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Refusing a breath test during your drunk driving stop can have serious consequences. Drivers in New Jersey are required to submit to a breath test under the state’s implied consent law (though exceptions apply); and, if you violate the implied consent law, you can be convicted of a DUI refusal regardless of whether you were driving under the influence. If you refused a breath test, you need experienced legal representation, and it is important that you speak with a New Jersey DUI lawyer promptly.
Just like a DUI charge, defending against a DUI refusal requires informed decision-making. While you may have defenses available, you could lose the ability to assert these defenses if you aren’t careful. This could unnecessarily expose you to substantial penalties—on top of the penalties you are facing for your DUI.
With this in mind, here are five important facts to know if you refused a breath test in New Jersey:
New Jersey’s implied consent law is clear: “Any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road, street or highway or quasi-public area in [New Jersey] shall be deemed to have given his consent to the taking of samples of his breath . . . .” Simply by driving on New Jersey’s public roads, you consent to taking the breathalyzer if you get pulled over for DUI.
The implied consent law is clear in establishing requirements that the police need to meet before you are required to provide a breath sample. For example, the police must have reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving under the influence, and they must inform you of certain rights before charging you with a refusal.
Sometimes, people face refusal charges because they couldn’t successfully register a BAC reading (generally, medical-related reasons). If you tried to provide a breath sample (or if prosecutors can’t prove that you didn’t try to provide a breath sample), you don’t deserve to be convicted.
While you may have defenses available, it is up to you to protect yourself. Even if you have been improperly charged with a DUI refusal, you could still be convicted if you don’t present a successful defense.
Speaking of your defense, it’s important not to forget about your DUI case. In New Jersey, prosecutors do not need your BAC to secure a DUI conviction. They can use other evidence to convict you—and, from dash camera footage to the arresting officer’s testimony, they may have a variety of forms of evidence available.
Did you refuse a breath test during your DUI stop in New Jersey? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. Call 877-435-6371 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation with a New Jersey DWI lawyer today.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.