NJ DWI - Overview

A DWI conviction can really complicate your life. When you lose your driving privileges, your freedom is limited. Your ability to get to work or go food shopping quickly becomes difficult. As your lawyers, we must start by telling you that these cases are very difficult to win. It is possible, but it’s not easy.
 
Your case starts the moment you get stopped. When an officer pulls you over for a traffic offense, the initial encounter is critical. If he suspects that you’ve been driving drunk, every detail of the encounter is critical to your case. It is important to understand how a DWI in New Jersey is prosecuted. As DWI lawyers, we’re here to answer your questions.

DWI penalties can be severe. In New Jersey, DWI convictions come with the mandatory loss of license. NJ does not offer conditional work licenses. You will probably be thinking, “What am I going to do now? How much is this going to cost me? How will I get to work?” Not being able to drive can affect your life drastically, since you need to drive to and from work. In addition, you should know that if your license is suspended due to a DWI conviction, and you are caught driving, you could be facing criminal charges and jail time. 


NJ DWI laws changed in 2019. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to retain your driving ability in New Jersey. However, the law is complicated, and you may still lose your license if convicted of DWI. We are here to help you.

DWI Charges When You're Not Driving

In some cases, the police will issue a ticket for DWI based upon the belief that a person was intoxicated, and had the intent to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. You do not have to be driving the car at the time of the arrest.

For example, one of our Bergen County clients went to a bar & drank a few beers. As he left, he realized that he had too much to drink. Instead of driving, he decided to get in his car to “sleep it off”.

A Hackensack police officer approached his car, and and knocked on his window. Our client woke up (he was fast asleep & not driving) and spoke with the police officer. Of course, the officer smelled alcohol & ordered our client to exit the vehicle. Within minutes, our client’s car was searched & he got charged with a DWI, marijuana possession, and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.

In our client’s case, the legal issue hinged on whether our client had the intent to operate the car. Proving intent involves several factors. These cases are fact-specific. If you have this type of “operation” case, meet with us to see how we can help.

To prove an operation case, the prosecutor must convince the court that you were intoxicated, and had the intent to operate the vehicle. We often take these cases to trial. The court will consider the following:

  • Where was the car located at the time of the arrest?
  • Were the keys in the ignition?
  • Were you sleeping in the vehicle?
  • Where you behind the wheel of the vehicle?
  • How long were you in the vehicle?
  • Where were you before entering the vehicle?
  • What was the weather like at the time of the arrest?
  • Was the engine on?
  • Were the windows down?
  • Was the vehicle on a public highway?
  • Was the vehicle legally parked?

 

A DWI case that we won involved a client that had gone to his car to escape a bad domestic situation. He was drinking wine when the police approached him. The police arrested & charged our client with a DWI. It was clear to us & the Municipal judge that our client had no intent to drive his vehicle.

DWI - The Elements

You are guilty of a DWI if you:

(1) Operate a motor vehicle.

(2) Under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or drug.

(3) Or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above.

Or, permit another person to operate a vehicle owned by you, or in your custody or control while the person is:

(1) Under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or drug.

(2) Or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above.

DWI Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

The blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream.

It is a way of measuring your intoxication. 

If your BAC is 0.08 or above, you are considered to be intoxicated for purposes of the DWI law.

Legally, this is called a “Per Se” case. This means that even if you feel fine, you can be found guilty of DWI if your BAC is 0.08 or above.

Your blood alcohol concentration can be determined in a variety of ways. An alcotest machine is most commonly used. If charged with DWI you will be requested to blow into the machine.

A blood sample or a urine sample may be used in other cases. This is usually seen where there is a car accident, and the police believe they have evidence that you have been drinking. If you are taken to a hospital the police may request that you give a blood sample.

What if there is no BAC reading?

When a police officer pulls you over, he/she will look for signs of intoxication. The officer will write a report. The report will state why you were stopped & all of the details supporting your arrest.

The prosecutor will use that report and any other evidence available to find you guilty of DWI. 

