Suspended License Exception and Hardship Licenses in New Jersey for Medical, Work or Familial Reasons

A form from the DMV suspending a driver's license.

As you probably know, if you are convicted of drunk driving in this state, one of the harshest penalties you could face is losing your license. First time offenders can lose their license for 3 months or more, while repeat offenders can lose their license for up to 10 years! During that time, you cannot drive yourself to work, you cannot drive to the store to get groceries, you cannot even drive to provide for your family members.

Here on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we have previously discussed that there are NO EXCEPTIONS in the Garden State for drivers who have had their license suspended or revoked – no matter what the circumstances. A person who has lost his or her license in New Jersey CANNOT legally drive for any reason, and getting caught driving with a suspended license can make things even worse! Recent legislation being considered may offer a small exception to this rule, but it is unlikely to apply in all circumstances.

Hardship Licenses in New Jersey

First, as noted above, New Jersey does not currently offer a suspended license exception. In some other states, a special restricted license exists for persons who have had their driving privileges revoked – usually referred to as a hardship license. A hardship license can allow drivers to get to work and back, or to go to medical appointments, or to care for children.

In New Jersey, a person can lose his or her license for many reasons, including amassing too many parking tickets. The minimum license suspension period is 3 months for anyone convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, depending on a drivers’ blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest.

Since New Jersey does not have a hardship license exception, someone who loses his or her license may need to depend on others in order to continue to work or provide for his or her family. This may require having a family or friend do the driving, carpooling with coworkers, or using expensive services like Uber or Lyft.

Even when a driver’s period of license suspension is over, the person cannot drive until he or she takes all the necessary steps to have the license restored.

Proposed Hardship License Legislation

Last year, Ocean County Assemblyman Ron Dancer introduced legislation seeking to create a special license option for drivers with a suspended license. This occurred based on a recommendation from the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee Report on Municipal Operations, Fines, and Fees last summer.
Since introduction, this issue has been discussed in the media and has faced some opposition. Similar legislation has been proposed before, but was not successful at the time. It is unclear if this proposal stands a better chance of success now.

As proposed, the bill would not create an exception for all persons. Only persons with non-point suspensions would be considered for a hardship license – such as persons who lost their license for unpaid parking tickets. The special license holders would be permitted to drive between home and work or school between specific hours. Anyone who received a restricted license as the result of DUI or DWI would not be eligible.

For that reason, if you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving, it is best to first consult with an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible to fight the charges against you. If you lose your license due to a drunk driving conviction, there is no exception for your suspension penalty in New Jersey.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Understands What is At Stake if You are Convicted

If you are found guilty of drunk driving in the Garden State, the penalties can affect your ability to work and provide for your family or loved ones. If you or someone you know is charged with DUI or DWI, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney right away. A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Immigration Enforcement and 123 Person ICE Arrest Update Related to Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Police car on the street

Here on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we regularly warn our readers that an arrest or conviction for driving while intoxicated can carry extremely heavy consequences that extend beyond monetary fines, loss of driving privileges, or jail time.  Depending on who you are, if you are convicted, it could mean losing your job, losing future employment opportunities, or even losing your ability to be with your loved ones.

As previously discussed here on the law blog, another exceptional consequence that may affect some individuals is the risk of deportation.  Last month, reports indicated that United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in New Jersey arrested 123 individuals after targeting persons with prior arrests or convictions for DUI or DWI.

123 Foreign Nationals Arrested by ICE in New Jersey in April

In April, 123 foreign nationals were arrested by ICE by the federal immigration agents of the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Newark Field Office.  This was the culmination of  a month-long operation.  90% of the individuals arrested had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges.

Government officials investigated people who were arrested on criminal and quasi-criminal charges in New Jersey courts – many of these included charges for driving while intoxicated as the result of alcohol or drugs.  Once someone is convicted of a quasi-crime like drunk driving, their immigration status becomes part of the public record and can be used to locate the person. ICE officials were able to target, arrest, and schedule individuals for deportation after these persons were identified in public court proceedings.

Notably, some of these immigration arrests were related to pending criminal charges, which means that the individuals were not yet even convicted of the alleged crimes.  The immigration arrests came regardless of if the person was found innocent of the charge.

