I represented a client recently in Toms River Municipal Court located in Toms River, New Jersey. My client was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a breath test reading of .10% BAC. This was his second offense but, because his first offense occurred in the 1980’s, he was entitled to a “ten year step down” which means, if convicted of another DWI, he would be sentenced as a first offender. Based on the defendant’s reading, he was facing a license suspension of seven (7) months to one (1) year and another DWI offense on his record.
The circumstances of the alleged DWI offense were as follows: The defendant was stopped by an undercover police officer in Toms River who was conducting undercover drug surveillance on the passenger of the vehicle. The passenger was arrested based on this undercover surveillance and his case is pending at the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. The police report also claimed that my client was speeding going 43 mph in a 30 mph zone but the officer failed to write the defendant a ticket for this violation and the State failed to provide any radar documentation relating to the alleged speeding offense. As a result, based on my review of the discovery package, the probable cause for the initial stop was clearly in question. The State failed to provide any reports relating to the “undercover drug surveillance” including those reports related to the passenger’s arrest. Those reports are directly related to the legality of the initial traffic stop. The Municipal Court Judge in Toms River signed an Order to produce those reports and the State failed to provide same when the case was listed for trial. As a result, based on the lack of probable cause for the initial stop and the failure to provide essential discovery to the defense, the State dismissed the drunk driving (DWI) charge and my client plead guilty to reckless driving with a ninety (90) day suspension of his license. This was an extremely positive result for my client and our law firm.