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Several Ways a New Jersey Doctor Convicted of Health Claims Fraud May Forfeit His Or Her License

In the course of my criminal defense practice, especially defending physicians accused of various crimes and violations, I’ve discovered that the next question after “what sentence will I receive?” is “what will happen to my license?” In fact, disciplinary proceedings conducted by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners is the second in the list of nightmares faced by a New Jersey physician who is in trouble with the law. I’ve compiled some most frequently asked questions regarding licensing issues when a physician is accused of a crime in New Jersey.

Q. What happens to a professional license when the practitioner is convicted of a second-degree crime?

According to N.J.S.A. 2C: 51-5A, a New Jersey health care practitioner such as a doctor, who is convicted of a second degree health care claims fraud crime or a similar crime, will permanently forfeit his or her license and will never be able to practice the profession. The only way to prevent that is for the defense to argue that such license forfeiture would be a serious injustice, which overrides the need to deter such conduct by others. The court may consider another period of license suspension, but no less than one year. If you are lucky and the court does not permanently forfeit your license right away, the sentence is not final for 10 days so that the prosecution may appeal it.

When a practitioner is convicted of third degree health care claims fraud or a similar crime for the first time, there will be mandatory license suspension for at least one year. The second conviction will cost you your license for good.

Q. How will the licensing agency be notified of forfeiture or suspension?

A court will enter an order of license forfeiture or suspension immediately after a plea of guilty or finding the defendant guilty, assuming any of this happens in New Jersey. The order is effective as of the date of conviction r guilty plea. If it is an out of state or a federal conviction, or the defendant forfeited his license in another state, the court will enter the forfeiture order upon application of the county prosecutor or the Attorney General.

Q. May a license forfeiture order be stayed while the case is pending appeal?

An order of license forfeiture or suspension will usually not be stayed pending appeal of a conviction or forfeiture or suspension order unless the appellant’s attorney convince the court that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. If the appeal is successful and the conviction is reversed or the order of license forfeiture or suspension is overturned, the court will notify the licensing agency within 10 days of the date of the order of reinstatement. That does not guarantee that the license will be restored because the agency, such as the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, may decide to suspend or revoke the license on its own motion.

Q. May a professional license be forfeited or suspended by a licensing agency?

Absolutely! This can be done through a special application by the Attorney General. The situation may arise in a case where the issue of license forfeiture or suspension is not even discussed raised in a court when the practitioner pleads guilty or is found guilty. However, the fact that a court has not ordered license forfeiture or suspension does not stop the licensing agency from doing that on its own accord. The decision may be based on the argument that the conduct giving rise to the conviction demonstrates that the person is unfit to hold the license or is otherwise liable for an offense.

Q. Can a professional or medical license be reinstated in New Jersey?

N.J.S.A. 2C:52-27.1(a) provides the procedure for reinstatement of forfeited professional licenses. If the conviction record is expunged, the convicted practitioner who lost his or her license as the result of conviction may ask the court for an order to rescind the court’s order of forfeiture if the person can demonstrate that he or she is sufficiently rehabilitated. If an order to rescind the court’s order of debarment is granted, the next step is to apply to the licensing agency for license reinstatement.

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Workers Compensation – New Jersey Paid Family Leave Legislation

On May 2, 2008, Governor Corzine of New Jersey signed into law Paid Family Leave legislation. Although paid leave benefits were not effective until July 1, 2009, by now most New Jersey employees should have noticed that, effective January 1, 2009 payroll deductions include monies to fund the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Act. The delay in the effective date was meant to provide the State time to raise the necessary revenues to fund the benefit. In addition, as of April 1, 2009, all employers were required to post the State’s official paid-family-leave notice in their workplaces and to distribute a copy of that notice to all employees.

The New Jersey Paid Family Leave legislation provides up to six weeks (or 42 days if the leave is “intermittent”) of benefits, which are paid at the same level as those provided under New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Benefits Law. Generally, an employee may take the leave to provide care certified to be necessary for a family member of the employee suffering from a serious health condition, or to bond with and care for a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or the child’s placement for adoption with the employee’s family.