Statistics show that the persons arrested by ICE were citizens of multiple other countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Spain, and Trinidad.  These persons were originally arrested in 14 of the 21 counties across the state, including: Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union County.  One person was also arrested in Pennsylvania.

This is not the first time that this has happened.  As discussed previously on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, similar arrests were made last summer, when 37 persons were arrested by ICE and ERO officials.

A DUI Arrest Can Affect Immigrants and Lead to Deportation

A conviction for driving under the influence will become part of your permanent record, unless it is successfully appealed or dismissed.  Typically, anyone who is convicted will face penalties such as fines, loss of driving privileges, and jail time.  In certain cases, drivers may face additional consequences detailed under other parts of state or federal law.  For instance, commercial drivers (persons with a CDL) may lose their CDL privileges completely.  Others may lose their job or their right to work in public or private positions.

For non-citizens, New Jersey Courts generally warn any defendant that a conviction could also result in additional consequences such as deportation, especially for persons in violation of federal immigration laws.  Non-citizens are always advised to contact an attorney to fully discuss potential consequences.

For that reason, if you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving, it is best to first consult with a knowledgeable DUI attorney before going to court to make sure you fully understand your rights and options.   In those special cases where you believe a conviction might result in your deportation or the deportation of someone you know, it becomes absolutely essential to contact a skilled New Jersey DUI/DWI attorney as soon as possible, in order to present the best possible defense before it is too late.  In certain cases, an experienced drunk driving defense attorney will also work with an immigration attorney to get the best result in your situation.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich that the Penalties You Are Facing Could be Life-Changing

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of drunk driving, the consequences could change your life.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney right away.  A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 1-732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Actor Vince Vaughn Found Guilty After Drunk Driving Arrest at Sobriety Checkpoint

Lit up police car lights at night

Well-known Hollywood celebrity, actor, and comedian, Vince Vaughn, was convicted on charges of reckless driving this week, stemming from his arrest for at a DUI checkpoint in Manhattan Beach, California last June.  Because the arrest occurred in California, Mr. Vaughn’s attorney was able to negotiate a plea deal on his behalf to reduced charges and no jail time.  The arrest occurred after Mr. Vaughn was stopped at a DUI check point, also known as a sobriety checkpoint.

If the arrest had occurred in New Jersey, Mr. Vaughn would have likely been subject to increased charges and consequences.  This news comes at a particularly relevant time as some Central Jersey and North Jersey towns and counties are preparing to increase DWI checkpoint usage.

Vince Vaughn’s Arrest

Vince Vaughn is an American actor, producer, screenwriter, and comedian who is most well-known for his roles in the films Old School, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Wedding Crashers, as well as in the second season of the HBO series True Detective.

Last June, Vaughn was pulled over a DUI checkpoint in Manhattan Beach, California at 4 a.m.  Reports indicated that, at the time of the arrest, Mr. Vaughn refused to exit his vehicle repeatedly when asked to do so.  When he finally did exit the vehicle, he reportedly failed a sobriety test and a subsequent blood alcohol test.

Vaughn originally faced serious charges for driving under the influence.  His attorney was able to negotiate a plea on his behalf and he plead “no contest” to alcohol-related reckless driving with three years of probation and attendance in a three-month program.

New Jersey Checkpoints

In New Jersey, police officers are permitted to establish sobriety checkpoints as long as the checkpoint was created based on certain legal requirements, including that the checkpoint must be clearly identified and publicly identified.  Cars must be randomly or neutrally selected for stops and inspection (meaning all cars must be stopped or every third car must be stopped, but police officers cannot single out certain vehicles).  Once a car is stopped, the length of the stop must be reasonable.

Unlike a traffic stop, police officers do not need reasonable suspicion to stop a car at a DUI checkpoint.

However, a police officer will still need consent or probably cause to further detain or search a vehicle beyond a preliminary stop and investigation.  That means that a driver must consent to have his or her vehicle searched, or the officer will need to have seen signs of intoxication.

South Brunswick and Middlesex County Checkpoints

The South Brunswick Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office have already indicated that officers in these areas will increase drunk driving patrol efforts over the following weeks, in light of prom and graduation season.  Without a doubt, other counties and police departments across the state will follow suit as summer draws near.

