Jersey Shore Refusal Lawyer
If you have been charged with Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test in Toms River, Holmdel, Wall Township, New Brunswick, Brick, or Piscataway, then you should understand that you are facing stiffer penalties than a regular DUI. A Refusal charge is issued when the suspect does not sufficiently provide a breath sample to the police officer administering the Alcotest 7110 after a DWI arrest.
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In New Jersey, DWI enforcement operates under an “implied consent” law pursuant to 39:4-50.2. Under NJ law, the act of operating a motor vehicle automatically implies the driver’s consent to the providing of breath samples to police after arrest under suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated. Many people incorrectly assume that denying the test may somehow help their DUI case, but unfortunately the opposite is true due to the implied consent laws. It is very important that you contact an attorney to try to beat or mitigate your exposure to the full force of the penalties that accompany DWI and Refusal charges.
A large portion of McGuckin Law’s legal practice is dedicated to the defense of individuals like you facing DUI and Refusal charges. We carefully review the discovery and attack the State’s case and ability to establish its burden of proof at every opportunity, looking for issues such as:
- Traffic Stop (Reasonable Suspicion)
- Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
- Physical, mental impairments affecting SFSTs
- Officer adherence to procedure and protocol
- Defendant’s ability to understand Refusal law (Confusion Doctrine)
- Prosecutorial errors
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The arresting officer can only administer the Alcotest 7110 machine (New Jersey’s breathalyzer) if he or she reasonably believes that a person is driving under the influence. For the officer to establish a lawful basis to conduct the breath test, he or she must have and be able to demonstrate a “reasonable and articulable” belief that the driver was intoxicated while operating the vehicle. A reasonable and articulable includes observations such as:
- An odor of alcohol exuding from the car of the defendant noticeable by an officer while conducting a routine traffic stop or DWI checkpoint;
- Slow, slurred speech;
- Watery, bloodshot eyes;
- Fumbling the License, Insurance, Registration documents when requested by the officer.
While a Refusal obstructs the officer’s ability to conduct the Alcotest, the penalties almost mirror those of a DUI charge. As a result, most first time offenders of DUI and Refusal face a 3 month loss of license on the DUI and a seven month loss of license on the Refusal.
Penalties for Refusal in NJ
As indicated above, the penalties for Refusal in New Jersey mirror those of Driving While Intoxicated charges. They includes a 7-month to 1 year license suspension for first offense, 2 years for second offense, and ten (10) years for third offense. N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50.4a, outlines the penalties for Refusal in great detail.
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As you can see, the penalties for a Refusal are severe. This is why it is very important to contact a skilled and experienced Refusal and DWI lawyer to challenge the state’s case against you. McGuckin Law will diligently scrutinize the protocol and technicalities associated with all stages of your case – from your initial arrest to the date of your trial. If you have been charged with refusal on the Jersey Shore or Middlesex County, including in Toms River, Sayreville, Ship Bottom, Middletown, East Brunswick, or Howell, McGuckin Law is here to help. Call us 732.924.4200 today for a free initial consultation with an experienced Jersey Shore Refusal Lawyer.