Current Events: New Jersey Rapper, Fetty Wap, Arrested on Drunk Driving and Drag Racing Charges

A police officer holds the breath test machine for a suspect to blow into with a police car in the background.

Rapper and New Jersey native, Fetty Wap, whose legal name is Willie Maxwell, was recently arrested and charged with a slew of charges in New York City. New reports suggest that Fetty was caught speeding on the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, around 1 a.m. in the morning, when he was pulled over. He was clearly racing another vehicle at the time, and he was likely driving around 100 miles per hour.

After being pulled over, Fetty Wap was found to be driving with an expired license. He subsequently failed a field sobriety test – which could include walking a line, standing on one foot, and performing a gaze or vision test – and was required to submit to a breathalyzer. The test revealed a blood-alcohol level of .09% – over the legal limit of .08%.

Although Fetty Wap was arrested in New York, he is well-known for being born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey.

Speeding and Other Activities That Could Lead to a DUI Investigation

The majority of the time that drivers are arrested or charged for drunk driving, the reason the driver is pulled over in the first place is because he or she committed some other motor vehicle offense. The reason Fetty Wap was required to submit to a breathalyzer test most likely stemmed from having an odor of alcohol on his breath. The police officer most likely had no idea that the rapper was beyond the legal limit of .08% BAC. Once a driver is pulled over, it becomes very easy for a police officer to observe other signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of alcohol on the breath – giving the officer sufficient reason to require the driver to submit to further sobriety tests, including an official breathalyzer test.

If you or someone you know has had anything to drink, the best advice to not get behind the wheel at all. Even if your driving is not physically impaired in any way, a police officer could still pull you over for any number of reasons. Once you are pulled over, the slightest hint of alcohol could lead to you being arrested and taken to a police station to submit to a breathalyzer test. In New Jersey, you are not allowed to refuse a breathalyzer test, if the officer had sufficient reason to believe you were intoxicated. After that, any result of .08 or higher automatically constitutes sufficient evidence – per se evidence – that could lead to a drunk driving conviction, even if your driving was never affected in the first place.

The following are a list of common things that police officers are looking for that could lead to a drunk driving arrest:

  1. Failure to obey motor vehicle laws, including speeding, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, or failing to yield.
  2. Swerving, crossing over the yellow line in the road, or otherwise failing to maintain proper lane position.
  3. Braking irregularly or driving suspiciously slow.
  4. Driving erratically or making unusual driving decisions.

If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately. There are many reasons why the case against you might be improper, including the fact that you should not have been pulled over in the first place. A good lawyer will be able to review your situation, identify the best defenses, and may even be able to have the charges against you dismissed completely.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Will Review Your Case from Beginning to End

Every person is different and every case of driving while intoxicated is different. For that reason, it is important to get in touch with a lawyer who will treat each case specially. If you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of any substance in New Jersey, you need an experienced DWI/DUI attorney who knows the best way to help and can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey DUI Lawyer – Supreme Court Questions Whether Drivers Can Be Forced to Take a Breathalyzer Test Without a Warrant

Last month, the United States Supreme Court addressed whether police can require drivers to take a “deep-lung” breath test without a search warrant. Three cases out of Minnesota and North Dakota were joined and brought before the Court. These states have laws that make it a crime for drivers to refuse to take a breathalyzer, urine, or blood test. Eleven other states have similar laws, including Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. A majority of the justices questioned whether these laws criminalizing refusal are constitutional, in light of an individual’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Generally speaking, the police cannot search a driver or their car after an arrest without first getting a search warrant, unless it is for their own personal safety or to preserve evidence. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that police cannot conduct blood tests for drunken driving without first obtaining a warrant. However, some justices remain hesitant to apply the same rule to the breathalyzer test, because it is less intrusive than drawing blood.

Previously in North Dakota, refusal to submit to a chemical test carried only civil penalties, such as the suspension or revocation of one’s license. However in 2013, North Dakota lawmakers passed legislation to make penalties for drunk driving offenses more severe—in part by punishing a refusal to take a breathalyzer test in the same manner as it punishes the crime of driving under the influence.

The groups backing the states’ laws, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), have argued that when a person applies for a driver’s license, they give their implied consent to be subjected to a chemical test in the event that they are arrested for suspected drunk driving.