One of the tools used by these law enforcement agencies will be DWI checks.  The South Brunswick Police have indicated that they will even begin to place these on major roadways like Rt. 1.  Since the beginning of 2019, South Brunswick Township reports show that 32 people were arrested for driving while impaired and eight motor vehicle crashes have been attributed to impaired driving in that town alone.

New Jersey DUI / DWI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Can help if You’ve Been Arrested

Here at the Edward M. Janzekovich law offices, we know that an arrest for drunk driving could change your life.  If you or someone you know has been charged, arrested, or convicted of DUI or DWI related to drugs or alcohol, it is important to have an experienced attorney review your case as soon as possible.  Hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at  732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

An alcoholic drink and car keys

Alcohol functions by slowing down the body, including slowing down the function of the brain, how the brain thinks, and how the body reacts.  As a person drinks, alcohol is absorbed into the body and into the blood, increasing blood alcohol concentration or BAC.  BAC is measured by the weight of the alcohol in a certain volume of blood. As BAC increases, the negative effects of the blood in slowing down the body and reaction times also increases.  As previously discussed on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, the legal limit in New Jersey and across the country for BAC is .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter (g/dL) of blood or .08%.

However, .08% is not a magic number that marks the border between intoxication and sobriety.  It is just an arbitrary number set by legislators.  What this means is that a person can appear drunk before he or she has a BAC of .08%.  In fact, for this very reason, the legal BAC used to be higher at .10%., and it was recently reduced to .05% in Utah.  Other states, such as California, are also considering reducing the legal limit.  On the other hand, many people appear perfectly fine with a BAC over .08% and you cannot tell that they would be legally drunk.

What this means is that every person is different, and alcohol will affect every person differently.  A recent report by the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attempts to discuss and define how people will act depending on their current BAC.  However, these descriptions are just based on averages.  Again, a person may act more or less intoxicated than described in the report.

The Effects of Blood Alcohol Concentration

Although every person is different, all people can be affected by alcohol in sufficient quantities – and the higher the amount of alcohol in the blood, the more noticeable the effects.

BACTypical EffectsPredictable Effects on Driving
.02Some loss of judgment; relaxation, slight body warmth, altered moodDecline in visual functions (rapid tracking of a moving target), decline in ability to perform two tasks at the same time (divided attention)
.05Exaggerated behavior, may have loss of small-muscle control (e.g., focusing your eyes), impaired judgment, usually good feeling, lowered alertness, release of inhibitionReduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations
.08Muscle coordination becomes poor (e.g., balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing), harder to detect danger; judgment, self-control, reasoning, and memory are impairedConcentration, short-term memory loss, speed control, reduced information processing capability (e.g., signal detection, visual search), impaired perception
.10Clear deterioration of reaction time and control, slurred speech, poor coordination, and slowed thinkingReduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately
.15Far less muscle control than normal, vomiting may occur (unless this level is reached slowly or a person has developed a tolerance for alcohol), major loss of balanceSubstantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and in necessary visual and auditory information processing

Why Timing is Important – And Why It Is So Difficult to Estimate BAC

Unfortunately, this chart may not help you decide whether or not you are too drunk to drive or whether or not you can drive legally.  First, alcohol does not enter the blood stream and take effect immediately.  If you drink a shot or two of hard liquor, you won’t immediately feel its effects.  If you get in a car and drive right away, you may become slowly more intoxicated after you start driving.  If you are pulled over, you will continue to get more drunk as you are tested, and you may be actually register as even more intoxicated when you take a breathalyzer test than when you were actually driving.  Second, because every person handles alcohol differently, you may not feel the effects of alcohol at all, even if you are over the legal limit.  This won’t matter under the law.  If you are tested and your BAC is over .08%, it is considered a per se violation, meaning you can be convicted of drunk driving even if your reaction time is perfect.

NJ Driving While Drunk Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help if You’ve Been Charged

If you or someone you know is arrested, charged, or convicted of drunk driving, you will need to contact a seasoned DUI or DWI defense attorney immediately.  A good lawyer understands how alcohol works and affects people differently.  An experienced attorney will be able to use this information to present the best defense in your case.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at  732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

College Drinking and Restrictions at One New Jersey College

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drunk driving amongst high school and college students under the age of 21 has decreased since the early 1990’s, national reports still consider college drinking to be a serious problem.  In particular, DUI and DWI amongst college students continues to be a serious cause of death and injury and can lead to many other life-altering consequences a permanent quasi-criminal record or loss of future job prospects.

