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A New Jersey conviction for driving under the influence carries many serious and even life altering consequences including:
In order to avoid or minimize these consequences, it is imperative that you contact a New Jersey DUI lawyer to investigate your case, conduct discovery and present the best defense or defenses possible on your behalf.
While each case is unique, in many cases, individuals facing DUI/DWI charges will have several defenses available. Here are some of the top ways to avoid a drunk driving conviction in New Jersey:
We say “prove,” but really all you need is to raise enough questions about the prosecution’s proof to cast a reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge (all DUI/DWI cases in New Jersey involve bench trials—you do not have a right to trial by jury). If your blood alcohol content (BAC) test results are the prosecution’s evidence, was the Alcotest calibrated? Was your test administered properly? Did your BAC rise after you got pulled over? These are just a few of the types of issues your lawyer will investigate in order to challenge the prosecution’s evidence.
If the prosecution’s evidence is strong, do you have grounds to have it suppressed (excluded) from your case? If the police stopped you without reasonable suspicion, arrested you without probable cause or otherwise violated your Constitutional rights, any evidence they collected (such as Alcotest results or self-incriminating statements) may be inadmissible in your trial.
Research has shown that several non-alcoholic substances can generate false positive BAC test results. There are various things that may invalidate a BAC test, such as certain types of dental work, mouth jewelry, and RFI-emitting devices.
If there is a reasonable chance that you could face a conviction at trial, your best option may be to plead to a different charge. While you cannot plea bargain a DUI/DWI case in New Jersey, if the State’s case isn’t bulletproof, the prosecutor may dismiss the DUI and allow you to plead to a different charge with less severe consequences. Note, however, that any such resolution would be subject to court approval.
Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI/DWI is to avoid getting pulled over. If you are planning to go out drinking, make sure you have a sober ride home. This could be a designated driver, a rideshare service (such as Uber or Lyft), or another safe ride alternative.
A conviction for driving under the influence may be a traffic offense, but the ramifications are still serious. To avoid or minimize the legal consequences of a DUI conviction, it is critical to speak to a DUI attorney at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. as soon as possible to begin building your defense. Contact our office today to discuss all of the legal defenses that might apply to your situation.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.