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New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney N.J.S.A. 39:4-50

  • Avoid the Loss of Driving Privileges
  • DWI arrest and procedure
  • Driving while Intoxicated
  • Consequences of a New Jersey DWI
  • New Jersey DWI Attorney
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Don't delay in contacting our New Jersey driving while intoxiated or DWI defense attorney if you mixed liquor with driving, even if you were charged with refusal to blow, we may be able to help you!

Avoid the Loss of Driving Privileges

One of the greatest privileges you can have as a New Jersey citizen is the ability to drive. When you are charged with a DWI or traffic violation at a traffic stop or after being pulled over, however, your days behind the wheel may be numbered.

The thought of losing your license, your money, or worse, your freedom, can be worrisome. Driving restrictions could affect your career, your responsibilities, and even your daily life. You need someone who understands your fears and will fight for your rights after a driving while intoxicated ticket in New Jersey.

At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, our experienced defense attorney will stand by your side during this difficult time. Anthony’s goal is to provide the highest level of service to DWI and traffic defense clients. He stays on top of the constantly evolving criminal and DWI laws, working closely with investigators and Alcotest and police training experts.

Hiring a New Jersey DWI attorney who cares about your case and is experienced will give you the best chance of getting the charges against you dismissed or minimizing the penalties.

New Jersey DWI Arrests and Procedure N.J.S.A. 39:4-50

In most New Jersey DWI cases, police pull over the driver of a vehicle for a traffic violation. After stopping the vehicle, the officer approaches the driver and asks for the driver’s credentials. At the same time, the officer is checking your eyes, breath, movements and speech for any sign of drug or alcohol intoxication.

If the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she may detain you for sobriety testing. New Jersey DUI defense attorney Anthony Vecchio is here to help you after a DWI arrestWhile you do not have to perform any psychophysical testing, the refusal to do so can be used against you. (Important: this does not apply to breath testing. If requested to submit to breath testing, you must do so, or risk facing yet another very serious charge of refusal to blow)

If an officer believes there is probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, you will be handcuffed, placed in the patrol vehicle and transported to the police station. If you are arrested by New Jersey State Police, you will be taken to the nearest State Police barracks. At the station, you will likely be asked to give breath, blood and/or urine samples.

Sobriety testing using an alcotest is protocol in New Jersey for DWI arrests, DWI defense attorney Anthony Vecchio is here to helpYour breath sample will likely be taken by the Alcotest 7110. The machine will detect your blood alcohol content on the spot. Blood and urine samples will be sent to one of several New Jersey State Police laboratories for analysis.

Each stage of this process, from the initial stop of your vehicle to the results of the laboratory analysis, can be challenged on various grounds.

New Jersey Driving While Intoxicated Ticket Defenses

Typical defenses include:

ic0-10 Hearing-impaired confusion

ic0-11 Failure to properly administer roadside sobriety tests

Many other challenges also exist. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC to discuss what defenses may be available in your specific case.

Consequences of a New Jersey DWI

First offense:

*BAC of .08%-.10%

  • Jail: Up to 30 days
  • License suspension: 90 Days
  • Fine: $250 – $400
  • Fees: $230 IDRC; $100 DDF; $75 SNF
  • Surcharge: $1,000 p/year for 3 years
  • IDRC: 12 – 48 hours

*BAC of .10% or Drug Intoxication

  • Jail: Up to 30 days
  • License suspension: 7 months to 1 year
  • Fine: $300 – $500
  • Fees: $230 IDRC; $100 DDF; $75 SNF
  • Surcharge: $1,000 p/year for 3 years
  • IDRC: 12 – 48 hours
  • Interlock: 6 month – 1 year if BAC .15 or ^

Second Offense:

  • Fine: $500 – $1,000
  • Jail: 48 hours – 90 days
  • License Suspension: 2 years
  • Fees: $280 IDRC; $100 DDF; $75 SNF
  • Surcharge: $1,000 p/year for 3 years
  • Interlock: 1 – 3 years
  • Community Service: 30 days
  • IDRC: 12-48 hours

Third or Subsequent Offense:

  • Jail: 180 days
  • License Suspension: 10 years
  • Fine: $1,000
  • Fees: $280 IDRC; $100 DDF; $75 SNF
  • Surcharge: $1,500 p/year for 3 years
  • Interlock: 1 – 3 years
  • IDRC: 12-48 hours

You Deserve an Experienced New Jersey DUI AttorneyNew Jersey DUI defense attorney Anthony Vecchio is ready to defend you against your recent DWI

If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI you need experience on your side. DWI defense attorney Anthony J. Vecchio has worked on both sides of the courtroom as both a prosecutor and a defender. Contact him today to set up a meeting at one of his six location across New Jersey.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal limit for blood alcohol content in New Jersey?

For adults in New Jersey, the alcohol limit is 0.08. This means it is illegal to drive with a 0.08 or above. Also, once you hit a 0.10 there are enhanced penalties. Once you hit a 0.15, it triggers another additional penalty, which is that you have the mandatory installation of what is called the interlock device.

An interlock device is a device that has to be installed into your vehicle. Each time you want to drive it, you’ll have to blow into it, or your car won’t start. This device is used sometimes when you get your license back after being arrested for a DWI.

For minors, minors may not drive in New Jersey with any alcohol in their system. If a minor is driving and they’re intoxicated and their blood alcohol content is at 0.08 or above, in many cases they will be charged with both underage DWI (we call it “Baby DWI” in New Jersey, NJSA 39:4-50.14) and also with the adult DWI (NJSA 39:4-50).

