Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI)

Howell NJ Drug DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug DUI in Howell, Tinton Falls or another town in Monmouth County, our law firm has unique qualifications to defend you. Empty statements are common by attorneys who advertise for driving under the influence cases on the internet but real qualifications to handle this area of law is very limited in practice. There are only approximately ten (10) lawyers in the state that are actually certified in Field Sobriety Tests, the method used by police officers to determine whether someone is intoxicated or impaired by drugs such that an arrest can be made and drunk driving charge proven. Of this number, five (5) of the attorneys are employed at our office, 3 of whom are actual instructors in these tests. Additionally, while there may only be approximately 50 lawyers certified on the Alcotest 7110 Breath Test Machine, 5 of this total are members of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. We also happen to employee individuals who previously served as DUI prosecutors in over 25 municipalities, many of which are in Monmouth County, including Howell NJ. If you have been charged with a a drug DWI/DUI in Middletown, Holmdel, Asbury Park, Freehold or another Jersey Shore town, give us a call to take advantage of a free initial consultation. We are available by telephone anytime 24/7.

Drug Recognition Experts & DUI Charges

When drugs are alleged as the intoxicating substance under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, the state is generally required to present a drug recognition expert (“dre”) to prove its case. Someone qualified as a DRE possesses a certification in the administration and interpretation of specific tests designed to determine whether a suspect is under the influence of drugs and, if so, the drug involved. The evaluation by a DRE includes a breath test, interview, examination and heart pulse, eye examination, divided attention psychophysical tests, vital signs and second heart pulse reading, dark room examination, muscle tone, possible injection sites and third pulse reading, statements by accused, analysis and opinion, and toxicology results.

Marijuana Impairment Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50

The primary rationale for the DRE requirement in drug dwi cases lies in the fact that whether someone is impaired by drugs is too difficult for a lay person to validly determine and that only an expert can make this call. The courts of New Jersey have created an exception to this principal for marijuana intoxication. In accordance with the decision in State v. Bealor, a police officer does not have to be a DRE in order to provide an opinion that someone is driving under the influence of marijuana.

License Suspension if You Are Convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Since we are talking about a N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 conviction based on drugs, blood alcohol content (“BAC”) usually does not come into play. As such, the tiering of the license suspension for a first offense of driving while intoxicated/DWI (i.e. 3 months for .08% BAC and 7 months to 1 year for .10% BAC or higher) generally has no applicability in a drug DWI. The license is typically a standard 7 months if someone is found guilty of a first offense. A second offense of driving under the influence carries a 2 year suspension and a third offense triggers a 10 year license revocation.

Fines & Other Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

Fines and assessments approximate $850, $1,200 and $1,500 for a first, second, and third offense, respectively. A state surcharge of at least $1,000 a year for three (3) years also applies. In terms of jail, a mandatory jail term of at least 2 days and up to 90 days applies to a second offense. An individual must serve 180 days in jail for a third offense.

Middletown NJ Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Lawyers

Although the penalties for driving under the influence of heroin, prescription legend drugs, or other form of CDS are no different than those for alcohol intoxication, the proofs for establishing guilt are much more complicated. An attorney who has considerable experience in defending drug dwi/dui cases can be exceptionally valuable in defending this form of 39:4-50 violation. We have handled hundreds of cases involving Ambien, heroin, cocaine, Oxycontin, and other drugs over the last two decades. Our representation has included clients in towns like Wall, Holmdel, Red Bank, and Neptune. If you would like the opportunity to speak to one of our highly qualified DUI lawyers, just give us a call. Initial consultations are available at our Freehold, Tinton Falls, Wall, Middletown or Red Bank office and they are always free of charge.

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