Failing Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) in New Jersey

DWI driving while intoxicated

When you get pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be asked to submit two types of tests, a breath test and a field sobriety test (FST). It is important to be aware that you have the right to refuse a FST, although the refusal might result in an arrest. If you decide to submit to a FST, fail the test and are arrested as a result, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney to help you.

Understanding the Field Sobriety Tests Used in New Jersey

The following are the three FSTs used in New Jersey that are validated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test – This test will check:
    • Lack of tracking in either left or right eye
    • Repetitive or uncontrolled movements in either eye prior to 45 degrees of movement
    • Involuntary eye movement in either eye at full deviation
    • Repetitive or uncontrolled movements in either eye when looking upward
  2. Walk-and-Turn Test – This test will check:
    • Balance
    • Starting and stopping time
    • Maintenance of heel-and-toe contact
    • Maintenance of the line
    • Manner and number of turns
    • Number of steps
  3. One-Leg Stand Test – This test will check:
    • Balance
    • Manner of hopping
    • Putting down the raised foot

If you or a loved one has been arrested for failing a FST, speak to an experienced DWI defense attorney as soon as possible.

At The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, we have the extensive experience, knowledge and skills to handle DWI cases. Our DWI defense lawyers will work hard to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to help you avoid a serious conviction. Call 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

Intoxicated driver

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a category of DWI but has higher penalties, different plea-bargaining restrictions and is considered a more serious crime than a regular DWI. New York State enacted a new law in 2007 that created the Aggravated DWI charge.

Aggravated DWI is a misdemeanor. If you are charged with it, you will most likely not be able to plead below a DWI misdemeanor.

Criminal Penalties for Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

First Aggravated DWI: A first DWI offense, regardless of the results of the Breathalyzer test, is considered a misdemeanor. An offender could be sentenced to a jail term of up to one year, with probation for an additional 3 years. He or she could also be charged a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 and have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to a year.

The offender may also be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel, which is a program designed to help offenders understand the effects of DWI.
Second Aggravated DWI: If a person commits a second Aggravated DWI within 10 years of his or her first one, he or she can be charged with a Class E felony. The offender can be sentenced to a jail term of up to 4 years and face a maximum fine of $5,000. In addition, his or her license can be revoked for up to 18 months.
Third Aggravated DWI: A third Aggravated DWI in 10 years is treated as a Class D felony. The offender can be sentenced to a jail term of up to7 years and face a fine ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. The offender’s license can also be revoked for up to 18 months.

Civil Penalties

An Aggravated DWI also carries civil penalties which may include a $250 per year DMV assessment for three years and a $395 court surcharge.
The offender will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in his or her car during probation or the conditional discharge period. An IID is a mechanism to prevent drinking and driving. This device requires the driver to breathe into it so that it can analyze the blood alcohol level. If the level is high, the car won’t start. Once the device is installed, it cannot be removed for 6 months. All charges for installation and maintenance are the offender’s responsibility.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DWI or Aggravated DWI, you need to speak to our experienced DWI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle any and all DWI charges. Our DWI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to help you avoid a serious criminal conviction. Call 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Video: What To Do If You Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence

False accusations of domestic violence can have serious consequences. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including his or her reputation. If an individual has been falsely accused of domestic violence, he or she must seek legal help, inform family members and make decisions with a clear head. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you should speak with a domestic violence attorney right away. At Joel Silberman, LLC, we defend the rights of people falsely accused of domestic violence. We can help you too. Call 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

How to Avoid Getting a DWI or DUI

Drinking and driving

DWI or DUI is a traffic offense in New Jersey. The consequences of a DWI or DUI can be life-changing. The simplest answer as to how to avoid a DWI or DUI is to avoid drinking or being intoxicated in any way when driving. There are many other behaviors that you should do before, during and after a DWI or DUI stop that can prevent you from getting a DWI or DUI charge or at least lessen your charges.

Have Updated Documents Ready: If you are stopped and asked by a police officer to hand over your documents, be calm and hand your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance to the officer.

Be Calm and Polite During Questioning: If the officer asks you if you have been drinking, politely answer. Be honest and calm. Do not be defensive or argumentative.

Field Sobriety Tests: New Jersey traffic laws allow police to ask drivers to step out of the car for any traffic stop. If this happens, do your best to stay calm and step out of your car. Try to maintain polite eye contact with the officer as he or she will observe you for any indications of intoxication including bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol or the inability to maintain your balance.

Roadside Breath Tests: If you are requested to breathe into a Breathalyzer to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), you should do it. The state of New Jersey is an implied consent state, which means that you gave your consent to be tested when you accepted your driver’s license. However, you can still request a more reliable test instead of the roadside test. It is then up to the officer to decide whether to take you into custody for refusal to take the test.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Criminal attorney Joel Silberman can help you if you have been accused of a traffic offense in New Jersey. When you receive a ticket for a traffic violation, you can choose to fight back with the help of the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC.  Mr. Silberman has extensive experience in defending clients accused of traffic violations and offers skilled and experienced legal representation throughout New Jersey. We will provide an aggressive defense and keep you informed regarding your case. Call 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Slideshow | Have You Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?