For example, one of our Jersey City clients was facing DWI charges. An alcotest was not administered. The police officer’s report stated that our client was speeding and swerving over the lane markings. The report also described how the officer smelled alcohol on our client’s breath & that his speech was slurred. The police officer testified that our client could barely stand & even failed to remember his own name. This type of evidence is admissible at trial. We advised our client not to go trial but it’s the client’s decision. In this case, the Jersey City judge convicted our client of DWI.

Challenging Alcotest Results

There are several ways to prove that an alcotest reading isinaccurate. Some of the things that must be reviewed include the following:

  • Was the office conducting the test properly certified?
  • Did the officer conducting the test change the mouthpiece on the machine?
  • Was the machine properly calibrated?
  • Did the officer conducting the test do a 20-minute observation of the person?
  • Is there a record of the temperature solutions?

Our Newark client got charged with a DWI & an alcotest was administered. After reviewing the evidence, we discovered that the police did not properly calibrate the alcotest machine. We were able to have the BAC reading thrown out. As a result, our client received a three-month license suspension rather than a seven-month suspension.

DWI Refusal

New Jersey has a law called implied consent. This means that if you drive a vehicle in New Jersey, you have given your implied consent to give a breath sample if requested to do so. If you do not give a breath sample, this qualifies as a refusal to give a breath sample. You will be charged with DWI refusal. A DWI refusal charge is separate from a DWI charge. You may win your DWI case at trial but still get convicted of a refusal.

DWI - Drugs

DWI charges are not limited to alcohol. The police can charge for driving under the influence of drugs. If you took legal or illegal drugs & drove, you could get a DWI charge. The important thing to remember is that you cannot operate a car in NJ if you are impaired by either drugs or alcohol.

For DWI drug cases, the police will use a drug recognition expert (DRE). The DRE will examine you for signs of drug intoxication. If the DRE believes you are under the influence of an intoxicating drug, you will be charged with a drug DWI.

What is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)?

A drug recognition expert uses 12 tests to determine whether you are under the influence of drugs. The tests include testing for motor skill impairment, as well as physical signs, such as eye pupil dilation, blood pressure, and others. In addition, they will interview you and the arresting officer.

The DRE writes a report after conducting his examination. The report will be used as evidence of your intoxication.

Prescription Med DWI

Yes. Legal medicines that affect the nervous system are prescribed for a variety of conditions. Their use is widespread in our society. Although the medication may be prescribed, you can be charged with DWI for being impaired due to your prescription medicine.

Drug DWI Penalties

The penalties for a first offense DWI drug case are as follows:

    • Your license will be suspended for 7 to 12 months.
    • Fine of $300 to $500.
    • At least 12 hours at the IDRC.

The fines, incarceration, IDRC, surcharges, and community service penalties for a second, and third or subsequent offense are the same as for a DWI case based upon alcohol consumption.

DWI Blood Draw Cases

Sometimes the police will request that you give a blood sample rather than a breath sample if they suspected you of driving while intoxicated. Usually, this would happen if you were in a car accident that required hospitalization. Or if you were too intoxicated to safely comply with and understand the instructions on how to breathe into the alcotest machine.

The implied consent law does not apply to a blood draw. It does require that certain legal standards be met, however, before the blood sample can be taken. 

Fighting Blood Draw Cases

When representing clients in blood draw cases, w examine the blood test procedure and results.
Some areas we look at include:

  • Blood test kit
  • Was the proper testing procedure used?
  • Was the serum tested?
  • Was the kit up to date?
  • Blood draw
  • Were all medical personnel properly certified?
  • Chain of custody
  • Who handled the blood sample?
  • Storage
  • How long was the sample stored before testing?
  • Search warrant
  • Was a warrant required?
  • If there was a warrant was it properly issued?

 

Can I Refuse To Give A Blood Sample?

Under New Jersey law, the police may take a blood sample from you, provided certain conditions are met. They must have “probable cause.” This means they must have a reasonable belief that you are impaired due to an intoxicating substance.

Furthermore, the sample must be drawn by a licensed person in a “medically acceptable manner”.

However, the prosecutor can only use the results of a blood sample test if certain conditions are met. One of those conditions is that the appropriate certifications or affidavits were used during the blood draw and the sample analysis.

