50 and face the associated penalties regardless of what was causing the impairment. For an innocent person, the uncertainty can be nerve-wracking. Because you can face fines, jail time, increased insurance premiums, electronic monitoring/house arrest, or an IID, being charged with a DUI/DWI in the State of New Jersey can be life-shattering.

If you´re lucky, a Pre-trial Intervention Program (PTI) may be possible. But the stigma of a criminal conviction as part of your permanent record can make future job searches and continuing your education more challenging. If you provide for yourself or your family or want to continue on the positive life path you´re on, you should consider talking to an experienced DUI/DWI attorney, to try and fight your conviction.

The Social Consequences of a DUI/DWI Arrest or Conviction in Brick, NJ

It’s not illegal for adults to drive after drinking alcoholic beverages. The crime of drunk driving occurs only when the person’s blood-alcohol level has exceeded the current numerical standard (0.08%) or when the person has demonstrated bad driving that can be causally connected to impairment due to a high blood-alcohol level.  Drivers may blame themselves, because they had something to drink, or were unaware that their prescription medicine for PTSD, stress or depression (i.e., or a Schedule II or III controlled substance) could have a negative interaction with something they ate or drank. Either way, they may not have thought that what they consumed was enough to impair their judgment.

It’s important to remember that symptoms or effects of alcohol are different for each person and these effects can appear suddenly or a while later, depending on the person.

Distracted and reckless driving can be just as dangerous to life and property as an impaired driver, but due to the long and turbulent history of alcohol within our society, public opinion is different. Whether your DUI/DWI is posted on the social media feeds of friends, becomes the topic of local news or the regional crime blotter, people are often shamed by others who lack the facts of the situation, especially if a driver never exceeded the state alcohol limit. Attempting to explain the situation or have others consider how unreliable field sobriety tests are or breathalyzers can be, or even how as humans police officers can make mistakes too, is a waste of time.

Is There a Link Between Mental Health Issues and Repeat DUI/DWI Offenders?

A Havard Medical School study found that 45% of all repeat DUI/DWI offenders have a “major” mental health disorder, including PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, and stress disorder.  Because there is still a great deal of social stigma and self-perceived shame attached to these disorders, it may be challenging to try to change negative perceptions, especially if your family, friends, or co-workers are unaware of your condition. Because mental health issues are often kept private, a sudden revelation to those closest to you may worsen how you cope with both and lead to additional self-destructive behavior, isolation, and internalized shame.

Many mental health professionals believe that by properly assessing the mental health of a DUI/DWI offender, law enforcement can choose the program best suited for treating that particular individual and reducing their chances of reoffending.

Do I have to Tell My Employer About My DUI/DUI Arrest in NJ?

A DUI/DWI arrest or charge is not the same as a conviction; which results from a finding or admission of guilt. If you have a company car or your company policy requires you to inform them of a DUI arrest, you should comply.

Under most circumstances, people generally prefer to keep the matter private while it is being resolved. If the arrest does not result in a conviction, then it could have minimal impact on your job. If you are applying for a position and you fail to disclose it, a resulting background check could reveal it or it could come to light after you’re hired, and may result in your immediate dismissal.

If you wish to discuss it, you want to express that it was poor judgment, that you learned from the experience and any therapy, treatment or classes that helped you.

How Can I Be Charged With a DUI in Sea Girt, NJ, When I Don’t Even Drink?

How Can I Be Charged With a DUI in Sea Girt, NJ, When I Don’t Even Drink?In New Jersey, any driver suspected of being under the influence of drugs can be charged with a DUI.  Even if you’re taking doctor-prescribed medication, the police can charge you with a motor vehicle offense and subject you to the same penalties as if you were driving drunk or under the influence of an illegal substance. It’s not fair to charge someone following their doctor’s orders but it happens daily to numerous unsuspecting people. This is often best illustrated by adults or even young people who may be taking doctor-prescribed medication for epilepsy or ADHD, but are charged with a “baby DUI/DWI.” Drivers under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their bloodstream or while under the influence, can be charged under NJ’s Zero Tolerance law.

Adults and young people may be embarrassed and afraid of the impact this may have on their partners or parents, or worry about their disappointment, anger or even being punished. If you are a partner or parent, your loved one charged with a DUI/DWI deserves the best legal representation for their criminal case and/or administrative license suspension hearing. Depending on the circumstances, it may be unjust for them to suffer through fines, the loss of driving privileges, probation, face jail time or other potentially life-altering charges.

