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No Jury Trials In NJ DUI Cases

No Jury Trials In NJ DUI Cases

The N.J. Supreme Court ruled that in spite of substantially increasing penalties, driving under the influence (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) is a motor vehicle matter giving defendants no right to a jury trial. In State v. Denelsbeck, decided May 12, 2016, the court reaffirmed its decision from State v. Hamm, 121 N.J. 109 (1990), wherein it was held that the Legislature, although enacting harsh penalties to deter driving while intoxicated, did not classify DUI as a criminal matter. Penalties for a third or subsequent DUI do not include more than 6 months in jail and thus are not of sufficient impact to require a jury according to the court’s reasoning. In support of this logic is the fact that the court has criminalized driving while suspended for DWI by enacting N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26 which requires incarceration for those convicted of multiple offenses. The N.J. Supreme Court did indicate that, if penalties for DUI became more harsh in the future, they could revisit their decision. If you are charged with DUI, you need experienced defense counsel to protect your rights. For more information about DWI, refusal to submit to breath tests, driving while suspended for DUI, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and other serious driving charges in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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