A DUI can result in fines, jail time, suspended licenses and more.
You are driving home from a party late on Friday night. You’ve had a few drinks, but felt well enough to drive. You weren’t far from home – you decided to chance it. But suddenly, flashing lights appear in your rear view mirror. You’re being pulled over by the police. You pull onto the shoulder with a sinking feeling in your gut – your only hope is leniency.
In New Jersey, like in most states, driving under the influence is a serious infraction and your options are limited. New Jersey has an ‘implied consent’ law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2) which holds any driver of a motor vehicle obligated to take a breath test if the officer has probable cause to believe they are intoxicated. You can refuse it, but the penalties for refusal are steep.
Refusal to submit to a breath test when suspected of DUI carries penalties contingent on whether you’ve refused on the past.
- 1st refusal – 7-month license revocation and $300-$500 fine.
- 2nd refusal – 2-year license revocation and $500-$1,000 fine.
- 3rd refusal – 10-year license revocation and $1,000 fine.
It’s worth noting that even without the evidence of a breath test, you may still be charged and convicted of a DUI based on other evidence. The penalties for a conviction can be severe and lasting, especially if there was property damage or personal injury to other parties. Therefore, if you face a DUI charge, it’s essential you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend the charge or negotiate for a lighter sentence.
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney might challenge the officer’s reason for pulling you over, the legality for your arrest, or the conduct of the officer during the arrest. If there’s likelihood that you face conviction, your criminal defense attorney would provide counsel that could affect the severity of your sentence. If this is your second or third conviction, you’re certainly going to need help.
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you must find a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. Contact attorney David P. Schroth. Located just outside Trenton, David has offered strong, personalized legal services for over 20 years, including defending against DUI charges. Reach him at 609-882-0041, so he can help you, too.