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10.0Anthony J. Vecchio

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10.0Anthony J. Vecchio
  • Prosecuted and Defended Thousands of Cases throughout New Jersey Courts.
  • Anthony will personally work your case from beginning to end.
  • Flat Reasonable Fees.

This disclaimer applies to all the attorney rating agencies and organizations listed. The awards and recognition applies to the firm’s attorney. For further information about a firm’s attorney kindly reference their respective biographies. Some or all attorney rating agencies may require payment of onetime or annual fees. For further information, as to their internal selection and rating criteria please click on the respective links.

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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.


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.

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  • Prosecuted and Defended thousands of cases throughout New Jersey
  • Anthony will personally work your case from beginning to end
  • Flat Reasonable Fees

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NJ Driving While Intoxicated Ticket Defenses

  • No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop Vehicle
  • Alcotest Machine Not Working
  • Video Defenses
  • Hearing Impaired Confusion
  • No reasonable suspicion to detain for sobriety testing
  • No Reasonable Suspicion to Stop Vehicle
  • Alcotest Machine Not Working
  • Video Defenses
  • Hearing Impaired Confusion
  • No reasonable suspicion to detain for sobriety testing
  • Discovery and evidence violations by the police
  • Refusal defense based on confusion
  • Failure to comply with “20-minute” rule
  • Prosecution based on hearsay
  • Miranda defenses

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Possible Defenses To Your DWI Case In New Jersey

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.


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.

Start Your Free DUI/DWI Consultation:

For adults in New Jersey, the alcohol limit is 0.08. This means it is illegal to drive with a 0.08 or above. Also, once you hit a 0.10 there are enhanced penalties. Once you hit a 0.15, it triggers another additional penalty, which is that you have the mandatory installation of what is called the interlock device.

An interlock device is a device that has to be installed into your vehicle. Each time you want to drive it, you’ll have to blow into it, or your car won’t start. This device is used sometimes when you get your license back after being arrested for a DWI.

For minors, minors may not drive in New Jersey with any alcohol in their system. If a minor is driving and they’re intoxicated and their blood alcohol content is at 0.08 or above, in many cases they will be charged with both underage DWI (we call it “Baby DWI” in New Jersey, NJSA 39:4-50.14) and also with the adult DWI (NJSA 39:4-50).

The prosecutor, in almost every case, will not be willing, able, or allowed to dismiss the adult DWI in exchange for a guilty plea to the Baby DWI. If a minor’s BAC is under a 0.08, even if they are at 0.01, they can be still convicted for the underage DWI.

An arrest is based on probable cause. Normally in a DWI, they have pulled over your vehicle, or they stopped your vehicle. When they do this, it is not technically probable cause. In the state of New Jersey it is referred to as a reasonable suspicion.

Basically the officer has to have a reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This really means that it’s a well-based position that can be articulated to give the officer, a reasonable officer, sufficient grounds to believe that you committed moving violation or a criminal violation, in that the general law has been broken.

It’s a relatively low standard, much lower than the standard needed later on to convict you, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable suspicion is a very low standard and very fact sensitive. A judge reviewing whether an officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over will look closely at the facts.

Really, if the officer can articulate any good safe reason that he observed and believed you broke a law, a judge is technically is going to uphold that. It is not a standard that is easily challenged.

There are ways that you do challenge it however, and in many cases we do challenge it and are successful. It should be based on evidence; that’s why obtaining and gathering all possible evidence is so keen, and it is important to leave no stone unturned. Between video and narrative, in many cases there is a fresh flow of information, and a lot of information can contradict what the officer initially put in his report or testified to.

If there is a situation where you can show a judge, whether it’s in writing, in a video, or some other format, that the officer was not truthful, then once that credibility is lost, that is going to open up the door to successful insurgency or argument based on a lack of reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle.

If you get past that part of analysis and they are talking about probable cause to arrest, the same kind of thing, the officer needs to be able to point to the facts that would give a reasonable person a well grounded belief that the person has committed a crime, or in this case, was driving under the influence of alcohol.

