Drug DWI Charges in Union Township NJ or Elsewhere in the County
Drug use seems to grow, especially when it comes to marijuana, heroin and prescription medication, and this has also caused the number of arrests for driving under the influence of these substances to escalate. A charge of this nature frequently comes as a shocker because most relate a DWI violation to alcohol use. It is often an even bigger surprise when the N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 arrest stems from a legally prescribed anxiety, sleeping, or pain drug (e.g. xanax, oxycodone/oxycontin, roxycodone/roxycodone, valium, percocet, hydrocodone, ambien, etc.). The truth is, however, that New Jersey Law prohibits driving under the influence of drugs the same way as it does for alcohol. If a motorist has legal or illegal drugs in his/her bloodstream and they prevent safe operation of the related motor vehicle, the law deems the individual “under the influence” under 39:4-50. The issues that obviously follow are: how do police prove that drugs are in someones system; and (2) how do they establish impairment from the drugs? This is where the experience and skill of our attorneys can be so handy. We aren’t just the run of the mill defense lawyers but rather a team of lawyers who, in most cases, possess superior training in sobriety testing than the arresting police officer on a case. Several of our attorneys are among the few in the entire state who are certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and two are even certified instructors (i.e. there are approximately 5 total statewide). Most police officers have perhaps a day of training in these tests as compared to our intimate knowledge as to which ones are valid, how they are to be administered, scored, and what they properly demonstrate in terms of evidence. Beyond this unique training, we also have years of experience in proper procedure for blood testing, the primary way police and prosecutors use to establish that drugs were being used by the accused. For a free initial consultation with an attorney on our staff, call us any time of day at 908-272-1700.
What Law Applies To Drug DWI/DUI Charges in New Jersey?
As previously stated, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 applies to both an alcohol and drug based DUI violation. In fact, the statute specifically includes operating while under the influence of a “narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug…” While the biggest block of drug DWI cases involve marijuana, those stemming from opiate forms of controlled dangerous substances are also common. It is important to keep in mind, however, that it is only the obligation of the police and prosecutor to prove that someone operated “under the influence” and not the particular drug. The standard is, more specifically, whether there was a “substantial deterioration or diminution of the mental faculties or physical capabilities” of the driver.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
The penalties that apply in the event of a conviction for a drug DWI are the same as those that apply for a second offense or third offense involving alcohol but are slighting different as far as a first offense goes. In this regard, there is no two tier set of penalties for a drug related offense (i.e. for alcohol the penalties are different for a first offense with a BAC of 08-.099 and those involving a BAC of .10 or higher). The first offense penalties include a $300-500 fine, $230 IDRC fee, $100 DWI surcharge, $100 alcohol education surcharge, $75 assessment for the safe neighborhood fund, a DMV surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 years, up to 30 days in jail and a drivers license suspension of 7-12 months. A second offense under 39:4-50 carries similar financial consequences with a 2 year mandatory license suspension and 2-90 days in the county jail. A conviction for a third offense results in 180 days in jail and a 10 year loss of license.
Cranford NJ Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Defense Lawyers
Our firm is truly unique when it comes to any form of DWI case. Not only do the attorneys possess exceptional training but also years of success handling cases of this nature. Most of the attorneys are former prosecutors who are Alcotest and Field Sobriety certified. Our Cranford Defense Office is conveniently located from almost anywhere in Union County. Feel free to call us at 908-272-1700 any time of day or night to obtain immediate assistance.
If you are facing a drug dwi offense in Linden, Roselle Park, Clark, Springfield, Westfield or another municipal court in Union County, call the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 123 North Union Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey 07026