DUI & DWI’s in New Jersey
- Out of State DWI
- DWI penalties
- DWI F.A.Q.’s
- Prescription Medication DWI
- DWI Related License Suspension
- Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test 39:4-50.4
- How a DWI affects your CDL
- DWI in a school zone
- How we can help you – Defending a DWI
New Jersey has some of the toughest drinking and driving laws in the United States. Prosecutors and police officers make DUI/DWI Enforcement their number one priority. When you are arrested you need a tough dedicated attorney who will make your defense his number one priority. We have been representing people charged with these offenses for over 25 years and have handled over a thousand cases. Let us put our experience to work for you.
DUI/DWI Violations – N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI/DWI) is the most serious legal issue most people ever experience. While not a criminal charge, it carries with it consequences more severe than many criminal offenses. In New Jersey the driver is arrested, handcuffed, and frequently placed in a jail cell. The severe penalties include fines, loss of license, surcharges, and possibly jail. Click here to view the complete penalties.
In order to prove a DUI/DWI charge the State must prove that:
- An individual was operating a motor vehicle; and
- At the time of operation he or she was Under the Influence of alcohol or a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit producing drug.
The term operation requires the State to prove the following four factors:
- Control of the motor vehicle.
- A present intention to cause the motor vehicle to move.
- Some action taken to place the motor vehicle in motion.
- The possibility of motion by the motor vehicle.
To prove that the operator was under the influence the State must prove any one of the following:
- The operator had a blood alcohol level of .08% BAC or above as demonstrated on a Breathalyzer, Alcotest, or blood test; or
- The operator was under the influence of alcohol as shown by his/her driving, performance on psycho-physical tests, and observation and opinion of the police officer; or
- The operator was under the influence of drugs as shown by a blood or urine test, tests conducted by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), driving, performance on psycho-physical tests, and observation and opinion of the police officer.
Click here to read the complete New Jersey DWI Statute.
If you fail to take the Breathalyzer or Alcotest when requested to do so by the arresting police officer, you may also be charged with Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test. This charge carries with it additional penalties which may be as extreme as those for the DUI/DWI. These penalties can be imposed in addition to those for the DUI/DWI and you can be convicted of both charges. Click here to see penalties.
In order to prove a violation of this statute the State must prove that;
- the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that the defendant had been driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug or marijuana;
- the person was placed under arrest, if appropriate, and that he/she refused to submit to the test upon request of the officer.
Drivers who possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) face additional penalties even if they were driving a private passenger vehicle at the time of the stop. These penalties include a suspension of the CDL for a period of one year upon the first conviction for DUI/DWI or Refusal of a Breath Test. A second conviction results in a suspension of the CDL for life. Click here to see table of penalties for holders of CDL licenses.
There are additional penalties if the DUI/DWI occurred in a school zone or within 1000 feet of school property. A first offense permits imprisonment for not more than 60 days with a one year to two year license suspension. A second offense requires community service for a period of 60 days and imprisonment for 96 hours to 180 days with a four year license suspension. A third offense is a mandatory 180 days in jail which can be reduced by up to 90 days for an inpatient program and a 20 year license suspension. The Refusal statute carries with it the same license suspensions, but, does not have the jail terms.
An experienced defense attorney can make the difference between hearing a judge say “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. In cases where there is no defense, knowledgeable counsel may eliminate or reduce suspensions or jail.
During your first telephone call or in-office consultation we will listen carefully to you in order to determine the facts of your case. We will then explain to you how the laws of New Jersey apply to you. Upon hiring our firm we will write to the municipal prosecutor and obtain the complete police department file on your case. We will examine the validity of the motor vehicle stop and determine if it can be challenged.
If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and there is a Breathalyzer or Alcotest Test we will obtain the technical documentation and certifications and if necessary have them reviewed by an expert who is a former New Jersey State Police Breath Test Coordinator. We will challenge where appropriate the validity of the tests and the readings.
If you are charged with driving under the influence of a drug we will obtain all of the state’s proofs concerning the chain of custody of the blood or urine sample from the police department to the laboratory and the laboratory test results. We will utilize all available defenses to challenge the admissibility of the sample. If you were examined by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) we will obtain the report and have its results reviewed and if appropriate challenged by an Expert who is certified and as a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor.
Our Law Firm will aggressively pursue every approach to defend you against the DUI/DWI and/or Refusal. We will seek to minimize the penalties and obtain the best possible result.