If you have been accused of a drunk driving offense in Somerset County or Morris County, you know that having an experienced attorney in municipal court can mean the difference between keeping your license or losing it. D’Alessandro & D’Alessandro, LLC, has been defending the rights of our clients in northern and Central New Jersey since 1975. We are familiar with the procedures and processes in New Jersey municipal courts.
Common Questions About DUI/DWI In New Jersey
The following are questions we often receive from people facing drunk driving charges in New Jersey:
What is DUI?
If you are facing a DUI or DWI charge, you are accused of violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-50[JSL1]. Under this statute, any person in New Jersey who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over the counter medications if it is indicated that they should not be used while driving, may be charged with a DUI. For alcohol, you are considered intoxicated if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher.
Is it true that I can’t refuse a breath test?
Yes. Refusing to take a chemical test for alcohol, such as a breath or blood test, is a separate offense. By driving in New Jersey, you automatically consent to such testing. Refusing the test carries similar penalties to the DUI/DWI itself, including mandatory license suspension.
What is the difference between DUI and DWI in New Jersey?
New Jersey uses the legal term “driving under the influence,” or DUI, for drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The term “driving while intoxicated,” or DWI, is commonly used on television shows and by police officers and other people, so we use it to ensure that our clients know what they are facing. In essence, these two terms can be used interchangeably in New Jersey.
What happens to my insurance policy if I’m convicted of a DUI?
Although we are not insurance brokers or agents, a typical result is a substantial increase in the cost of your insurance policy. Some insurance companies may cancel or revoke a policy instead.
How can I fight a DUI charge?
There are numerous ways to work with our attorneys to fight a DUI/DWI charge in New Jersey. We review the police officers’ conduct in making an arrest, which must follow specific procedures. If the officer fails to follow protocol, it may be grounds for challenging the arrest. Additionally, a police officer must have probable cause to perform a breath test or field sobriety test — not just a “gut feeling” that you did something wrong. Furthermore, the New Jersey Supreme Court has set forth numerous guidelines and requirements for chemical testing machines. If they are not followed, the court may not allow the evidence to be used.
If I’m convicted, will I have a criminal record?
No. In New Jersey, DUI is a motor vehicle offense, not a crime. Even if you’re convicted of a DUI, you will not receive any criminal penalties. This also means that you will not be tried in front of a jury and that penalties are limited by law. Keep in mind, however, that if you are convicted, you may still lose your license and suffer other penalties.
Contact A DUI Attorney Today
We defend clients in municipal courts in Bernards Township, Bridgewater Township, Bedminster, Bernardsville, Somerville, Long Hill Township, Harding Township, the Borough of Bernardsville and other towns and cities in northern and Central New Jersey. Our lawyers accept credit cards, offer flexible hours and are conveniently located near the center of Basking Ridge with easy access to and from Route 78 and Route 287.