The prosecutor, in almost every case, will not be willing, able, or allowed to dismiss the adult DWI in exchange for a guilty plea to the Baby DWI. If a minor’s BAC is under a 0.08, even if they are at 0.01, they can be still convicted for the underage DWI.

What happens if a New Jersey police officer pulls me over and believes I’m under the influence?

The officer is going to request that you perform the sobriety tests at some point. At that point, you have a decision to make. Are you going to perform them? Or are you going to choose not to?

From my experiences as a New Jersey attorney dealing with DWI’s, it’s extremely unusual for a driver to decline to perform sobriety tests. Very few people decline the tests. There’s no law in New Jersey that makes it illegal to decline to conduct sobriety testing. However, your refusal to undergo sobriety testing may create an inference. A judge may then infer that you’re refusing to do so because you’re intoxicated.

So, you’ll be stopped. You’ll be asked a series of preliminary questions by the officer. Where are you coming from? Where are you going? Have you been drinking? You’ll be asked to perform sobriety tests. If the officer, at that point, believes that there’s probable cause to place you under arrest, you will be arrested.

You will be handcuffed. You will be put in the back seat of a patrol vehicle. You’ll be transported to either a local police station or a state police barracks, if you’re on a roadway that the state police have jurisdiction over. In some cases, every department has it’s own procedures. In some departments, the procedure is to have you perform sobriety testing again back at the station.

Then they’ll go through what’s known as the Alcotest breath‑testing sequence, which will begin with asking you a series of questions. The officers must conduct what’s known as a 20-minute uninterrupted observation period. That’s to make sure you don’t burp or regurgitate any alcohol into your mouth prior to the sampling of your breath.

Once that’s completed, your breath will be sampled using the Alcotest 7110 breath‑testing machine. At that point, you will probably be charged with a DWI, regardless of what your Blood Alcohol Content was based on the other observations that the officers made, the sobriety testing, and so forth. After a certain period of time, you will be allowed to make a phone call. You can have someone come and pick you up and sign a liability waiver. Your car will then be impounded for a period of time.

What is probable cause for a DWI in New Jersey?

An arrest is based on probable cause. Normally in a DWI, they have pulled over your vehicle, or they stopped your vehicle. When they do this, it is not technically probable cause. In the state of New Jersey it is referred to as a reasonable suspicion.

Basically the officer has to have a reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This really means that it’s a well-based position that can be articulated to give the officer, a reasonable officer, sufficient grounds to believe that you committed moving violation or a criminal violation, in that the general law has been broken.

It’s a relatively low standard, much lower than the standard needed later on to convict you, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable suspicion is a very low standard and very fact sensitive. A judge reviewing whether an officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over will look closely at the facts.

Really, if the officer can articulate any good safe reason that he observed and believed you broke a law, a judge is technically is going to uphold that. It is not a standard that is easily challenged.

There are ways that you do challenge it however, and in many cases we do challenge it and are successful. It should be based on evidence; that’s why obtaining and gathering all possible evidence is so keen, and it is important to leave no stone unturned. Between video and narrative, in many cases there is a fresh flow of information, and a lot of information can contradict what the officer initially put in his report or testified to.

If there is a situation where you can show a judge, whether it’s in writing, in a video, or some other format, that the officer was not truthful, then once that credibility is lost, that is going to open up the door to successful insurgency or argument based on a lack of reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle.

If you get past that part of analysis and they are talking about probable cause to arrest, the same kind of thing, the officer needs to be able to point to the facts that would give a reasonable person a well grounded belief that the person has committed a crime, or in this case, was driving under the influence of alcohol.

That is going to be based on the officer’s observation of your driving. It’s going to be based on the officer’s observation when they were interacting with you based on your speech, the way your eyes look, whether they are bloodshot, watering, and your clothing whether it’s disheveled, whether your thought processes are coherent, and of course your performance on any sobriety test that they give you.

What signs does a police officer look for if he or she suspects the driver is intoxicated?

The number one sign a police officer will look for if he or she suspects someone is driving intoxicated is going be the observations of the way you operate the motor vehicle. Any moving violation could simply give rise to a traffic violation or a reason to stop somebody for a traffic violation.

The worse the operation is and typical things that they’ll look for would be swerving (or even weaving within your lane), driving aggressively or erratically, or driving in a way that tells the officer you’re intentionally trying too hard not to be stopped. For example, if you’re going too slow, if a car’s 10 miles an hour below the limit, that’s going to give an officer cause to believe that you might be intentionally trying not to be pulled over.

Certainly, there are outside factors that the officer takes into consideration. The chances of being stopped are much greater at night than they are during the day. The fewer cars on the road, the less reason people have to be on the road. It’s going to heighten an officer’s suspicion, once they see the vehicle and notice any violations.

After you’re stopped, they’re going to interact with you; they’re going to be paying attention to your breath, to your speech patterns, to your thought process, to the manner in which you’re dressed. They certainly will try, at least, to take what we call a plain sight view of the inside of the vehicle, looking for any kind of contraband or alcohol, or anything else that might indicate that you might be under the influence or there might be some other kind of criminal activity afoot.

Then after they’re interacting with you, they may find that they believe that they have a reasonable suspicion that you might be under the influence. At that time, you’re almost certainly going to be temporarily detained so they can perform sobriety tests. Then certainly your performance on those tests is going to go a long way in determining whether the officer has probable cause to arrest you.

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