Contact our Experienced Toms River DUI/DWI Defense Attorneys Today

At the Bronzino Law Firm, we understand the gravity that these charges carry and we are here to protect your rights and provide you with the experienced counsel that you need to navigate the legal system and mitigate the impact on your life. We take pride in serving the local community by offering highly personalized legal services in towns across Monmouth and Ocean Counties including our Brick, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Wall, and Spring Lake office locations.

Call us today at (732) 812-3102 or fill out a contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Ocean County Lawyers Discuss Plea Bargains 

Serving Families in Ocean and Monmouth County towns including Toms River, Wall, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant, and Brick, NJ

Ocean County Lawyers Discuss Plea Bargains In New Jersey criminal trials, accepting a plea bargain or plea agreement is an option for defendants who may wish to avoid the possibility of a harsh sentence. This bargaining process is basically an arrangement between the prosecution and the defendant where some concession is made in exchange for a guilty plea. In the interest of saving the government time and money, prosecutors may offer incentives to avoid having to invest extensive resources into cases that might otherwise take longer to resolve. These offers might result in certain charges being reduced to a lesser offense in exchange for a guilty plea, other charges being dismissed, or an overall sentence reduction.

In some cases, it may not even include jail time and the defendant will have to pay a fine or be subject to some other manageable punishment.

Although prosecutors can file numerous charges to gain leverage during plea bargaining, defendants still have some leverage. They are presumed to be innocent and have the right to cross examine witnesses produced against them. Defendants may elect whether they testify on their own behalf or remain silent to prevent self-incrimination.

Types of Plea Bargains in NJ

A plea bargain is an admission of guilt on the part of the defendant for a known outcome in terms of punishment or a reduced charge. The different types include:

  • pleading guilty to one charge as other charges against the defendant are dismissed
  • the prosecutor’s sentence recommendation to the judge as a result of the defendant’s guilty plea
  • the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser offense than the original charge

A judge is not obligated to accept a plea agreement. Some initial agreements may require making minor changes to make it agreeable for both sides and acceptable to the court.

94% of New Jersey Defendants Plead Guilty 

According to a recent op-ed by the Innocence Project, an Albert Kelly article was cited which stated that in 94% of New Jersey cases, the defendant took a plea bargain. It’s interesting to note that the defendant in most of those cases may have pleaded guilty to a crime they did not commit to avoid the possibility of jail time.

If you are innocent you should not be intimidated or coerced into pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit. You have the right to an aggressive and competent defense.

Why Do Innocent People Plead Guilty & Accept a Plea Deal in NJ?

Kelly cites court-appointed attorneys “often overwhelmed with casework and short on time and resources” as the reasons why defendants usually follow their advice to take plea deals.

In Why Innocent People Plead Guilty Jed S. Rakeoff says, “in actuality, our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone. In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial. The plea bargains largely determined the sentences imposed.”

Other Reasons Defendants May Accept Plea Bargains in Brick, NJ

The uncertainty of a trial’s outcome and the time it may take, even for those who profess their innocence of the crimes, can seem too lengthy and risky.  Aside from the stigma of a criminal conviction, the possibility of even a minimal jail sentence can be distressing and emotionally traumatic for employed people if they think it may result in the loss of:

  • employment
  • child custody 
  • their home or apartment due to missed rent/mortgage payments
  • their significant other or spouse

In Which Cases Should One Consider a Plea Bargain in NJ?

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and/or driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Traffic violations
  • Drug possession
  • Drug distribution
  • Theft
  • Violent crimes, such as assault
  • Threat crimes
  • Domestic violence
  • Juvenile crimes
  • White collar offenses
  • Internet-related crimes

Negotiating a Plea Deal to Avoid Jail Time in Ocean County, NJ

The most important element in getting a good plea bargain is having an aggressive defense.  Prosecutors are not going to give you a good deal unless they think that your defense attorney is able to find holes in their case.  An experienced and dedicated attorney is key to securing the best deal for you.

If you have a substance abuse problem, your attorney might be able to negotiate a plea deal that allows you to enter an alternative sentencing program, such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), Conditional Discharge, or Drug Court. Since these programs are focused on rehabilitation, the defendant is usually able to stay out of jail as long as they meet certain requirements. A major benefit to alternative sentencing is that the defendant avoids getting a criminal conviction on their permanent record.