That is going to be based on the officer’s observation of your driving. It’s going to be based on the officer’s observation when they were interacting with you based on your speech, the way your eyes look, whether they are bloodshot, watering, and your clothing whether it’s disheveled, whether your thought processes are coherent, and of course your performance on any sobriety test that they give you.

The officer is going to request that you perform the sobriety tests at some point. At that point, you have a decision to make. Are you going to perform them? Or are you going to choose not to?

From my experiences as a New Jersey attorney dealing with DWI’s, it’s extremely unusual for a driver to decline to perform sobriety tests. Very few people decline the tests. There’s no law in New Jersey that makes it illegal to decline to conduct sobriety testing. However, your refusal to undergo sobriety testing may create an inference. A judge may then infer that you’re refusing to do so because you’re intoxicated.

So, you’ll be stopped. You’ll be asked a series of preliminary questions by the officer. Where are you coming from? Where are you going? Have you been drinking? You’ll be asked to perform sobriety tests. If the officer, at that point, believes that there’s probable cause to place you under arrest, you will be arrested.

You will be handcuffed. You will be put in the back seat of a patrol vehicle. You’ll be transported to either a local police station or a state police barracks, if you’re on a roadway that the state police have jurisdiction over. In some cases, every department has it’s own procedures. In some departments, the procedure is to have you perform sobriety testing again back at the station.

Then they’ll go through what’s known as the Alcotest breath‑testing sequence, which will begin with asking you a series of questions. The officers must conduct what’s known as a 20-minute uninterrupted observation period. That’s to make sure you don’t burp or regurgitate any alcohol into your mouth prior to the sampling of your breath.

Once that’s completed, your breath will be sampled using the Alcotest 7110 breath‑testing machine. At that point, you will probably be charged with a DWI, regardless of what your Blood Alcohol Content was based on the other observations that the officers made, the sobriety testing, and so forth. After a certain period of time, you will be allowed to make a phone call. You can have someone come and pick you up and sign a liability waiver. Your car will then be impounded for a period of time.

The number one sign a police officer will look for if he or she suspects someone is driving intoxicated is going be the observations of the way you operate the motor vehicle. Any moving violation could simply give rise to a traffic violation or a reason to stop somebody for a traffic violation.

The worse the operation is and typical things that they’ll look for would be swerving (or even weaving within your lane), driving aggressively or erratically, or driving in a way that tells the officer you’re intentionally trying too hard not to be stopped. For example, if you’re going too slow, if a car’s 10 miles an hour below the limit, that’s going to give an officer cause to believe that you might be intentionally trying not to be pulled over.

Certainly, there are outside factors that the officer takes into consideration. The chances of being stopped are much greater at night than they are during the day. The fewer cars on the road, the less reason people have to be on the road. It’s going to heighten an officer’s suspicion, once they see the vehicle and notice any violations.

After you’re stopped, they’re going to interact with you; they’re going to be paying attention to your breath, to your speech patterns, to your thought process, to the manner in which you’re dressed. They certainly will try, at least, to take what we call a plain sight view of the inside of the vehicle, looking for any kind of contraband or alcohol, or anything else that might indicate that you might be under the influence or there might be some other kind of criminal activity afoot.

Then after they’re interacting with you, they may find that they believe that they have a reasonable suspicion that you might be under the influence. At that time, you’re almost certainly going to be temporarily detained so they can perform sobriety tests. Then certainly your performance on those tests is going to go a long way in determining whether the officer has probable cause to arrest you.

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*All Locations By Appointment Only*


Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC
4400 Route 9 South, Suite 1000
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Jersey City

Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC
2500 25th floor, Harborside Financial Center, 5th St.
Jersey City, NJ 07311

Mt. Laurel

Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC
309 Fellowship Road, East Gate Center, Suite 200
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08054


Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC
227 Main Street
Woodbridge, NJ 07095


Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC
103 Carnegie Center Dr #300
Princeton, New Jersey 08540

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The results of verdicts and settlements mentioned herein are not typical. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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