Cumberland County, NJ DUI Defense Lawyer

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    If you drive drunk in New Jersey, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). This is a very offense. A conviction of DWI can result in penalties like jail time, expensive fines, and the suspension of your license.

    There are possible defenses you can make if you have been accused of drunk driving. However, the legal process for fighting a DWI charge can be complicated. It is important to have competent legal representation by your side when building your defense.

    Seek support from our experienced DUI defense lawyers by calling the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 445-4300.

    What Happens When You Are Charged with DWI in Cumberland County, NJ?

    Being charged with DWI can be a traumatic and painful experience. Furthermore, the path to justice can be complex. Each case is unique, but most will follow the same general process. The following is a step-by-step guide to a DWI case in New Jersey:

    Traffic Stop

    The first stage of your DWI case is your traffic stop. There are several traffic violations that may cause an officer to suspect you might be drunk. For example, swerving between lanes, running red lights, speeding, or driving at night without headlights would all lead you to being pulled over. Additionally, other forms of conduct like stalling at green lights and driving extraordinarily slow may also be considered potential signs of DWI.

    Sobriety Testing

    If an officer believes that you are impaired, you may be pulled over and asked to perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests involve challenges that are hard for drunk drivers to complete, like walking in a straight line or balancing on one leg. You can legally refuse these tests, but you may annoy the police officer by doing so.

    Additionally, you may be asked to perform a breathalyzer test after being pulled over. The first, “presumptive” breathalyzer test you take immediately after being stopped is not permitted as evidence and can be refused. However, the breathalyzer test performed as part of an arrest can be used as evidence and cannot be refused. You should be read a warning that explains the penalties for refusal before you are expected to perform the test.

    Arrest and Booking

    If law enforcement believes that they have grounds to arrest you for DWI, you will receive a ticket referred to as your “summons and complaint.” This will provide a location, date, and time of your first court appearance as well as information pertaining to the charges levied against you.


    Most DWI arrestees are released ahead of the rest of their case. If they refuse to release you, you might need a lawyer for argue that you should be eligible for bail.


    Within a few days of being stopped, tested, and arrested for DWI in New Jersey, you will attend your arraignment. An arraignment is a formal hearing where you will be officially charged with a crime. At this hearing, you will announce whether you are pleading guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the court will enter your conviction and issue a sentence. If you elect to plead not guilty, then the court will schedule a date for additional proceedings.

    If you have already hired our DUI defense attorneys to represent you, then you may be able to waive your presence at your arraignment hearing. However, some judges may require you to appear regardless of whether or not you hired legal representation.

    Evidence Collection

    After the arraignment, you should work on gathering evidence to support your defense. You are also entitled to request copies of relevant evidence held by prosecutors. This evidence may include the police report, data from breathalyzer tests, and video recordings of your arrest. If the prosecution does not comply with a legitimate request for evidence, then our legal team can apply for the court to force law enforcement officers to produce the requested information within a certain timeframe.


    If your case is not resolved through a pre-trial motion or a plea, then it will go to trial in the municipal court located in the jurisdiction of your arrest. There is no jury present for DWI cases. Accordingly, the judge will hear the evidence and rule on your guilt or innocence. If they determine that you are guilty, then they will also issue your sentence. The primary factor in determining your sentence will be whether or not you have been convicted of DWI in the past.


    If the municipal judge finds you guilty for DWI, you will have 20 days to appeal your case to the Superior Court. Appeals for DWI convictions will be initially heard by municipal courts where appellants will receive a de novo hearing. If you receive another unfavorable ruling on appeal in municipal court, then you can take your issue to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court where a decision will be made based solely on your trial record. On appeals for indictable crimes will go directly to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

    Plea Bargaining in Cumberland County, NJ DWI Cases

    A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor where the defendant may plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for lesser penalties being assessed against them. While prosecutors regularly offer plea bargains in other types of cases, New Jersey prohibits plea bargaining in DWI cases. Accordingly, you will not be able to negotiate a lesser charge.

    Can You Be Arrested for DWI Involving Drugs in Cumberland County, NJ?

    You may also be charged with DWI if you were driving under the influence of drugs. Even driving while impaired by prescription drugs can cause you to be charged with DWI. Thankfully, there are several types of defenses you can make.

    Accurately recognizing drug impairment is very hard. Further, much the science behind evaluating suspects believed to be on drugs is not reliable. Mistakes are often made that invalidate the police officer’s evaluations entirely. Also, many officers are not properly trained in administering sobriety tests in the field.

    After Being Charged with DWI in Cumberland County, NJ, Contact Our Law Firm for Assistance

    If you have been accused of DWI, get help from our experienced DUI defense attorneys by calling the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 445-4300.

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    Three Convenient Locations

    Haddonfield (Main Office)
    25 Chestnut Street, Ste 2
    Haddonfield New Jersey 08033
    (856) 281-9600
    (877) 340-0609
    Hammonton Office
    Hammonton, New Jersey
    (609) 561-8100
    (877) 340-0609
    Atlantic City Office
    1014 Atlantic Avenue
    Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
    (609) 318-6196
    (877) 340-0609
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