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Steven W. Hernandez

Steven Hernandez’s Answers

100 total


  • I was issued a citation, driving while DUI. Why should I hire any lawyer, when the law says what it says. And plus I told the

    cop I was drunk, because the cop look like he wanted me to say it and I thought he was drunk too, with his ego. So, I didn't take the "test" breath, and the cop gave me consequential tickets, many, many tickets. So, do a lawyer here or anywher...

    Steven’s Answer

    Well it sounds like you have made up you mind here. However, there are several reasons why you should fight a refusal and DWI. First, regardless of whether you are a first, second, or more offender, you will have to install an ignition interlock device in your car when your get your license back. If you have a commercial license, you will lose it for a year for a first offense and for life if you are a second offender. Another reason to fight is because you will be prevented from entering Canada or other countries for a DWI conviction. Also, if you have a license issued by another State, a lawyer may be able to perform things for you that he could not if you are a NJ licensed drive. Before making such a rash decision to not hire a layer, you should give a lawyer, who specializes in DWI and refusal a call to discuss the facts of your case.

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  • Didn't go to court for driving while suspended for a dwi

    My friend didn't show up to court for driving while suspended for a dwi and with out an interlock device. . Will he get arrested in his house or how to avoid to go to jail. .

    Steven’s Answer

    The court will most likely issue a warrant for his arrest. If the court did in fact issue a warrant, it is highly unlikely that they will go to his house to arrest him. However, it is possible. The best way to avoid going to jail, is to have him call the court, fin rout what his bail is, and have him post it. Then he should go to court when the reschedule it. In the meantime, tell him to stop driving!

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  • Got pulled over. . And I don't have and never had one plus I'm suspended from a dwi

    I get pulled over last month I went to the court and the prosecutor told me that I'm going to served 10 days in jail because I was driving while suspended for a dwi and plus I didn't put the interlock device in a car.. well the car the I was drivi...

    Steven’s Answer

    In addition to the 10 days in jail, you face an additional loss of license of 1 to 2 years. There is no community service. However, you may be able to get weekends/day reporting. All I can say is DON"T DRIVE! The next time you get caught (and you most certainly will), it becomes a 4th degree crime, with 6 mod to 18 mod. in jail, no probation, PTI, parole, or weekends. As for not your car....really? You can't drive any car! Yes you must have an ignition interlock device in any car you drive. Again, stop driving!

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  • I would like to know what my possible charges could be for a DWI, refusal to take a breathalyzer, and a careless driving ticket?

    I received a DWI ticket, a refusal to take a breathalyzer ticket, and a careless driving ticket in the state of NJ recently. I was given a field sobriety test, which I failed, but I have read that they could be disregarded in court. There is curre...

    Steven’s Answer

    First and foremost, neither DWI or Refusal are criminal offenses. However, they do entail a loss of license on each. If this is a first DWI, then you are looking at a 3 mo. license suspension. There is a 7 to 12 mos. suspension for the refusal. In addition the refusal carries with it a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (a mini in car breathalyzer) for a period of 1 to 3 years. There are fines and mandatory assessments as well. Motor vehicles will sack you for a $1000 a year surcharge for 3 years. You must also under go an evaluation at the intoxicated driver resource center. The careless driving ticket is 2 points and a fine.

    A quick Google search has indicated that you MUST report any DWI convictions to Americorp, even if it is not criminal. However, a conviction will not preclude you from joining.

    As for a conditional license, there is no such option in New Jersey.

    The best way to avoid these penalties and the reporting requirements is to fight...and win. While no one can guarantee a win, hiring the right lawyer in a step towards that direction. An attorney who specializes in DWI defense is a good place to start.

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  • DUI checkpoint standards?

    I was stopped at a DUI checkpoint. There was no illumination, no signage, etc. that would indicate it was a checkpoint. Naturally, I was charged with DUI. The court has provided me with a letter stating their reasoning for setting up a checkpoint ...