CONTACT A BRICK, NJ CRIMINAL ATTORNEY TODAY

The lawyers at the The Bronzino Law Firm are dedicated to ensuring a defendant’s rights are protected under the rules of the law, and to making sure that police and prosecutors are held accountable to those rules. You want an attorney that will fight for you by your side from arrest to sentencing – if your case does go that far.

We believe that by communicating honestly with our clients and keeping them well informed, we can find realistic and effective solutions for any legal matter. Our smaller law firm allows us to build personal relationships with our clients, and give them the attentive care they deserve.

Peter Bronzino and his legal team understand and have experience with the system in towns like Brick, Toms River, Lakewood, Jackson and across Ocean County. They utilize tools to divert your case to Drug Court, or Pre-Trial Intervention, or have the charges dropped completely because of Probable Cause, Illegal Search and Seizure or other legal technicalities.

Do not wait to contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. Call our Brick or Sea Girt offices anytime at  (732) 812-3102, or use the online contact form.

Monmouth County Actual and Constructive Marijuana Possession Attorneys

Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Municipal Courts across Monmouth and Ocean County

Monmouth County Actual and Constructive Marijuana Possession Attorneys

There are many different charges that individuals face daily across New Jersey. However, drug crimes, and more specifically, marijuana possession charges, can be more complicated and involve many different factors. In particular, the weight of the marijuana found in direct or constructive possession is a large factor when determining the degree and severity of the crime. It is critical to know your rights and having a knowledgeable and skilled attorney at your side can give you a much greater chance of successfully defending your case.

The Criminal and Municipal Court Lawyers at Bronzino Law Firm, LLC,  will do everything we can to identify the facts of your case that will lend themselves to the best possible result. Our team of attorneys is experienced in handling cases in municipalities across both Monmouth and Ocean counties. The relationship between the attorney carrying your case and the municipality you were charged in is very important and a key factor to consider. The Courts We Serve are any and all towns across Monmouth and Ocean County. Call us (732) 812-3102 for an initial consultation, we´d be glad to stand by your side,

Possession of Fewer or Greater than 50 grams of Marijuana

Possession of fewer than 50 grams of marijuana can carry a maximum charge of a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. However, possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana elevates the penalty to a maximum of $25,000 in fines and up to a year and a half in jail. Furthermore, the location of the arrest can also have significant consequences for your case as well. As many as 100 community service hours and extra fines may be assessed if you are arrested within 1,000 feet of a school.

It is important to remember that it is not uncommon for police to become overzealous when seeking to defend the community against drugs. In many cases involving marijuana, your defense may rest on whether or not the police violated your rights in collecting evidence or searching on you. Having a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can help to reduce and even eliminate many marijuana charges.

Is there a difference between actual possession and constructive possession?

Actual possession of marijuana is easily defined. If one has possession of marijuana on their person, in their purse or handbag or in their backpack they are deemed to have actual possession of marijuana. However, constructive possession is much more complicated, abstract and controversial. Constructive possession is a legal fiction used to describe a situation in which an individual has some level of control over chattels or real property without actually having physical control of the same assets.

Constructive possession is an important concept in criminal law when dealing with drug crimes. For example, if a group of individuals is riding in a car and one of those individuals has marijuana on their person that they drop to the floor during a traffic stop, all individuals in that vehicle have constructive possession of that marijuana and can be charged with possession. This situation is by no means uncommon. It is important because a person with constructive possession stands in the same legal position as a person with actual possession.

It is often the practice of many law enforcement agencies to stretch constructive possession to fantastic levels. This may include charges all roommates living in an apartment with the marijuana possessed by one of them.  In some cases, marijuana has been found on the ground or hidden near a group of individuals and all persons in the vicinity have been charged with possession.

Why is it important to have an experienced marijuana defense attorney when charged with possession in New Jersey?

Getting arrested for a marijuana charge in New Jersey, as with any other drug crime, can cause one to face some serious direct and collateral consequences. If convicted, you could face jail, fines, loss of your driver’s license as well as many other criminal penalties. Furthermore, you can also miss out on a job and educational opportunities with marijuana charges on your record.

An experienced attorney will:

  • Closely examine and identify weaknesses in the state’s case
  • Make sure all of your rights are respected and upheld
  • Develop an effective defense strategy
  • Aggressively pursue the best possible outcome for you

If arrested or charged with any drug or marijuana offense it is highly recommended to contact an experienced attorney before speaking to law enforcement.

