DWI Attorney Working Hard for Clients Dealing With Strict Penalties in Jersey City
DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and DWI means “driving while impaired.” Both terms are used interchangeably with no difference in terms of penalties and prosecution. Being accused of a DUI or DWI in New Jersey means you will be likely facing a serious motor vehicle offense. It does not constitute a criminal offense, but it still may have severe penalties and significant consequences for those being charged.
According to New Jersey DWI Statute NJSA 39:4-50, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher constitutes grounds for a DUI charge. The BAC levels are even lower for commercial drivers (0.04 percent) and any driver under 21 (a mere 0.01 percent BAC). Drivers charged may face penalties such as mandatory use of an IID device in their car, expensive fines, and possible license suspension, depending on the severity of the case and on whether this is someone’s first, second, or third DWI charge. Recent updates to the law still allow first-time offenders to keep their licenses if their BAC was less than 0.15% but mandate the use of an IID device for up to a year. BACs higher than 0.15% may still result in a temporary license suspension.
What Kind of Evidence Is Used to Prove Someone is Guilty of DWI in New Jersey?
In order for the prosecution to have a DWI case against a defendant, a few key elements must be proved. First, there is the issue of whether the defendant was operating a motor vehicle. Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident or being found asleep in a car with the engine running are usually circumstances used by the prosecution to implicate this issue.
The next key element is whether someone’s physical or mental capabilities were impaired as a result of being under the influence of any type of alcohol or drug. The prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt must prove this. In some cases, DUI attorneys may be able to question whether there was, in fact, enough evidence to prove a DUI and may be able to create reasonable doubt based on insufficient results from sobriety tests, medical issues, or lack of chemical test results.
Finally, the prosecution must be able to prove impairment by presenting a breath test or a chemical test reading over 0.08 percent BAC. Police officers’ observations on a defendant’s behavior, appearance, and the manner in which he or she was operating a vehicle
may also be used to prove someone was under the influence.
Are There Ways to Get a DWI Charge Dismissed in New Jersey?
At the Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C., one of our skilled DWI attorneys may be able to challenge several elements of your DWI charge to get it dismissed or reduce its severity. Those may include but are not limited to:
- Lack of a proper reason for the initial motor vehicle stop. For the police to pull over a motor vehicle, there needs to be enough suspicion that the driver has committed a motor vehicle violation. A stop conducted in any way that is deemed invalid would also invalidate a DWI arrest following it.
- Inability to prove that the defendant was in fact operating the vehicle. Police usually provide direct evidence that the intoxicated person was controlling or intending to operate a vehicle and set it in motion. Such evidence includes first-hand observations as well as video footage. In some cases, evidence of operation is circumstantial and can only be proven through admission by the accused party.
- No probable cause to arrest. Police are not legally allowed to arrest a driver for DUI if they simply suspect the driver might be guilty. Instead, law enforcement is required to administer field sobriety tests to confirm their observations. The field sobriety test results are usually what determines whether an arrest may have been improper or not.
Many other elements need to be analyzed as opportunities to dismiss or reduce your charges. It is important to hire a criminal defense attorney in Jersey City as soon as possible and share everything that happened from the moment you were pulled over by police. Your attorney has the skills and knowledge needed to understand all the possible ways that a New Jersey DUI accusation can be challenged.
Being charged with a DWI in New Jersey does not mean you have been convicted, and there are many steps we can take to attenuate or dismiss your charges. If you have been accused of a DWI or DUI in Jersey City or surrounding areas, contact our office right away by calling 201-798-4024 and speaking to our firm to learn about your options.