So You Got a DUI? Here’s How to Keep Your Life Together
Being pulled over and placed under arrest for a suspected DUI (driving under the influence) or impaired driving charge can be an extremely embarrassing experience, particularly when you are arrested in front of family or friends. If you have been arrested for DUI in New Jersey, you may be feeling humiliated, ashamed or frightened about what comes next.
Rest assured, you do not have to go it alone. We understand what you are going through. Our firm is committed to providing clients like you with the legal support and counsel that you need in this legal situation. It is our job to help you fight for your rights and do whatever we can to assist you in seeking a favorable outcome in your case. That’s a responsibility we take seriously.
Keep in mind that DUI arrests can happen to anyone. It does not matter whether you are rich or poor, own an expensive SUV or a high-mileage beater car, have a Ph.D. or never finished high school. The law applies to all of us equally. Any driver can be arrested for and charged with DUI if they are found to be operating a vehicle while impaired or under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances. In some instances, all it may take is a few drinks in a social setting or a prescription medication to put your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) over the legal limit.
Potential DUI Penalties in New Jersey
DUI is a serious offense. Whenever a driver is found to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, it is very likely he or she will be placed under arrest and charged with DUI. Individuals who are convicted of DUI in New Jersey can face heavy penalties, including but not limited to:
- Fines, fees and surcharges;
- Driver’s license suspension;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID);
- Jail time; and
- Community service.
Drivers with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.10, or with a BAC of 0.10 percent or higher, as well as repeat offenders, will face mandatory fines and penalties upon conviction. These penalties may include:
- Loss of driving privileges
- Fines up to $1,000
- Mandatory surcharges
- Required contributions to the drunk driving fund, Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund, and Neighborhood Services Fund
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Up to 90 days of community service
- Maximum of 48 hours in an Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC) program
- Required installation and use of an IID for up to three years
What You Should Do If You Are Arrested for DUI
As a driver, you need to realize that being arrested for DUI is not the same as being convicted. Even if you fail a field sobriety test, breath test or blood test, those test results do not guarantee a conviction.
If you have been arrested for DUI, recognize that you have constitutional rights—and exercise those rights. The law does not require you answer any questions following your arrest, without first speaking with an attorney and making the smart choice to have an attorney present during any questioning.
While you may not believe you have done anything wrong, and you want to cooperate with the police, what you say will be used against you in court. Always speak with a lawyer before discussing your situation with law enforcement officials or admitting fault.
Let us help you keep your life together following a DUI arrest. Call a skilled attorney from the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC so we can review your case and advise you of what strategy may allow you to successfully pursue a reduced charge, or a dismissal of the DUI charge.
State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission: DUI: Driving Under the Influence