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DWI vs DUI in New Jersey

December 8, 2016

New Jersey DWI/DUI FAQs

The DWI attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf have been representing defendants charged with DWI/DUI for over more than 25 years. We know not only the law, but also how the system works and we use our knowledge and experience to help protect your rights and fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome.

The following are some of the most commonly asked DWI questions. 

If I am suspended, can I get a conditional or restricted use license just to drive to work or to school?

No. Although many other states, such as New York, allow hardship licenses, which enable those whose licenses are suspended to drive for limited purposes, such as to work or school, New Jersey does not allow such licenses.  Thus, once your driving privileges are suspended in New Jersey, you will not be able to drive for any reason.

What is the difference between a DUI/DWI charge and a refusal charge? 

While drunk driving charges apply to motor vehicles operated on public roads, quasi-public areas, and even private property, police officers cannot charge you with refusal if you are on an area of private property.

In addition, while a third DWI/DUI conviction carries with it a mandatory six month jail term, there is no mandatory six month jail term for a third refusal charge.
For both a DUI/DWI or a refusal, however, the burden of proof that the state bears  is “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Can I be charged for refusing to perform a field sobriety test?

Field sobriety testing in New Jersey is entirely voluntary.  Thus, you are not required under the law to perform these tests.  If you do refuse to perform field sobriety testing, you will not be issued a separate charge or ticket for refusing to do so.

What do I need to inform my lawyer of?

If you are charged with a DWI/DUI or refusal, you should make sure that you inform your attorney of any medical conditions, injuries, physical conditions, psychological or other mental processing conditions (such as ADD or ADHD), dental problems, diabetes, gastric bypass surgery, GERD, any knee or leg injuries, or any medications you are taking.  Any of these conditions could be important to your defense.

Should I fight my DWI/DUI or refusal charge?

The answer to this question will always be yes.  If you do not hire an attorney and simply plead guilty to the charges, the judge will suspend your license and impose high fines and surcharges.  The judge may also impose jail time.  If you fight your case by hiring an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney, however, you may reduce the penalties faced and you may avoid the severe consequences associated with a conviction.

Is there a difference between a DWI and a DUI?

While DWI refers to Driving While Intoxicated, DUI refers to Driving Under the Influence.  Although both of these terms are in essence the same and are used interchangeably, DUI is broader as it encompasses not only driving under the influence of alcohol, but also driving under the influence of drugs.  New Jersey refers to drunk driving as DUI, whether the individual is charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Moreover, whether you are being charged with driving under the influence or alcohol or drugs, your conduct would be encompassed within New Jersey’s driving under the influence statute, which is codified at N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

If you are charged with being in violation of DWI/DUI or refusal in New Jersey, contact the DUI attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf today for a free consultation at 732-741-4448.

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By way of disclaimer, I must advise you that the purpose of this blog is not to provide legal advise and I am not doing so. I do not generally police this blog and I have no way of knowing whether the information that anyone else posts is accurate. Also keep in mind that laws and regulations change frequently and anything you read may be out of date.

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