New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

What Can Someone Expect When They Call Your Office For A DWI Case?


When someone calls call my office about a DWI case, I will interview them about what happened. After identifying the charges, we will talk about some basic background information, what the consequences are that they face, and what the state must do to impose those consequences. I also review the legal procedures and legal fees and expenses associated with the defense of their case.

Will I Need To Meet With You Before Deciding If I Want To Hire Your Firm For My DWI Case?

Initially you will not need to meet with me before you decide if you want to hire my firm for your DWI case. Our first contact will be by phone where you will get a thorough orientation to what you are facing. We will meet in person if we can ahead of time, although frequently I am spending more time either in court or travelling between courts. Our first face-to-face meeting will likely be in court at the first case management conference, at which point we will have already discussed where we stand before we proceed. Cases are rarely resolved in that first court appearance. You will be informed every step of the way even though we may not get to meet the first time before we go to court.

What Information Should I Provide You With In Regards To My DWI Case?

Identify the charges you are facing and provide me with your contact information, including a phone number, address and a private email address. The email address must be one not associated with your employer because we need to preserve attorney-client privilege in our communications. Attorney-client privilege means the only ones privy to the discussions about your case would be you and me, and that the information cannot be disclosed unless you give me either expressed or implied authorization to do so. I will also review your health in general terms, particularly as to gastrointestinal issues, respiratory issues, and dental issues so that I can determine whether there is a medically based challenge to the propriety of breath samples submitted when you were with the police. If a blood test is involved, I will talk to you about the circumstances around how they got your blood, whether you have a valid consent, or whether the police obtained a warrant. If you are charged with a breath test refusal, I want to know with as much particularity as possible what the conversations were between you and the officer at the time he or she asked you to submit breath samples. In this way, we can determine what if any defenses may be available to you. Usually, we put the state to their proofs to establish the basic elements. If they do that, we have to consider whether to prepare an affirmative defense–i.e., a defense requires us to come forward with the evidence. Obviously, if the state fails to prove their case against you, we do not have to worry about affirmative defenses.

We will talk about whether you should discuss this matter with your employer and how to manage the practical realities of life should you get convicted. When we approach these cases, to be realistic, we will always hope for the best case, which is a win, and prepare for the worst case, which is receiving every possible punishment that the law provides for, with the understanding that these cases usually end up being resolved somewhere between those two extremes. The objective is that you will be prepared every step of the way and know exactly what we are dealing with so that you can be prepared.

Can I Expect To Hear From You Or Your Team During The Course Of My DWI Case?

You will hear from our team during the course of your DWI case and can expect to be informed every step of the way as you feel it necessary. I will also be calling you from time-to-time to keep you up-to-date.

My office will initially contact you with paperwork including a letter of representation to the court, a discovery demand to the prosecutor, a questionnaire for you to fill out and send to me about aspects of your case, a list of people whom you may want us to keep informed about non-privileged aspects of your case, and some general information on how we deal with court. In this way, you should be kept up-to-date at every step of the proceedings. If you have any questions at all about your case or the quality of the proofs, the evidence against you, or what the status of the proceedings is, you will have my cell phone number so that you can contact me directly. I will pick up the phone if I can; if I am on another call or in court where I cannot pick up the phone immediately, I will get back to you as soon as I can.

As far as court dates go, I recommend that you contact Christopher, my legal assistant at the office because he usually knows more about where I am going than I do. We defend many people charged with DWI all over the state of New Jersey, and it is important to be in touch with him. It is not uncommon for court dates to get changed at the last minute especially in the early history of a case. We may seek to adjourn cases if the state fails to provide us with police reports and other discovery necessary for us to validly assess your case because we do not want to waste your time or our time going to unnecessary court appearances. Sometimes cases drag out and, when discovery has not been provided after a few months, we will go to court regardless of whether we have discovered or not so that we can protect and preserve your speedy trial rights.

For more information on Initial Contact With A DWI Attorney, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (732) 899-1899 today.

John Menzel, J.D.

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