A recent tragedy linked to drinking and driving at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) highlighted these concerns.  One student died and multiple were injured – and this has also led the institution reconsidering its policies regarding on-campus drinking establishments.

College Drinking Statistics

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that almost 60 percent of college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month, and almost 2/3rds of those engaged in binge drinking during that same time-frame. Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL or .08%, which is the national legal limit for drunk driving.  This means that 40% of 18-22 year old college students have drank enough alcohol in one sitting to be legally convicted of drunk driving in the last month if they had also operated a motor vehicle at the same time.

Drinking at The College of New Jersey

On December 2, 2018, two vehicles including eight students were involved in a head-on collision near TCNJ.  One student died, while seven others suffered injuries including severe injuries.  One of the drivers was subsequently charged with drunk driving, seven counts of assault by auto and one count of vehicular homicide.

Subsequently, it was determined that the driver originally departed the Landmark Americana Tap & Grill in Ewing, New Jersey, earlier in the night. The Landmark is currently located on property owned by the university in an area known as “Campustown.”  The New Jersey Division of Alcohol and Business Control and Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal believe that the Landmark’s popularity amongst students, as well as some of its menu items and specials may be contributing to drunk driving and unsafe driving practices. In order to be allowed to continue doing business there, a temporary authorization permit was issued by the state and agreed to by owners of the Landmark.  Under the new rules, the Landmark will stop serving alcohol at 11 pm Thursday through Saturday and at 9:15 pm the rest of the week; discontinue selling mixed-drink “fishbowls,” pitchers and buckets of beer that reduce the bar’s ability to control consumption, and adhere to other rules addressing consumption speed and security.  The goal is to discontinue any business practices that might otherwise contribute to binge drinking.

Why College Drinking is So Serious

Many college students are living away form home for the first time when they go to college.  Furthermore, many college students have had little to no exposure to alcohol before.  Finally, alcohol can often be easily obtained in college settings These factors combine to allow for irresponsible drinking practices and often does lead to drinking and driving.

Unfortunately, the consequences for drinking and driving are no less serious for first time drinkers or college students.  Drinking and driving can cause injury or death at any age.  If you are under the legal drinking age of 21 and are arrested with any alcohol in your blood, the fines and consequences are even more serious.  As previously covered on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, a DUI/DWI conviction becomes part of your permanent record.  It will result in significant fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges.  As a college student, a drunk driving conviction can also affect your future job prospects, your ability to get an internship, work, apply for jobs, or even travel out of the country.  For these reasons, if you or someone you know is arrested, charged, or convicted of drunk driving, it is important to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

NJ Driving While High Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help if You’ve Been Charged

The penalties for drunk driving can affect you for the rest of your life.  When it comes to underage drivers or students in college, the consequences can be even more severe.  If you or someone you know is arrested, charged, or convicted of drunk driving, a good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at  732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

Drinking in a Parked Vehicle and the Glove Box Defense

Drunk Driver being pulled over by police copsIt is common knowledge that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated in New Jersey.  However, in order to be convicted, a state prosecutor must prove that a driver actually operated the vehicle while he or she was intoxicated, not before he or she got drunk.  Therefore, a defendant should not be charged for being intoxicated in a parked car if there is no proof that he or she drove the vehicle after becoming drunk.   Nonetheless, defendants are charged on a regular basis with DUI or DWI, despite never driving drunk, because the police officer discovered the driver drinking or sleeping in a parked vehicle.

If you, or someone you know, is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after drinking in a parked vehicle, contact an attorney as soon as possible.  You may be entitled to something known as the “glove box” defense.  Based on this defense, a driver may be able to demonstrate that he or she is not guilty if he or she can show that consumption of alcohol occurred after the vehicle was parked.  This is a complicated defense, however, and it will be very difficult to assert your innocence without an attorney who understands all of the factors involved with asserting the defense and is willing to convince a Court that the defense applies.

State v. Snyder, 337 N.J. Super. 59, 61 (App. Div. 2001).

The “glove box” defense is most popularly associated with the case of State v. Snyder, a 2001 case from the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division.  It has been revisited on several occasions, including most recently in State v. Langan, in 2016.

According to Snyder, in establishing the “glove box” defense, there are several important factors.

