DWI Attorney Defending Clients Dealing With Difficult Charges in Hoboken
Both of the terms DUI and DWI are used to refer to someone who is conducting a vehicle after consuming alcohol or any other substance that may affect one’s ability to drive safely. DUI stands for driving under the influence, and DWI stands for driving while impaired. The penalties are the same for a DUI and DWI, and can profoundly impact the lives of those being charged.
The New Jersey DWI Statute NJSA 39:4-50 makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and other intoxicating substances. This also applies to drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and other recreational street drugs and prescription narcotics that may cause temporary impairment to drive.
A driver who shows a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher is considered to be above the legal BAC limit for the state of New Jersey and can be charged with a DUI. Commercial drivers are only allowed to have a BAC of less than 0.04 percent, and drivers under 21 may face underage DUI charges if as little as 0.01% of alcohol is found after a breathalyzer test.
Penalties for a DUI/DWI vary in severity according to the percentage of alcohol ingested and whether this is someone’s first, second, or third DWI offense. Penalties include license suspension, expensive fines, and prison time. First-time DUI offenders will not lose their license but will be required to install an IID device that will keep their car from starting if it detects a BAC of 0.05% or higher.
How Can the Prosecution Prove Someone Is Guilty of DWI in New Jersey?
The prosecution will rely on several factors to support a DWI charge. The first one is the need to establish that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle. Circumstances such as leaving the scene of an accident or being found asleep in a car while still running can help the prosecution prove operation.
Next, they need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was physically or mentally impaired due to using alcoholic beverages or intoxicating substances. DUI attorneys are sometimes able to challenge the evidence presented and create reasonable doubt due to inconclusive or insufficient results from field sobriety tests.
Finally, to prove impairment, the prosecution must present a breath test or a chemical test showing that the driver had a reading above 0.08% BAC. Other factors, such as observations made by law enforcement officers on a defendant’s behavior, appearance, and the way he or she operated the vehicle can also be used as evidence.
How Can a DWI Charge Be Dismissed in New Jersey?
At the Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, 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. The police cannot use evidence obtained from stopping a vehicle without enough suspicion that the driver may have committed a violation. This would invalidate a DWI arrest that followed it.
- Inability to prove that the defendant was in fact operating the vehicle. To sustain the DWI charges, police are required to present direct evidence of operation, such as first-hand observations and video footage, or circumstantial evidence such as the admission by the accused party.
- No probable cause to arrest. Field sobriety tests need to be conducted before the police can arrest a driver for DUI. Mere suspicion that the driver might be impaired is not enough probable cause for an arrest. The field sobriety test results are what determines if an arrest was improperly done or not.
Your criminal defense attorney in Jersey City has the skills and knowledge needed to understand all the possible ways that a New Jersey DUI accusation can be challenged and knows what to look for in your case that could work in your favor. For the best possible outcome, we recommend you contact a DWI attorney as early as possible and share a detailed account of what happened from the moment you were taken into custody. If you have been accused of a DWI or DUI in Hoboken or anywhere in New Jersey, contact our office right away by calling 201-798-4024 and speaking to the Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C. to learn about your options.