However, several groups backing the defendants, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DDLA), have argued that the government cannot criminalize conduct protected by the Fourth Amendment. One cannot truly give “implied consent” to take a breathalyzer test when they get their license if they know that they will face criminal sanctions for refusing to take the test. The DDLA argued that there are better ways to deter drunk driving, including creating an electronic warrant system, setting up sobriety checkpoints, providing alcohol abuse treatment, and requiring the use of ignition interlock devices for convicted drunk drivers.

So how did the justices come down on the issue? Justice Samuel Alito was the only justice who seemed to be strongly in favor of criminalizing refusal, and he emphasized that breathalyzer tests are only a minimal intrusion. He expressed that the only reason people don’t want to submit to a breathalyzer test is because they don’t want their blood alcohol measured, it is not that they object to blowing into a straw. Justice Kagan seemed to agree with this line of reasoning, noting that police have an interest in testing a driver’s breath as quickly as possible, before their blood alcohol content (BAC) goes down.

Ultimately, the states were unable to come up with a persuasive reason why police cannot secure a warrant while transporting suspects to the police station or hospital for testing. Forty states now utilize electronic warrant systems.

Although it is not a crime to refuse to take a breathalyzer test in New Jersey, there are harsh civil penalties, including fines, motor vehicles surcharges, a long suspension of driving privileges and special sentencing enhancements if the refusal occurs within a school zone. A refusal can also be used to draw an inference of guilt in a DUI trial. If you are pulled over in New Jersey for a suspected DUI, the police can detain you and bring you to a hospital where staff may draw blood.

New Jersey DUI/DWI Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Represents Drivers Who Have Refused Chemical Testing

If you were arrested for drunk driving and refused to submit to chemical testing, you are likely facing steep penalties. In addition to a DWI charge, you are probably also facing penalties for refusing to take the breathalyzer test. To speak to an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer and begin building your defense, call the Law Office of Edward M. Janzekovich at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects DWI – DUI Refusal Challenge

On January 28, 2016 a New Jersey Appellate Court rejects a DWI / DUI refusal challenge that the Standard Statement police are required to read is defective. The argument is that the Statement does not fully advise a person in custody for suspected DWI / DUI of the exact potential penalties they will be charged with if they refuse to provide a breath sample for testing to determine if they are drunk driving in New Jersey.

The defendant argued thatshe should have been told that the mandatory minimum license revocation would be seven months,” and that “up to 20 years can mean anywhere between 0 days to 20 years.” She also challenged that she should have been told the mandatory minimum fine would be between $300 and $500, and that it would result in her having to install an ignition interlock device in her vehicle for a certain period of time.

In reality, the situation does potentially get even more confusing because in New Jersey – when a person is arrested for suspected DWI / DUI – most times, just prior to being read this Statement, they are also advised of their Miranda Rights, and the police then have them sign a rights card. Miranda says you have a right to remain silent, and the right to have an attorney. Then one minute later, you are read the Statement, which says you have no legal right to have an attorney, that you cannot remain silent, and that you must answer the question.

The take away from this, do not drink and drive, but if you are asked to provide a breath sample by a law enforcement officer, provide it, then hire a New Jersey DWI / DUI lawyer / attorney to help you. (you must supply at a minimum 2 good breath samples for the Alcotest to generate a test result and avoid a refusal charge.)


Click the below link for the sourced article from the New Jersey Law Journal – January 28, 2016 by Michael Booth

NJ Court Rejects Challenge to Breath-Test Refusal Warnings


Contact DUI – DWI Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact my office online or call us at 732-257-1137. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

The Office of Edward M. Janzekovich can help if you have been arrested and charged with DWI / DUI in Union County, Ocean County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, Mercer County & Somerset County.

We also serve the New Jersey cities of Union, Dover, Brick, Jackson, Wall, Woodbridge, East Brunswick, Evesham, Howell, Robbinsville, Bound Brook, Neptune, Hamilton, Linden City, Bridgewater & Tinton Falls.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Contact DUI / DWI Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

Contact me online or call my office at 732-257-1137 to arrange a free initial consultation. I am available evenings and weekends upon request. All major credit cards are welcome.

The Law Office of Edward M. Janzekovich serves all of Middlesex County including Edison Township, Woodbridge Township, Old Bridge Township, Piscataway Township, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, East Brunswick Township, South Brunswick Township, Sayreville, North Brunswick Township, Monroe Township, South Plainfield, Plainsboro Township, Carteret & South River, NJ.

