Domestic incidents occur all of the time. Has your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or sibling ever said something to upset you in public? You say something back and put your opponent on the defense. This goes back and forth until one of you pushes the other. In many instances, this is where it ends, tempers cool and everything gets back to normal.
What few people realize is that if an officer observes even a small amount of physical contact, they can and often do use it as probable cause to step in. We all know that when this happens, an officer is not going to just break it up and let everyone walk away. An officer will often observe every detail of the area, looking for anything else they consider suspect. A domestic incident between a New Jersey man and a woman led to not only assault charges, but drunk driving offenses as well.
According to a local officer, he had been on patrol when he heard yelling coming from a vehicle that was in motion in the opposite direction. When he observed the vehicle, he saw the driver slap the woman in the passenger seat. This prompted the officer to pull the vehicle over and investigate what he would later charges as an assault.
When the officer stopped the vehicle, he also suspected that the driver had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening. The officer substantiated the belief by saying that he had observed the vehicle being driven erratically just before he had turned around and made the stop.
The driver was not only charged with the alleged assault that incited the traffic stop, but he was also charged with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit and a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.
Source: Lohud, “New Jersey man faces assault, drunk driving charges in Grand View,” Alex Taylor, Sept. 5, 2012
Even a misdemeanor drunk driving charge should be taken seriously in New Jersey. Our firm handles cases such as this one, drawing on both experience and strategy.