When determining whether or not the employee qualifies for the leave or whether the leave is right for the employee, it is important to consider the following:

1. New Jersey Paid Family Leave runs concurrently with leave provided under both the New Jersey Family Leave Act, as applicable, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

2. In order to be covered, an employee must have had at least 20 calendar weeks in covered New Jersey employment, in which he or she earned no less than an amount equal to 20 times the minimum wage (currently $143 per week), or has earned not less than 1,000 times the minimum wage adjusted to the next higher multiple of $100 (currently $7,200 per year) in such employment during the “Base Year” period.

3. Employees are entitled to 2/3 of their average weekly wage, up to a $524 per week maximum. Eligible employees may take up to 6 consecutive weeks of Paid Family Leave. If the leave is intermittent, the employee is entitled to receive $74.85 per day, for up to 42 days, during any 12-month period.

4. Application for benefits are made to the State. Generally, the employee’s Human Resources department has the applications and can assist in completion of the application. If taking Paid Family Leave to care for a sick family member, you will be required to obtain and submit medical certifications. If the leave is to care for a newborn, generally all that is required is the birth certificate and, if applicable, hospital discharge paperwork. If you feel your rights are being violated, please talk with an experienced workers compensation attorney.

5. There will generally be a 1-week waiting period before you can receive Paid Family Leave benefits. If the benefits continue for 3 weeks, benefits are payable retroactive to the first day of the leave. However, assuming all the paperwork is timely submitted, if the leave is taken immediately following State Temporary Disability Leave, there is no delay in the benefits. Generally, in order to avoid any delay in the application, make sure the paperwork and the dates of the leave are correct and approved by the employer.

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What Happens When a Will is Made in New Jersey Before a Person Gets Married and is Never Changed

Assume that your spouse died with a will made before you met, got married and had children and that will names only your deceased spouse’s parents and siblings as beneficiaries? Assume too that the only children that you, the surviving spouse, have and the decedent had were children you had together. Do you, the surviving spouse, get anything from your deceased spouse’s estate? The answer is probably yes.

There is a statute in New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 3B:5-15), entitled Inheritance by Spouse or Children Not Provided for in Will. It provides that distribution of the deceased spouse’s estate by “intestacy” applies for a subsequent spouse or afterborn child if the decedent married or had a child after the will is executed, unless the decedent’s intentions are otherwise as indicated by the will or other circumstances.

Intestacy means dying without a will. Thus, in the case of a will made prior to marriage and/or the birth of children of the decedent, in most cases the intestacy laws of the State of New Jersey will govern whether the wife and/or children who are omitted from the will receive a share of the estate. In most cases, in the absence of very clear direction from the deceased, the will executed before the decedent married will no longer govern whether his wife and children receive a part of the estate

Under the intestacy laws in New Jersey, the wife that was omitted from the will receives the entire estate if either: (1) there are no descendants of the deceased spouse or parent who survives the deceased spouse or (2) all of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse who survives the decedent.

So, under the scenario presented at the beginning of this article, the surviving spouse would receive the entire estate because the children of the surviving spouse are also the children of the decedent and because neither the decedent nor the surviving spouse had any other children.

If you have lost a spouse and you feel that you are not receiving your fair share of your spouse’s estate it is important to contact a qualified attorney who has experience with estate litigation matters. Time is of the essence because you have only four months to challenge a will in the State of New Jersey or six months if you live out of state. An experienced estate litigation attorney will be able to file a complaint for you in the Chancery Division of the State of New Jersey in the County in which the decedent resided and ask the Court to restrain the executor or administrator of the estate from distributing any assets of the estate until such time as your rights are fully adjudicated, place a constructive trust on the assets and demand an accounting of the assets. It is important to gather any documents that reference any assets owned by your spouse including bank statements, brokerage statements, tax returns, title to vehicles, deeds and trusts. Do not sign any legal documents without retaining the services of an estate litigation attorney to assist you in reviewing the documents and determining what rights you have to the estate. It is obviously a highly emotional time for all the family members involved and making rash decisions during this time that you may regret later is not the best decision for your future. The best thing you can do is to speak to an attorney.

