Paramus DWI Lawyer
Defending Clients Against DWI/DUI Charges in NJ
A DWI conviction can ruin your life. That’s because the DWI laws in New Jersey do not discriminate. Rich or poor, old or young, male or female, college student or white collar professional – the harsh reality is that being convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey is likely to have devastating consequences for you regardless of who you are. In fact, you could lose your driver’s license, your money, and your freedom. The best way to protect your rights and ensure a favorable outcome to your DWI case is to speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer with a strong background in DWI/DUI cases can help you fight the charges, minimize the potential penalties, and even get your case dismissed.
New Jersey criminal defense attorney Frank T. Luciano has nearly four decades of experience handling DWI cases in Bergen County, Passaic County, and Hudson County. If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI offense anywhere in New Jersey, Mr. Luciano is prepared to assist you. Fill out the online contact form or call (973) 471-0004 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Frank T. Luciano Can Help You Fight Your DWI Charges in Hackensack, New Jersey
Winning your DWI case becomes far more likely when you have a skilled attorney on your side throughout the legal process. Frank T. Luciano is an experienced NJ criminal defense lawyer who will examine your DWI case from every possible angle and explore multiple defense strategies to help you beat the charges and avoid the most severe penalties.
The following are just a few of the different types of DWI charges that Mr. Luciano can assist you with:
- First Offense DWI
- Second Offense DWI
- Third Offense DWI
- Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test
- DUID – Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- Commercial DWI
- Underage DWI
- DWI in a School Zone
- DWI with a Minor
- Driving While Suspended for DWI
- Boating DWI
- DWI Accident Offenses
- Out-of-State Driver DWI
What Are the Strongest Defenses Against a DWI Charge in Fort Lee, NJ?
Frank Luciano can also answer any questions you might have about various DWI-related defenses and topics, including the following:
- Challenging Breath Test Results – If the prosecution’s strongest evidence against you in your DWI case is a breath test reading indicating that your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, it may be possible to get the breath test results ruled inadmissible. For instance, police may not have followed proper procedure when administering the Alcotest, or the lab technicians may not have adhered to the correct chain of custody when transferring the test results.
- Challenging Blood Test Results – Ordinarily, drivers in New Jersey cannot be forced to provide blood. However, there are some circumstances in which blood test results may still be used as evidence against the driver in a DWI case. For instance, if a motorist is taken to a hospital after a DWI accident and doctors draw blood while providing emergency medical treatment, NJ police could be allowed to subpoena the blood work. Also, a blood test can be administered in a DUID case if the driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs.
- Challenging Field Sobriety Tests – The law surrounding field sobriety tests in New Jersey is not well known. For instance, due to the unreliability and inaccuracy of most field sobriety tests, only three such tests used by NJ police officers are admissible as evidence in court. Also, if you decline to take a field sobriety test when asked by police, you cannot be charged with Breath Test Refusal.
- Probable Cause for DWI Stop – Police must have probable cause to stop a vehicle in the first place, regardless of what they find after stopping the vehicle. This goes beyond the police officer merely having a “hunch” that the motorist might be drunk. The officer must actually observe the driver commit a traffic violation, or the officer must have a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that the driver is drunk or under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance before pulling over the vehicle.
- Proof of Intoxication – There are various ways that the prosecutor can attempt to prove intoxication in a DUI case. Such proof of intoxication by the defendant may include a breathalyzer test reading, the arresting officer’s observations during the traffic stop, or the presence of an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
- Proof of Operation of Motor Vehicle – In a typical DWI case, the prosecutor needs to prove that the motorist was actually operating the vehicle. This means that if police found you asleep in your car while the ignition was turned off (and the keys were not in the ignition), proof that you were intoxicated might not be enough for authorities to bring DWI charges against you.
- DWI Appeals – If you were already convicted of a DWI or DUI in New Jersey, it may be possible for you to challenge the conviction by filing an appeal. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced attorney might be able to get your sentence reduced, or an attorney may even be able to get your original conviction overturned.
- Ignition Interlock Devices – Multiple DWI convictions on your record could result in the court ordering you to install an ignition interlock device on your car. This device attaches to the engine and measures your blood alcohol content as you drive. It is incredibly inconvenient because you will have to blow into the device every few minutes while driving; failure to provide a clean breath sample will result in the engine shutting down.
- Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) – Anyone convicted of a DWI in New Jersey must participate in an Intoxicated Driver Program at one of the state’s IDRC facilities. This may include alcohol and highway safety education classes, treatment and evaluation, and attendance fees that must be paid before the DUI offender can get their driver’s license restored.
What Are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in NJ?
NJ law enforcement has been cracking down on drunk drivers in recent years by setting up DUI checkpoints and instructing police officers to watch for signs of intoxicated motorists, such as vehicles swerving across lines, cars being driven too fast, or drivers running red lights and stop signs. When police arrest a motorist on suspicion of drunk driving, NJ prosecutors take over and often seek to impose the maximum penalties allowed under law – and those penalties can be extreme. In fact, New Jersey DUI laws are among the strictest in the country: individuals convicted of drunk driving in the Garden State face severe penalties that may include driver’s license suspension, heavy fines, and even jail time.
Here is a breakdown of some of the penalties for different DWI offenses in New Jersey:
For a first offense DWI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08 percent, the penalties may include driver’s license suspension for three months, jail for up to 30 days, a $250-$400 fine, possible installation of an ignition interlock device on all of the offender’s vehicles, and attendance at alcohol education classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
For a first offense DWI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .10 percent, the penalties may include license suspension for up to one year, jail for up to 30 days, a $300-$500 fine, installation of an ignition interlock device on all of the offender’s vehicles, and alcohol education classes at the IDRC.
For a second offense DWI within a 10-year period, the penalties include mandatory license suspension for two years, a minimum mandatory jail term of two days (and for up to three months), a $500-$1,000 fine, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on the offender’s vehicles, alcohol education classes at the IDRC, and community service for 30 days.
For a third offense DWI within a 10-year period, the penalties include mandatory license suspension for 10 years, mandatory jail time of six months, a $1,000 fine, installation of an ignition interlock device on the offender’s vehicles, alcohol education classes at the IDRC, and community service for 90 days.
The consequences of a drunk driving conviction go far beyond the potential legal penalties. A DUI conviction can also have repercussions for both your personal life and your professional life. For instance, you might find it difficult to maintain a job if your driver’s license is suspended for a DWI. Moreover, both your personal life and your professional life could be forever changed because of the stigma that often comes with being known as a “drunk driver.” The sad truth is that it is not uncommon for a person’s life to spiral out of control after they are convicted of a DWI.
For more information about how to fight a DWI/DUI charges in New Jersey, read Hackensack DUI lawyer Frank T. Luciano’s New Jersey DWI Survivor Guide.
Contact Experienced Elmwood Park DUI Lawyer Frank T. Luciano Today
Your life should not be destroyed by a single mistake. Unfortunately, NJ prosecutors often fail to show any mercy when it comes to drunk driving cases. In your DWI or DUI case, you should expect the prosecution to pursue the maximum punishment allowed by law. That is why it is imperative that you have a highly qualified attorney on your side early in the legal process.
Frank T. Luciano has over four decades of experience representing defendants in New Jersey DWI cases – and he is prepared to represent you. Mr. Luciano will identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and explore every possible defense on your behalf. Call or email now to schedule a free consultation.