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Union County Criminal And Municipal Court Blog

What are common drunk driving defenses?

There's so many ways that a false drunk driving charge can happen. In fact, criminal law judges are fully aware that police can make mistakes when arresting and accusing a driver of being intoxicated behind the wheel. For this reason, every driver accused of DUI will have the opportunity to defend him or herself against the allegations.

The defense strategy that the driver and his or her lawyer chooses will depend upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest. However, here are three common ways that a driver might be able to improve his or her situation in court. Each of them points the inaccuracy of blood alcohol tests:

Drunk droning and the rise of drone crimes in New Jersey

Drone pilots in New Jersey may want to heed some advice — don't drink and drone. There could be serious legal consequences if authorities discover that you have been operating your drone while drunk including arrest, fines and possible jail time.

Former governor Christie recently signed into law a bill that bans the piloting of drones while intoxicated by alcohol, drugs and/or hallucinogens. The regulation requires drone pilots to register less than a .08 percent alcohol content in order to legally operate their drones. In addition to the ban on drunk droning, the new law also prevents people from flying their drones around prisons, pursuing or harassing wildlife and interfering with first responders. Violators of the drone laws could be fined $1,000 and spend as many as six months in prison.

What is the legal definition of assault?

The definition of assault in legal terms refers to the attempt to injure another person. In order for an assault conviction to happen, however, it does not require the person to actually commit a physical act of violence. Assault can also include threatening actions and even verbal threats of violence.

Actions that can lead to an assault conviction in New Jersey might include the intentional attempt to use violence or force against another person in order to harm him or her. If actual contact is made as a result of this attempt, then it's likely that a conviction of battery could occur.

What happens to people accused of driving without insurance?

For many people struggling to makes ends meet, expensive car insurance premiums can seem like a massive burden. They may not be able to afford adequate coverage, despite needing a personal vehicle to commute to and from work or to take their children to school. This can lead to people failing to pay their premiums, resulting in canceled coverage.

While at first glance, choosing to drive without insurance may not seem like a big issue. After all, these people are only endangering themselves, right? In reality, driving without insurance is more common than you might think. Those who do drive without insurance risk legal issues, including loss of their license.

New Jersey man arrested on heroin charges

A man from Wayne, New Jersey, has been arrested on charges of heroin possession. According to the authorities who arrested him, he was in possession of dozens of doses of the drug when they conducted an investigation and another drug bust earlier this week. The 30-year-old man has been charged with multiple crimes.

Police say that they conducted the arrest and investigation after they witnessed a vehicle drive up to a residence, and saw the accused man take what appeared to be heroin to the vehicle, get inside and then exit the parked car with other items. Police say that the two men exchanged money and drugs while carrying out a drug sales transaction in the driveway.

Know the penalties if you or your child face shoplifting charges

Many people think of shoplifting as a harmless offense. After all, most businesses build in the cost of a certain amount of "shrink" when pricing items for sale. Quite a few young people may flirt with danger in their teen years by pocketing items or otherwise trying to take them out of stores without paying for them. It's important that you realize that neither store owners nor the courts will take such a tolerant view of shoplifting if someone gets caught in the act.

Far too many young people start their adult lives at a disadvantage due to teenage mistakes. Shoplifting even once could result in a criminal record and difficulty getting into college or finding a good job. Knowing what counts as shoplifting and how New Jersey penalizes this offense can help you determine the best way forward if you or someone you love has to deal with pending shoplifting charges.

Were you accused of 1 of the following drug crimes?

The movement to decriminalize many kinds of drugs is gaining momentum throughout the United States, and it's beginning with marijuana. Numerous states have already created medical marijuana programs, and even recreational marijuana programs, that have made marijuana more widely available as a medicine and also as a recreational substance.

Marijuana and all other drugs continue to be strictly controlled in the state of New Jersey. Although some medical patients can use marijuana as a medicine in the states, the list of qualifying conditions is still relatively short. Then there are the other controlled substances, like methamphetamine, cocaine, hash, ecstasy, LSD, DMT, psychedelic mushrooms and more -- all of which could land someone in jail if he or she is convicted of possessing too much of them.

New Jersey man accused of operating a state-owned snowplow drunk

An employee of the New Jersey Department of Transportation has been accused of operating a snowplow while intoxicated. Police charged the man after his snowplow collided with two different vehicles.

According to authorities, the 36-year-old snowplow driver sideswiped one of the vehicles at approximately 5:40 p.m. last Monday in Pequannock. After sideswiping the first vehicle, the man got out of his snowplow, looked at the damage, then got back into his snowplow and hit another vehicle from behind. Fortunately, no one suffered injuries in either of the collisions.

How to prevent drunk driving arrests

If you want to prevent you and your friends from getting arrested for drunk driving, the primary thing you'll need to do is to prevent people from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Although this might seem easy enough, anyone who has been to a party where drinking is involved knows that preventing drunk driving is easier said than done.

If you want to prevent you and your friends from getting in trouble with the law -- and possibly prevent people from getting hurt -- here are a few things you can do:

  • Decide who will be the designated driver at the beginning of the night. This person is not permitted under any conditions to drink alcohol. The designated driver is also responsible for getting everyone home safely.
  • Always ask for a ride. If you're out by yourself or if you don't have a designated driver, you should always ask for a ride -- even if you've just had one drink. Did you know that one drink of alcohol is enough to render you too drunk to legally drive in some circumstances? It's best not to take the risk: Always get a ride.
  • If you're the host of a party, make sure that there are lots of non-alcoholic drink choices.
  • Confiscate the keys of your friends. You might feel like you shouldn't do it, and that your friends will be angry with you, but you could save them a lot of trouble and difficulty later on down the road if you prevent them from drinking and driving.

The possibility of legal marijuana brings controversy

Legal marijuana could become a reality in New Jersey in 2018; however, some towns in the state are not entirely excited about the idea. In fact, Point Pleasant Beach has already expressed that it will not allow the sale of recreational or medicinal marijuana within its city limits. The borough council banned the possibility of all kinds of marijuana sales in late December 2017.

According to the ordinance, businesses may not sell marijuana if they are within a fourth of a mile of a church, school, certain business districts and residential areas. As it happens, this means that the entire borough will be off-limits to marijuana-selling businesses. The beach town also banned the sale of marijuana-related paraphernalia via the same zoning criteria.

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