Gambone Law May 2019

Gambone Law

Licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey


May 2019

Pennsylvania and New Jersey DUI and DWI Charges

Summer is a time when people want to relax and have a good time. The last thing you want is a DUI charge ruining your fun.

Our law firm represents individuals who have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Even if you haven’t consumed alcohol specifically before driving, these laws also apply to any drug that might impair your driving ability, legal or otherwise. Both states require the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the charged individual was in operation of the vehicle and under the influence of a substance. While Pennsylvania requires a blood test to convict someone of a DUI or DWI, New Jersey does not. A Breathalyzer test does not provide any assistance to the prosecution with this type of charge. “The prosecution must only establish that a person was incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle, not that they were ‘drunk.’ This distinction is very important.”

In Pennsylvania, if a person is charged while driving under the influence of a narcotic or drug, the prosecution must introduce evidence from a qualified expert. This expert would testify at trial for the prosecution and be permitted to remain in the courtroom rather than be sequestered, or kept out of the room to avoid hearing testimony. Normally, witnesses aren’t allowed to stay in the courtroom during the testimony of others, but the procedure with experts is different. They must comment upon the testimony of the facts, witnesses, or other experts. In New Jersey, however, ordinary citizens are considered qualified to opine on the degree of a person’s intoxication following the consumption of alcohol. Remember, the prosecution must only establish that a person was incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle, not that they were “drunk.” This distinction is very important. When a person is charged with driving under the influence in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey, a medical expert or toxicologist can help them avoid conviction or driver’s license suspension. An expert can offer alternative theories to unresponsiveness and reactions to the administration of a drug, such as Narcan and Naloxone. They will also comment on the lack of circumstantial evidence such as the lack of drug residue within a vehicle or needle marks on the accused. It’s not uncommon for a person to have medical episodes while driving, which could explain actions indicative of impairment and create reasonable doubt in the eyes of a judge or jury. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, I highly recommend coming to our law office for assistance. We can bring clarity to the situation and help you through this difficult time. –Alfonso Gambone

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