Winslow NJ Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test Lawyer
DWI Defense Attorney in Camden County, New Jersey
You are pulled over, the police officer asks you some questions: have you had anything to drink today? Perhaps he or she asks you to step out of your vehicle, requests that you perform field sobriety tests on the side of the road. You are nervous, unsure of what to do next. You are asked to blow into a breathalyzer machine. Should you provide a breath test sample? Should you decline? So many unsuspecting New Jersey residents assume they should. However, refusal to submit to a breath test is a serious offense in New Jersey. Under New Jersey’s “Implied Consent” law, you are legally required to provide a breath sample upon request of an officer who has reasonable belief that you are driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence of drugs (DUI). As such, refusing to take a breathalyzer is considered a violation of this law, the penalties of which include an indefinite suspension of your driver’s license until installation of an ignition interlock device. Upon installation, the ignition interlock device will remain in your vehicle for 9 to 15 months. When facing charges for refusal to take a breathalyzer test or another DWI/DUI offense, police officers and prosecutors seek to punish you to the fullest extent of the law. It is critical to have an experienced NJ DWI defense attorney who can level the playing field.
William Fay is a DWI defense lawyer who has been fighting for clients charged with DWI offenses for years. He employs the knowledge and insight that he accumulated while working with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to investigate his clients’ cases and find errors in police protocol that can lead to dismissals in court. With Mr. Fay’s skills and exhaustive dedication, he has accumulated countless successes in courts in New Jersey. For a free consultation about your DWI refusal case in Pennsauken, Haddon Township, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, or Voorhees, contact our law office at 609-832-3202 for immediate assistance.
Do I Have to Give a DWI Breath Sample in NJ?
Yes. New Jersey’s Implied Consent Law is contained in Section 39:4-50.2. This law has two specific components. First, it is a legal assumption that any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road, street, highway, or quasi-public area in New Jersey, has consented to providing a breath sample if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is driving under the influence. Second, a person cannot be forced to provide a breath sample, but the officer must inform the person of the consequences of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. If the officer suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, he or she will either administer a portable breath test or a formal breath test using the Alcotest 7110 device. A portable breath test is typically used during the motor vehicle stop and is not subject to refusal laws, which means that it is voluntary. However, if you are arrested and taken to police headquarters, the Implied Consent law means that you must provide a breath sample administered using the Alcotest 7110 device.
What are the Penalties for Refusal to Submit to a DWI Breath Test in New Jersey?
The potential penalties associated with a conviction for refusal to provide a breath sample incrementally increases as the number (if any) of previous DWI refusals for which the defendant has been convicted increases. Specifically, if you are found guilty of a first offense for refusal to submit to a breath test, you will lose your driver’s license indefinitely until you have installed an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device must remain in your vehicle for at least 9 months and upwards of 15 months. If your DWI refusal is a second offense, the driver’s license suspension is mandatory 1 to 2 years and additional installation of the ignition interlock device for 2 to 4 years. Lastly, if the breath test refusal constitutes a third or subsequent offense, your driving privileges will be revoked for 8 years. Notice that these sentencing guidelines are strict and concrete. New Jersey does not allow for negotiated pleas in DWI cases, so a conviction for refusal to provide a breath sample inevitably results in these penalties. The State also refuses to provide hardship licenses for those who need to travel to work or school, so a driver’s license suspension applies no what matter. In addition to the loss of license, a first offense DWI refusal carries a fine ranging from $300 to $500, a second offense breath test refusal entails a $500 to $1,000 fine, and third or subsequent breath test refusals carry a mandatory fine of $1,000.
What if I Don’t Understand the English Language and Didn’t Know I Can’t Refuse?
This scenario is more common than most people realize. For those who only use English as a second, third or fourth language, it can be difficult to understand what rights you have when placed in a high pressure situation like this. Not only are you under stress to focus on what is happening but you may not fully understand what rights are being read and explained to you due to a language barrier. Fairly by the officer to properly read or explain the Breath Test Refusal Form with you can have a major impact on your case. It is imperative that you explain this to your attorney so that he or she can exploit this error to fight for a dismissal.
Contact Gloucester Township Breathalyzer Refusal Lawyer Today
As you can see from the discussion above, refusal to submit to a breath test cases are extremely serious and may spell severe consequences for your everyday life. In other words, they must be beat. If you or someone you love is facing refusal to take a breathalyzer charges or others for a DWI offense in Camden County or elsewhere in South Jersey, Mr. Fay has had great success securing dismissals for clients in this same situation. Contact our firm at 609-832-3202 for additional information and a cost-free consultation.