New Jersey Residents Need a New Jersey License

Over the last several years I have observed a spike in the number of tickets been written for what is commonly referred to as “expired touring privileges”. It is no secret that in some states, the requirements for obtaining a valid driver’s license are substantially less than in New Jersey. It is my understanding that in North Carolina and Tennessee as little as your name on a utility bill will suffice as proof of residency. In contrast, the Motor Vehicle Commission in New Jersey requires 6 points of proof which may consist of amongst other things a prior New Jersey Driver’s license, utility bill, passport and most importantly proof that you are legally in the country in order to obtain a driver’s license.

Because of the disparity amongst the states with respect to the level of difficulty to obtain a valid driver’s license there has been a tendency within the illegal immigrant population to obtain a license from a state with more lax requirements than New Jersey. However, once that person relocates to New Jersey, he/she must obtain a New Jersey Driver’s license within sixty days.

A New Jersey resident may rely upon his or her touring privileges to drive in this State for the first 60 days after he or she becomes a resident. The use of touring privileges during this time is intended to give a new resident the opportunity to apply for a New Jersey license. After that time, if the driver has not procured a New Jersey license, he or she is technically unlicensed and may not lawfully drive under a license issued by the jurisdiction where he or she used to reside. Once the new resident has qualified for a New Jersey driver’s license, he or she must surrender a driver’s license issued by any other state or jurisdiction to the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Typically an illegal immigrant driving in New Jersey gets stopped for a routine traffic violation. After being asked to present their “license, registration and insurance” the officer is handed an out of state license. The officer than asks “do you live in New Jersey and if so how long”? Being fearful of the situation they have now found themselves in, the common answer is six months to one year. Generally, there is no requirement that a driver in this situation incriminate themselves by answering the question. However, if a driver answers the question, they must answer truthfully.

A trained lawyer may be able to successfully defend a driver faced with being charged with expired touring privileges. For example they may be able to argue that there was no probable cause for the stop or, if a driver can prove that they spend time in both states than they may not have a problem. While in this author’s opinion, the court does not have the authority to confiscate a driver’s license more and more courts are doing so. Therefore it is critical that competent counsel with expertise in this field of law be retained as soon as possible.

This article is intended to provide general advice only. It is not intended to take the place of a consultation with an attorney. The facts and circumstances of every case are different. The Law Offices of Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Equitable Distribution, Dividing Assets in a New Jersey Divorce Case and Getting Alimony in NJ

How are assets divided in the State of New Jersey during a divorce case is a question most divorce attorneys hear from their clients and prospective clients and initially it is mostly answered the same way, it depends. New Jersey is not a community property state and dividing assets in a divorce in New Jersey are guided by the Equitable Distribution Statute under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. The factors that I will lay out below are sometimes ignored or forgotten when litigated in court so it is very important to work with a skilled divorce attorney and not an amateur.

So what does it depend on? The following are the factors outlined in the statute:

a. The duration of the marriage.

b. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.

c. The income of property brought to the marriage by each part.

d. The standard of living established during the marriage.

e. Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning an arrangement of property distribution.

f. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective.

g. The income and earning capacity of each party, including education background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonable comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.

h. The contribution by each party to the education, training or earning power of the other.

I. The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital, as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker.

j. The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party.

k. The present value of the property.

l. The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household effects.

m. The debts and liability of the parties.

n. The need for creation now, or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse or children; and

o. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

Under item (I) the contribution by each party to the acquisition of the asset is extremely important and is often overlooked or underminded by the “comingling” of asset argument which in my opinion is absurd especially in short term marriages. The good news for people that actually invested or in other words, contributed to a marital asset, a well respected family court judge in Essex County recently ruled that the party who contributed the money into the marital home should get that money back first before any other money is split from the marital asset. The comingling argument was shot down like a communist at a Richard Nixon Rally.

