Getting a DWI ticket is frustrating, and figuring out what to do after can be confusing. By working with a Middlesex County DWI attorney, you can better understand your charges and what you need to do to defend your case. A DWI charge doesn’t always lead to a conviction, and penalties can change depending on how your hearings go. If you work with a lawyer, you have a higher chance of lowering your punishments or even having your case dismissed.
What Qualifies as a DWI in New Jersey?
When driving on New Jersey public roads, it is your responsibility to make sure you are fully aware and able to operate your vehicle safely. When alcohol or drugs are in your system, response times are slower, making it more difficult to avoid collisions and accidents. New Jersey law states that any driver with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level over .08% is legally intoxicated and poses a hazard while driving. If you operate a vehicle with a BAC over the legal limit, you can be charged with a DWI offense.
How a Middlesex County DWI Attorney Can Help
When you face DWI charges, it can be easy to panic and worry about the future. After all, DWI convictions come with some hefty penalties, such as driver’s license suspension and fines. Thankfully, not every DWI charge will hold up in court. And even if you are convicted, your Middlesex County DWI attorney can help build a defense that lowers your penalties to lessen the impact on your daily life.
Dismissing DWI Charges
Getting a DWI charge can be especially frustrating if you weren’t actually intoxicated while driving. And even if you were, New Jersey traffic officers must still follow set rules and regulations when it comes to arrests and charges. There are three main ways a DWI lawyer can work to have your charges dropped:
Equipment Miscalibration: If the breathalyzer test used during the DWI check was not properly calibrated, it’s likely that someone with no alcohol in their system was flagged for a DWI. In this case, your attorney can check that the equipment used in your arrest is functional and that the officer using the equipment was properly trained to prove your innocence.
Lack of Impairment: Even if your BAC was above the legal limit, that doesn’t necessarily mean you were impaired. Everyone’s body handles alcohol differently, and it’s possible that you were maintaining safety and control on the road. To make a DWI charge stick or to maximize penalties, the arresting officer needs additional proof that the driver was impaired. This could be either testimony about driving conditions or the results of other tests, such as a balance test.
Improper Procedures: Even if you are charged with a DWI, you are still a citizen of New Jersey with the same rights as everyone else. If, at any time during your arrest or DWI screening, a police officer acted outside of their duties or infringed upon your rights, your Middlesex County DWI attorney can use that to have your case dismissed.
Lowering DWI Charges
Even if there’s no way to dismiss a DWI case, your attorney can still do work to lower your penalties. DWI convictions can come with hefty fines, potential jail time, and loss of driver’s license. But with the right defense, these punishments can be reduced. Some examples of a DWI charge defense include:
Sometimes, certain situations require breaking the law to avoid serious injury or death. For example, you may need to drive someone to the hospital while under the influence. While such situations aren’t going to get your charges dropped, they can encourage leeway during your hearing.
No Threat of Damage
DWI charges and convictions are heavily penalized to prevent serious injury or property damage. However, driving while intoxicated doesn’t always lead to accidents. For example, driving in the middle of the night when there’s no one around poses less threat to others. Although this argument is unlikely to dismiss the charges, proving that an intoxicated driver posed no threat to others can help lessen the penalties.
Penalties for DWI Charges in New Jersey
Getting convicted of a DWI in New Jersey does carry some heavy penalties. How extreme these penalties are depends on your driving history and any associated accidents or charges. Financial penalties such as court fees and insurance surcharges are just the start. Most drivers who are convicted of a DWI face license suspension and the required installment of an ignition interlock device. These penalties can severely impact your financial situation and daily life, so it’s important that you work with a Middlesex County DWI attorney to strengthen your defenses.
Associated DWI Charges
Driving while intoxicated is a charge often accompanied by other traffic violations. Some additional charges you could face include the following:
- Reckless Driving
- Refusal to Submit to Breathalyzer Test
- Possession of Drugs
- Driving with an Open Container of Alcohol
- Child Endangerment
- Driving with a Suspended License
These additional charges add to the penalties you could receive if convicted. And even if your initial DWI charges are dropped, you can still be convicted of the other offenses and face punishment.
Finding a Middlesex County DWI Attorney
When you face a DWI charge, it’s common to feel stressed and panicked. But you don’t have to face them alone. With the help of a qualified Middlesex County DWI attorney, you can build a defense for your case. Attorney Leon Matchin has dedicated his practice to helping his clients understand their charges and find ways to dismiss or lessen the penalties. His years of knowledge and experience give him the upper hand needed to navigate DWI court hearings and procedures. For help with your DWI case, call Attorney Matchin today at 732-887-2479 or email him at [email protected].