What Happens After You’re Arrested for DWI in New Jersey"
After being arrested for DWI in New Jersey, several stages follow. The first stage is an arraignment. This is when a person goes before the court and is formally charged. The next process is the discovery process. This is where the police turn over all the evidence they have against you to your attorney. Before the trial, your attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea agreement. Your case will go to trial if a plea agreement cannot be reached.
If you are found guilty of DWI in New Jersey, you will face penalties such as fines, jail time, and license suspension. The penalties for DWI in New Jersey depend on several factors, including your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest and whether or not you have any prior DWI convictions.
We can help fight the charges against you at the Law Offices of Bartholomew Baffuto. Our experienced attorneys have helped many clients facing DWI charges in New Jersey get their charges reduced or dismissed.
First Stage – Arrest, Charge, And Booking
The first stage after a DWI arrest in New Jersey is arraignment. This is when a person goes before the court and is formally charged. A judge will read the charges aloud, and the accused will enter a guilty or not guilty plea. The next process is the discovery process. This is the part where the police turn over all the evidence they have against you to your attorney. Before the trial, your attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea agreement. Your case will go to trial if a plea agreement cannot be reached.
Your Arraignment Hearing
The second stage after a DWI arrest in New Jersey is the arraignment hearing. This is a formal court proceeding during which the judge informs you of your charge (or charges), and you enter your plea. At the arraignment, the judge will lay out the full charges, explain the driver’s rights under the law, and request a guilty or not guilty plea. If you plead guilty, you may be sentenced right there and then. If not, the judge will postpone and set a date for trial.
Third Stage – Discovery Of The Evidence
The third stage after a DWI arrest in New Jersey is the discovery of evidence. In New Jersey, if you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are entitled to discovery in your case.
That means you can request the prosecution's evidence relevant to your situation. The evidence collection in a court case is known as “discovery.” As a defendant in a New Jersey criminal or DWI trial, you have a constitutional right to obtain any "material" evidence for your case.
Fourth Stage – Trial
The fourth stage after a DWI arrest in New Jersey is the trial. In New Jersey, DWI cases are heard in traffic courts, not criminal courts. When a DWI case goes to trial, there is no jury, so the judge determines the verdict, as in a civil lawsuit.
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) in New Jersey, you must understand the timeline and act accordingly. A typical DWI case in New Jersey starts with the arrest, trial, and resolution.
Fighting your case
Upon a DUI arrest, seeking help from a law office Defense of New Jersey DWI and criminal cases should be your priority. Contact the best DUI lawyer in New Jersey to help review your case and find weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence. Below are some common issues your attorney could raise during the DWI trial:
Were You Operating The Vehicle?
In New Jersey, a person can be charged with DUI if they operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The “operation” of a vehicle requires the showing of intent by the defendant to set the vehicle in motion. The starting of the vehicle’s engine usually shows such intent. A person found alone in a non-moving vehicle whose engine is running is usually held to be “operating” the vehicle, even if the person was not driving then.
The Reliability Of Your Breathalyzer Test Results
A skilled defense attorney can subpoena the maintenance and calibration records of the breathalyzer on which you tested, possibly using them as evidence that the equipment was not properly tuned to deliver entirely reliable test results. Improper calibration of a breathalyzer device can lead to inaccurate test results. An experienced DUI attorney can help you challenge these results and fight for your freedom.
Do You Have Previous DWI Offenses?
Your DUI/DWI attorney can raise the issue of previous DWI offenses during a DUI trial in New Jersey. The penalties for a DWI are set by statute and generally depend on the driver's prior convictions. If a prior DWI violation is over ten years old, the DWI charge will be reduced by one level. For example, a third-offense DWI will be punished as a second offense if one prior offense is over ten years old.
If you have been charged with DWI in New Jersey, contacting an experienced DWI lawyer is important after your arrest. A DWI defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for DWI, whether you consented to a breath test or not. It is important to act quickly in your case so that your attorney can build a strong defense for you.
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