Another question that is often posed to attorneys is: What if we both want the house? In many divorce cases, there are two parties that BOTH want a certain asset and that asset cannot be divided without ruining it (think of splitting a bike in half, yes you both got some of it but now it does not work, congrats!). In the case of a house, if the parties are not married that long, a judge could rule to simply sell the house and divide any net proceeds or net shortfall. If the parties have lived in the home for a substantial amount of time and the children go to school in that community and are comfortable there, there is a good chance the judge will have the one party who seeks to stay there, buy the other party out or arrange it accordingly in another way (maybe by receiving less alimony or child support until that parties share has been paid, etc). There are many ways to peel an apple but in the end as long as the apple has been peeled the result is the same. (I don’t like the skin the cat analogy even though I am a dog lover). I could spend more time on dividing assets but I will save that for another day.

The next question I tend to hear from potential clients is: how do I get alimony or do I have to pay alimony? Alimony in New Jersey, like many other states, is intended to keep the dependent spouse living a similar life as he or she was accustomed to while married and/or to help the dependent spouse so that he or she is no longer dependent on the former spouse. Unlike child support where there are guidelines that are in place to calculate an exact amount, alimony does not have a simple calculation to determine such. Every case is very different. In a case where the wife earned $300,000 and the husband earned $50,000 but the parties lived a frugal lifestyle, the alimony was very low. In another case where the wife earned $225,000 and the husband earned $75,000, the alimony award was much higher because the lifestyle the latter parties enjoyed was one that included frequenting the best restaurants in New York and New Jersey, four vacations per year, four cars, two homes and the like. Now unlike child support, alimony is not automatic, a case must be made for alimony. In child support, if a person has a child, the non-custodial parent needs to support that child no matter what. “I didn’t want to have a child” is NO excuse. Its actually absurd. So while receiving alimony is not automatic, a person can opt to receive a larger portion of the assets instead of the stream of alimony. Remember, there are many ways to peel that apple.

Attorney Review Period in New Jersey Real Estate

For any of you relocating from outside of NJ, you might be surprised by some of the real estate laws in NJ. Specifically, in New Jersey, after a “proposal” is accepted by the buyer and seller, the property moves into Attorney Review status. During this period of time, both the buyer and the seller can exit the deal with no harm to either.

While in Attorney review, the attorneys representing the respective buyer and seller will ensure that all terms are clearly understood and acceptable to both parties. It will usually last for 3 days.
Unlike many other states where the “proposal” is actually a sales contract and when all signatures are received, the deal is a legal and enforceable contract, the attorney review period in New Jersey was created to ensure that both the buyer and sellers’ interests where represented prior to a legally enforceable contract being created.

If you put in an offer on a house in NJ, and during the attorney review period you decide against the house, you get out of the “proposal” without any issues. Likewise, if you are a seller and decide not to take an offer (maybe a better one comes in), you have the same opportunity.
Some may consider this a benefit, others may not. One thing is for sure, it offers more time and security to both the buyer and seller.

New Jersey is not a Title state (a state where a title company can execute the closing of a real estate contract), both the seller and the buyer will need to obtain attorneys to represent them during the deal. Attorney fees are typically around $1000 in New Jersey. They can be more depending on the amount of time and negotiation required by the attorney.

Living Wills in New Jersey Law

Anyone who cares about the feelings of their family members, or their own final health care treatment, should consider executing a Living Will. It has become an essential element in the practice of Estate Planning Attorneys.

Why? A Living Will permits the patient to communicate, in advance, the medical care decisions he or she would make if rendered incapacitated, so that their family won’t be put in the difficult position of having to do so for them.

The recent nationwide controversy caused by the unfortunate situation of a woman in Florida, who did not possess a Living Will, has demonstrated the family pain created by this issue and sparked renewed public interest in the Living Will. Clients from California to New Jersey have contacted Estate Planning Attorneys to learn more about them.

The Basics:

The legal name for a Living Will is an Advanced Directive, a document codified nearly 15 years ago by The New Jersey Advanced Directives for Health Care Act.

In New Jersey, according to the law, an Advanced Directive, or Living Will, in and of itself, is a simple document needing only to be in writing, signed and dated in the presence of two subscribing adult witnesses who must attest to the fact that the person is of sound mind and free from duress and undue influence. Alternatively, it simply may be signed, dated and acknowledged before a notary public, an attorney or other person authorized in New Jersey to administer oaths.

