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Friday, August 20, 2010

Joe's DWI Maximum Sentence Overturned

Article from
By:Jim Lockwood/The Star-Ledger
 After Joe Giudice, husband of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice, flipped his truck in a DWI crash in Morris County earlier this year, a municipal court judge threw the book at him.

Photo: Aaron Houston/Star-Ledger
Giudice, 40, of Montville, had been sentenced in March in Montville Municipal Court to maximum penalties for a first DWI offense, including a one-year driver’s license suspension, a $500 fine, an ignition-interlock device, 30 days of community service and 48 hours in a driver-education course.

Giudice appealed, arguing the sentence was too harsh, and he instead should have received the minimum penalties.

Today, Superior Court Judge Philip Maenza, sitting in Morristown, agreed with Giudice and overturned the maximum sentence. Maenza imposed the minimum penalties of a seven-month license suspension, $300 fine and 12 hours of driver-education, and eliminated the community service and ignition device requirements.

It was the best outcome that the short, stocky spouse, who is featured regularly with his raven-haired wife on the Bravo-channel reality show, could have hoped for.

“I think the judge was more than fair,” defense attorney Joseph Afflitto Jr. said. Giudice, who was not accompanied in court by his wife, declined to comment.
Today’s hearing was the latest legal drama involving Giudice, as he and Teresa also have a bankruptcy case pending in federal U.S. District Court in Newark. Like most facets of their lives, the DWI crash that occurred Jan. 14 around 1:45 a.m. became fodder for their television show.
In a recent televised episode, Joe tells his wife and another couple that he was not drunk, but was tired and yawned, and that’s when he drove off the road and hit four trees and a utility pole.

“I’m like coming down the street and I yawned,” Giudice says in the episode. “It was like one of those deep yawns. It was like 1:30, whatever, quarter-to-2 in the morning. I was tired. It wasn’t from drinking at all, awright. I yawned for like a second. I shut my eyes for like second.”

Teresa also has written about the crash on her blog, backing up her hubby.
Giudice did not report the crash and instead went to a neighbor’s home, where police found him some 30 minutes later, according to today’s court proceeding. Giudice claimed he had not been drinking before the crash, but had a couple of shots of liquor afterward at the friend’s home to calm his nerves. His blood-alcohol content after the crash was .11 percent, which is above New Jersey’s legal limit of .08 percent, and he was issued the motor-vehicle violations.

In March, Montville Municipal Court Judge Seth Davenport rejected Giudice’s claim that he only drank after the crash, and also found that the friend had “a total lack of credibility” and was “just a liar,” Maenza said. Giudice also has had numerous prior motor-vehicle offenses over the years, including a prior DWI more than a decade ago, and other various minor infractions, officials said in court today. Davenport had found Giudice guilty of DWI, careless driving and failing to maintain a lane, and imposed the maximum penalties.

While Afflitto argued Davenport “overexercised his discretion,” Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Matheu Nunn countered the maximum sentence was appropriate because it was a “fair inference” that Giudice was drunk and hoping he would not be caught.

Maenza ruled that minimum penalties were sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. we really have to penalize these kind of people. other than violating DUI law and being such a douche in the courtroom. We should also install ignition interlock systems in all of his car.