New Appellate Decision Makes it More Difficult to Obtain a Stay of License Suspension During DWI Appeal.

Nearly everyone knows that the penalty for a DWI is license suspension. But what happens after a DUI defendant is convicted with DWI, but decides to appeal? Should the DUI defendant be allowed to keep his license while the appeal is pending? Not so fast, says the Appellate Division in State v. Robertson.

In Robertson, the defendant pursued an appeal of his DUI conviction. The municipal judge allowed the license suspension penalty to be delayed until the appeal was decided – a process known as “granting a stay” of license suspension. However, the municipal judge did not give any explanation for his granting of the stay.

The Appellate Division criticized the municipal judge’s lack of explanation, holding that an analysis must first be undertaken before granting or denying a stay of license suspension. The most important factor to be considered is whether the DUI defendant has a reasonable prospect of prevailing on appeal.

The Appellate Division reasoned that the license suspension punishment was meant to be swift in order to protect public safety. Thus, the possibility that the DUI defendant may re-offend during a stay should be taken into consideration.

Other factors to be considered is whether the denial of a stay would cause the DUI defendant to become unable to maintain employment, or any other type of harm. Further, the Appellate Division noted that a stay could be conditioned on the installation of an interlock device instead.

At Jae Lee Law, we are highly experienced in handling DWI and DWI appeal cases. Contact the Fort Lee DWI Attorneys today or by telephone at 201 346-3800 to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer. Free Consultation, and we don’t get paid until you do.

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