Were you arrested for driving under the influence (DUI/DWI) in the state of New Jersey? If so, it is critically important that you know about your legal rights. The next steps you take can have a lasting impact on your life: Your driving privileges, your reputation, and your freedom could all be at stake. To protect yourself, it is imperative that you seek guidance from a criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience handling DUI cases.
Our top-rated New Jersey DUI defense attorney Jordan B. Rickards is standing by, ready to protect your rights. Mr. Rickards is a former New Jersey prosecutor who has handled nearly 2,000 cases in the Superior Court. He has the legal knowledge necessary to get you the best possible results in your case. If you’re dealing with an arrest for driving under the influence in Central New Jersey, please contact our law firm today to schedule your confidential case evaluation.
WHAT IS A DUI IN NEW JERSEY?
New Jersey DUI: Defined
In New Jersey, police can arrest you for a DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than the state’s legal limit. The legal limit will vary based on the specific situation:
● Drivers 21 or older: 0.08
● For drivers under 21: 0.01
● For drivers operating a commercial vehicle: 0.04
NEW JERSEY DUI – UNDERSTANDING THE RELATED OFFENSES
In New Jersey, a driver can also face DUI charges if they too impaired to drive due to the effects of a non-alcoholic substance. Most often, the alleged consumption of illicit drugs or prescription drugs will be the substance that results in these types of charges. However, for these drugs, there are precise tests are generally not available to determine exactly how much of the substance is in a person’s system. As such, drugged driving cases can be especially complex.
NEW JERSEY DUI – WHAT ARE THE AGGRAVATING FACTORS
If Courts convict you of a DUI, you could end up facing stiff penalties. We must note that the penalties for DUI in New Jersey vary based on the underlying facts of the case. There are so-called ‘aggravating factors’, which, when present, have the potential to make a DUI charge more severe. In some cases, the presence of an aggravating factor could result in an upgrade from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense. In New Jersey, aggravating factors include:
- Extreme intoxication;
- A past record of prior DUI convictions;
- The intoxicated driver causing a serious car accident; and
- A minor being present inside of the car.
NEW JERSEY DUI PENALTIES
New Jersey has very stiff DUI penalties. As we mentioned, the penalties that you will face will depend on the specific factors of your arrest. If you were highly intoxicated or if you have a prior record of DUI convictions, you will likely be facing more severe penalties. In these situations, you need to consult with a top-rated New Jersey DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Though, even if your BAC was barely over the legal limit and you are only facing a first-time DUI charge, you still need to get professional legal assistance. All DUI charges have the potential to lead to harsh consequences. You could still lose your license and you might even end up in jail. DUI penalties can include:
- A criminal record;
- Large fines;
- Skyrocketing auto insurance rates;
- The mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device;
- The loss of your driver’s license; and
- Time in jail.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: WHAT TO DO IF POLICE PULL YOU OVER ON SUSPICION OF INTOXICATED DRIVING
As in all other criminal cases, you are innocent until the state proves you guilty. It is the prosecutor’s responsibility to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. You can make an aggressive legal defense. You have a right to confront the witnesses against you. This can often mean attacking the legitimacy of the traffic stop, the observations made, as well as the blood or breath tests. Of course, this is by no means an easy task; it requires skill and precision.
To best protect yourself from overzealous police officers and prosecutors, you should have a basic understanding of your rights. Specifically, if you have a New Jersey police officer pulls you over, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have an obligation to answer an endless stream of questions from the responding officer. If they do stop you on suspicion of drunk driving or drugged driving, you should do the following six things:
- Stop your car as quickly and safely as possible;
- When requested, hand over your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance;
- Do not admit to consuming alcohol;
- Do not consent to a search of your vehicle;
- If you are being asked invasive questions, politely decline to answer those questions; and
- Request access to a New Jersey defense lawyer.
You should not try to negotiate with the responding officer. The simple truth is that you are not going to talk your way out of a DUI arrest. However, you may talk your way into an arrest, and you may unintentionally incriminate yourself and hurt your legal defense. You have a legal right to remain silent and to work with officers through your DUI defense lawyer.
CONTACT OUR DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYER TODAY
Our highly qualified New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Jordan B. Rickards has extensive experience handling complex DUI cases. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Rickards has seen all sides of the law. He knows exactly how police officers and New Jersey prosecutors operate. Do not wait to seek legal help.
If you were arrested for intoxicated driving, please call our law firm today at 732-783-5446 for a fully private case evaluation. From our office in Milltown, we represent defendants in DUI cases throughout the Central New Jersey, including in Monmouth County, Somerset County and Middlesex County.