When you get pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you have rights under the law. If the police violate your rights during a DUI traffic stop, this violation can serve as a defense at trial—and it may allow you to avoid a conviction entirely.
As a result, when facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, knowing your rights is extremely important. Here are five rights which, if violated during a traffic stop, can provide defenses to DUI charges under New Jersey law.
1. The Right to Be Free From Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
When driving on New Jersey’s roads, you have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Among other things, this means that (i) the police cannot stop you without “reasonable suspicion,” and (ii) the police cannot arrest you without “probable cause.” They also cannot search you or your vehicle without a warrant (and without your consent) except in certain limited circumstances.
2. The Right to Be Read Your Rights Under New Jersey’s Implied Consent Law
Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, all drivers are legally required to submit to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing during a DUI traffic stop. But first, the police must read you your rights. If the arresting officer fails to read your rights under New Jersey’s implied consent law, this can serve as a defense to both a DUI and a DUI refusal.
3. The Right to Be Read Your Miranda Rights
Before questioning you while in custody, the police are required to read your Miranda rights. If the police did so without reading your Miranda rights – and if you confessed to driving under the influence during questioning – the failure to read your rights could provide grounds to have your confession suppressed.
4. The Right to Refuse to Take Field Sobriety Tests
New Jersey’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to BAC tests during DUI traffic stops. It does not require drivers to submit to the field sobriety tests. If you refused to take the field sobriety tests during your DUI traffic stop, the prosecution cannot use this against you in court.
5. The Right to Remain Silent
During a DUI traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. While you must identify yourself, you are not required to answer any questions or provide any information that prosecutors may be able to use to prove that you were driving under the influence.
Charged with DUI in New Jersey? Discuss Your Case with an Experienced DUI Lawyer
Are you facing a New Jersey DUI charge? If so, you should talk to a lawyer promptly to find out what defenses you can use to protect yourself. To schedule a confidential consultation with a New Jersey DUI lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman P.A., call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can reach you online now.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in defending DUI cases as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.