The Tormey Law Firm recently defended a client against charges of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Bloomfield, NJ. Skilled criminal defense lawyers Travis J. Tormey and Christopher Perry argued on behalf of the client in Bloomfield Municipal Court and were successful in getting the charges dismissed.
The client faced charges for a first offense DWI. Although it was just a first offense, a conviction could have led to significant penalties, including suspension of his driver’s license for between seven months and one year, a $750 fine, compulsory attendance at Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) alcohol education classes, and a sentence of up to 30 days in the county jail.
The client was arrested shortly after a Bloomfield cop observed him asleep and behind the wheel of a car in a parking lot. The car’s engine was running at the time, which is why the police officer placed the client under arrest. The reason the client had turned on the car was because it was cold outside and he needed to heat the vehicle. This was a crucially important fact because it meant that the client lacked intent to operate the car. One of the required elements that New Jersey prosecutors must establish in a DWI case is intent to operate the motor vehicle. Since the client in this case lacked the requisite intent to operate, Mr. Tormey and Mr. Perry filed a motion to dismiss the DWI charges.
The experienced Tormey Law Firm attorneys also called multiple witnesses and presented compelling evidence that the client actually texted his girlfriend and asked her to come to the parking lot and pick him up, indicating that he did not intend to drive the vehicle anywhere.
Mr. Tormey also highlighted a ruling in State v. Daly, an earlier NJ drunk driving case that involved a drunk defendant found reclining in the driver’s seat of his car. The car was parked outside a tavern at which the defendant had been consuming alcohol. It was later established that the vehicle engine was running for the purpose of powering the car’s heater. In State v. Daly, the New Jersey Supreme Court ultimately held that the prosecution had failed to meet its burden of proving that the defendant actually operated the vehicle. This landmark decision proved especially important in the recent Bloomfield DWI case.
The municipal prosecutor agreed with Mr. Tormey and Mr. Perry that the charges against the client should be dropped. This represented a great outcome for the client and a major success story for the Tormey Law Firm LLC.