The strength or weakness of a DWI case based upon a blood sample is especially dependent on the facts of the case. 

For example, we had a Paterson case where our client was in an accident. He was transported to the hospital and had his blood drawn. We identified errors in the manner in which the police obtained the evidence. As a result, we got his DWI charges dismissed.

Under certain circumstances, the police may use what is defined as “reasonable force” to obtain a sample. However, certain legal standards must be met before this can be done.

Also, if your case goes to trial, the judge can draw a “negative inference” from your refusal. This means that the judge can infer that you refused because you knew you were intoxicated.

These cases are extremely complicated. Consult with us if you are charged with a DWI involving a blood draw.

DWI Investigations

The typical DWI scenario involves the following:

Initial stop

  • A police car pulls you over.
  • The officer will approach your car, request your documents, and begin asking you questions.
  • While talking to you, the officer will be examining you for signs of driving under the influence. This includes looking at your eyes, the way you reach for your documents, and any smell of alcohol on you or your breath.
  • While talking to you, the officer will be examining the way you answer his questions.

Field sobriety tests

  • If the officer thinks you’ve been drinking alcohol or driving under the influence of drugs, he will ask you to exit the car.
  • You will be asked to perform field sobriety tests. These are tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as indicators of intoxication. The tests include:
      • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.
      • One-Leg Stand.
      • Walk-and-Turn.

Arrest 

  • Based upon his observations and the field sobriety tests, and any DRE report, the officer will determine if there is enough evidence to arrest you for suspicion of DWI. If he does, you will be:
  • Handcuffed and taken to a police station or New Jersey State Police barracks for processing.
  • You will be asked to give a breath sample.
  • You will be read a statement explaining the request for a breath sample and the penalties for failure to give a breath sample.
  • You will be examined for 20 minutes.
  • You will be asked to breathe into the alcotest machine.
  • In certain cases, usually, when there is an accident involved, you may be taken to a hospital and asked to give a blood or urine sample
The Court Process

The municipal court will schedule your first appearance. This first appearance is called the arraignment. The judge will explain what the charge is, what the penalties are, and what your legal rights are. You will be asked how you wish to plead to the ticket (guilty or not guilty), and if you want to hire an attorney. The judge will then give you another court date.

What happens in court?

The municipal prosecutor is the lawyer who represents the State of New Jersey. The prosecutor has the job of prosecuting the case against you. You can either represent yourself or retain the services of a lawyer to represent you.

There will be several court dates. These dates are for the prosecutor and you or your lawyer to try and work the case out through negotiations. If the case cannot be resolved through negotiations, then the case is scheduled for trial.

***Important – New Jersey does not permit DWI plea bargains.

Your options are to plead guilty or go to trial. In limited circumstances, your lawyer can get your DWI case dismissed.

At trial, the prosecutor will attempt to prove you guilty of DWI. If found guilty you will be sentenced by the judge and may lose your license, plus pay fines, and be subject to other penalties.

DWIs & Dealing With The Police

Suggestions for dealing with the police:

  • Remain calm.
  • Stay in the vehicle.
  • Place your hands on the steering wheel, or the dashboard.
  • When asked for your license, registration, and insurance documents, be polite with the officer.
  • Give the officer your documents.
  • Cooperate and comply with all of the officer’s instructions.
  • Do not volunteer any information.

***Remember: anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. It is best to be polite and say you wish to remain silent. This is one of your basic constitutional rights.

After you give the officer your documentation, you have a constitutional right to remain silent.

The officer will ask you questions such as where you were coming from, were you were going, etc. If you choose to speak to the officer, do not lie. Do not be aggressive or belligerent.

If asked to step you the car, comply with the officer’s instructions. And if later you are arrested, again comply. Fighting with the police is never a good idea. Fighting with the police may lead to Resisting Arrest & Obstruction of Justice charges.

DWI Court

The municipal court will schedule your first appearance. This first appearance is called the arraignment. The judge will explain what the charge is, what the penalties are, and what your legal rights are. You will be asked how you wish to plead to the ticket (guilty or not guilty), and if you want to hire an attorney. The judge will then give you another court date.

What happens in court?