The Advanced Directive becomes operative when it is transmitted to the attending physician who has determined that the patient lacks the capacity to make a particular health care decision.

Once made, the patient may revoke the Advanced Directive either by oral or written notification of the revocation to the “Health Care Representative”, physician, nurse or other health care professional, or by any other act evidencing an intent to revoke the document. In other words, the patient can change his or her mind, at any time, simply by saying so.

What It Does:

Consistent with the terms of an Advance Directive, life-sustaining treatment may be withheld or withdrawn from a patient if the life-sustaining treatment is:

· Experimental and not proven therapy, or is likely to be ineffective or futile in prolonging life, or is likely to merely prolong an imminent dying process;

· The patient is permanently unconscious, as determined by the attending physician and confirmed by a second qualified physician;

· The patient is in a terminal condition as determined by the attending physician and confirmed by a second qualified physician, or

· The patient has a serious irreversible illness or condition, and the likely risks and burdens associated with the medial intervention to be withheld or withdrawn may be reasonably judged to outweigh the likely benefits to the patients from such intervention or imposition on an unwilling patient would be inhumane.

The law allows the attending physician, consistent with the terms of the Advance Directive, to issue a “Do Not Resuscitate” Order.

Two Types — Instruction and Proxy:

There are two types of New Jersey Advanced Directive, or Living Will: An Instruction Directive and a Proxy Directive. You may choose to create either one or both.

The first type, an Instructive Directive is what clients usually mean when referring to a Living Will. It provides instructions and directions regarding health care in the event that the patient subsequently lacks such decision-making capacity. The Instruction Directive may state the person’s general treatment philosophy and objections together with the person’s specific wishes regarding the provision, withholding or withdrawal of any form of health care, including life-sustaining treatment.

The second type, the Proxy Directive is more similar to a Power of Attorney because it appoints a “Health Care Representative” to make health care decisions in the event the patient subsequently loses the capacity to make such decisions.

A person may appoint as his “Health Care Representative” any competent adult, including a family member, a friend or a religious adviser. Once the person’s attending physician determines that a person lacks decision- making capacity (along with confirmation of another physician, unless that person’s lack of decision-making capacity is clearly apparent), the “Health Care Representative” has the authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient. The “Health Care Representative” is to make all health care decisions the patient would have made had he or she possessed decision-making capacity, or where the patient’s wishes cannot be determined adequately, to make a decision in the best interest of the patient.

In carrying out the person’s wishes, the “Health Care Representative” is to give priority to that patient’s Instruction Directive, if one exists. Also, a Proxy Directive can be written in New Jersey so as to place specific limitations upon the authority of the “Health Care Representative”.

Also important to note, the Living Will statute in New Jersey covering Proxy Directives specifically protects the patient’s “Health Care Representative” from liability. The law states that the “Health Care Representative” is not imposed with any liability for any portion of the person’s health care costs, not subject to criminal or civil liability for any action performed in good faith and in accordance with the provisions of the act to carry out the terms of the Advance Directive.

Physician and Hospital Responsibilities:

Interestingly, the law requires the attending physician to make affirmative inquiry of the patient, his family or others as appropriate under the circumstances, concerning the existence of an Advance Directive. In other words, the attending physician must initiate the question of a Living Will. The attending physician is required to note in the patient’s medical records whether an Advance Directive exists and the name of the patient’s “Health Care Representative”, if any. If an Advance Directive exists, a copy must be attached to the patient’s medial records.

Health care institutions including hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies and hospice programs are required to adopt policies and practices that are necessary to provide for routine inquiry at the time of admission and other appropriate times concerning the existence and location of an Advance Directive. Moreover, health care institutions must adopt policies and practices necessary to provide appropriate informational materials concerning Advance Directive to all interested patients, their families and their “Health Care Representatives”, and to assist those patients in discussing the executing an Advance Directive.

