Decided June 6, 2016
Submitted by New Jersey DWI Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
In this case the defendant was convicted of driving law suspended during a period of a DWI suspension. The defendant argued that the court ordered two year period of suspension had expired before he was charged with driving during that DWI suspension time period. Nevertheless, he failed to get his license reinstated through the appropriate administrative motor vehicle commission steps. This defendant was stopped by a police officer who had run a random license playing check with the most recent computer software used to run thousands of license plates as the cars drive by the police cruiser.
The statute, which I have discussed several times, requires a defendant to be charged with a 4th degree indictable criminal offense of driving while suspended during a period of DWI suspension for a second or subsequent driving while intoxicated offense. In this case Mr. Torres had his license suspended for two years due to a second offense DUI. The courts have construed ” the period of license suspension ” in this new statute as only being the court ordered period of suspension, and not any time after the court ordered suspension up until the administrative reinstatement from the
New Jersey motor vehicle commission. Remember, as we previously discussed,
N.J.S.A. 2C: 40–20 6B is a 4th degree offense with up to 18 months jail exposure, however requires a mandatory minimum period of six months county jail without any parole eligibility.
If you are charged with this offense please call me immediately so we can take the appropriate steps and file the appropriate motion with the Superior Court to have the indictment dismissed and or charges dismissed based on a legal insufficiency. There have been at least two appellate courts that have construed the statute in the same way now. I am sure the police will continue people with this 4th degree indictable offense regardless of what the Appellate Division has to say on the subject.
Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.