New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

Will Anyone Else Be Working On My Case If I Hire You?


I am a solo practitioner, which means that I will be the one primarily responsible for your case if you hire me. My legal assistant will handle certain routine matters, but when it comes to special motions, writing briefs and going to court, I am the one that will be doing that.

How Many DWI Cases Does Your Firm Take On Each Year As Well As How Many At A Time?

We generally open more than 100 DWI files a year. Average turnaround time is about six months, so half that number are open at any one time.

Does Your Firm Charge By The Hour For DUI Cases Or Do You Charge A Flat Fee?

Whether you wish to pay an hourly rate or a flat fee is your choice. Most people prefer a flat-fee basis because it provides certainty in the budgeting process for your defense and, more-often than not, costs less in legal fees. Few people will opt for an hourly rate, and I typically counsel against it. Time on an hourly rate basis can well exceed what would be paid on a flat fee basis because of travel time, waiting time in court, and the many appearances that many courts will require where nothing substantive gets accomplished.

Does Your Firm Offer Payment Plans?

In appropriate circumstances, we will permit you to make payments. What we generally require is a substantial down payment because once I send a letter of representation to the court binding myself to your case, courts will not release me from representing you except under certain circumstances. The reason I ask for a substantial retainer is because I want my focus to be on defending you and not on worrying whether I am going to be compensated adequately.

What Are Some Additional Legal Expenses That I Might Expect To Come Up In My DWI Case?

The additional legal expenses associated with most DWI cases are generally nominal. We have to pay for copies of police reports, video recordings, audio recordings, and motor vehicle abstracts of your driving record. On occasion, we may have to buy transcripts, which are a little more expensive. On other occasions, depending on the needs of the case, it may be advisable to hire an expert witness. Nominal expenses, the police reports, audio and video recordings, and motor vehicle abstract will usually run in the $30 to $40 range. Transcripts can run from $50 to a few hundred dollars depending on the length of the transcript required. Experts, depending on the nature and extent of the services required, can cost between $500 and several thousand dollars. When I talk about the nature and extent of their services, what I mean is that we may hire experts to perform particular functions such as reviewing extensive computerized data files, which they are better equipped to handle in a quicker and more accurate way than human review of that data. If a defense becomes apparent from that review, additional services will be required for the expert to write a report. And then finally, if that expert must come in and testify, the expert must be paid for each time he or she appears in court. It is very common if there are medical conditions for us to hire a medical doctor and depending on the type of doctor that is hired, again, the range can be from $500 to several thousand dollars.

The only other time we would hire an expert has to do with the way cases must be resolved in New Jersey. Plea bargaining is prohibited, but for a prosecutor to be willing to concede a defense claim that he or she might otherwise contest, they will ask for an expert report to explain why they would consider dropping the DWI or reducing the consequences for a DWI conviction. In that case, the expert report provides cover for the prosecutor so that he or she feels protected from any accusation that they improperly plea-bargained a case.

Do You Belong To Any Professional Lawyer Organizations Or Have Any Specific Training?

I belong to several professional lawyer organizations. Most prominently, I belong to the National College for DUI Defense. I am board certified in DWI defense by that organization. They are the board certification authority for several states. I am also a member of the American Bar Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association, where I am very active as a member of the municipal court committee. Municipal court is where DWI cases are heard. I am also a member of various county bar associations. I frequently teach seminars involving trial technique, DWI defense, and trial preparation for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education [“CLE”] and Garden State CLE, among other groups.

How Often Do You Appear At The Courthouse Where My DWI Case Will Be Heard?

Every DWI case is different and the number of court appearances will vary. For an individual case, appearances are cycled at different intervals of anywhere from every week to every two-or-three months. Cycles vary depending on the size of the court, the location of the court, and the frequency with which the court meets. It is not uncommon for there to be several court appearances involved in your case, sometimes as many as eight or nine, or even more than that on rare occasions.

Are You Familiar With The Judges And Prosecutors Who May Be Involved In My Case?

I have appeared before many judges and prosecutors all over the state. New Jersey has more than 500 different municipal courts. Over the course of my career, I have appeared in more than 350 of those courts, and I have appeared in every county in New Jersey. Many times, judges and prosecutors will have more than one court, so it is very likely that I will know who we are dealing with even if it is in a court that I have never been to before. By knowing them, we can fashion a resolution that will be the best we can get. If we need to try the case, then we will take the case to trial.

For more information on DWI Attorneys Working On My Case, 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.

Learn your options - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (732) 899-1899