Multiple DUI and Driving While Suspended Charges in NJ
- December 7, 2013
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In a case involving 3 prior driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions and 4 prior convictions for driving while suspended, a woman was charged with a 5th driving while suspended (DWS) charge. Such matters involving multiple prior events are forwarded from the municipal court to the county prosecutor’s office for resolution. The jury, in State v. Sharp, indicted the defendant on two counts of 4th degree driving while suspended and the defendant applied for pre-trial intervention (PTI). The defendant was accepted into the PTI program but the prosecutor objected to her entry based on her prior driving record which they found to reflect a lack of interest in rehabilitation and a pattern of disregard for the safety of other motorists and passengers. The defendant filed a motion for admission to PTI over the prosecution’s objection and the judge found in favor of Sharp, permitting her to enter the PTI program. In matters of PTI, the prosecutor has broad discretion in making the determination of whether defendants should be admitted. The standard for a judge to overrule the prosecution in requests for PTI admission is patent and gross abuse of discretion on the part of the prosecution. The state appealed the judge’s decision and the NJ Appellate Division found the judge to have erred in making the decision to overrule the prosecutor’s denial of admission to the PTI program. A guilty finding or plea in a DUI or other criminal matter can have substantial negative consequences on your future. PTI is a diversionary program which permits certain defendants to avoid more serious charges on their record and also is expungeable after a period of time. For more information about PTI, driving under the influence, driving while suspended, controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in a motor vehicle and other municipal and superior court criminal matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.