The municipal prosecutor is the lawyer who represents the State of New Jersey. The prosecutor has the job of prosecuting the case against you. You can either represent yourself or retain the services of a lawyer to represent you.

There will be several court dates. These dates are for the prosecutor and you or your lawyer to try and work the case out through negotiations. If the case cannot be resolved through negotiations, then the case is scheduled for trial.

***Important – New Jersey does not permit DWI plea bargains.

Your options are to plead guilty or go to trial. In limited circumstances, your lawyer can get your DWI case dismissed.

At trial, the prosecutor will attempt to prove you guilty of DWI. If found guilty you will be sentenced by the judge and may lose your license, plus pay fines, and be subject to other penalties.

DWI & Immigration Consequences

If you are not a United States citizen, a DWI conviction carries serious immigration consequences. In some cases, it may lead to deportation/removal from the United States. For immigration purposes, a DWI is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Although it is a traffic offense in NJ, the consequences are severe for non-citizens. Do not plead guilty to a DWI just because you do not feel like going to court many times. These cases take months & an impulsive decision to plead guilty could seriously jeopardize your ability to stay in America.

DWI - Fines & Penalties

A DWI is a traffic offense in New Jersey. DWI cases are heard in municipal court.

However, if you were charged with a DWI and police find drugs in your possession, you be charged criminally with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous (CDS). Depending on the quantity, CDS possession can be a misdemeanor or a felony 

1st-Offense Penalties

The DWI law recently changed in 2019. Most changes relate to the penalties for a first conviction for DWI. For a first conviction the penalties are:

If your BAC is 0.08% and above, but under 0.10%:

  • Your license will be suspended. Once an interlock ignition device is installed on your vehicle, the suspension will be lifted. It must remain on the vehicle for 3 months.
  • Fine of $250 to $400.
  • At least 12 hours at the IDRC.

If your BAC is 0.10% but under 0.15%,

  • Your license will be suspended. Once an interlock ignition device is installed on your vehicle, the suspension will be lifted. It must remain on the vehicle for 7 to 12 months.
  • Fine of $300 to $500.
  • At least 12 hours at the IDRC.
  • If your BAC is above 0.15%,
  • Your license will be suspended. You must install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle. Once the device is installed the suspension will be for 4 to 6 months.
  • After your license is restored, you must keep the device on your vehicle for 9 to 15 months.
  • Fine of $300 to $500.
  • At least 12 hours at the IDRC.

In addition, there are other assessments and surcharges of $500 to $600.

2nd-Offense Penalties

  • Loss of license (1-2 years)
  • Fine between $500 and $1,000.
  •  Incarceration (2-90 days)
  • Court ordered ignition interlock installation while license is suspended and after the restoration of driving privileges for 2 to 4 years.
  • 12 to 48 hours of court-ordered Intoxicated Driver Resource Center attendance.
  • $1,000 auto insurance surcharge for three years.
    •  

In addition, there are other assessments and surcharges of $500 to $600.

3rd-Offense Penalties

  • Loss of license (8 years)
  • Minimum fine of $1,000
  • Incarceration (180 days)
  • Court ordered ignition interlock installation while license is suspended and after the restoration of driving privileges for 2 to 4 years.
  • Community service, amount to be set by the court up to 90 days.
  • 12 to 48 hours of court-ordered Intoxicated Driver Resource Center attendance.
  • $4,500 auto insurance surcharge for three years.
    •  

In addition, there are other assessments and surcharges of $500 to $600.

DWI & Ignition Interlock Devices

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a small machine that is attached to your car. It has a tube that you blow into. If your BAC is above a certain level it will shut off the engine.

The device will be installed on your vehicle’s steering column. It has a small apparatus that you blow into. You must blow into it before your vehicle will start. Your vehicle will not start if it registers a BAC of 0.05% or more.

Then, at random intervals, it will indicate that you must blow into it. If it detects the presence of alcohol above a BAC of 0.05% or more, a warning is sounded, and you are allowed time to pull over and park.

If you do not blow into it when prompted, a warning is given. Your lights will flash repeatedly. Or it will make your horn beep repeatedly. It will record the incident.

