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Off-Duty Police Officer Charged with DUI and Leaving Scene of Accident

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Off-Duty Police Officer Charged with DUI and Leaving Scene of Accident

Off-Duty Police Officer Charged with DUI and Leaving Scene of Accident

A law enforcement officer was arrested while off-duty this past September on DWI charges and fleeing the scene of an accident. 

Saddle Brook Police Department Officer Arrested Following Drunk Driving Crash in Bergen County

Attilio Dente, 39, a patrol officer with the Saddle Brook Police Department, was arrested by deputies of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office outside his home in the late evening of September 2nd. The officer allegedly crashed into a utility pole on Market Street before driving away to continue home. 

Dente denied fleeing the scene of the crash. Body camera footage of his arrest recorded Dente telling a sheriff’s officer that he momentarily closed his eyes then woke up after apparently hitting the pole. Dente further admitted that he had been returning from a friend’s home after a day of drinking on Lake Hopatcong. 

Dente was reportedly not injured in the accident. He was suspended with pay pending the results of his criminal prosecution and an internal affairs investigation. 

What Are the Consequences of a DUI Conviction?

In New Jersey, a DWI conviction can carry serious consequences, with sentences becoming more severe with subsequent offenses. Penalties for a DWI conviction include:

  • 1st offense, operating under the influence of alcohol or BAC of 0.08 percent or more but less than 0.10 percent: A monetary fine between $250-$400, possible jail time for up to 30 days, $1,000 insurance surcharge for three years, participation in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for six hours a day for two days, and temporary suspension of driving privileges until an ignition interlock device is installed on your vehicle. This device must remain in your vehicle for three months. 
  • 1st offense, BAC of 0.10 to less than .15%: Monetary fine between $300-$500, $1,000 insurance surcharge for three years, mandatory participation in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for at least six hours a day for two days, possible jail time for up to 30 days, and license suspension until an ignition interlock device is installed. This device must remain in your vehicle for at least seven months. However, if you have a BAC of 0.15% or over, your license will be suspended between four and six months, and the device will need to remain in your vehicle for nine to 15 months after your license has been restored. 

In addition, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $5,000 in the event of a conviction.

How Can a DWI Defense Attorney Help You After an Arrest?

If you have been arrested for DWI in New Jersey, a DUI defense lawyer can help you by:

  • Investigating the facts and circumstances of your arrest
  • Identifying potential defense strategies, such as challenging the legality of your traffic stop or the reliability of breathalyzer or blood testing
  • Negotiating for a favorable plea agreement, if appropriate
  • Advocating your defense if you choose to take your case to trial

Contact an Experienced Haddon Heights DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey

Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at The Scardella Law Firm, LLC represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Audubon, Gloucester City, Camden, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 452-4820 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 313 White Horse Pike, First Floor Haddon Heights, NJ 08035 in addition to offices located in Hamilton.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.