Proof Of Operation in New Jersey DWI Case
A fundamental element of any Camden County DWI case is pr0of of operation. This means that the prosecutor in Gloucester City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township or another local municipal court must establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that you were “driving” while intoxicated. A lawyer that is highly experienced in defending driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence (“DUI”) charges will have the tools to mount a meritorious defense on the issue of operation provided there are facts to raise reasonable doubt concerning whether you were driving.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have had tremendous success defending Camden County DWI charges based on inadequate proof of operation. Our countless dismissals and downgrades are the result of many factors, including our 200 plus years of experience defending DUI offenses, serving as prosecutors in over 200 towns and our significant advanced training. Five (5) lawyers on our team are certified on the Alcotest and two are instructors in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (“SFST”). If you were arrested for DWI and believe you have a viable defense on the issue of operation or any other facet of your case, please contact our office for a free consultation with an attorney at the firm anytime 24/7. A lawyers is available now at 856-288-3350.
Proof of Operation of a Motor Vehicle in New Jersey
To prove a DWI case in New Jersey, prosecutors are required to show several elements including proof of intoxication, probable cause for the stop, and proof that the defendant actually operated the motor vehicle. Sometimes proof of operation is easy to prove such as when the officer pulls over the car and the defendant is behind the wheel. There are other situations, however, where this element is not so obvious. For example, one of the following situations might apply to your case:
- Vehicle is in a parking lot not running but driver is behind the wheel
- Vehicle is in a parking lot running and driver is behind the wheel but the car is in park
- Vehicle is in the parking lot running but the driver is sleeping with the seat reclined
- Vehicle is stopped on a highway with the car running/not running, person is not behind the wheel
- Vehicle is in a driveway with the car running/not running, person is behind the wheel/not behind the wheel
- Vehicle is at a rest area with the car running/not running, person is outside the vehicle
- Several passengers in the vehicle, different versions of who was driving
An excellent example of a case where operation of a motor vehicle was not clear was State v. Daly, 126 N.J. Super 313 (App.Div.1973). In this case, the defendant was found intoxicated sleeping in his car outside of a restaurant close to an hour and a half after closing time. The car was running since the defendant started it in order to stay warm. The court held that the defendant did not have the intent to operate the vehicle, just intent to start it to keep warm.
Contact a Gloucester City NJ DWI Lawyer at our Firm for a Free Consultation
The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are always available to speak with you about your case and begin to formulate an aggressive strategy to defend you against a DWI charge. Our criminal defense team understands the details of DWI law in New Jersey and we will use this knowledge to help you best defend against these charges. Call us today at 856-288-3350 for a free initial consultation about your case.