  1. Whether or not he or she drank at some location prior to drinking in the parked vehicle.
  2. Whether or not he or she was driving erratically prior to parking the vehicle.
  3. Whether or not he or she can prove that drinking occurred in the vehicle, including that he or she had access to alcohol while in the vehicle.
  4. How long the vehicle had been parked.

The first factor is important because evidence of drinking somewhere else before parking the vehicle could establish that the driver drove drunk before parking.

The second factor could be considered evidence of drunk driving, particularly if a police officer, witness, or camera captures erratic driving or an accident.

The third factor is important because a driver cannot take advantage of the “glove box” defense if he or she cannot demonstrate access to a source of alcohol in the parked vehicle.

The fourth and final factor is important to showing how much time the driver had to drink and become intoxicated while in the parked vehicle.

NJ Drunk Driving Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Determine What Defenses Exist in Your Case

Defending against charges for driving while intoxicated is not easy.  An experienced attorney will be able to determine what defenses do and do not apply in your case, as well as what evidence you need to prove that defense.  Convincing a court that a defense applies can be extremely complicated.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at  732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Delayed, as well as the Draeger DrugTest 5000

New Jersey Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Delayed

In a surprise turn of events, New Jersey state legislators took action to cancel and postpone its vote to legalize recreational marijuana today.  Most news agencies reported that legalization was likely to occur, particularly after two legislative committees – the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee — approved cannabis legalization bills last week that would have made legalization possible.  Moreover, as we previously discussed on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, Governor Murphy and Senate President Stephen Sweeney reached an agreement regarding how marijuana sales could be taxed if cannabis were legalized.

Any debate about taxations schemes are moot for the immediate future, however, now that the vote has been delayed.  Although leading lawmakers apparently agreed on the terms of the proposed law, there ultimately was insufficient support to pass the bill.  Knowing that the legislation would fail, legislators chose, instead, to pull any formal votes on the law from the congressional agenda.

Despite this setback to legalization of recreational cannabis in the state, popular support for marijuana continues to grow.  According to a poll taken by Monmouth University last month, 62% adults in the state support legalization of recreational marijuana, and 68% believe legalization could be a benefit to the state’s economy.

Driving While High, Get a DUI

For the time being, driving while high is still illegal.  If marijuana is eventually legalized in New Jersey, every sign indicates driving under the influence of THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana, will continue to be illegal.  In either case, if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated due to marijuana, you will face significant fines, loss of driving privileges, and possible jail time.

How You Might Be Prosecuted for Driving High in the Future

One thing that might change if marijuana is ever legalized in this state, however, is that New Jersey may implement new methods or devices to detect marijuana intoxication.  Currently, it is illegal to driving drunk in the Garden State, and most people know that the legal alcohol limit is .08% BAC or blood alcohol concentration.  What many people do not know is that there is still only one legal breathalyzer machine that may be used in the state, the Draeger Alcotest 7110.  It is the only make and model of the machine that may be used to prove breath alcohol content in this state, even though there are other machines and models that can and are used in other states.

In the future, New Jersey may choose to adopt a similar machine to test marijuana intoxication.  In Canada, one such government approved device is the Draeger DrugTest 5000.  According to the company’s own website, the Draeger DrugTest 5000 tests a person’s saliva sample quickly in order to identify for drugs like amphetamines, designer drugs, opiates, cocaine and metabolites, benzodiazepines, methadone, and cannabinoids (meaning marijuana and marijuana related products).  If such a machine is ever used in New Jersey, you can guarantee that there will be challenges to its reliability and effectiveness, as well as questions about what levels of drugs indicate legal intoxication.

If you or someone you know is ever charged with driving while high as the result of marijuana, THC, or any other chemical substance, it is important to get an experienced DUI and DWI attorney as soon as possible.  Only a good attorney working with an experienced expert can challenge drug intoxication evidence in many intoxicated driving cases.  It’s important to discuss the evidence against you with a trusted lawyer as soon as possible.

