As a New Jersey DWI lawyer aggressively fighting for my clients, in my initial letter to the prosecutor, I always demand a speedy trial. If the state fails to move the case in a reasonable period of time, sanctions can be imposed, including dismissal of the case. However, if the speedy trial right is not invoked, it does not automatically apply.
There has been a long-standing directive in New Jersey that cases is in the Municipal Court be resolved within 60 days of the date of arrest. This is a guideline, and not a rule or law. Some states, including Pennsylvania, do have a bright line rule as to when the case must be resolved. There is no such definitive time-frame in New Jersey.
It is therefore up to the DWI attorney in New Jersey to aggressively move the case along. This is done through detailed discovery requests and follow up motions. “Discovery” is the information obtained from the State regarding your arrest and processing. It includes the police reports, video, audio and any other information that surrounds your contact with the police.
My initial request in a breath test case to the state prosecutor seeks over 30 different items to review in order to assess your defense. A blood case is even more complex with the information almost doubling. If the prosecutor, through police records, does not provide all the material requested by the first court date, I always file a motion to compel the complete discovery.
Some disagree on this approach, favoring a sort of reverse surprise defense, where it can be claimed that the failure to provide discovery prevents its admission into evidence. However, I have found that unless it is specifically requested and sought after, courts tend to give additional time to the state to provide the material prior to issuing sanctions such as suppression or dismissal. I have found that the best course is to aggressively obtain the material by motion practice, filing papers to compel the state to provide what I have requested. When they do not comply with the request, and after the court enters an order based on the motion to compel discovery, testing results may be suppressed or the case may be dismissed.
If the state does provide full discovery, then I am able to fully evaluate my client’s case, and determine how to proceed on his or her behalf. I review the material and determine what additional motions to file on my client behalf in order to maximize the circumstances of the situation. I also consult with other experts regarding the issues presented in the discovery material. These experts may help me assess field sobriety testing issues, medical and physiological issues that would affect the field exercises, breath, blood or urine testing issues, or any other item that I flag in the discovery.
It is only through being fully prepared in your defense that your New Jersey DWI lawyer can effectively and best represent you. By pressing and compelling the State to provide material in a timely fashion, and then fully evaluate your options, your qualified New Jersey DWI attorney can fight on your behalf.
Please contact us at Levow & Associates for a free consultation regarding your specific situation.