New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

What Happens After Someone Is Released For Driving While Suspended?


Driving while suspended and someone is released is similar to a DWI in a sense that unless they offer the right deal, you are going to court until it goes to trial, just like DWIs in New Jersey. There is really no downside risk to going to trial on these charges. At the county level, if it is a criminal indictment, yes, you are going to go to court, and you may ultimately have a jury trial unless you decide to plead guilty. At the municipal level, if it is something not to the level of a felony, usually the right deal is to plead to something like unlicensed fiber or failure to have a proper credential in possession or driving with an invalid touring privilege, which is an offense available to out of state drivers.

Because those charges are more readily plea bargained, they may resolve more quickly. The consequences and the different plea scenarios are pretty well defined. I will review them with the client before we go into court so that we are prepared. We were talking about how these charges at the municipal court level can be more readily plea bargained if we did not get the person’s license restored. Otherwise, you might as well go to trial because those penalties, the minimums and the maximums are practically identical. The range of penalties in the superior court for indictable offenses is loose in practical terms. It does not make any difference.

Can Someone Avoid Jail For A Driving On A Suspended License Offense?

Theoretically, they are available for the indictable offense although more often than not. It is simply not made available because that program is usually implemented on the recommendation of the prosecutor, which as long as it is not considered to be arbitrary or capricious because of the words that the courts use they are going to defer to the prosecutor’s discretion. At the municipal court level, there is no diversion, but it is plea bargained. So there are no get out of jail free cards. There may be ways to avoid jail depending on the particular facts of an individual case.

Sometimes you can avoid enhancements for the jail part of the sentence if the person did not have an attorney represent them on one of the priors. But that requires individualized investigations not only into the present offense, but looking back at prior offenses as well, and see if there were guilty pleas, how they went down or whether there were trials. The vast majority of these convictions are by way of plea, by the way. Very few do go to trial.

How Can An Attorney Get The Best Possible Resolution In A Driving While Suspended Case?

You have to be vigilant for your clients; you have to look at the circumstances when you go to court. A lot of times when you catch a deal it is very opportunistic. Sometimes, they say that a good lawyer knows the law and the great lawyer knows the judge, and I think there is something to that. You have to know who the players are to see what the options are or what the potential outcomes are going to be for the client. Some prosecutors are more liberal than others, same thing with the judges. Basically you just have to look at what other charges they have and see if you can use the driver while revoked tool as a bargaining chip in the overall process of resolving a case by way of a plea bargain.

Additional Information on Driving With a Suspended License in New Jersey

The way the penalty structures for this driving while revoked business is very similar to that for a DWI in our state. There are very limited ranges of minimums and maximums. I know while most lawyers tend to plead these cases out, the only way I would do that is to consider what would be within the overall context of a particular case, but if these are standalone charges, there is no reason to plead guilty, I might as well go to trial and hope for a good outcome.

For more information on Process after Release on Bail, 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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