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Drunk Driving: New Jersey DUI Checklist

Facing drunk driving charges in New Jersey is a serious matter, with even routine first offenses carrying the potential for thousands of dollars in financial penalties and up to 30 days in jail. If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI in New Jersey, you need to make smart decisions, and this starts with developing a plan to protect and preserve your future. To help give yourself the opportunity to present the strongest possible defense, use this checklist from the DUI defense attorneys at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

Checklist: Preparing for Your Initial DUI Defense Consultation

1. Review Key Facts Related to Your DUI Arrest.

First, you should take the time to write down everything you remember about what happened leading up to, during and after your arrest. The unique facts of your case will determine the defenses you have available; and, the more information you can provide, the better able your attorneys will be to represent you. Focus on answering questions like:

  • Prior to your arrest, had you consumed anything that could have produced a false BAC reading?
  • Do you take any medications? Have you been diagnosed with any medical conditions that could produce symptoms similar to those of alcohol intoxication?
  • Did the arresting officer explain New Jersey’s “informed consent” law?
  • How many breath samples did you give?
  • Did the arresting officer read your Miranda rights (e.g., you have the right to remain silent)?
  • Did the arresting officer perform any field sobriety tests? If so, which ones?
  • Why did the arresting officer say that he or she pulled you over?

2. Learn What is at Stake in Your New Jersey DUI Case.

DUI offenses carry severe penalties in New Jersey, and you could be facing additional penalties if you refused to submit to the Alcotest (breathalyzer test). The penalties increase in severity for second and subsequent offenses, and “aggravating factors” like causing an accident or being arrested in a school zone can lead to increased penalties as well.

3. Learn about the DUI Defenses You May Have Available.

Even if you think you are guilty, you could still have several defenses available. From Constitutional violations (such as stopping you without probable cause) to using uncalibrated Alcotest devices, police mistakes and other issues can present numerous grounds for seeking a not-guilty verdict at trial.

4. Make Sure You Know Your Arraignment Date.

The first court appearance after a DUI arrest in New Jersey is called an “arraignment.” Make sure you know your arraignment date, and discuss with your attorney whether you should appear or formally waive your appearance.

5. Make an Informed Decision about Your DUI Defense Representation.

When choosing a DUI attorney to represent you, it is important to do your research. Look for qualifications such as:

  • A specific focus on DUI defense and related matters
  • Recognition in the local community
  • The ability to clearly explain your situation and the options you have available
  • Years, if not decades, of experience practicing DUI defense law in New Jersey

Schedule an Initial Consultation with a New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer

For more information about your situation or our attorneys’ experience in New Jersey DUI cases, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation. To discuss your DUI defense strategy in confidence, call 1-877-435-6371 or inquire online today.

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