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Do You Need a Lawyer to Fight a DUI in New Jersey?

April 14, 2023 | Posted In Drunk Driving

If you are facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, do you need to hire a lawyer to represent you? Or can you handle your case on your own? While many people struggle with these questions, the reality is that they both have a very simple answer: You should hire a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer to represent you—and there are several reasons why.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer to Fight Your DUI Charge in New Jersey

When you are facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, there are several ways a lawyer can help you. For example, when you hire a lawyer to handle your DUI case, some of the steps your lawyer will take include:

  • Examining the Facts of Your Case Under New Jersey Law – Determining what defenses you have available involves examining the facts of your case under New Jersey law. There are several “elements” to driving under the influence under New Jersey’s DUI statute, and if the prosecution’s evidence on even a single element of the offense is lacking, this can be enough to avoid a guilty verdict in court.
  • Determining if Your Breath Test or FST Results Are Invalid – If your breath test or field sobriety test (FST) results are invalid, the prosecutor should not be able to use them against you. While this won’t necessarily be enough on its own to avoid a conviction, it can be an important step toward building an effective defense strategy. An experienced New Jersey DUI defense lawyer will be able to determine if you have grounds to challenge your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading or your “failure” of any of the FSTs.
  • Determining if You Have Other Grounds to Challenge the Prosecution’s Evidence Against You – Along with invalid test results, there are several other ways your lawyer may be able to challenge the prosecution’s evidence as well. For example, if the police stopped or arrested you illegally, then all of the evidence from your arrest could be inadmissible in court. An experienced New Jersey DUI defense lawyer will be able to determine if the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights—or if you have any other grounds to argue that the prosecution’s evidence should be kept out of court.
  • Helping You Decide How to Approach Your Defense – After assessing all aspects of your case, your lawyer will be able to help you decide how best to approach your defense. Should you try to get your DUI dismissed prior to trial? Or, should you fight your DUI in court? These are critical questions that you will need an experienced lawyer to help you answer.
  • Helping You Avoid Mistakes While Your DUI Case is Pending – In addition to helping you answer these types of critical questions, your lawyer can also help you avoid costly mistakes. There are many mistakes you need to avoid, and making even one of these mistakes could make it much more difficult for you to assert a successful defense.
  • Dealing with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court on Your Behalf – There are various reasons why you may need to communicate with the prosecutor’s office during your DUI case, and defending against your DUI will also mean going to court. Your lawyer can deal with the prosecutor’s office and the court for you. Not only will this help you avoid costly mistakes, but by relying on your lawyer’s experience, you can also maximize your chances of securing a favorable pre-trial result.
  • Representing You at Your DUI Trial – If going to trial is your best option, you will want to have an experienced New Jersey DUI defense lawyer on your side. A conviction can lead to substantial penalties, so you need to be confident that you are presenting the strongest possible defense.

What Are the Risks of Not Hiring a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer?

Trying to handle a DUI case on your own is risky. There is simply no other way to put it. If you don’t hire a lawyer to represent you, you will be taking your future into your own hands—and you will be doing so without a clear understanding of what you can (and should) be doing to protect yourself.

For example, if you don’t hire a New Jersey DUI defense lawyer to represent you:

  • You won’t know what defenses you have available.
  • You won’t know if the police or prosecutors have violated your constitutional rights.
  • You won’t know what steps you can take to mitigate the consequences of your arrest.
  • You won’t know if you have opportunities to resolve your DUI case prior to trial.
  • You will be much more likely to face a conviction and harsh sentencing in court.

Is It Worth Hiring a Lawyer for Your DUI Case in New Jersey?

So, those are some of the reasons why you should hire a lawyer—as well as some of the risks of trying to handle your DUI case on your own. But is hiring a lawyer worth it? Or, are you better off accepting the consequences of your DUI arrest?

While many people have concerns about the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight their DUI charge, the reality is that it can be far more expensive not to seek legal representation. Along with penalties like fines, surcharges and even possible jail time, a DUI conviction can lead to other collateral consequences as well. If your DUI prevents you from getting a diploma or getting a job, it could cost you many thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Hiring a lawyer costs far less, and it is your best option when facing a DUI charge in New Jersey.

Request a Consultation with a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer

Are you facing a DUI charge in New Jersey? If so, we can help. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or request a consultation online today.

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