The Advantages Of Hiring A DWI Attorney In New Jersey
Have you been charged with a DUI or DWI? Everyone makes mistakes, and there is no need for a bad decision to stay with you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, a DWI offense in New Jersey can have dramatic effects that can affect you in the long-term, including hefty fines, loss of driving privileges, permanent marks on your criminal record, or even jail time.
What should you do if you’ve been charged with a DUI in New Jersey? It’s important to understand that you don’t need to go through the experience alone. An experienced attorney with decades of experience in New Jersey DUI laws will be your best asset in the unfortunate circumstance that you are charged with a DWI or DUI. The right attorney will know all the relevant laws and defenses that could apply to you, along with the local prosecutors and how they operate, and the full details that led to your charge.
While this is probably a brand-new experience for you, an experienced New Jersey attorney can use their wealth of information to help you minimize the long-term effects of a single bad decision.
Read on to find out more about the advantages of hiring a DWI attorney in New Jersey.
Understanding New Jersey DWI And DUI Statutes N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
- Avoid the Loss of Driving Privileges
- Avoid the Loss of Driving Privileges
- New Jersey DUI Attorney
- DWI Arrest and Procedure
- Consequences of A NJ DUI
- Frequently Asked Questions
First, let’s clear up a common question about DUI and DWI charges in New Jersey. DUI stands for “driving under the influence” while DWI stands for “driving while impaired”. In New Jersey, these two terms are used interchangeably, and there is no difference whatsoever in terms of prosecution, penalties, sentencing, or anything else between the two terms.
New Jersey law states that it is an illegal offense to drive while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent. Truck drivers and drivers under the age of 21 are further restricted, with maximum BAC levels for truck drivers at 0.04 percent and an extremely restrictive limit of 0.01 percent for drivers under 21.
Pulled Over For A New Jersey DUI? Here’s What To Do First
You most likely had a lot going through your mind when you were pulled over for a DUI. Nerves, fear, anxiety, and a host of other thoughts were probably racing through your head as you tried to work out what to do next.
In these circumstances, it takes real strength of character to stay calm and polite. Remember that, while the law requires that you identify yourself to police if asked and produce paperwork as requested, such as your license and registration or insurance documents, you do not have to give any further information. You have a right to silence, and you don’t have to answer questions about where you’re going, where you’ve been, and whether you’ve been drinking.
You don’t have to answer questions, but that doesn’t mean you can lie either, nor does it mean you can be rude to police officers. Instead, calmly repeat that you are exercising your right to remain silent. Then, as soon as possible after the charge, get in contact with an experienced New Jersey DUI attorney.
The thought of losing your license, your money, or worse, your freedom, can be worrisome. Driving restrictions could affect your career, your responsibilities, and even your daily life. You need someone who understands your fears and will fight for your rights after a driving while intoxicated ticket in New Jersey. Our NJ DWI lawyers are here to help
At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, our experienced NJ DWI defense attorney will stand by your side during this difficult time. Anthony’s goal is to provide the highest level of service to DWI and traffic defense clients. He stays on top of the constantly evolving criminal and DWI laws, working closely with investigators and Alco-test and police training experts.
Hiring a New Jersey DWI attorney who cares about your case and is experienced will give you the best chance of getting the DUI charges against you dismissed or minimizing the DUI penalties.
Many Drivers accused of a DWI are nervous about the consequences of the charges they face, and this is entirely understandable. Your initial reaction may be that you will be convicted of the crime, or that your penalty may have a severe negative impact on the way you live your daily life and there is nothing you can do about it. On the contrary, there are many ways to fight a DWI in New Jersey and The Law Offices of Anthony Vecchio Esq. are ready and waiting to help. Please call Anthony today, or fill out a form on this website and Anthony will personally reach out to see how he can best help fight your case.
NEW JERSEY DWI ARRESTS AND PROCEDURE N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
In most New Jersey DWI cases, police pull over the driver of a vehicle for a traffic violation. After stopping the vehicle, the officer approaches the driver and asks for the driver’s credentials. At the same time, the officer is checking your eyes, breath, movements and speech for any sign of drug or alcohol intoxication.
If the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she may detain you for sobriety testing. While you do not have to perform any psychological and physical testing, the refusal to do so can be used against you. (Important: this does not apply to breath testing. If requested to submit to breath testing, you must do so, or risk facing yet another very serious charge of refusal to blow)
If an officer believes there is probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, you will be handcuffed, placed in the patrol vehicle and transported to the police station. If you are arrested by New Jersey State Police, you will be taken to the nearest State Police barracks. At the station, you will likely be asked to give breath, blood and/or urine samples.
