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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
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Edison NJ 08817
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Proof of Operation of a Motor Vehicle in a DWI Case

The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was driving while intoxicated. State v. Grant, 196 N.J. Super. 470, 477 (App. Div. 1984). N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 specifically applies to a person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor . . . . (Emphasis added). The term operate must be given broad construction. State v. Morris, 262 N.J. Super. 413, 417 (App. Div. 1993). Actual operation is not required to satisfy the element. Ibid.; State v. Sweeney, 40 N.J. 359, 360-61 (1963). Operation may be proved by any direct or circumstantial evidence as long as it is competent and meets the requisite standards of proof. State v. George, 257 N.J. Super. 493, 497 (App. Div. 1992). Operation may be proved by actual observation of the defendant driving while intoxicated, State v. Prociuk, 145 N.J. Super. 570, 573 (Law Div. 1976); by observation of the defendant in or out of the vehicle under circumstances indicating that the defendant had been driving while intoxicated, State v. Mulcahy, 107 N.J. 467, 476 (1987); Morris, supra, 262 N.J. Super. at 419-20; Sweeney, supra, 77 N.J. Super. 512, 521 (App. Div. 1962); State v. Witter, 33 N.J. Super. 1, 5-7 (App. Div. 1954); or by defendant¹s admission, State v. Hanemann, 180 N.J. Super. 544, 547 (App. Div.) (affirming defendant¹s conviction based upon his admission that he had been driving earlier that night after the police found his empty overturned vehicle on the highway), certif. denied, 88 N.J. 506 (1981); State v. Dickens, 130 N.J. Super. 73, 78 (App. Div. 1974) (affirming defendant¹s conviction based on his admission to drinking and driving when the police woke him up in his parked car on Interstate 287); State v. Guerrido, 60 N.J. Super. 505, 509 (App. Div. 1960) (affirming defendant¹s conviction based on the testimony of two witnesses that he was intoxicated and his admission to police that he had been driving after his car was found buried full length in some shrubbery and lilac bushes.)

The Appellate Division in State v Ebert 377 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2005) recently detailed the proof required by the state. 1. The state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. "Operation" may be proved by actual observation of the defendant driving while intoxicated, by observation of the defendant in or out of the vehicle under circumstances indicating that the defendant had been driving while intoxicated, or by the defendant's admission. 2. Defendant's .27 percent BAC, along with the fact that she had driven to the parking lot of a restaurant on a major state highway, Route 46 in Denville, was sufficient to sustain her conviction for reckless driving. Conclusion If charged with Driving While Intoxicated, immediately schedule an in-office appointment with a trial attorney. Don't rely on a real estate attorney, public defender or a family member who simply attended law school. When your driving privileges and ability to drive to work is on the line, hire an experienced attorney.


Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
Minimum Mandatory Fines, Points, Jail and Penalties Relating to Selected Motor Vehicle Offenses
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Kenneth Vercammens Law office represents individuals charged with criminal, drug offenses, and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets including drivers charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal and Driving While Suspended.

Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

Criminal and Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. DMV [Division of Motor Vehicles] or have your license suspended. Dont give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal motor vehicle violations.

When your job or drivers license is in jeopardy or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Schedule an appointment if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter.

Our website provides information on traffic offenses we can be retained to represent people. Our website also provides details on jail terms for traffic violations and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.

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