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New Jersey Municipal Court Violations Law Blog

Is a diversion program right for you?

You may have heard recently that Tiger Woods pled guilty to reckless driving and entered into a diversion program for his arrest on May 29, in which he was found passed out in his car with prescription drugs and marijuana in his system. While he had consumed no alcohol, it is illegal to drive under the influence of any drug, even validly obtained prescription medication. He was originally charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

Diversion programs can help avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction

New Jersey can – and will – try children as adults in certain circumstances

If you are under 18, you are considered a juvenile. Unless you are not.

In New Jersey, children 15 and older can be tried as adults in certain circumstances. Legislation passed in 2015 allows prosecutors to request minors be tried as adults in cases involving certain charges such as drug sales, robbery or murder.

Charged with a DUI? Here are the penalties you could face.

You know it is against the law to drive drunk so when you go out partying, you usually designate one of your friends to be the driver. You probably also have an uber or lyft app on your phone, just in case things get crazy.

Then there's the occasion when you don't think you've had too many drinks, don't feel drunk and decide it is ok to drive home. Then suddenly it's not ok. You are pulled over for a broken tail light, missed stop sign, or were swerving and the police officer decides to give you a breath test.

Cell phones and driving: The laws in New Jersey

For most of us, driving is a part of our daily lives. So is texting, talking on the phone and checking our social media profiles. Keeping these two things – driving and cell phone use – separate is a challenge. Even the safest driver checks a text message while behind the wheel every now and then.

However, if you are caught using your cell phone while driving in New Jersey, you may get in trouble.

Breath tests aren’t always reliable

Many people wrongly believe that breath tests are the be-all and end-all when determining whether a person is intoxicated. But, the truth is, breath tests are not always reliable indicators of whether someone is too drunk to drive.

Having a breath test return a false positive – reading you as intoxicated when you were not – is not as uncommon as you might think. There are many factors that can impact the accuracy of a Breathalyzer.

Shielding your teen from the dangers of underage drinking

Underage drinking is a rampant problem nationwide. Approximately one in five teens consumes alcohol, and one in seven struggles with binge drinking, according to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. In New Jersey, those numbers are even starker: Nearly 30 percent of minors aged 12-20 have had alcohol in the past month, and 20 percent have engaged in binge drinking.

Underage drinking can lead to a whole host of problems. On top of the health, safety and addiction risks, the legal ramifications can take a serious toll on your teen's future. A conviction for underage drinking (or underage DUI) could come back to haunt them on college applications and job opportunities. In the short term, the penalties could include significant fines, loss of driving privileges, community service and participation in an alcohol education program.

Drunk driving could result in deportation

A drunk driving arrest can be incredibly stressful for anyone. Your driving privileges, reputation and potentially your employment are all on the line.

For an undocumented immigrant, however, a DUI charge could also mean being deported - especially in light of the Trump administration's crackdown on immigration issues. As at least one prominent case has illustrated, your entire life could be uprooted, even if you have a clean record and play a strong role in your community.

What to do - and not to do - if you get pulled over

The majority of traffic stops start off as routine events. Sadly, they can become tragic in short order. Following several incidents where police officers killed motorists or vice versa, more legislators are working to train drivers how to respond to being pulled over. Here are some tips that might help you make it through a stop.

Know the law: Can I refuse a breathalyzer test?

It's a pretty common question. You may have even talked to your friends about it at the bar. Can you refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

If you're looking for a way to avoid a potential DUI, it may be a question on your mind. In New Jersey, the answer is clear.

Keeping teen drivers safe - and on the right side of the law

It's a milestone for teens - and the start of many sleepless nights for parents. Your son or daughter has just gotten their driver's license. Raising a safe, responsible driver is one of your highest priorities. Traffic violations can not only put your teen's life at risk; they can also rack up points against your son or daughter's driving record.

  • Super Lawyer Thomas Carroll Blauvelt Selected in 2015 Thomson Reuters
  • Super Lawyer Thomas Carroll Blauvelt Selected in 2016 Thomson Reuters
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  • Client Distinction 2016
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