The device records all incidents of blowing or not blowing into it.

Every two months you must return to the company that installed it. The device will be checked. All the recorded data will be given to the Motor Vehicle Commission. 

How to install an ignition interlock device?

If you are convicted of DWI, you should go to the Motor Vehicle Commission. They will give you a list of certified companies that can install the device on your vehicle.

Costs?

You pay for installation. It costs from $150 to $350. It then costs around $80 a month for the lease.

The company leases you the device. You pay for the installation. It costs from $150 to $350. It then costs around $80 per month for the lease.

Fighting DWI Charges

In New Jersey, a cannot be plea bargained, downgraded or amended.  You are either found guilty or not guilty.  If you are found not guilty, the charge will be dismissed.

Fighting a DWI charge begins with the client consultation.

First, we have to get your story. We need to know your side of the incident.

Second, the prosecutor must provide us with all the evidence he and the police have. This is called the discovery process.

As experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey DWI lawyers we know what to look for in analyzing the evidence. We will review all the police reports. In addition, there are several certifications and other documents that relate to the alcotest machine.

By analyzing the evidence, we determine if you have any defenses against the charge.

In addition, we will be negotiating with the prosecutor. If we cannot achieve a resolution, then we may have to take the case to trial.

There are many areas we examine.

First, everything the police do in a DWI arrest must follow New Jersey law. As an initial matter, the police must have what is called a “reasonable suspicion” that a traffic infraction occurred to pull you over.

Everything they do after that must meet certain legal standards. This includes any field sobriety tests, as well as their conduct in collecting a sample of breath, blood, or urine.

If an alcotest machine was used, it must be properly calibrated. In addition, there is a document that will show the results of the alcotest. It must be carefully examined to ensure it is accurate.

If a blood or urine sample was used, the collection procedure must meet legal standards. Any lab reports will be analyzed as to their accuracy and to determine if they were properly prepared.

DWI Defenses

DWI Defenses include:

  • No reasonable suspicion for stopping the vehicle.
  • No probable cause to arrest for DWI.
  • Failure to properly inform you of refusal penalties for failure to give a breath sample. 
  • Malfunctioning alcotest machine.
  • 20-minute rule violation.
  • Evidentiary violations.
  • Miranda rights violation.

New Jersey's New DWI Law

NJSA 39:4-50 Driving while intoxicated:

(a) A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant’s blood or permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle the person owns or which is in the person’s custody or control or permits another to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant’s blood shall be subject:

(1) For the first offense:

(i) if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10%, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or the person permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control or permits another person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10% to operate a motor vehicle, to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $400 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established under subsection (f) of this section and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days . In addition, the court shall order the person to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State until the person installs an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle the person owns, leases, or principally operates, whichever the person most often operates, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.);

(ii) if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or the person permits another person who is under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control, or permits another person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% or more to operate a motor vehicle, to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established under subsection (f) of this section and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days ;

in the case of a person who is convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug or permitting another person who is under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by the person or under the person’s custody or control, the person shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than seven months nor more than one year;

in the case of a person whose blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher but less than 0.15%, the person shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State until the person installs an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle the person owns, leases, or principally operates, whichever the person most often operates, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.);

in the case of a person whose blood alcohol concentration is 0.15% or higher, the person shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than four months or more than six months following installation of an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle the person owns, leases, or principally operates, whichever the person most often operates, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.);

(iii) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c. 248)

(2) For a second violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, and shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 30 days, which shall be of such form and on terms the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 48 consecutive hours, which shall not be suspended or served on probation, or more than 90 days, and shall forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than one year or more than two years upon conviction.

After the expiration of the license forfeiture period, the person may make application to the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for a license to operate a motor vehicle, which application may be granted at the discretion of the chief administrator, consistent with subsection (b) of this section. For a second violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.).

(3) For a third or subsequent violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of $1,000, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days in a county jail or workhouse, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served participating in a drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and shall thereafter forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for eight years.

For a third or subsequent violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.).

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Practice Areas

Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.

Areas We Serve

Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities. 

