If you’re facing charges of having allegedly driven while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in New Jersey, don’t despair. There are several effective defense strategies that may be available to you. Being hit with a DUI charge is always stressful, but it’s important to remember that the prosecution is burdened with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
New Jersey DUI Charges
New Jersey classifies DUI charges as traffic offenses, which means that a DUI is not a criminal charge. A charge of DUI, therefore, doesn’t allow every defense that’s available under criminal charges. For example, those facing DUI charges can’t employ the entrapment defense. Although quasi-entrapment did make some headway as a DUI defense in New Jersey, it was ultimately shot down.
Entrapment in New Jersey
A defense of entrapment is based on the important restriction that law enforcement cannot encourage or induce you to engage in a legal offense that you wouldn’t otherwise have engaged in. In other words, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you, as the criminal defendant, were already going to commit the criminal act before agents of the government gave you the idea.
Quasi-Entrapment in New Jersey
In State v. Fogarty, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered the validity of a quasi-entrapment defense. In this case, the defendant had secured a ride home from a wedding reception with a designated driver and – when he was leaving – he asked the police (who were breaking up a fight in the parking lot) not to be so rough with the fighters. The police instructed the defendant to leave. Because the man believed he’d be arrested if he didn’t comply, he got in his truck to drive away. At this point, he backed into the cop car. The defendant was then arrested and charged with DUI.
The man’s quasi-entrapment defense argued that, had the police officer not ordered him to leave, he wouldn’t have been driving (he had planned on leaving with a designated driver after all). Because the police didn’t actively push the defendant to commit the DUI (they didn’t know he’d been drinking), a quasi-entrapment defense was employed. The man’s conviction was reversed on grounds of fundamental fairness, but ultimately the New Jersey Supreme Court reinstated his conviction.
Although you have defense options when it comes to New Jersey DUI charges, entrapment and quasi-entrapment aren’t typically among them.
If You’re Facing New Jersey DUI Charges, Call 732-238-8686 for More Information Today
If you’ve been charged with a New Jersey DUI, you need experienced legal counsel. David C. Barry, Attorney at Law has the experience, skill, and dedication to aggressively advocate for your rights, so please contact or call David at 732-238-8686 today.