Most people who are arrested on a charge of DWI / DUI are not looking to endanger others, but the fact remains that regardless of their intent, of the municipal courts of New Jersey will prosecute these people to the fullest extent of the law. Anyone who is charged with a DWI / DUI is at risk for substantial punishment. A licensed attorney, practiced in defending DWI's, can help you understand your risk and put you in a position to get the best possible result.
Basic Information about DUI / DWI and related charges in New Jersey
If you have been charged with a DWI / DUI it is in your best interest to at least talk to a New Jersey DWI / DUI attorney. Most of the time, the relatively small investment of hiring a DWI / DUI attorney will pay off in mitigating the damage that results from a DWI / DUI charge, but this can vary case by case.
New Jersey DWI / DUI Charges and Penalties
In the state of New Jersey an individual who is pulled over while driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than the law allows will be charged with a DWI. Below are the limits for BAC in order to legally operate a vehicle in the state of New Jersey
Please note that unlike other traffic violations, in New Jersey a DWI charge REQUIRES your attendance in court, and cannot be answered by affidavit and plea.
In New Jersey, the penalties for a DWI / DUI are guided by New Jersey's mandatory minimum statutes.
If you are convicted, there is no way to receive less than the mandatory minimum.
A note on the 2011 change to NJ Law:
When reading websites, be sure to pay attention to whether the web site is referencing before or after changes in NJ law. Starting 2011, with the Chun case (you may see this referenced elsewhere) NJ established as a matter of law that a breathalyzer reading is assumed correct unless there is fault in it's use. Many lawyers in the past used questions regarding the validity of the breathalyzer as a key component of their defense, and will cite their results from those cases even though they can no longer use this approach or guarantee the same kind of results.
New Jersey Breathalyzer Refusal
Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test is also a punishable offense in the state of New Jersey. This refusal could constitute as evidence which can be used against you in a court of law and your refusal could garner additional penalties if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated. Consulting a DWI / DUI attorney can help mitigate the potential damage to your case. If you have refused to take a breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test you should contact a DWI / DUI attorney to discuss your options moving forward.
Refusal of a breathalyzer could constitute as evidence which can be used against you in a court of law and can result in additional penalties
Appealing a DUI / DWI Conviction
You have 20 days in order to file an appeal with the court
An appeal of your case with the assistance of a DWI / DUI attorney has a much higher rate of being overturned or reducing the punishment on convictions. When filing an appeal the judge cannot issue you a stricter sentence than has already been issued and could potentially overturn the ruling.
Many people don't understant that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filing an appeal with the help of an experienced DWI / DUI attorney. A successful appeal could remove all punishment including the attendance of an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center.
When filing an appeal the judge cannot issue you a stricter sentence than has already been issued.
Kyle L. Mastro, Esq. - Attorney at Law