Hackensack DUI Lawyer to Help Fight for Your Rights

In New Jersey, driving under the influence (DUI) convictions carry severe consequences. Even though a DUI is considered a “traffic offense” rather than a crime, individuals who are convicted can still face fines, other financial penalties, loss of driving privileges and jail time. Additionally, as a traffic offense, a DUI is not eligible for expungement, and this means that your conviction could very well stay on your record for the rest of your life.

The good news is this: There are numerous potential defenses to DUI charges in New Jersey. Regardless of whether you believe you were intoxicated, you “failed” the field sobriety tests or you blew above 0.08 percent on the Alcotest, your case is far from over. With more than a decade of experience, attorney Scott Gorman has successfully defended numerous clients against DUI charges under a broad range of circumstances, and he can use this experience to protect you.

Defenses for DUI Charges in New Jersey

Some of the potential defenses to DUI charges in New Jersey include:

Unlawful Traffic Stop or Arrest

If you were stopped without reasonable suspicion or arrested without probable cause, any evidence obtained after your traffic stop or arrest may be inadmissible in court.

Faulty Breath Test Results

Faulty calibration, improper test administration and various other issues can result in “false positives” for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) readings above the legal limit.

Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)

Improper administration of the field sobriety tests and misinterpretation of suspects’ performance on the FSTs can render the results inherently unreliable.

You Were Not Actually Driving Under the Influence

Whether there are other explanations for your alleged erratic driving behavior or your BAC estimate is not an accurate representation of your BAC when you were driving, there are a variety of potential ways to challenge the government’s evidence that you were under the influence of alcohol when you were behind the wheel.

DUI Penalties in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the potential penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending upon whether you have one or more prior convictions on your record as well as whether any aggravating factors (such as causing an accident or being pulled over in a school zone or with minors in your vehicle) are involved in your case. Broadly speaking, the potential penalties include:

  • Hundreds of dollars in fines and fees
  • $1,000/year insurance surcharge for three years or $1,500/year for a third DWI occurring within three years of the second DWI
  • Loss of driving privileges for months or years
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for months or years
  • Jail time (up to 30 days for a first-time offense)
  • Mandatory enrollment at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center (IDRC) at your expense

Understanding “DWI Refusals”

In New Jersey, in addition to facing penalties for drunk driving, when you get stopped on suspicion of DWI, you can potentially face additional penalties for what is commonly known as “Refusal,” which is short for Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test.

This is a result of the law of “implied consent.” When you drive on New Jersey’s public roads or even a quasi-public road like a parking lot, by law, you consent to taking a breath test if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you drove while intoxicated. The arresting officer must advise you of certain rights when they ask you to submit to a breath test, and he or she must also advise you of the consequences of refusing to submit to testing. However, under the circumstances, it is common for drivers to misunderstand their obligations (or for the arresting officer to fail to meet his or her legal obligations). As a result, it is also common for individuals who have been charged with DWI to face an additional charge for Refusal.

Since a Refusal is a separate offense from a DWI, it is possible to face penalties for Refusal even if you are not found guilty. But, the fact that these are separate offenses also means that there are separate defenses for Refusals as well. Hackensack DUI lawyer Scott Gorman is experienced in representing clients who refused to submit to the breathalyzer during their DWI arrests, and he can make sure you have every possible opportunity to avoid the license suspension, fines and other financial penalties that can result from a Refusal conviction.

Facing a First-Time DWI in Hackensack

If you are facing a first-time DWI charge, it is important to understand what you are up against. The penalties for a first-time DWI conviction are substantial (including possible jail time), and New Jersey prosecutors vigorously pursue all cases involving alcohol and drug-related driving offenses.

Penalties for a First-Time DWI (0.09 Percent BAC or lower)

  • Up to approximately $700 in fines and fees
  • $1,000/year insurance surcharge for three years
  • Three-month driver’s license suspension
  • Up to 30 days in state prison
  • 12 to 48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • A $230 daily Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • A possible 6 to 12 months of ignition interlock device post-license suspension

Penalties for a First-Time DWI Refusal

  • Up to $775 in fines and fees
  • $1,000/year insurance surcharge for three years
  • 12 hours at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • A $230 daily Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • Seven to 12-month driver’s license suspension (non-school zone)

Keep in mind, these are the penalties for a “standard” first-time offense. If your BAC was above 0.10 percent or higher, if you were stopped in a school zone, if you were transporting a minor, if you were under the influence of a drug, or if there are certain other aggravating factors involved in your case, the potential penalties will be even greater. With so much at stake, contacting a Hackensack DUI lawyer becomes a critical act. 

Facing a DUI Charge as a Multiple-Time Offender

If you have a prior DUI on your record, the consequences of a conviction as a multiple-time offender are even more severe. This is true for both DWI and Refusals.

Penalties for a Second DWI (within 10 Years of First Offense)

  • Up to approximately $1,300 in fines and fees
  • $1,000/year insurance surcharge for three years
  • Two-year driver’s license suspension
  • 2 to 90 days in a county jail
  • 30 days of community service
  • 12 to 48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • A $280 daily Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • One to three years of ignition interlock device post-license suspension

Penalties for a Second Refusal

  • Up to approximately $1,300 in fines and fees
  • $1,000/year insurance surcharge for three years
  • 12 to 48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • A $230 daily Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • Two-year driver’s license suspension (non-school zone)

Penalties for a Third or Subsequent DWI (within 10 Years of Previous Offense)

  • Up to approximately $1,300 in fines and fees
  • $1,500/year insurance surcharge for three years
  • 10-year driver’s license suspension
  • 180 days in state prison
  • Up to 90 days of community service
  • 12 to 48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • A $280 daily Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • One to three years of ignition interlock device post-license suspension

Penalties for a Third or Subsequent DWI Refusal

  • Up to approximately $1,300 in fines and fees
  • $1,500/year insurance surcharge for three years
  • 12 hours at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • A $230 daily Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • 10-year driver’s license suspension (non-school zone)

Learn More about Your Drunk Driving Case

When facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, it is important to learn as much about your situation as possible. In addition to scheduling a free initial consultation, we encourage you to read:

Contact Us Now for a Free Initial Consultation with an Experienced Hackensack DUI Lawyer

To speak with Hackensack DUI lawyer Scott Gorman about your New Jersey DUI case, please call 201-489-9199 or contact us online. We will schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible.

Scott Gorman Explains the Difference between DUI and DWI in New Jersey

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