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Steven W. Hernandez

Steven Hernandez’s Answers

100 total


  • About 10 yrs ago, I got my 4th DUI and the judge suspended my license for 20 yrs.

    I believe that under NJ law this applies to an arrest made in a school zone. I have the police reports which indicate I was not in a school zone. Can I get my suspension reduced?

    Steven’s Answer

    You may have been improperly sentenced, even if you were in a school zone. Under existing car law, a school, zone violation is NOT enhanced by prior DWI's. Rather, you could only be convicted of a third school zone if the prior two were in school zones. If you were improperly sentenced, then you can always correct an illegal sentence. You need an experienced DWI lawyer to file a petition for post conviction relief.

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  • My husband got caught driving with a suspended license after his second DWI in New Jersey. What should we do?

    We have called a couple lawyers, and they have said there is not chance for him to enter in a diversionary program; however, I've read some cases on the internet where people have been able to have a diversionary program for the same crime. It's a...

    Steven’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Let us be honest here. Chances are extremely low he will get PTI. He has a better chance of getting an ankle bracelet...which is also unlikely. One possibility to see if he was advised of this statute when he pleaded guilty to his second DWI. Other than that he can plead guilty or force a trial and maybe the prosecutor will offer something else....also unlikely. The jury could also find him not guilty which is also slim. This is a terrible law. The best way to get it repealed is if more lawyers try these cases rather than plead them. By tying up the dockets with these trials it would take them away from trying murders and other serious crimes. Eventually the county prosecutor's will complain.

    No for a reality check. Your husband was told not to drive. He did. He got caught.

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  • NJ DUI Bill Question

    Were any of the dui legislature amended to reduce the penalties for first offense dui offenders with BAC of .10 - .15?

    Steven’s Answer

    In June, 2013, the Senate passed a bill that would effectively eliminate all license suspensions in favor of installation of an ignition interlock device. The bill passed in the Senate 34:2 last summer. The bill failed to be heard in the assembly before the end of the last session, so it died. In January a new version of the Senate bill was drafted, limiting the bill to first offenders. All second and third offenders would still lose their license. First offenders with a BAC below 0.15 would be allowed to drive after 10 days of suspension if they install an ignition interlock device (in car breathalyzer). Those with a BAC above 0.15 would lose their license for 7 months, but would be allowed to reapply with the court after 90 days. This bill has not been voted on in the Senate.

    The Assembly passed a bill, similar to the original Senate bill. The two bills will need to be synthesized and passed by both houses. If the bill passes both houses then the Governor must sign it into law. The bill is many month away from becoming law....if it ever does.

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  • How likely is jail time for a 3rd DUI charge?

    I am 26 now and just received a DWI charge. Have two prior Underage DUI convictions, most recent one 6 years ago. Both, i was under 21 and under .08 BAC. hoping that the lesser Underage DUI chargers won't entirely treat this charge as a third off...

    Steven’s Answer

    The answer depends on whether you pleaded guilty to an underage DWI (39:4-50.14) or full fledge DWI. If the two prions were just the underage offense, then this is a first. However, if you pleaded guilty to regular DWI, which seems unlike because of the low BAC, then it would be a third offense , and jail is mandatory along with a ten year license suspension. T

    The best thing you can do now is hire a lawyer who specializes in DWI. He or she will be able to help you determine how this offense will be treated and plan a defense to fight it.

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  • I got my 3rd dwi my past 2 are over 10 years old and what will happen with me and i have a class a license

    will i loose it for 10 years or 2 years or 7 months?

    Steven’s Answer

    Well, if your second DWI was more than 10 years ago then while you are a third offender you will be treated as a second offense. Thus you will have a two year license suspension, have to perform 30 days of community service, be subject to an ignition interlock device for the period of suspension + 1 to 3 years after, pay a fine of $500 to $1,000 and be subject to 2 to 90 days in jail, of which 2 of those days can be spent in the IDRC.

    If you were in a commercial vehicle when it occurred and your priors were in commercial vehicles, then you will lose your CDL...FOR LIFE. However, if the DWI occurred in a personal vehicle and argument can be made that your commercial DL can only be suspended for the duration of your regular suspension.

    That being said, the best way to avoid a suspension of either is to hire a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense. AN attorney with the right training may be able to find a proper defense whether it be legal, evidentiary, constitutional, procedural, scientific, or medical. These charges can be beat.

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  • Is it typical for a police officer to administer an alcotest twice?

    I am just curious as to how those procedures work

    Steven’s Answer

    Well it depends on what you mean by twice. A valid breath test consists of two good breaths into the machine. Therefore, if he had you blow twice it counts as one test. However, if the readings from both blows were not in tolerance of each other, you the officer will request you take a new breath test.

    Since we are discussing breath test results, you should know that a breath test result can be challenged, There are calibration issues, repair issues, solution issues, input issues, data issues, operation issues, operability, and medical issues that could affect the validity of your test.

    To best determine whether there are issues regarding your breath test you should call a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense.

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  • I was in a one car accident, issued dui, refused breathalyzer but no ambulance called

    My car was totaled, and I apparently feel asleep behind the wheel after taking a new medicine. My suv was totaled and no ambulance was called. I went to the dr today and am having an MRI done since I have had a headache for the past 4 days.

    Steven’s Answer

    The advice I would give you given the limited facts you have provided is thus: If you suffered from a concussion it may work to your advantage. A good DWI lawyer will explore this as your defense.

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  • Can my friend go back to court to fight 2dwi convictions. .

    He doesn't know that much English. he plead guilty 2 years ago without knowing that dwi is very strict for immigration issues can he still fight for those changes. .

    Steven’s Answer

    Yes he can. First, he would need to hire a lawyer. Second, the Lawyer would have to request a copy of his transcript of his plea to see if he was advised of his rights to spam to an immigration lawyer and was advised that he could be deported for the offense. Next the lawyer would have to order the police reports to see if there is a defense. Assuming there is a defense, the attorney would have to file a petition for post conviction relief (PCR) in that court. If the Judge feels that there was some problem with the plea or his representation, then the court could reopen the matter. Then he would have to fight the case. This should be handled by a lawyer who specializes in DWI PCR applications. Not all lawyers are the same.

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  • DUI-Restricted License NJ

    Has bill passed in NJ? I only found limited info on it.

    Steven’s Answer

    No it has not passed. There have been some revisions to it. Under the original bill all those convicted of DWI would be allowed to get an ignition interlock device and get their license back. However, under revision, second and third offenders will not longer get this option. First offenders who have a BAC under 0.15, may apply for the restricted license and will be granted it. Those over 0.15 will be subject to suspension and ignition interlock. The bill also eliminates school zone violation. However, it increases the suspension period for all second offenders from straight two years to two to four years. Third offenders face anywhere from ten to twenty years.

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