Stay Of Suspension During DUI Appeals Becomes Unlikely
- December 15, 2014
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As a result of State v. Robinson, judges have been warned about the stay of license suspensions pending appeal in driving under the influence (DUI) cases. Brian Robertson was convicted of driving while intoxicated as a result of the officers observations and his Alcotest reading of .13% blood alcohol content (BAC) after Robertson provided breath samples. In an effort to eliminate the Alcotest results, the defendant sought records with regard to repairs and diagnostic tests with regard to the specific Alcotest machine used. The records were not provided and the defendant appealed. Both the municipal court judge and the state court judge stayed the sentence of 7 month license suspension pending appeal. The NJ Appellate Division affirmed the conviction as some of the records sought had been deleted in good faith and others would not sway the court from convicting the defendant based on the officers observations and totality of the circumstances. The most problematic issue with this case for the Appellate Division was the stays of sentence permitted without findings as to the factors set forth in Crowe v. DeGioia, 90 N.J. 126 (1982). The factors include the result of irreparable harm to the defendant if temporary relief is not afforded, whether any substantial issue remains unsettled, whether all material facts are controverted, and the whether a hardship would result to the defendant in the event the defendant’s license suspension was not stayed. Neither the municipal court judge nor law division judge made findings with regard to defendant’s driving or substance abuse history or any harms, such as loss of employment, he could have sustained as a result of the sentence imposed. As a result of the need to protect the public from the possibility of defendant’s re-offending during the appellate process, judges are cautioned that stays pending appeal are not to be utilized “without giving good reason for it.” A conviction for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence in NJ has serious and lasting effects including the obvious loss of license as well as ramifications in later civil or criminal suits for wrongful death, damages and the like. A DUI, even if a first, can result in lengthy suspensions, fines and even jeopardize your ability to obtain certain professional licenses or other jobs. If you are charged with DUI in NJ, you should contact an experienced driving under the influence defense attorney to protect your rights. For more information about DWI, drug DUI, controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in a motor vehicle, reckless driving or other serious motor vehicle charges in New Jersey visit www.HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.