Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) within 1000 Feet of School Property
NJ DWI Defense Lawyers with offices in Newark, Hackensack, Morristown NJ
The New Jersey DWI Defense lawyers at the the Tormey Law Firm LLC represent clients facing a drunk driving offense throughout NJ including in Wayne, Clifton, Elmwood Park, East Rutherford, and Teaneck. In fact, Travis Tormey, our managing partner, is a certified Alcotest 7110 operator. This means that Mr. Tormey is licensed to operate the breath testing machine used in New Jersey DWI prosecutions and he has the same certification that the police officers have who administered the test in your case. In addition, another attorney at the firm is a certified field sobriety instructor. As a result, he is able to analyze the psycho-physical tests that were performed in your case to determine if the tests were implemented and scored properly. As you can see, our DWI defense team is extremely well versed in dealing with these matters and have literally handled thousands of DWI cases in New Jersey. Contact our offices now for a free initial consultation at 201-556-1571.
DWI in a School Zone: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g)
If you have been charged with a DWI in a school zone in New Jersey, the penalties can be very severe. In addition to the underlying DWI charge, if your offense was committed within 1000 feet of school property, the penalties are essentially doubled. As a result, on a first offense, if you were facing a license suspension of 7 months to 1 year on the regular DWI, if you are convicted of the school zone charge your driver’s license will be suspended for 1-2 years.
Now, there are a couple important things to remember about school zone charges. First, the State must provide a map of the school zone showing exactly where the parameters are. In addition, the State does not need to show that you were stopped within 1000 feet of a school. The State only has to show that you drove (at any point) within 1000 feet of a school. So, if a police officer sees you driving within 1000 feet of a school but by the time he pulls you over you are outside the 1000 feet zone, this still can be prosecuted as a school zone violation by the State.
A crucial piece of the N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g) statute reads as follows:
“It shall not be relevant to the imposition of sentence pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection that the defendant was unaware that the prohibited conduct took place while on or within 1,000 feet of any school property or while driving through a school crossing. Nor shall it be relevant to the imposition of sentence that no juveniles were present on the school property or crossing zone at the time of the offense or that the school was not in session.”
So, it is not a defense that the driver did not know that he or she was in a school zone. It is also not a defense that school was not in session.
NOTE: It is important to remember that, on a second or third offense school zone charge, you can only be sentenced to those enhanced penalties if your first and/or second offense DWI charges were also committed in a school zone.
Contact the Morristown NJ DWI Defense Lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm Today
As you can see, the laws surrounding a DWI in a school zone violation in New Jersey can be very complex. It is imperative that you hire an experienced NJ DWI defense lawyer to navigate these complex laws for you and create a comprehensive defense strategy to fight these charges in court. Contact our offices now for immediate assistance at 201-556-1571. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.