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State v. Alexandrova

March 4, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
MARINA ALEXANDROVA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Municipal Appeal No. 4695.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted January 29, 2009

Before Judges Axelrad and Lihotz.

Defendant, Marina Alexandrova, appeals from her conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI), N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Defendant was initially found guilty in the Clifton Municipal Court. She was sentenced as a third-time DWI offender, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a)(3), resulting in the suspension of her driver's privileges for ten years; the imposition of an Interlock Device for a three year period, commencing on the date her driving privileges are restored; a 180-day prison term, of which ninety days may be served in an in-patient alcohol rehabilitation facility; and an assessment of applicable fines and penalties. She appealed.

After a trial de novo in Superior Court before Judge Guzman, Rule 3:23-8(a), defendant was again convicted of DWI. She was sentenced just as she was in municipal court, however, Judge Guzman stayed the sentence pending appeal.

On appeal, defendant presents the following arguments:

POINT I

THE MUNICIPAL COURT AND SUPERIOR COURT[] EACH ERRED WHEN THEY DENIED DEFENDANT'S RECUSAL APPLICATION BECAUSE NEITHER COURT CONSIDERED THAT DEFENDANT MIGHT REASONABLY BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE PRECLUDED FROM BEING FAIR AND UNBIASED.

A. THE MUNICIPAL COURT FAILED TO APPLY THE APPLICABLE STANDARD.

B. THE SUPERIOR COURT'S RESPONSE TO THE RECUSAL APPLICATION WAS ENTIRELY CONCLUSORY.

POINT II

THE STATE FAILED TO MEET ITS BURDEN OF PROOF THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS OPERATING HER MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE ...


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