New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

How Do You Explain All The Options Available To Your Client?


Very often, what we call the collateral consequences, job compulsion, things like that can factor in, but the bottom line is it is a very rare case where those kinds of collateral issues trump the value of fighting the case. The time where you see that most often though is when you do try a case or litigate on a particular issue and you want to set up an appeal. You have this situation of whether you want to ask for a stay of execution of sentencing pending appeal, or if you want to go forward and have the sentence executed. Timing becomes much more significant in those circumstances. I remember one case where my client was a salesperson, and we had a good issue for appeal.

We lost at the trial level, and we had this conversation about whether to get a stay or to execute and she said “No, this is my offseason. Let’s execute the sentence now.” I said “You realize if we win this appeal you will have served the time for no reason at all”. She said “I know, but I can’t risk getting it in my high season so I want to do it now and get it out of the way”. I call that doing a Martha Stewart, because you will remember when Martha Stewart had her federal trial. She won the main case, but lost on a secondary criminal statute. She had a good issue for appeal even though she ultimately lost. The question presented to her was do you want to go to prison now? Understand that if we win the appeal you would have done it for nothing, or do you want to stay out while we take it up to the circuit court?

For her the collateral consequence that she had to deal with was the uncertainty associated with her status, because that affected the stock price of the company. So she made the decision to go forward, have the sentence executed, because what that did collaterally was to eliminate the uncertainty, and it enabled the price of her company to stabilize and flourish, because the uncertainty was dragging it down. That is why she decided to execute the sentence. For her it was a good thing because eventually she lost her appeal, but nonetheless I am sure that was part of the discussion. I cannot say I was a party to it, but I am sure that was a lot of the discussion about the decision of whether to go to jail or not.

What Sets Your Firm Apart In Handling DWI Cases In New Jersey?

I would like to say it is because I am smarter than everybody or I know more than everybody, but frankly the one thing that sets me apart is I am simply willing to try a case. The philosophy is fundamental. It is if you do not give me a resolution that makes sense for my client that improves his outcome, we are going to go trial. The reason I do so many trials is because there is no difference between what you get if you plead guilty versus what happens to you if you are found guilty after trial. It is not like a criminal case where there may be greater incentives to avoid a trial.

What sets me apart is the fact that I am willing to try a case. Perhaps one of the other things that sets me apart is not that I am the smartest guy in the world, but when you have done this for as long as I have and concentrated in this field for as many cases as I have, it becomes second nature and people think I am smart because I seem to know all the answers. I do not think there have been too many situations where I have been surprised, at least in the last twenty years. I have been doing this since the eighties. What is it the Geico commercial says? “You love what you do; you never work a day in your life”.

For more information on Explaining Available Options to a Client, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (888) 394-1394 today.

John Menzel, J.D.

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