Your breath sample will likely be taken by the Alcotest 7110. The machine will detect your blood alcohol content on the spot. Blood and urine samples will be sent to one of several New Jersey State Police laboratories for analysis.
Each stage of this process, from the initial stop of your vehicle to the results of the laboratory analysis, can be challenged on various grounds.
NJ Driving While Intoxicated Ticket Defenses
The role of a DWI attorney is to use their considerable knowledge and experience to either have your case dismissed entirely or to negotiate the best possible outcome for you.
Your defense against your DUI charge starts from the moment you are pulled over on the roadway. Your DUI attorney will ask you a range of questions and will need to know everything that happened from the moment you were pulled over, which is why it’s so important to get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible after the incident. The longer you wait, the less you may remember of the interaction, and the less your attorney will be able to help you.
Why is it so important to analyze every aspect of the interaction with the officer who pulled you over? Because, regardless of whether you are driving under the influence or not, you have certain rights that must be respected by police officers. If any of those rights have been violated, this can amount to a possible defense to your DWI case.
Your New Jersey DWI attorney will give you much more information on these possible defenses, but just know that they can include:
- The officer failing to inform you of the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test;
- Failure of the officer to give you a miranda warning regarding your right to silence;
- An illegal search and seizure of your vehicle without probable cause;
- The officer being abusive or using aggressive force against you;
- The officer pulling you over without probable cause or reasonable suspicion;
- The officer’s failure to properly document your arrest;
- Improperly taking a BAC measurement, for example by using malfunctioning equipment or an inaccurate method.
When defending our clients, we leave nothing unquestioned. After the initial discovery, our clients receive an optimized defense taking into account the unique needs and circumstances of each situation. Anthony Vecchio will personally walk you through every aspect of your arrest including the negotiation with authorities, post-investigation, all the way through the litigation of the case if necessary.
We aggressively fight the charges brought against you until we exhaust every option and although no one can guarantee a positive outcome, we will not stop fighting by your side until you tell us to.
Penalties For A DUI In New Jersey
If you are convicted for a DUI in New Jersey, penalties can include the loss of your license for up to 10 years, community service, jail time, and fines and surcharges. The court will consider a range of factors when determining your sentence, including your BAC level and whether you have any past offenses
DUI Penalties For A First Offense
If you are convicted of a DUI and it is your first offense in New Jersey, your penalties could include one or more of the following:
- Loss of license for between three months and one year
- A fine between $250 and $400
- A surcharge on your auto insurance of $1,000 for three years
- The installation of an ignition interlock system for a period between six and 12 months
- An assessment of potential alcohol or substance abuse
- Mandatory attendance at a two-day alcohol course at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centre.
DUI Penalties For A Second Offense
If you have a previous DUI conviction within a 10-year period of your new charge, you are considered a repeat offender and may be subject to significantly more severe penalties, including:
- Loss of license for up to two years
- A fine between $500 and $1,000
- 30 days of community service
- Mandatory attendance at a two-day alcohol course at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centre
- A surcharge on your auto insurance of $3,000 for three years
- Jail time of up to 90 days
- The installation of an ignition interlock system.
DUI Penalties For A Third Offense
If you are deemed to be a repeat offender and this is your third DUI offense, the penalties will become even more severe. Penalties can include:
- A minimum fine of $1,000
- Up to 90 days of community service
- Mandatory attendance for between 24 and 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centre.
- A surcharge on your auto insurance of $4,500 for three years
- Jail time of up to 180 days
- Loss of license for up to ten years
- The installation of an ignition interlock system.
Other Factors That Can Affect Your Sentence
There are other factors apart from your BAC and prior offenses that can affect your penalty. Aggravating circumstances such as driving with a suspended license, causing injury or death to another person, or having a child in the car with you can cause the imposition of a harsher sentence.
Your sentence can also be increased if police officers add other charges while charging you with DUI, such as possessing drug paraphernalia, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test or reckless driving.
You Deserve an Experienced New Jersey DWI Attorney
New Jersey’s DUI laws can be complex, and penalties for a successful conviction can be life-shattering. The worst thing you can do is face these charges on your own.
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is vitally important that you get in contact with an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney. Anthony Vecchio is a former prosecutor and has handled both sides of DUI matters for more than 20 years.
His wealth of experience has given him a unique insight into the scientific principles used by police officers and prosecutors, along with effective defenses to reduce the charges.
If you have been charged with a DUI, act now by calling the 24/7 DUI hotline or completing the form on this page for an immediate response.