These health care institutions will also be required to adopt policies and practices necessary to educate patients, their families and “Health Care Representatives” about the availability, benefits and burdens of rehabilitative treatment, therapy and services, included but not limited to family and social services, self-help and advocacy services, employment and community living, and the use of assisting devices. Health care institutions must establish procedures and practices for resolution of the disputes among the patient, and “Health Care Representative” and attending physician in the event there is disagreement concerning the patient’s decision making capacity or in the interpretation of the Advance Directive concerning the patient’s course of treatment.

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New Jersey DUI Defense

Drunk driving or Driving under Influence (DUI) is a serious offense under New Jersey Laws. A conviction entails financial penalties, jail terms, community service and loss of a driving license for a certain period of time.

DUI cases have increased by thousands all over the state. Because of the increasing severity in penalties, most of those charged by DUI must seek alternatives to pleading guilty. Anyone charged with a DUI needs a good attorney.

The Defense accepts that most people charged are guilty, which not always the case. The evidence against the offender brought by the police in the form of an ultra red breath analyzer is subject to serious errors. The breath analyzer is regarded as tried and evidence, but it can be inadequate and can easily be a point of attack by a defense counsel.

Also, ‘opinion’ is gathered by police officers through s field sobriety tests. These tests are supposed to reveal the agility and sobriety of drivers. But recent studies question the accuracy and scientific validity of these tests. The defense attorney can get a pre-trial ruling that these tests are not valid evidence.

The misconception is that drunk driving is a minor offense. A DUI conviction can have a severe financial, social and psychological hardship on the defendant. A DUI defense attorney must not leave any stone unturned in defending his client

There is a myth that DUI cases can’t be won, and often times attorneys advise their clients to plead guilty. It is best to refer the case to a jury trial. When jury trials are available, success rates of acquittal are amazingly better.

Finally, a DUI case is not like any other criminal case. In any criminal case, physical evidence is collected and preserved, subject to independent analysis by the defending attorney. But in case of DUI, breath tests do not have to be saved. There are also Sobriety Check points that are set up by police departments to check DUI violations.

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New Jersey DUI Attorney

New Jersey DUI and DWI law is very unique from the other states in the U.S. However, driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are still against the law, making it an offense to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Because this offense is a crime, there are serious criminal penalties that can be imposed if you are convicted of DWI or DUI. These criminal penalties can cause a loss of your freedom and lead to a difficult time maintaining employment and keeping your name in good standing within your community. If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey, it is important that you contact a skilled New Jersey DUI lawyer who will have the knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully defend you in a DWI or DUI case.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Arrests

When you arrested for a DWI or DUI offense in the state of New Jersey, there are two ways that you can be prosecuted for such an offense. This is similar to the DWI and DUI laws in many other states. The traditional DWI/DUI is when the prosecutor will attempt to prove that a driver was under the influence. In this type of case, the prosecutor may introduce evidence of driving patterns, driver appearance, and field sobriety test results to try to prove that the defendant was driving while under the influence. The other way a driver can be prosecuted is under the “per se” law. This law exists in many states and has nothing to do with the level of impairment of a driver. This means that the prosecutor will use the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration test to show that they were in violation of the law. This will occur if the results of the test show the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level to meet or exceed the legal limit of 0.08%. If you refuse chemical testing, you will face even stiffer criminal penalties as well as the loss of your driving privileges. If you are under 21 and have a blood alcohol level of 0.01% or greater at the time of your arrest, you will also face serious consequences.

Unlike other states, a jury trial is not an option in DWI cases in the state of New Jersey. Instead, a court trial is conducted and a judge determines whether you are guilty or not guilty of a DWI offense. Unlike other states, you have a second opportunity to be found not guilty of the DWI offense. If you lose your court trial, you may request an appeal. Your case will be transferred to the Superior Court’s Law Division and a new judge will review the record. Attorneys will discuss the facts of your case and any laws that should apply. New Jersey is also unique because the driver licensing agency does not have a hearing or seek to suspend a driver’s license due to a DWI arrest. The offender’s driver’s license will not be suspended unless he or she is convicted and the court imposes a license suspension or revocation penalty.

