Our law firm recently won an appeal at the New Jersey Appellate Division in a drunk driving/refusal to submit to a breath test case. For the entire Appellate opinion, please see the New Jersey Judiciary website under State v. William O’Driscoll.
The case was based on the following. Our client was arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and refusal to submit to a breath test out of Harding Township in Morris County, New Jersey. Our client was convicted after a trial in Harding Township for drunk driving and refusal and was sentenced to a ten month license suspension (three (3) months on the DWI and seven (7) months on the refusal to be run consecutively). Our law firm appealed the conviction to the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey. The basis for the appeal was that the Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test conviction was unfounded because the arresting officer read an outdated “Standard Statement” form which must be read to all drivers arrested for DWI in New Jersey. The old “Standard Statement” had a different set of penalties than the current “Standard Statement” for a conviction for refusal to submit to a breath test in New Jersey including a different license suspension and fine for a conviction.
The appeal was heard at the Morris County Superior Court and affirmed by a Morris County Superior Court Judge. Our law firm again appealed this decision, this time to the Appellate Division in New Jersey. The Appellate Division overturned the previous decisions and dismissed the refusal conviction. As a result, our client was sentenced to a three (3) month license suspension as opposed to the original ten (10) month suspension. This establishes new law in the Refusal/DWI arena in New Jersey and was a great success for our law firm.