New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

What Factors Can Work In My Favor In My Ocean County DWI Case?

Many factors can work in your favor of your interests in a DWI case. These mitigating factors can include a sober appearance, positive interaction with law enforcement, a good driving record, and rehabilitative efforts.

If you appear to be either sober or impaired by something other than alcohol drugs—e.g., nervousness, tiredness, distraction, physical limitations, age, weight—this can undermine the observational proofs supporting an inference of intoxication. If your interaction with the officers was courteous, polite, calm, and reasonably cooperative, this can positively affect the attitude of the officer and prosecutor to work toward a better resolution short of trial. Having a good driving record may help as would rehabilitative efforts if there is a high breath or blood test result or a repeat offense. Immigration and housing consequences may also be factors.

What Factors Can Work Against Me In My Ocean County DWI Case?

Factors that work against you in a case are called aggravating factors. These include a bad driving record, high breath or blood test results, admissions of intoxication, and bad behavior.

If there is a high breath or blood alcohol content in the case or if it is a repeat offense, it’s always a good idea to get an alcohol evaluation early because it demonstrates to that you take seriously the question of whether you have a problem with alcohol. If you don’t have a problem, that’s great. You’ve had a third-party detached professional making that assessment. On the other hand, if you do have an issue and there is a recommendation for further treatment, do the treatment. Keep in mind, we don’t have to disclose this until the very end. We might win the case and get a favorable disposition without having to disclose the fact that you sought an assessment or treatment.

How Do I Know If I Should Plead Guilty To A DWI Versus Taking The Case To Trial?

It’s wisest to rely on the advice of an experienced DWI defense attorney who will advise you of the various requirements for a breath test result before punishments can be imposed. Sometimes if the case comes down to just the way you look on video, the lawyer can only give you his opinion, not legal advice. The way a person appears on video is going to be subjective to whoever watches it. The lawyer might give you some guidance on how a judge might read it. But ultimately, it’s up to you as the person charged to make the ultimate decision of pleading guilty or going to trial.

Absent overwhelming evidence of guilt, you should take a case to trial because there is little advantage to losing via a guilty plea without a trial or a guilty verdict after a trial. The differences between minimum and maximum penalties are well defined. For a first offense with no breath or blood test result or a result below a .10, the difference is $250 in fines. For a first offense with a breath or blood test result between .10 and .14, the difference is $200 in fines and five months of alcohol ignition interlock restriction. For a first offense with a breath or blood test result of .15 or higher, the difference is $200 in fines, two months of driving privilege revocation, and six months of alcohol ignition interlock restriction. For a second offense, the difference is $500 in fines, a jail term of up to 90 days, a driving privilege revocation of one year, and two years of alcohol ignition interlock restriction. For a third offense, the difference is two years of alcohol ignition interlock restriction and 90 days of in-patient alcohol rehabilitation in lieu of jail. Whether these differences are sufficient to forego a trial will vary from case to case.

For more information on Mitigating Factors in DWI Cases in New Jersey, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (732) 218-9090 today.


John Menzel, J.D.

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