Bergen County DWI Lawyers Helping Defendants Charged with Drunk Driving Stay out of Jail
Aggressive criminal defense in DUI/DWI cases
Just one beer, one glass of wine, or one gin and tonic can cause you to be pulled over for drunk driving. Anyone in Bergen County who is charged with drunk driving in Hackensack, Ridgefield, Fort Lee, or any Bergen County location, risks jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges – even for a first offense. A conviction can also mean required use of an Interlock Ignition Device and increased insurance premiums.
There are often available defenses. Many of our local DUI attorneys are former prosecutors or worked for law enforcement agencies before joining our firm. At Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., our Bergen County criminal lawyers challenge every part of the prosecution’s case, including whether they had grounds to stop a driver, whether the chemical test was valid, and whether the police had grounds to search the vehicle. As an example of the legal abilities of our Bergen County drunk driving attorneys, in one recent case, we successfully persuaded the prosecution to dismiss a blood alcohol content result and all other traffic charges when we showed that the state had failed to provide an updated certification.
The legal limit for a New Jersey drunk driving conviction
New Jersey, like the other U.S. states, has a law that holds that a person can be found guilty of drunk driving if their Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) is .08 or more. If the driver was operating a commercial vehicle, the limit is .04 or more. If the person accused of drunk driving was under 21, the legal limit is just .01 or more.
There are several ways to give a person a BAC test. The first is through the use of a breathalyzer test. The second way is through a blood test. If the driver needs medical attention, then a blood test is usually given. The driver may also be ordered to take a urine test.
The possible NJ DWI penalties, jail time, fines, and suspension lengths increase with each subsequent violation. A third drunk driving offense means 180 days in jail, a $10,000 fine, and loss of driving rights for 10 years.
Implied consent – what is it and how it impacts a DWI/DUI case
People who are pulled over often mistakenly think that refusing to take the chemical test can lessen their odds of a drunk driving conviction. In New Jersey:
- Drivers give their implied consent to a breath test if they are stopped for driving drunk on any New Jersey road.
- A refusal to take the breath test can be used against you. The prosecution will argue that you refused to submit to the test because you knew your BAC was over the legal limit.
- The refusal also means that your license can be suspended for months, or even years, depending on whether you refused a test before, and you can face additional expensive surcharges.
The officer must inform the driver of the consequences for failing to take the test and must make the request at the place where the driver was stopped. Otherwise, the charges can be dismissed.
Possible DUI defenses
Some of the ways our Bergen County DWI lawyers contest DUI charges are:
- Contesting the right of the police officer to stop your vehicle. Police need a reasonable suspicion that you were driving while intoxicated or that you had committed a traffic offense. Excessive swerving, speeding, having a broken taillight, or running a red light are some of the reasons officers use to justify a stop.
- Questioning the sobriety tests. The field sobriety tests, which are normally given before a chemical test, may be impossible for even a sober person to pass.
- Contesting the validity of the chemical test. The equipment used to give the tests must be routinely inspected and validated. If the equipment has not been examined, the results can be dismissed in court. The person giving the test may not have followed correct procedures.
Statements made at the stop site when you have not been told of your right to a lawyer may be inadmissible. There are many other arguments that might apply, such as arguing that the police did not actually see the person driving operate the vehicle.
Talk to a Bergen County DUI lawyer now
At Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., our skilled trial lawyers provide strong DWI/DUI defense services to people throughout Bergen County. The sooner you make an appointment with a Bergen County drunk driving lawyer, the better we can effectively challenge the prosecution’s case. Often there are legal defenses that can be asserted, even if your BAC is in the double digits. For help now, please call us at (908) 561-5577 or use our contact form.