DWI With Children In Car

Besides the DWI, possession of marijuana, marijuana in a motor vehicle, and the other slew of charges for her outrageous behavior, if it happened in New Jersey, she would probably be charged additionally with Endangering the Welfare of Children N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(2) because actions of a parent or guardian that expose minors to potential harm that could make them an abused or neglected child are, depending on the circumstances guilty of a 2nd or 3rd degree crime, and Driving While Intoxicated with a Minor Passenger N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15(c) – because a parent or guardian who is convicted of DWI and who, at the time of the violation, has a minor as a passenger in the motor vehicle is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. The respective statutes describe a Minor for N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15(c) as anyone who is 17 years of age or younger and a Child for N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a)(2) as any person under 18 years of age.


Police: Woman street racing with child on-board arrested for DUI

Taylor Viydo, KREM 9:23 p.m. MDT June 8, 2015

Shariah Whitney(Photo: KREM)

POST FALLS, Idaho – The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a woman who was driving while intoxicated with a child in the car on Sunday.

According to police, Shariah L. Whitney was street racing with another vehicle at Spokane Street and West Riverview Drive on Sunday. The other vehicle she was racing lost control and stuck a concrete island, before striking a parked car.

When police arrived, they arrested the Spokane Valley resident for driving under the influence. Officials said Whitney also had her 5-year-old daughter in the car when this happened. Court records showed a 15-year-old was in the vehicle, too.

Police have not said if Whitney will face additional charges for having a child in the car with her.

On Monday, the judge set Whitney’s bond at $3,600. Court records stated that her blood alcohol content registered at more than .20. Police wrote that Whitney also had marijuana with her at the time of the crash.

Actor Sam Shepard was arrested for DWI

Actor Sam Shepard was arrested for DWI in New Mexico on May 25, 2015 after the police were investigating a possible drunk driver call. According to the reports, Mr. Shepard exhibited outward signs of intoxication of bloodshot watery eyes , and an odor of alcohol (presumably on his breath) and he admitted to consuming “roughly” 2 tequila type drinks. He refused to give a breath sample and failed the field sobriety tests. Mr. Shepard was booked into the Santa Fe County Jail on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated


In New Jersey, a typical DWI conviction is a traffic violation, and not a criminal offense. However, the penalties associated with it are severe. If found guilty of a DUI/DWI in New Jersey, you will be exposed to a loss of license (90 days to 10 years, depending on your history), be required to attend counseling classes (IDRC, minimum of 12 hours and a lot longer if they determine you need more counseling), possible jail up to 6 months depending on your history, community service, monetary fines, State surcharges, possible interlock device in your car, and insurance points. If in a school zone, some of the penalties are doubled – a school zone is any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property.


A onetime lapse of judgment can be devastating. That is just from the State alone. Most people require a drivers license to either work, attend school, or perform simple family tasks on a daily basis.

How you perform on the standardized field sobriety tests you are asked to complete will most times be the decision point of whether or not you are arrested for DWI. When evaluating your performance post arrest, many factors are considered, some common ones are: The area you were performing the tests – lighting, flat level surface, free of debris, foot wear, existing medical conditions; the instructions and demonstrations provided so that you could understand what is actually being asked of you to do, the level of training of persons involved, and was your performance correctly interpreted to the Standard.


In New Jersey, you are required to give a breath sample if the police have reasonable suspicion that you were drinking and driving. Refusing to give that sample will lead to additional charges and penalties.


Sam Shepard article:

Police Not Liable For Detaining Reportedly Suicidal Woman

Police officers are not liable for the involuntary detention of a woman whose mother reported her to be suicidal, since the law of the Third Circuit has not established whether police have probable cause to detain someone based on a relative’s tip that they may kill themselves, a federal judge has ruled.

NJ Law Journal breaking news June 5, 2015



Unless New Jersey lawmakers decide otherwise, drivers under age 21 will continue to have to display little red decals on their license plates if they want to remain street legal. The state Supreme Court on Monday, in Trautmann v. Christie, A-16-11. upheld “Kyleigh’s Law,” finding the decal requirement does not violate the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act or federal and state constitutional guarantees of privacy and equal protection and against illegal searches and seizures.

The law, which took effect May 1, 2010, also sets limits on the number of passengers in youthful drivers’ cars and generally bars such drivers from the road between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Source – NJSBA Daily Briefing