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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Facing a DWI in New Jersey

April 21, 2023 | Posted In Drunk Driving

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges carry substantial penalties in New Jersey, and when facing a DWI charge, you need to act quickly. But you also need to be careful to avoid several costly mistakes. What are some examples of these mistakes? An experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer explains:

Mistake #1: Ignoring Your DWI Charge

Given that you need to act quickly when facing a DWI charge in New Jersey, ignoring your DWI can be a very costly mistake. Rather than ignore your DWI charge, you need to take action immediately. This starts with hiring a New Jersey DWI lawyer who can walk you through everything you need to do in order to avoid unnecessary consequences as a result of your arrest.

Mistake #2: Assuming You Will Be Found Guilty

Just as you should not ignore your DWI charge, you also should not assume that you will be found guilty. The stakes are simply too high. Additionally, even if you were driving drunk, you could still have defenses that an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer will be able to assert on your behalf. When facing a DWI charge making any assumptions can be costly, and you need to ensure that you are making informed decisions based on sound legal advice.

Mistake #3: Assuming the Judge Will Go Easy On You

Given what we just said, you also need to avoid assuming that the judge will go easy on you. New Jersey judges take DWI cases very seriously, and they will not hesitate to impose a substantial sentence when a substantial sentence is warranted. If you get convicted and you don’t do anything to mitigate the consequences, you could end up facing jail time along with a variety of other penalties.

Mistake #4: Ignoring the Risks of a DWI Conviction

Speaking of penalties, when facing a DWI charge, you cannot afford to ignore the risks of a conviction. As we said in the introduction, DWI charges carry substantial penalties in New Jersey. Regardless of your record, jail time is a possibility, and a conviction can lead to fines, insurance surcharges, loss of driving privileges and other penalties as well.

In addition, if you get convicted of driving while intoxicated, you can face academic or professional discipline, you can lose your job, and you can face a variety of other practical consequences in your day-to-day life. A DWI conviction is truly a life-altering experience, and you need to handle your situation accordingly.

Mistake #5: Overlooking Potential Factual Defenses

There are several ways to defend against a DWI charge in New Jersey. When facing a DWI, it is critical to work with your lawyer to examine all of the defenses you have available. If you overlook any factual defenses (i.e., the breathalyzer device wasn’t properly calibrated or the arresting officer didn’t adequately explain the field sobriety tests (FSTs)), you could end up getting convicted unnecessarily.

Mistake #6: Overlooking Defenses Related to Your Constitutional Rights

You also need to avoid overlooking defenses related to your constitutional rights. Under the Fourth Amendment, the police must have “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a traffic stop, and they must have “probable cause” to make an arrest. The police must also read your Miranda rights before interrogating you in custody. If the police violated your constitutional rights, then the evidence they obtained after violating your rights may be inadmissible in court. Without admissible evidence, the prosecutor won’t be able to convict you.

Prosecutors can violate your constitutional rights as well. One of the most common examples of this is withholding exculpatory evidence. When you hire an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer, your lawyer can determine if your rights have been violated, and if so, your lawyer can use this to fight your DWI.

Mistake #7: Basing Your Decisions on Other People’s DWI Cases

If you know other people who have gotten DWIs in New Jersey, you might be tempted to ask about their cases. While this is fine to do, you should avoid making any decisions based on what they tell you. The defenses you have available depend entirely on the facts of your case. Just because someone else walked free or got convicted in their DWI case, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the same will happen to you.

Mistake #8: Posting Anything About the Night of Your Arrest on Social Media

When facing a DWI charge, you must avoid posting anything about the night of your arrest on social media. If you post photos of yourself at a bar or write that you can’t believe you got caught drinking and driving, the prosecutor will be able to use your posts against you in court.

Mistake #9: Planning to Talk Your Way Out of a Conviction

Some people assume that they will be able to walk into court on the date of their trial and walk out with their DWI charge dismissed. However, this is extremely unlikely. Successfully defending against a DWI charge requires extensive preparation, through knowledge of the law and the ability to convince the judge that the prosecution is unable to meet its burden of proof.

Mistake #10: Trying to Handle Your DWI Case on Your Own

Finally, when facing a DWI charge in New Jersey, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to handle your case on your own. You have too much at stake to take this risk. Hiring an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer gives you the best chance to avoid unnecessary consequences, and hiring a lawyer to represent you can cost far less than losing your case on your own at trial.

Schedule a Call with a New Jersey DWI Lawyer Today

If you are facing a DWI in New Jersey, we strongly encourage you to contact us for more information. To discuss your case with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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