Interviewer: Quick question. What percentage of cases do you see are due to drugs, whether they’re prescription or illegal, versus alcohol?
Carl: I would say it’s probably no more than probably 5%.
Interviewer: I see.
Carl: But I find those cases very interesting, especially when it involves a blood draw. Those cases are extraordinarily defensible. This is because there are moving parts to those cases.
The Timeline of a DWI Case
Interviewer: It takes a lot of time and attention on both sides. What’s the timeline from when you receive a case until it is resolved?
Carl: In the state of New Jersey, there’s a general rule that cases are supposed to be resolved within 60 days of your first appearance in court. I find that depending on the municipality that some of them take that extraordinarily literally, and they do get their cases resolved within 2-2 ½ months. In some cases in certain municipalities, cases can last for as long as 6 months.
Interviewer: I guess especially if there’s a trial involved, is that correct?
Carl: Yes that is correct.
The Timeline of the Arrest and Court Appearances
Interviewer: What’s the timeline from the moment you are arrested, through the first 30 or sixty days? What events are happening to you? Where do you have to go?
Carl: Once you’re pulled over, you’ll be asked to do the field sobriety test and you’ll be taken down to the police station. At the station, you’ll be asked to take the breath test and your car will be impounded. They’ll ask you to call a loved one or a relative to come pick you up, because you can’t drive when you are released.
Some of the municipalities will require a court appearance within 48 hours, however, some take as long as 2 or 3 weeks. At that first appearance you might want to already have an attorney representing you. I’ve had people who were arrested on a Friday, have me appear on that following Monday in court for them.
I try to get involved into the cases as soon as I can, so that I can start helping a client. I start gathering up the police reports and begin the other preparatory work that needs to get done. An attorney will walk you through what happens during this first appearance.
By Carl Spector