New Jersey DUI
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In order to be convicted of a New Jersey DUI, it must be shown that you were driving or in actual physical control of a moving vehicle. The burden is on the State of New Jersey to show that the officer had a reasonable, articulable suspicion for stopping or approaching the vehicle. If you were stopped at a roadblock, the prosecutor must show that the roadblock was set up in accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These issues are somewhat complex. Lawyers who only handle the occasional New Jersey DUI will not be aware of the latest cases that affect your rights.
The next stop in a New Jersey driving under the influence case is the officer’s roadside determination that there is probable cause to arrest you for DUI. The State must show that it is likely that you were a less safe driver as a result of drinking alcohol. Many cases involve the use of field sobriety tests. These tests can help an officer make up his mind about whether you should be arrested OR bolster his previously formed opinion that you are DUI.
After you are arrested, the officer MUST read at the time of arrest the correct Implied Consent warnings. These warnings must be read in substantial compliance with the statute.
There are three different warnings, and the officer must read the correct warning. This warning gives you the option of either taking a State test (or tests) or refusing the test. The officer chooses the test. The officer also must advise you that you have the right to an independent chemical test of your own choosing. Occasionally an officer will not read the Implied Consent warning at the time of arrest or refuse a request for an independent test. This may be grounds for the exclusion of the State test. You do not have the right to have an attorney present at this point in time.
In most New Jersey DUI’s the final part of the case is the State administered test or lack of a test. If a test is given, the State must prove that the test was done properly and on a machine that was working properly.
HOW CAN A NEW JERSEY DUI ATTORNEY HELP YOU?
The New Jersey DUI lawyer will make sure that the State can prove all of the elements of the case. He is entitled to all reports that are favorable to your defense and the identity of all witnesses who may testify against you. Frequently your NJ lawyer will review a videotape prior to going to court. Most prosecutors will allow us to watch the videotape before we go to court, and he can usually obtain a copy from the police with an Open Records Act request. These tapes are very helpful in the defense of a case.
You are entitled to contest certain aspects of the DUI case prior to a trial. Your New Jersey DUI attorney will use motions to suppress evidence that has been gathered illegally. In some cases, a granting of a motion or the presentation of a motion to the State will cause them to reduce the charges. The attorney will do whatever he can to win the case before you go to trial. In the event that a trial is necessary, the NJ DUI lawyer will know the expert witnesses who can testify about the field sobriety tests or chemical tests.
NEW JERSEY DUI LAWYERS
If you need a New Jersey DUI lawyer, NJ traffic ticket attorney, a New Jersey personal injury lawyer, or New Jersey DUI attorney call:Do you or someone you care about have a DWI/DUI, traffic, drug, other municipal court ticket or criminal matter in New Jersey? Do you want a law firm where the lawyers will deal with you directly, return your calls in a timely manner and give you straight answers to your questions in plain English? Where the NJ attorneys not only know the law, but also know how to treat you with the care and respect you deserve?
Thomas handles traffic tickets before all New Jersey Municipal courts and has offices in
Thomas Carroll Blauvelt, LLC
New Jersey Traffic and DWI Attorney
1789 Lincoln Highway
Edison, NJ 08817
Toll Free 24/7: 1-877-676-7729
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Also Located in
Bridgewater, New Jersey
991 Route 22 West
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
121 Main Street
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
The New Jersey DUI attorneys at New Jersey Traffic Tickets ONLY concentrate on traffic ticket violations. NJ Traffic Tickets is what they do and NJ traffic violations make up 100% of their practice. Their New Jersey traffic ticket attorneys deal with all New Jersey and New York traffic tickets including speeding tickets, seat belt tickets, NJ reckless driving traffic violations, drunk driving, New Jersey dui & dwi, careless driving, stop sign traffic ticket, driving with no insurance, driving while license suspended and all other New Jersey moving violations.
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REFUSING THE DUI TEST
If a police officer reads the New Jersey Implied Consent Warning to you, you are may either take or refuse the State test. Should you refuse to take a test on your first offense, your license can be suspended for up to one year without any work permit, $300.00 - $500.00 fine, $1,000.00 yearly surcharge for three years, referral to the Intoxicated Driver's Resource Center, and Ignition Interlock for six months to one year. The only way to get your license back is to win your New Jersey DUI case in court or have the case reduced to a non-DUI charge.