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

Peyrouton Law
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Not going to get into detailBut I spoke to a femaleBy the name of SameraWho really helped me see things clearer& Understand my rightsSo I could weigh my optionsAlan came in & he's what I call no nenseStraight down to businessNot Guilty when it's finishedJust wanted to publicly sayThey're the best that I've witnessedThis my 1st reviewNot somethin I'd typically doBut other ppl in my shoes would've plead out to 2Paid double the fees & the retainerSalute to them I'm not a detainerAnd I'm home wit my family rappin for strangers lol
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Outstanding is the only word that not even comes close to both Mr. Alan Peyrouton, Esq. and Office Manager/Paralegal Ms. Samera Cerva!Although the infraction could have been not only a fine plus incarceration,Mr. Alan negotiated to a fine and settlement of one- half of what was listed as the usual cash amount. Indeed, this law firm gave constant "Personal Touch," and for which there are no words in the English language which can properly convey my thoughts of appreciation.Whenever there was a question and doubt about anything, this law firm answered every question. No additional charges were attached with any telephone call and/or E-mail sent!Advice was also given how to EXPUNGE this legal issue and will continue with the Peyrouton Law Firm until records removal.One can not go wrong by selecting this Exceptional Law Firm.Exceptional Value, Personal Service, Professionalism, Etc. All: Outstanding!!Respectfully submitted,Ronald Yee- Continuing Client.
Rock'd
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For many like myself, finding a good lawyer is a must. I was caught in a situation I shouldn't have been in, and Alan was recommended to me through a friend. I'm forever grateful to have found Alan, because most lawyers wont fight tooth and nail to make sure you get the best deal or outcome. Alan was more than patient with me and assured me he would do all he can, and he exceeded my expectations. Thank you Alan!
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미셀줌마michell-zoomma
22:04 03 Aug 20
알란 변호사를 만나게 된것은인생의 최고의 행운이었습니다. 아주 프로페셔날하고 빠른 일처리로 최고의 만족스러운 결과를 만들어준 알란에게 큰 감사를 드립니다.좀더 많은 한국분들이 도움을 받았으면 좋겠네요.형사전문과 더불어 이민법과 연결해서 최상의 결과를 만들어 줍니다.I was really lucky to find Alan. At first call, I trust him while we talk about my case. He made best result in my case. Alan is the best criminal lawyer in New Jersey. Thank you Alan and his team(specially Samera).Thank you again in my whole life.this is another thank you to alan(from my email)Dear Alan,I couldn't say thank you enough this morning. Now I realized how big of an issue it was.I believed you and trusted you when I was in NJ so I never doubted that I would possibly go to jail.Thank you for everything. There will be more to go but thank you again.I am holding my tears back until my hubby comes back home.See you soon!Michelle😍😭
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Qqtqjsvtacnatsb. Efnsbtjbvs medina music
13:21 03 Aug 20
His the best abogado que he conocido se los recomiendo a todas personas super amable super bueno
Dom O
Dom O
00:36 01 Aug 20
I’m very grateful for all the hard work and effort Peyrouton Law put fourth in my case! Alan is a lawyer who cares and strives to get the best outcome for all of his clients ! He’s like a dog with a bone, he never gives up on you !During the most stressful time in my life they were there for me, fighting for me all the way. Texts to see how me and my family and to keep me informed of all overwhelming court business. I know if I didn’t have Peyrouton Law on my side I wouldn’t have found a better lawyer to help with everything like they did. Anyone who needs a help, compassion at more than reasonable law fees, you couldn’t find a better lawyer !!
Jerry Rivera
Jerry Rivera
02:18 29 Jul 20
Very professional ! Since I called they were very helpful and help me with the case right away , very sincere law firm , when they are talking about the case you feel like they are part of you family and want the best for you , always tells you the truth. I recommend them 100%
ceci Liu
ceci Liu
01:43 25 Jul 20
they are very professional and very helpful team. I got traffic ticket and to be able to reduce to 0 point and affordable fine. It was during covid time and Samera helps me a lot through phone calls and emails. Samera is very responsive and easy to approach. Alan is great and friendly. truly appreciate for all the help and patience.
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A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.