DUI & DWI
If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI in the State of New Jersey, you should immediately contact a defense attorney who focuses in this area of law. New Jersey has strict laws and penalties regarding operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (even if they are Lawfully Prescribed Medications). There are no “hardship” licenses in New Jersey even for the limited purpose of driving to and from work. This is a complex area of law, which is why you need to find an attorney who has extensive experience representing clients charged with DWI.
New Jersey DUI/DWI law is governed by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. Under that statute, a person can be convicted of DUI/DWI in two ways in New Jersey. The first is by operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In such a case, the State must prove that you consumed alcohol to the point where you were in a seriously diminished capacity. To prove this, the State will usually rely on your performance on the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). The second way an individual can be convicted of DWI/DUI is by violating the state’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit of 0.08%. There, the State must prove your BAC exceeded 0.08% through blood testing or the breathalyzer test.
Further, if you refuse to take a chemical test, such as the breathalyzer or Alcotest, when ordered to by law enforcement, you will be charged for refusing under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4. This is because when you receive your driver’s license in New Jersey, you give your Implied Consent to submit to chemical tests. In addition to being charged with refusing to submit, you may still be charged with driving under the influence.
During your first telephone call or in-office consultation with Randolph Wolf he will listen carefully to you in order to determine the facts of your case. He will then explain to you how the laws of New Jersey apply to your situation. Upon hiring our firm we will write to the Municipal Prosecutor and obtain the complete police department file on your case. We will examine the validity of the motor vehicle stop and determine if it can be challenged. If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and there is a Breathalyzer or Alcotest Test we will obtain the technical documentation and certifications and if necessary have them reviewed by an Expert who is a former New Jersey State Police Breath Test Coordinator. We will challenge where appropriate the validity of the tests and the readings.
Likewise, if you are charged with Driving Under the Influence of a Drug we will obtain all documentation concerning the chain of custody of the blood or urine sample from the police department to the laboratory and the laboratory test results. We will utilize all available defenses to challenge the admissibility of the sample. If you were examined by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) we will obtain the report and have its results reviewed and if appropriate challenged by an Expert who is certified and as a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor.
Randolph Wolf will aggressively pursue every approach to defend you against these charges and to minimize the penalties. Click here to see the DUI defenses he has successfully utilized.
DWI and Refusal Penalties
Penalties differ depending on whether the charge is a First Offense, a Second Offense, a Third Offense, or Refusing to Submit to a Breath Test as well as the level of BAC the individual is charged with having at the time of the arrest. Moreover, convictions for DUI in a School Zone or School Crossing, Underage DUI, or for those drivers that possess a Commercial Drivers License carry enhanced penalties.
How Our Firm Can Help
The attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph H. Wolf have been representing people charged with these offenses for over 25 years and have handled over a thousand cases. We not only know the law, but also how the system works, and we can use that knowledge and experience to help protect your rights and fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome.
We can help you by looking for flaws and mistakes in the state’s case against you. This includes looking at the reasons the police pulled you over in the first place. In order for a traffic stop to be valid, the police must be able to show that you broke at least one traffic law or that they had some other logical reason for stopping you. We can help determine if the traffic stop was valid or not.
Additionally, we will look for any errors that the police made while conducting tests to determine if you were impaired or not. These tests can include field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, Alcotests, and the testing of blood samples if you refused to take a breathalyzer. We will have an expert who is a former New Jersey State Police Breath Test Coordinator review the testing in your case to verify that the testing was performed properly and according to the state’s guidelines and that the testing equipment used was properly calibrated to prevent inaccurate and false readings. We will also review other circumstances regarding your arrest, such as making sure you have been read your Miranda rights and that police respected those rights.
Our law firm will aggressively pursue every approach to defend you against the DUI/DWI and/or Refusal. We will seek to minimize the penalties and obtain the best possible result.
DWI Penalties for First Offense
Under New Jersey law, the penalties for a first-offense conviction depend on blood alcohol content. If your BAC is between 0.08% but less than 0.10%, a conviction results in a mandatory three-month license suspension. In addition, a conviction results in a fine between $250.00 and $400.00, 12-48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) and up to 30 days imprisonment. If your BAC is 0.10% or higher, penalties for a first-offense conviction include a seven month to one year license suspension, a fine between $300.00 and $500.00, 12-48 hours at an IDRC, and up to 30 days imprisonment. A jail sentence is unlikely for a first offense.
Moreover, if your BAC level is below 0.15% the court may, in its discretion, require the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for six months to one year after your driving privileges have been restored. If your BAC is 0.15% or above, the court must impose installation of an ignition interlock device during the term of license suspension and for six months to one year after driving privileges are restored.
In addition to the court-imposed penalties, a person conviction of a first-offense DWI is subject to an insurance surcharge of $1,000.00 a year for three years ($3,000.00).
DWI Penalties for Second Offense
For a second-offense DWI conviction, penalties include a mandatory two-year license suspension, a fine between $500.00 and $1,000.00, 30 days community service, 12-48 hours at an Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC), and 48 hours to 90 days imprisonment. Additionally, for a second-offense conviction, the court will impose installation of an Ignition Interlock Device during the term of suspension and for one to three years after driving privileges have been restored.
DWI Penalties for Third Offense
Penalties for a third-offense conviction in New Jersey include a ten-year license suspension, a $1,000.00 fine, up to 90 days community service, 12-48 hours at an Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC), and 180 days imprisonment. Additionally, for a third-offense conviction, the court will impose installation of an Ignition Interlock Device during the term of suspension and for one to three years after driving privileges have been restored.
In addition to the court-imposed penalties, a person conviction of a third -offense DWI is subject to an insurance surcharge of $1,500.00 a year for three years ($4,500.00) for a third offense within a three-year period.
Refusing to Submit Penalties
A charge for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer is serious. A conviction can carry the same penalties as a DUI conviction. For a first offense, penalties include seven months to one-year license suspension, a $300.00 to $500.00 fine, and 12 hours at an Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC). For a second offense, penalties include a two-year license suspension, a $500.00 to $1,000.00 fine, and 12 hours IDRC. For a third offense, penalties include a ten-year license suspension, a $1,000.00 fine, and 12 hours IDRC. These penalties are in addition to any penalties you may receive from a DUI or DWI conviction. A refusal penalty can also include the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device Requirement.