THE NEW JERSEY DUI "PER SE" VIOLATION (REGISTERING ABOVE 0.01, 0.04, 0.08)
THE FOLLOWING IS REFERENCE ONLY. THE LAWS REGARDING DUI PUNISHMENT CHANGE RAPIDLY. CHECK WITH A LOCAL NEW JERSEY DUI ATTORNEY.
Under 21: Per Se is .01Drivers under 21 may not have beer, wine or liquor in their vehicle while they are driving alone. (Their may be exceptions for work related driving)
Over 21: Per Se is 0.08
Commercial Driver in Commercial Vehicle: Per Se is .04
NEW JERSEY DUI FINES AND PENALTIES
Being convicted of a New Jersey DUI is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties including:
Fines, fees and surcharges MANDATORY FINES AND PENALTIES
Ignition interlock device
The penalties vary depending on your BAC and any prior DUI convictions. Click on the link below for a current schedule.
NEW JERSEY DUI FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
In most New Jersey DUI cases, an officer will ask you to perform three tests - the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand. These are the tests that the officer has been trained to administer. The officer will usually write down his observations in a police report. All to often his or her observations will differ from what really took place. Hopefully, there is a videotape that will disprove the officer’s testimony that "The driver could not keep his foot up" , or the tape may reveal that the driver was not quite as unsteady as the officer said. Most officers will exaggerate the driver’s performance on the field tests in order to obtain a conviction. However, effective cross-examination with or without a video usually reveal all the things you did right during the field sobriety tests - things the officer will seldom volunteer.
THE HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS TEST
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a test designed to measure the jerking of the eye. There are three ways to measure this "jerking" The first is to check for smooth pursuit. The next check is done to see whether the nystagmus becomes more "distinct" when the eye is moved to a lateral extreme or maximum deviation. The final measure is whether there is an onset of nystagmus before the 45 degrees. By measuring the angle at which the eye begins jerking, an officer can, theoretically, roughly estimate BAC.
What does all of this mean?
Most juries can understand that field tests really do not mean all that they are set out to be. Most jurors cannot stand on one leg regardless of whether or not they have been drinking. Field sobriety tests can be handled in court with proper training and questioning. Some people who have been drinking will not perform well on these tests, but a lot of non-athletic people will not perform well either.
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is used by police and prosecutors as a scientific test. If it is done correctly, it has been shown to have validity. However, road conditions are different than laboratory conditions. An officer with traffic going by, blue lights flashing, and potential for danger does not always do the test as he was taught. Thus, if the test is not done properly, the validity is compromised.
State Administered Tests of Blood, Breath, and Urine
The police are allowed to ask a driver to submit to a State administered chemical test if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is operating a moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In addition, the Legislature has determined that any person who operates a moving vehicle in New Jersey has given consent to have a blood, breath, urine, or test of other bodily substances to determine if he or she is under the influence of alcohol.
Once you are arrested for a New Jersey DUI, an officer should read the implied consent warning. This warning advises you of the consequences of taking a test and gives you the option of refusing a test. In addition, the warning advises you of your right to your own chemical test once you take the State test. Contrary to public opinion, the law does not give people the right to an attorney prior to taking a test.
New Jersey DUI Breath Tests
Both portable breath testing as well as evidentiary breath testing is done in New Jersey. New Jersey uses the Draeger Alcotest.
The machine works by measuring wave lengths of light. It measures the degree that alcohol absorbs infrared light. The more alcohol present the greater the absorption of light and the higher the level of alcohol.
Problems With Breath Testing:
The Alcotest is a machine and is subject to error. For example, if a person gives a breath test of 0.10 grams on their first try, the next test will be valid if it is as low as 0.08 or as high as 0.120 grams. The range is + or - .02 grams or more. That is a huge leeway in order for a test to be valid.
There are numerous things that can affect a breath test such as proximity to electronics that emit radio waves, like police walkie-talkies. These items should be turned off when in the room where the test takes place. The machine if properly working should detect any radio interference.