False accusations of domestic violence can have serious consequences. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life, including his or her reputation. The victim of false domestic violence allegations should seek legal help, inform family members, avoid meeting the ex partner without a witness and avoid actions and behavior that can be used against him or her. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you should speak with a domestic violence attorney right away. At Joel Silberman, LLC, we defend the rights of people falsely accused of domestic violence. We can help you too. Call 201-273-7070 or 800-889-3129.

Have You Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?

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Juvenile Crimes in New Jersey

When a child commits a crime in New Jersey, they can be arrested or detained. Although children make mistakes, parents must face the reality that their child has committed a crime and the consequences of that crime can be as simple as writing an essay for misdemeanor crimes to possibly being tried as an adult for felonies. New Jersey judges have a lot of leeway when deciding how to handle a juvenile case.

A person under the age of 18 in New Jersey is considered a juvenile. If the person commits a crime and turns 18 during the course of a trial, they are still considered a juvenile. In extremely serious cases such as assault and murder, courts can try a juvenile as an adult. In some of the less serious cases, a juvenile case is heard in the family division of the Superior Court.

In juvenile cases, the parents of the child will get a notice from the Superior Court describing the charges, court procedures and other information pertaining to the charges. Simple cases are sometimes referred to the Juvenile Conference Committee, who are citizen volunteers appointed by a Family Division judge to act on the court’s behalf. Other cases can be referred to a judicial referee, who is an attorney that sits in for a judge and acts on the court’s behalf with the same legal authority.

In all juvenile cases, the child must have representation that has their best interests in mind. As soon as parents get a notice from the court, they should speak with an attorney. If there are provable monetary considerations, the state must provide a public defender. New Jersey is strict and if either parent is employed, they will most likely not be eligible for assistance. It is important to note that public defenders usually have very high caseloads and are not able to devote the kind of time and energy that a juvenile criminal defense attorney can when defending a child for any kind of criminal charge.

Attorney Joel Silberman has defended many children facing adult trials and whenever possible, succeeded in having them downgraded to a family court matter. We can consult with prosecutors, obtain the state’s evidence and assess the case to effectively represent the interests of your child. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help protect your child’s rights and assess your family’s options. Call the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey at 201-273-7070 or 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Slideshow | What to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime?

A false criminal accusation can have serious consequences. Under these circumstances, hiring a criminal defense attorney, gathering evidence and witnesses, and staying away from the accuser are some of the best ways to handle the situation. If you have been falsely accused, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help protect your rights and assess your options. Call 201-273-7070 or 800-889-3129.

What to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime?

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Video: Penalties for Driving Without a License in New Jersey

Driving without a license in New Jersey is a serious offense. It may lead to a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 60 days. Driving without a license with proof of a prior license can lead to a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 60 days. If you have been charged with driving without a license in New Jersey, let our experienced criminal defense attorneys pursue the best possible outcome in your case. Call 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

What to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime?

False arrest

A false criminal accusation can have serious consequences. If every step leading up to the trial isn’t handled properly, there can be a negative impact on every area of the individual’s life, as well as future employment and educational opportunities. It is important for the accused person to know exactly what to do. His or her actions immediately following the charge can make the difference between conviction and acquittal.

When you are falsely accused of a crime:

Hire a criminal defense attorney: This is the first and most important thing to do. Hiring a lawyer early in the investigation can increase the chances of proving your innocence. Your lawyer may also be able to determine if the charges were properly filed, negotiate with the prosecutor and help you understand your legal rights.

Do not discuss your case with anyone: When you have been falsely accused of a crime, do not try to prove your innocence to anyone. Remaining silent will do more good than harm. Discuss your side of the story and other details of the incident only with your lawyer.

Gather evidence and witnesses: Before the search warrant is issued, gather as much evidence as possible and bring it to your lawyer. If someone witnessed the situation or knows of your innocence, ask that individual to share their story with your lawyer.

Stay away from the accuser: Do not try to have any type of conversation with your accuser as it can complicate the matter further. The prosecutor could potentially blame you for intimidating the accuser. Allow your lawyer to handle the matter.

Contact Us

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you protect your rights and assess your options. We will provide an aggressive defense and keep you informed regarding your case. Call 800-889-3129 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

Bayonne police brutality suit cost at least $1.5 million to settle

At least $1.5 million was paid to settle a police brutality lawsuit brought by a family that was beaten and pepper-sprayed by Bayonne police, according to a confidential deal released Friday after a year-long court battle by The Jersey Journal.

The family of Brandon Walsh sued the city of Bayonne and the police department in November 2014, 11 months after Walsh was beaten with a flashlight during an arrest at his home. Read more.

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