New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer Protects Clients’ Rights In Breath Test Refusal Cases In Camden And Burlington Counties
New Jersey law requires that every driver on the road agree to take a breath test, also known as a Breathalyzer test or Alcotest. This requirement is known as an “implied consent” statute, meaning that you agree to its terms by the very fact of driving on New Jersey roadways. While it may be tempting to refuse to submit to a breath test if you have had a couple of drinks before driving, this course of action can lead to potentially severe penalties that include loss of your driving privileges. Moreover, refusing to take the breath test does not eliminate the possibility of conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).
I am Stephen R. Piper, a former Camden County assistant prosecutor who now represents clients as a New Jersey DWI defense attorney. I understand the serious consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test in New Jersey, and I also know that viable defenses are available. I will explore all potential avenues of defense to protect my clients who have refused breath tests, including investigating to determine whether the arresting officer satisfied all elements of the New Jersey statute and did not violate my clients’ constitutional rights. Contact The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper, LLC, in Moorestown, New Jersey, as soon as possible so that I can get to work preparing a strong defense to protect your future.
Severe Penalties For Refusal To Submit To A Breath Test In New Jersey
Refusing to submit to a breath test can lead to severe penalties in New Jersey, regardless of whether the driver has been drinking. That is because the refusal itself is considered a violation of the law. Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4(a), the potential penalties for refusal to submit to a chemical breath test are as follows:
- First offense: A monetary fine of between $300 to $500 will be imposed, and the offender’s driver’s license will be suspended for between seven months and one year.
- Second offense: The fine is increased to between $500 to $1,000, and the individual’s driver’s license will be suspended for two years.
- Third offense: A third refusal to submit to a breath test is punishable by a monetary fine of $1,000 and a 10-year license suspension.
Additional penalties may be imposed in the form of fines paid to the New Jersey Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, and the driver will be required to satisfy certain requirements imposed by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
Helping You Build A Strong Defense For Refusal To Submit To A Breath Test Charges In New Jersey
While refusing to submit to a breath test can be difficult to defend or justify in some cases, I will pursue every potential defense to its fullest and build a strong defense in your case.
First, the arresting officer must have probable cause to suspect that the driver has been operating the vehicle while intoxicated in order to request a breath test. To satisfy this requirement, the officer will commonly conduct one or more sobriety tests, such as a “walk-and-turn” test or “one-leg-stand” test, to evaluate the motorist’s state of sobriety. These tests, in addition to the officer’s observations at the time, can be used to establish probable cause for a DWI arrest in New Jersey. I will investigate the officer’s actions as well as the scene, weather and ground conditions at the time of arrest to determine whether the officer had probable cause for the traffic stop in the first place.
In New Jersey, the police officer is also required to read an implied consent warning to the driver before administering a breath test. This is a standard statement that informs the driver of New Jersey’s implied consent regime as well as their rights to have independent chemical breath, urine or blood samples obtained after submitting to the officer’s breath test. If the officer fails to read this statement or cannot understand the statement because of language barriers or medical issues, a valid defense to a breath test refusal charge may exist.
Arrange Your Free Consultation Today
It is important to remember that the penalties discussed above are the penalties for refusing to submit to a breath test in New Jersey, meaning that the state does not have to convict you for drunk driving in order to impose these penalties. I understand how a suspended license can impact your life, and I will use my experience on the sides of both the prosecution and defense to your advantage. I may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to minimize the penalties for refusal to submit to a breath test as well as fight against any potential DUI charges in your case.
At The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper, in Moorestown, New Jersey, I offer flexible scheduling and free off-street parking. Contact my firm today for an initial consultation about your breath test refusal case.