A person's physical condition, or exposure to certain substances, may also cast doubt onto the accuracy. Some forms of diabetes, hernias, gastric reflux, or other illnesses may yield inaccurate results on a breath test. In addition, exposure to certain chemicals like acetone may result in an inaccurate breath alcohol test result. Further, some diets like high protein diets may impact a breath test.
The officer who gave the breath test has generally only been through a sixteen hour course to administer tests. They do not know much more than how to turn the machine on and off. However, following recent court decisions, it is highly likely that the breath test will be admitted into evidence at trial. Therefore, it may be necessary to hire an expert to testify and educate the jury about the deficiencies in the breath test. It may be likely that there were some problems with a breath test. If there were, a good New Jersey DUI lawyer should be able to attack the result. See the following case.
Recent New Jersey Breathalyzer Court Case
MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW JERSEY DUI CASES
Can YOU really win?
Yes. A win is obviously a not guilty verdict or an outright dismissal. However, a win is a DUI charge that is dropped or reduced to another offense. Frequently, either before or during a hearing on a motion to suppress, a prosecutor will appreciate the weakness of the case and reduce the charge, because they understand that a New Jersey DUI may be difficult to prove. After learning of the facts of your case, the New Jersey DUI attorney will tell you what we need to do to win and what your chances of success are.
Can I plead Nolo or No Contest?
A nolo plea is of little use in a New Jersey DUI case because it will not save your license. It may carry some benefits in the event of an auto accident where liability is an issue.
Will the Prosecutor know my record?
The State has access to your history. In most cases the State will know all about your prior record, although some states do not report on-line. They will also know if it is clean. The prosecutor may obtain a national criminal history which should show prior offenses in other states.
How long does a New Jersey DUI stay on my record?
In New Jersey, a DUI will remain on your record forever but for future penalties only ten years.
I do not live in New Jersey, so how will this affect me, and will I have to return for court?
New Jersey can suspend your privilege to drive in this State, but it cannot suspend your license. In addition, it cannot issue any kind of limited permit for a person with an out-of-state license. However, if convicted, your state will most likely find out and issue some sort of suspension. Most likely, you will have to return to New Jersey for at least one court appearance.
Can I get a work permit if I am convicted?
No you cannot. The suspension of your driver's license in New Jersey is mandatory for the prescribed period. There is no provision for a conditional driver's license for work or otherwise.
What is an interlock ignition device?
It is a device that is installed on the steering column of the car and requires a breath sample in order for the car to start. In addition, it will beep at intervals and require breath samples. If any alcohol is detected, the car will shut off. On a first offense, if your BAC was .15 or higher, the ignition interlock is mandatory for the period of suspension and for six months to one year thereafter.
WHAT TO DO IF STOPPED BY THE POLICE FOR A NEW JERSEY DUI
This is not legal advice
What should I do if pulled over and am suspected of a DUI?
1. BE POLITE (The officer owns the side of the road.)
2. DO NOT SUBMIT TO ANY FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS, INCLUDING A HAND-HELD ALCOSENSOR
3. UNLESS THERE WAS AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING AN INJURY, SUBMIT TO THE REQUESTED CHEMICAL TEST (A REFUSAL TO SUBMIT WILL LEAD TO A LICENSE SUSPENSION WITHOUT A WORK PERMIT).
4. NEVER SPECIFY AN AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL THAT YOU HAVE CONSUMED
5. ALWAYS REQUEST AN INDEPENDENT TEST OF BOTH BLOOD AT A HOSPITAL AND BREATH AT A DIFFERENT POLICE DEPARTMENT
Underage DUI Penalties
If you are under 21 years old and are convicted for driving or boating with a BAC of .01% or higher, the following penalties apply:
30–90 day license suspension Possible combination of the minimum sentences above and select DUI Mandatory Fines and Penalties, depending on the situation 15–30 days mandatory community service Participation in alcohol education and highway safety programs at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center If you are unlicensed and under 17 years of age at the time of the incident, you are subject to a 30–90 day delay in processing your driver license
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