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Did You Get a DUI During Spring Break in New Jersey?

April 28, 2023 | Posted In Drunk Driving

Did you get a DUI during spring break in New Jersey? If so, you’re not alone. Spring break is one of the busiest times for DUI enforcement, and the police in New Jersey use checkpoints and other means to stop and arrest drunk drivers.

But, while you might not be the only one with a spring break DUI, this doesn’t make your situation any less serious. In New Jersey, DUI convictions carry substantial penalties for drivers of all ages, and the state’s prosecutors and judges are committed to holding drunk drivers accountable. With this in mind, you need to be prepared to fight your DUI charge by all means available, and it will be important for you to speak with a New Jersey DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

What You Need to Know When Facing a Spring Break DUI in New Jersey

What do you need to know if you got a DUI during spring break in New Jersey? The simple answer is: More than you might think. Here are 10 important facts about facing a spring break DUI:

1. New Jersey DUIs Carry Steep Penalties

In New Jersey, DUI convictions carry steep penalties. This is true regardless of the circumstances involved.

Let’s say you are a first-time offender. If you get convicted in court (or plead guilty to your DUI charge), you will face penalties including (but not limited to):

  • Hundreds of dollars in fines
  • Insurance surcharges for several years
  • Mandatory enrollment at an Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center
  • Loss of your driver’s license
  • Up to 30 days in jail

If you are not a first-time offender, the penalties you are facing are even more severe. Likewise, if you caused an accident, if you had a minor in your vehicle, or if your case involves any other “aggravating” factors, these can all increase the consequences of a conviction significantly.

2. These Penalties Aren’t the Only Consequences of a Conviction

While the penalties for a spring break DUI in New Jersey are severe, they are far from the only consequences of a conviction. For college and high school students, DUI convictions can also negatively impact their academic (and professional) careers. Not only can you face penalties in court, but you can also face discipline at school, and with a DUI on your record, you will find it much more difficult to get into college, get into graduate school or law school, or find a well-paying job.

3. If You Refused the Breath Test, You Can Lose Your License Before Your DUI Trial

Did you refuse the breath test during your DUI arrest? If so, you may be facing a “refusal” charge in addition to facing a DUI. Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, drivers are required to submit to the breath test in most circumstances, and if you refuse to provide a breath sample unlawfully, you can lose your license (and face other penalties) regardless of whether you eventually get convicted of DUI.

4. You May Be Able to Fight Your DUI Even if You Were Driving Drunk

When you hire a New Jersey DUI lawyer, your lawyer will evaluate all options for fighting your drunk driving charge. This includes options for fighting your charge even if you were drunk behind the wheel. From showing that the police lacked “reasonable suspicion” for your traffic stop to showing that your breath test results are unreliable, there are several ways to fight a DUI even when the facts prior to your arrest aren’t in your favor.  

5. The Facts Surrounding Your DUI Arrest Matter

With this in mind, the facts surrounding your DUI arrest matter. Before meeting with a New Jersey DUI lawyer, you should take some time to write down everything you remember about your arrest. What did the police officer say? What did you say? Did you have issues taking the breathalyzer? Did you stumble even though you weren’t drunk? The more information you can share with your lawyer, the better.

6. Negotiating a Plea Bargain Isn’t an Option

Many people assume that they can avoid the worst consequences of a DUI by negotiating a plea bargain. But, in New Jersey, this isn’t an option. Prosecutors are not allowed to plea bargain DUI cases, and while it may be possible to get your charge reduced or dismissed prior to trial, doing so requires experienced legal representation.

7. You Aren’t Entitled to a Jury Trial

Many people also assume that they will be able to avoid a conviction by empaneling a sympathetic jury. But, here too, this option is off of the table in New Jersey. Under the New Jersey Revised Statutes, DUI is classified as a traffic violation rather than a crime, which means that you aren’t entitled to a jury trial.

8. New Jersey DUIs Aren’t Eligible for Expungement

Another important fact to know about getting a DUI in New Jersey is that DUIs aren’t eligible for expungement. This is also due, in part, to the fact that New Jersey law classifies drunk driving as a traffic violation instead of a criminal offense.

9. It Doesn’t Matter Where You Live

What if you traveled to New Jersey for spring break? The short answer is: It doesn’t matter. Even if you live in another state, the court will handle your DUI case just like it would for a New Jersey resident. While the New Jersey courts cannot take away your driving privileges, they can (and will) send your conviction records to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles—which can then suspend your license based on your out-of-state DUI conviction.

10. There Are Several Ways a New Jersey DUI Lawyer Can Help You

While facing a spring break DUI in New Jersey presents several risks and challenges, there are also several ways a New Jersey DUI lawyer can help. To give yourself the best chance of minimizing your DUI’s consequences, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Schedule an Appointment with a New Jersey DUI Lawyer

Do you need to speak with a New Jersey DUI lawyer? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly. Call 877-435-6371 or request an appointment online to schedule an appointment at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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