Contact a Monmouth NJ Marijuana Possession Attorney to Review the Details of your Case

Bronzino Law Office, LLC is a well known, local criminal defense law firm that has experience representing clients facing marijuana-related charges. Our team of lawyers will help you understand the charge you are facing and the possible options you have moving forward in your case.

We prepare your defense based on the analysis made to your particular situation and the details surrounding your arrest. We take everything into consideration, elements such as if the police violated the Fourth Amendment or if they had a valid argument to stop you.A lot is at risk. Do not risk the future of you or your family.

Call us at (732) 812-3102 or visit our website for more and detailed information.

Underage Driving and Drinking Penalties in Ocean and Monmouth Counties

Criminal Attorneys Handling Underage DWI or Possession Charges with offices in Brick and Sea Girt NJ

Underage Driving and Drinking Penalties in Ocean and Monmouth CountyIn the State of New Jersey, as in the rest of the United States, it is illegal for a minor to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol. Furthermore, minors cannot get behind the wheel of a car after consuming any amount of alcohol. In other words, even one beer could lead to charges for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) for a minor and a conviction will carry severe life-changing penalties. A DWI conviction could potentially affect their ability to get into a good college or apply for a high-paying job.

If your child has been charged with DWI they will need an experienced and skilled DWI traffic attorney on their side from the very beginning. While in private practice, Peter Bronzino served as Law Guardian representing the interests of minor children under the care and supervision of the Division of Children Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). In addition, he has been appointed by the court to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for children in the middle of custody battles. This speaks for his care and concern about juvenile cases. Contact him and his team at 732-812-3102 to schedule an appointment to protect the rights of your loved ones.

“Baby DWI´s” Common at the Jersey Shore

Though many prosecutors may refer to underage DWIs as “Baby DWIs,” they are by no means child’s play. Given the rise in fatal traffic accidents in New Jersey involving minors, when it comes to Baby DWIs, prosecutors tend to be very unforgiving, often seeking maximum penalties that can include driver’s license suspension, community service, and expensive alcohol education classes.

It is important to remember that it is extremely easy for a juvenile to be charged with drunk driving. Though the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in New Jersey is .08 percent for adults, a juvenile who registers a BAC above .01 percent can be charged with an underage DWI. In other words, just one drink is enough to put a minor above the legal limit. Furthermore, a minor can still be charged with an adult DWI, which carries extreme punishments that may include jail time, if they post a BAC above .08 percent.

What Should I Do if my Child is Charged with DWI?

Though in almost all cases the child may be embarrassed and afraid or the parents may be disappointed and angry it is important to handle these situations correctly.  Some parents may even feel that their child may need to learn a lesson; however, the court is the wrong place to discipline your child. It is strongly recommended that the parents of any minor charged with DWI hire the very best lawyer to represent their child in both the DUI criminal case and administrative license suspension hearing.

Here are other things you should consider:

  • If your child has been arrested for DUI, it’s likely they have already spent 6-24 hours in jail, had their car impounded, been handcuffed and fingerprinted, and experienced a tremendous amount of stress, anxiety, and embarrassment. In most cases, this traumatic experience is enough to allow them to learn the gravity and danger of what they did.
  • A New Jersey DUI conviction may impact a person’s life for many years, especially financially. Not only with higher insurance premiums but also because a criminal conviction for a DUI can hinder someone from getting a job, prevent admission to certain schools as well as disqualify them from certain financial scholarships and professional licensing.
  • If your child is convicted of DUI, the conviction will be on their criminal history even into adulthood.
  • There’s no expungement of a DWI / DUI conviction in New Jersey. Expungements are limited to criminal offenses, and since DWI / DUI in New Jersey is a traffic offense and not a criminal offense, a conviction for DWI / DUI cannot be expunged from a driving record.
  • Many colleges and private schools impose disciplinary actions for students charged with DUI’s or underage alcohol consumption that are separate from the DUI criminal case.
  • Failure to request an administrative license suspension hearing within 30 days of the arrest, or loss of that hearing, will make your child unable to drive legally for a number of months, possibly a year or more.
  • It is important to remember that your child needs you and your support, especially at times like these.

Contact a Toms River DWI and Criminal Law Attorney Today

Though you may be disappointed with your child’s poor judgement it is critical to have effective legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced DWI traffic attorney can give you and your child the advice you need to safeguard your child’s future.