    Steven’s Answer

    There are many requirements for a valid DWI checkpoint. Adequate warnings to avoid alarming the driving conduct, cones, etc., should be placed. In addition, there should be a public notice ahead of time (however, the lack of public notice will not get rid of a checkpoint stop on its own). As for the diagram and the reason for the checkpoint, that will be provided in discovery, if your attorney requests it.

    I am of the opinion that DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional. Recent cases nationally have diminished or reversed the primary cases supporting checkpoints. In fact, Supreme Court Justice, Clearance Thomas, has expressed doubt regarding these checkpoint.s

    To best challenge your checkpoint DUI, you should hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense and will make all the necessary discovery requests and make the proper motions needed to challenge your stop and arrest.

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  • Does State v. Reiner work in reverse if 1st DWI was school zone but disposition was Not Guilty of (a) and Guilty of (g)

    I had a DWI in 2009. I was issued 2 tickets 34:4-50(a) and 34:4-50(g). I was found guilty at trial, however my disposition shows Not Guilty-2 on the (a) and Guilty-1 on (g) only. I remember at trial the prosecutor complaining about this finding as...

    Steven’s Answer

    School Zone violations are separate violations. "Under the circumstances presented here, the more favorable result for defendant would be to construe section (g) as a separate offense that requires other subsection (g) convictions for repeat status to attach. We so hold." State v. Reiner. Thus if you plead or were found guilty of (g) and now have an (a), then you are a first time offender.

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  • PA ARD-DUI plea then NJ DUI a year after Criminal charges dismissed and expunged; PA DMV Abstract says ARD-DUI

    I know for PA this is considered a 2nd offense out of state. In NJ, is this a first offense or second offense?

    Steven’s Answer

    Under NJ law, in order for your prior to be counted, you must have a prior conviction in this State or another. Since ARD is a diversionary program, it should only be counted IF you had to plead guilty prior to being admitted into ARD. Most likely you did not. Thus you should be treated as a first offender here in NJ. At this stage though you should look in to hiring a lawyer who wants to fight this NJ case for you, not plead you. Any lawyer can "handle" a DWI, but is that what you want? Or do you want a lawyer who will fight it?

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  • My mother lost her licences for DWI and wants to drive my car, can I get in trouble if I let him uses my car?

    I know she shouldn't be driving but she is planning on it anyway. She feels that he is less likely to get pulled over driving my car than driving her own. It is my car and insurance and I am worried that I could get in trouble if she gets caught.

    Steven’s Answer

    Yes! You can be charged with allowing a suspended driver to operate a motor vehicle. You can also get in trouble if she is required to drive with an ignition interlock device. Also, now that driving while suspended for a DWI is potentially a crime, a zealous prosecutor might want to charge you with accomplice liability. Tell your Mom, if she has only one DWI conviction, then the first time she gets caught she goes to jail for 10 days and loses her license for an additional one to two years. If it is her second time, them she is facing a minimum 6 months to 18 months in State Prison. If this is her second + DWI conviction, then she is looking at 6 to 18 months the first time she gets caught. Not worth the risk.

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  • If I was charged with an Underage DWI, do I have to get an interlock device installed? (First time offense)

    I went to court 3 weeks ago and was sentenced a 30 day license suspension, 15 days community service, and IDRC requirements. Now the judge did not order any interlock device, and my lawyer said nothing about it. Today I received a letter in the m...

    Steven’s Answer

    If you were only charged with the underage offense and not a regular DWI, then no, you will not need to het an Ignition Interlock device. If you plead guilty or are found guilty after a trial, then you will have your license suspended, have to attend an alcohol evaluation, and will have to preform community service (15 days minimum). If your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is above a .15, then yes you will.

    While NJ is a zero tolerance State, there are defenses to the underage offenses. My favorite for underage DWI is attacking the linear dynamic range of the reading. Also, if the reading can be challenged then the underage would have to be dismissed as it is a per se violation only.

    If you would like to talk to a lawyer with regards to your charges, please call Steven Hernandez at 732:286-2700 for a consultation.

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