Refusing a Breathalyzer Test Lawyer in Deptford, NJ
South Jersey DUI Attorney Represents Clients Charged with Breath Test Refusal in Gloucester County, Camden County & Burlington County, NJ
New Jersey is on the forefront of strict and severe drunk driving penalties when compared to other states. After being arrested for a DWI in New Jersey, you can face jail time, heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, ignition interlock devices, and mandatory drunk driving education classes.
If an officer suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, they can pull you over and conduct a field sobriety test before placing you under arrest. At this point, you are required by law to submit to a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content. If you choose to refuse the test, the state enforces the same penalties for a breathalyzer test refusal as it does for those who are convicted of a DWI. Refusal can come in the form of a verbal response such as “No,” as well as ambiguity or silence.
Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in New Jersey
The first offense for refusing a breathalyzer test carries a set of mandatory fines and penalties. A first-time offender will lose their license for between seven (7) months and one (1) year, but these lengths are doubled if the violation occurred in a school zone. The imposed fines will include a $300-$500 fee, $230 per day of classes at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), $100 to both the Drunk Driving Fund and the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF), and $75 to the Neighborhood Services Fund. There is also a $1,000 surcharge from your automobile insurance every year for a period three (3) years. Additionally, the offender must complete a minimum of 12 hours at the IDRC.
A second offense for refusing a breath test in New Jersey results in a similar set of penalties, but harsher in severity. The violator will lose their driver’s license for between two (2) and four (4) years if inside a school zone. They will face the same payments to the IDRC, the Drunk Driving Fund, the AERF, and the Neighborhood Services Fund, as well as annual surcharge from their auto insurance company. The court-imposed fine rises to $500-$1,000 and doubles if the offense was committed within a school zone. The IDRC requirement remains the same at 12 hours minimum.
If a third conviction, or a subsequent conviction, for breath test refual occurs, the driver faces loss of their driver’s license for 10 years, or for 20 years if the DWI offense was committed in a school zone. The third breathalyzer refusal carries a fine of $1,000, as well as the fees assessed to first- or second-time offenders. The auto insurance surcharge rises to $1,500 per year for three years. Similar to the previous offenses, completion of 12 hours at an IDRC will be required.
Which Option Is Best If You Are Pulled Over for a DUI or DWI in Camden, NJ?
With the current laws in place, it is often debated whether you should refuse a breathalyzer test. It is difficult to fight a refusal charge unless your lawyer can prove that the state did not have probable cause for pulling you over. There are also strict protocols that officers must follow when conducting a DWI or refusal arrest. For example, the officer must inform you of your right to have an independent sample tested by a physician of your choice. Keep in mind that a breathalyzer test is not required to convict you of a DWI. That’s one reason that experienced legal counsel is highly recommended in any New Jersey drunk driving or breath test refusal case.
New Jersey Criminal & Traffic Lawyer Michele Finizio Forms an Aggressive Defense for Breathalyzer Refusal Charges in Maple Shade, NJ
Driving is a privilege that many of us cannot afford to lose. A DWI or refusal charge carries steep penalties, and legal consultation can help determine your best course of action. The New Jersey criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio provide free consultations for clients. We also handle each case with great care and dedication. Attorney Finizio has successfully defended clients against DWI charges and Breath Test Refusal charges in Monroe Township, Camden, Cherry Hill, Collingswood, and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.
Our office is located in Moorestown, NJ, and we welcome clients throughout the Cherry Hill area and the surrounding South Jersey region. If you are facing charges for refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, call us today at 856-242-7300 or contact us online.