If your child close underage relative is facing DWI charges, it is critical that you hire a criminal defense attorney. The actions taken today can impact the consequences in the near future. Seek professional advice for your child and protect his/her rights. Peter Bronzino knows how to handle juvenile crimes cases and is willing to work hard by your side. Call us at 732-812-3102 to schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located offices either in Brick and Sea Girt or also feel to fill out the online form and we´ll be in touch with you shortly.

Jersey Shore DUI Attorneys Suggest You Think Before You Drink and Drive

Serving Clients Charged With DUI/DWI in Belmar, Manasquan, Spring Lake, Wall, Point Pleasant, Seaside, and across the Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore DUI Attorneys Suggest You Think Before You Drink and DriveThough it may not be the intention of most drivers when they begin a night out, getting behind the wheel of a car or operating a motor vehicle while over the legal limit is all too common in New Jersey. Drivers who have had their judgment impaired by alcohol may feel that they are capable of driving at that moment when they start their vehicle.  However, there are several critical factors one should consider before making this potentially life-changing decision on the spur of the moment.

The list of people who have been killed while driving drunk and those who have been the victims of drunk drivers is extensive and heartbreaking.

Property Damage, Serious Injury, and even Death

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there are 300,000 incidents of drunk driving in America every day. This translated to more than 10,000 deaths and 290,000 injuries that can be prevented. Furthermore, even if you do not cause physical injury to yourself or to another person, you may hit another object, resulting in thousands of dollars in property damage.

DUI Penalties Could Land you in Jail and with a Criminal Record

For many people, being confined to a jail cell is a concept they can hardly imagine. However, if you are stopped by the police while operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the jail will almost certainly be your destination. Furthermore, if you cause harm to other drivers, pedestrians or property while drinking or driving your jail time could very likely be longer than many think. In the case of a fatality, you could spend several years away from your family.

A drinking and driving conviction will be displayed on your criminal record and could be viewed by future employers, landlords as well as others who require a criminal background check.

Insurance Premiums Will Increase

Because insurance premiums are based on the risk you pose as a driver, it is important to remember that a DUI conviction directly affects your insurance premium. Higher risk drivers must pay a higher insurance premium. Any DUI conviction automatically makes you a high-risk driver and will translate to incredibly high insurance rates.

You May Lose Your Job and/or Professional License

For many professions, any conviction for DUI is a serious enough crime to result in employment termination or revocation of a professional license. Professionals such as doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, public figures, police officers and others may all be at risk of losing their job or license if they are caught drinking and driving. This will translate into substantial financial hardship.

You Will Likely Incur Large Fines and Fees

Being convicted of a DUI is by no means cheap. Not only will you have to pay for the cost of the ticket, but you can also have to pay high court fees and fines, civil penalties, property damage costs, be involved in a personal injury lawsuit if someone is hurt and be forced to pay fees for reinstating your license.

Drinking and Driving Significantly Increases the Risk of being in an Accident

Think Again Before Drinking and Driving: The cost may be higher than you think

Flatly stated, drinking and driving significantly increases your risk of being in an accident, and therefore your risk of causing injury to yourself or to another person. Ignoring this risk can be dangerous and even fatal. On average 27 people die per day in America as a result of drunk driving crashes and it is safe to believe that none of them, drivers or victims, intended for it to happen.

Simply believing that it can’t happen to you could be a very costly error in judgment; one that you could end up regretting for the rest of your life. If faced with the unfortunate circumstances surrounding a DUI charge and any other tickets or offenses that came with it, it is imperative that you seek qualified counsel and you do it expeditiously.

Contact a Toms River DUI Attorney Today and Help us Help You

There are ways we can improve your circumstances defending on the particular facts of your case, as at The Law Office of Peter Bronzino we examine every angle, we will higher a subject matter expert if necessary; all because we treat every client like they are our only client, like they are family.

Don’t delay. Give us a call. If you fear their will be judgement, put that fear or anxiety away. We understand that this is life, and good people sometimes go through tough circumstances.

We have been serving clients facing DUI/DWI charges for years and we are familiar with the local courts in towns like Belmar, Manasquan, Spring Lake, Wall, Point Pleasant, Seaside, and across both Ocean and Monmouth County. We look forward to meeting with you at one of our offices conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt, NJ. Call 732-812-3102 or contact us online and a member of our staff will be in touch to coordinate a consultation.