New Jersey DUI Criminal Penalties

There are several penalties that the court can impose for a DWI conviction. They increase with each offense and vary based on the circumstances. The look-back period is in New Jersey, so the way an offender is charged will depend on the number of offenses he or she has committed and the time span in which these offenses were committeed. The penalties for a first offense are fines of $250 to $400, $30 in court costs, $50 to the violent crimes compensation board, $75 to the safe neighborhood fund assessment, $200 DWI surcharge, 12-48 hours of alcohol education, up to 30 days in jail, a restoration fee of $100, an MVC surcharge of $3,000, and separate insurance surcharges. The court may also require an offender to have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle that they drive for up to 3 years after the restoration of the offender’s driver’s license. If the DWI occurs in a school zone, the penalties are a one to two year loss of license, fines of $500 to $800, jail time of up to 60 days, and the other fines and penalties that are normally associated with a first DWI offense. A second DWI offense carries penalties of $500 to $1,000, 30 days of community service, 48 hours to 90 days of jail time, $30 in court costs, $75 to the safe neighborhood fund, $50 to the violent crimes compensation board, a $200 DWI surcharge, 48 hours of alcohol education, a restoration fee of $100, a MVC surcharge of $4,500, separate insurance surcharges, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that the offender owns for the length of the two year suspension period. Committing a second DWI offense in a school zone results in a fine of $1,000 to $2,000, 60 days of community service, mandatory jail time of 96 hours up to 180, and other penalties usually associated with a DWI offense. The penalties for a third DWI offense are harsher. There is a $1,000 fine and a mandatory jail term of 180 days in jail. You will have to pay $30 in court costs, $50 to the violent crimes compensation board, $75 to the safe neighborhood fund, and a $200 DWI surcharge. You will also be required to attend 12 hours of alcohol education classes, pay a restoration fee of $100, pay an MVC surcharge of $4,500, pay separate insurance charges for a three-year period, and have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you own following 3 years of license restoration. If you committed the DWI offense in a school zone, you will have to pay a $2,000 fine and comply with all of the other penalties normally imposed for a third offense. These penalties are serious, so it is important that you take DWI charges seriously. Contact a New Jersey DUI attorney as soon as possible to preserve your rights and have the best chance for being successful.

Hiring New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyers

When it comes to hiring New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers, you need to consider many things. This article intends to give you a brief insight into the same.

Is The Attorney You Are Hiring Reputed?

The reputation of the New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers that you are hiring is perhaps the most important thing in this regard. Therefore, when you are researching the various options, keep in mind that the first thing that you have to research is the reputation of the lawyers. In the last few years, there has been a substantial rise in the number of bankruptcy cases in New Jersey. This has also resulted in a boom in the lawyers market. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that there are more bankruptcy lawyers in New Jersey than the people filing bankruptcy. Your options are plenty and you have to make your choice prudently. In order to check the reputation of the lawyers, it is recommended that you check their credentials and contact the associations where these lawyers work. You have to check every minor detail regarding the lawyer. Of course, this will consume lots of time, but it is worth investing that much time. After all, you are in a deep financial crisis and you want new bankruptcy laws to help you get relief from the huge debts that you owe to various creditors. And, this is where it becomes very crucial for you to hire the most competent and best New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers who is specialized in handling your type of bankruptcy cases.

Attorney Fee

Some people judge the reputation of the Bankruptcy Lawyers based on the fee they charge, which is certainly not the right way. Some lawyers in an effort to increase their reputation simply raise their fee substantially. You do not have to get in their trap. Please note that if you are patient and do a thorough research, nothing in the world can stop you from hiring a very economical but highly competent New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers. You must keep in mind that it is not just the attorney fee but you are also required to pay various other kinds of expenses, which are substantial in nature. Since you are filing for bankruptcy, it is a clear indication that you are not in a position to pay a huge amount only as attorney fee. Therefore, it is also important for you to keep in mind your specific budget while choosing the right New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers for you.

Overall, you need to work on a proper strategy and planning while you are hiring bankruptcy attorney in New Jersey.