NJ Driving While High Defense Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Is a Lawyer You Can Trust

If marijuana is ever legalized for recreational use in this state, you can guarantee that the number of DUI and DWI cases related to THC and cannabinoids will increase.  If you or someone you know is charged, you will want an experienced attorney on your side.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

Former New York Giants Player’s DUI Arrest After Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Police car on the streetBarry Cofield is an Ex-New York Giants defensive lineman who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft.  Cofield went on to play five years with the team before leaving in free agency and spending 4 years with division rivals, the Washington Redskins, from 2011 to 2015.  In 2015, Cofield resigned with the Giants where he finished out his career.  He is well-known for the “taser” dance that he would perform after sacking the opposing quarterback.  Cofield also helped the Giants win a World Championship ring in Super Bowl XLII following the 2007 season.  Although named as a New York team, the Giants actually practice and play in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On July 6, 2018, Cofield was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of heroin, as well as possession of heroin, assaulting an officer, eluding police, and resisting arrest.  Police body cam footage documented the harrowing arrest.  The 10-year NFL veteran recently pleaded no contest to some of the charges and will not be serving jail time.  Unfortunately, the arrest and sentencing occurred in Florida, where the laws are significantly different from the laws in New Jersey, and Cofield was able to plead to charges carrying a more lenient sentence.

Circumstances of the Arrest at Gunpoint

Barry Cofield’s arrest was actually quite an intense situation, as officers held the former NFL player at gunpoint and forced him out of his Cadillac Escalade prior to the arrest.

The entire ordeal began when Cofield fell asleep at the wheel.  Cofield was near Interstate 4 and Lake Mary Boulevard in Lake Mary, Fl. with his foot on the brake when he was discovered.  It is alleged that he remained stopped at the light while the light cycled or changed multiple times before police officers approached the vehicle and attempted to wake him or break his window.  One officer reported that his window would not break.  Subsequently, Cofield woke up and immediately stepped on the gas, refusing to stop at the direction of the officers.  After a pursuit or police chase, Cofield was ultimately stopped after ramming another vehicle and a police cruiser.

Finally, Cofield exited the vehicle and was ordered to the ground.  Accordingly, Cofield was charged with eluding police.  The entire ordeal was captured on body cam.

Officers noted that they smelled alcohol on his breath, but he refused a sobriety test.  Officers then found a substance in his vehicle that was later tested to be heroin.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Although Cofield’s arrest occurred in Florida, New Jersey laws also generally prohibit a driver from falling asleep at the wheel.  Whether the vehicle is parked and turned off, turned on with just the engine running in park, or stopped at a light with the driver’s foot on the brake, if a driver is found asleep in the car, there is a good chance police officers will attempt to arrest the driver for drunk driving.  The law, however, is much more complicated or nuanced.  Therefore, this should not automatically result in a conviction.

For this reason, if you or someone you know is charged with a DUI or DWI and the arrest involves sleeping, you should contact an experienced drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible.  The truth, which a police officer may not tell you, is that the State may have a difficult time proving by clear and convincing evidence that any sobriety, breathalyzer, or drug testing occurred within a reasonable period of time from when the vehicle was operated.  Pursuant to the case of State v. DiFrancisco, the charges may actually need to be dropped.

Barry Cofield’s Sentencing

Ultimately, Cofield pled no contest to the charges brought against him.  In New Jersey, there are different rules regarding pleas or plea bargaining than in Florida.  Cofield faced 12 months of probation, 50 hours of community service, random drug testing and a $500 fine for the DUI charges alone, but he was ultimately able to plead guilty only to the DUI charge and the possession charge.  He did not have to serve any jail time.  In New Jersey, it is likely that he would have faced even higher penalties, and he would have served time in jail.

Accordingly, if you are charged in New Jersey, it is even more important that you retain a good lawyer as soon as possible.

New Jersey Drugs and Alcohol Driving Lawyer Can Help if You’ve Been Charged

No matter the circumstances, if you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI in New Jersey, the best thing you can do is get a good lawyer as soon as possible.  You know someone who knows the law, knows the system, and knows the best way to help you within the specific circumstances of your case.  An experienced lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

What Is Implied Consent in New Jersey?

Implied-Consent-in-New-Jersey

Even if you’re not being pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving, it’s not unusual for the police officer, in the first few moments of the traffic stop, to inquire if you have been drinking. If you admit that you have, or the officer has any other reasonable belief that you may be impaired, the officer will typically ask you to submit to a blood alcohol test. What are your rights? Can you refuse to take the test? What happens if you do?

Implied Consent in New Jersey

The legal doctrine of implied consent governs your rights, as well as the consequences, when you have been requested to provide a blood alcohol sample while driving. Under the principle of implied consent, the police officer technically does not have to obtain your permission or consent to test your blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer will not need to show that you affirmatively or verbally agreed to the test—because consent is implied, that will be assumed.

The officer may not force you to take the test, and cannot draw your blood involuntarily. However, the request for the BAC sample is more of an instruction/order than request for participation.

Under the theory of implied consent, by getting behind the wheel of a car, you impliedly agree to provide a blood alcohol test when a police officer (who has reasonable cause) requests one. If you refuse, you will automatically have your drivers license suspended for a minimum of 12 months (for a first offense). A second refusal will lead to a two year suspension and a third refusal will result in a 10 year suspension.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

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Yes, You Can Get Charged With DUI / DWI While Using CBD Oil

CBD OilMarijuana is a drug that comes from the cannabis plant – also referred to as weed or pot.  Marijuana is well-known for its psychoactive effects, due to a chemical compound that naturally occurs in the plant called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.  Here, at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we frequently discuss marijuana and driving, because if a police officer pulls you over and finds that you are impaired as the result of weed or pot, you can lose your license, be required to pay considerable fines, and even go to jail.

Nonetheless, as recreational and medicinal marijuana use increases, there has also been growing interest in another marijuana extract known as cannabidiol or CBD.   Some are calling CBD a “hot new product,” and with the increasing popularity of items like CBD oil, there has also been an increase in misinformation and rumors. Many people claim that that you can’t get high if you use CBD.  Based on this, others have suggested that you cannot get a DUI or DWI if you have been using CBD.  Today, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog are going to take a more in-depth look at the buzz around CBD.

What is CBD?

There are approximately 483 known compounds in a marijuana plant.  THC is the main psychoactive component, meaning it is the main compound that gets users high.  CBD (which stands for Cannabidiol as stated) includes approximately 65 other compounds.

Since CBD should not include THC, pure CBD is marketed as non-intoxicating – meaning it should not get you high or make you impaired or stoned.  Instead, some people refer to CBD as the medical part of cannabis or the good part of cannabis, because it can provide pain relief and has anti-inflammatory effects. At the same time, it can also bring about a sense of relief or relaxation.

How Is CBD Oil Used?

CBD must be delivered with the help of a carrier oil, like grapeseed, coconut, or hemp oil.  Generally, anything that can incorporate oil can be combined with CBD oil, so it can be taken as drops, soft-gel capsules, tinctures, under-the-tongue sprays, used in cooking, or even absorbed through the skin as a lotion or cream.

Can CBD Get You High?  Can You Get a DUI or DWI?

CBD oil containing products should not get you high – but that does not mean that it won’t get you high.  In fact, there is no guarantee that a police officer will not charge you if you are pulled over after using a CBD product.  Here’s why:

  • First, there is no guarantee that your source of CBD is pure. Studies show that CBD works better when it is taken at the same time as THC, so it is possible that any product that provides CBD will include some amount of THC.
  • Second, even though pure CBD is marketed as non-intoxicating, all resources state that even the purest CBD oil will still contain trace amounts of THC. Consumed in a high enough quantity, CBD is known to cause users to fail a drug test.
  • Third, since CBD can cause persons to be more relaxed, calm, or comfortable, and since there is some amount of THC in CBD oil, using CBD oil can still make a person appear impaired or intoxicated.

Taken all together, if a police officer pulls you over after you have been using CBD oil, he or she may think you are intoxicated because of your relaxed appearance and possibly slowed reaction times – even if you aren’t impaired.  A subsequent blood or urine test might show positive for marijuana use.  If both of these pieces of evidence are presented, a Court may be convinced to convict you of driving while high, even though you weren’t intoxicated.

If you or someone you know has been charged as the result of CBD oil use, you will need an experienced marijuana driving defense attorney to represent you.  Only a lawyer familiar with these issues will be able to present the complicated evidence to refute the charges against you.  The reality is that the laws regarding marijuana remain flawed, and an experienced DUI attorney will be best suited to present the best defense possible in your case.

New Jersey Marijuana Driving Defense Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help if You’ve Been Wrongly Accused

There are more and more marijuana prosecutions related to driving while high every day.  If you or someone you know is charged with driving while impaired or intoxicated, you need an attorney whose expertise is in the area of DUI and DWI defense.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.