Bridgeton DUI Defense Lawyer

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    Avoiding the most severe penalties is crucial if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Bridgeton, as it can result in significant long-term consequences. Therefore, it is imperative to seek assistance in defending your case.

    We are able to provide assistance to you throughout the criminal justice process. It is critical to prepare your defense quickly, regardless of whether this is your first offense or you have prior convictions. Each DUI case is unique and might require varying strategies to help lessen the charges against you. Collaborating with our team increases your likelihood of avoiding incarceration and reducing the amount of time your driver’s license is suspended.

    Call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 445-4300 today to receive a free case assessment with our DUI defense lawyers.

    Understanding How DUI is Charged in Bridgeton

    Being charged with drunk driving can have serious consequences on your life, and it is often referred to as “driving under the influence” (DUI) or “driving while intoxicated” (DWI). In Bridgeton and New Jersey, these charges are essentially treated the same under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50.

    DUI can be charged if a person is found to be driving under the influence of any type of substance that can impair their ability to drive safely, including alcohol, legal prescription medication, or illegal narcotics. Similarly, driving under the influence of an illegal narcotic can also result in a DUI charge.

    If a person is caught driving under the influence of alcohol, they might be charged with DWI. Regardless of the charge you are facing, our DUI defense attorneys can protect your rights throughout your case. It is crucial to begin preparing a defense as soon as possible to determine if the charges are justified and to investigate any weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence against you. If necessary, we can file motions to have illegally seized evidence suppressed in your case.

    Penalties for DUI in Bridgeton

    Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are both criminal offenses in Bridgeton, and they carry comparable penalties if convicted. If this is your first offense, it might be possible to present mitigating arguments in your case to potentially reduce your charges. However, if a defendant has previous DUI or DWI convictions, they will likely face more severe penalties, which might include imprisonment.

    Penalties for First-Time Offenses

    The penalties for a first-time DUI offense in New Jersey are determined by the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time they were stopped. New Jersey’s legal BAC limit is 0.08%, similar to most other states. If a driver’s BAC is 0.08% or higher, they will be charged with DUI.

    For a first-time offense, a driver with a BAC above 0.08% but less than 0.10% will typically be fined between $250 and $400. However, a judge could still decide to include jail time, which could be up to 30 days. Additionally, it is highly likely that the driver will lose their license. If a driver is convicted with a BAC over 0.10%, the fines increase to between $300 and $500. Other punishments might include jail time and installing an interlock ignition device to prevent drinking and driving. The driver’s license can also be suspended for several months.

    If a driver has a BAC of 0.15% or higher, they can face all the penalties listed above, including a license suspension between four and six months. Defendants convicted of driving under the influence of drugs face harsher license suspensions. First-time DUI convictions involving drugs can be punished with a minimum seven-month license suspension but can be up to a year. Additionally, a defendant could be sentenced to jail and will typically be fined hundreds of dollars.

    People make mistakes, and if this is your first offense, there might have been circumstances that contributed to you committing a DUI. While it will never be considered the right choice, it could be possible to argue for mitigating circumstances in an effort to lessen the punishment against you.

    Penalties for Multiple Offenses

    Facing multiple DUI convictions can result in severe consequences that are harder to avoid. The court has less tolerance for repeated reckless behavior and can impose punishments such as up to 90 days in jail for a second DUI or DWI conviction, along with fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 and license suspension for one to two years.

    Subsequent convictions beyond the second DUI will lead to even harsher penalties. Defendants can expect to pay at least $1,000 in fines, have their licenses suspended for up to eight years, and might even face a six-month jail sentence.

    However, acknowledging and addressing the seriousness of your problem after multiple DUI arrests can help your situation. In certain cases, the prosecution and the court might agree to reduce your sentence to 90 days in jail if you agree to participate in a suitable alcohol or drug rehabilitation program.

    Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

    It is important to know that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test when asked by the police, you might face penalties. In New Jersey, all drivers implicitly agree to take a breathalyzer test if requested in exchange for having a driver’s license. Therefore, if the police ask you to take the test, you must comply or face certain consequences.

    Some people believe that if they refuse the breathalyzer test, they can avoid the penalties associated with a DUI charge. However, this is not true. Refusing the test can result in penalties that are as severe as those for a DUI charge. Because your refusal is a fact, these penalties will likely be automatically applied. Unlike a typical DUI case, there is little room for argument against refusing the breathalyzer test. The penalties for refusing the test include a potential seven-month license suspension and fines ranging from $300 to $500.

    What Happens After Being Arrested for DUI in Bridgeton

    Once an individual is discovered to have a BAC higher than a specific limit, they will be apprehended. After being apprehended, the perpetrator will be required to attend an arraignment, where the court will announce the charges against them. If the defendant cannot afford a lawyer, one will be assigned to them. During the arraignment, the defendant will have the opportunity to plead either guilty or not guilty. If the defendant admits guilt, the case will come to a close, and they will have to face the consequences. However, if the defendant pleads not guilty, they will proceed to a preliminary hearing.

    During a preliminary hearing, both the prosecution and defense sides will present their evidence and arguments. Afterward, the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to pursue a conviction. If the judge decides that there is enough proof to proceed with conviction, the case will proceed to trial. At trial, the prosecution will provide evidence proving the defendant’s guilt, while the defense will present evidence demonstrating the defendant’s innocence.

    Charging and Booking Process

    Arrests are made by police officers in different ways. Some occur when officers witness a crime being committed, while others come after a long investigation led by a grand jury, which follows the issuance of an arrest warrant. If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), the Bridgeton police will take you through the charging and booking process. Although it can be a stressful experience, it is crucial to protect your rights during this time.

    While it is important to provide basic information such as your name and address, you are not required to discuss the crime for which you have been arrested. The police are unlikely to ask you about the crime during the booking process. Instead, they will take your photograph fingerprints and hold onto your possessions.

    Once you are in a holding cell, the police might decide to interrogate you. However, before doing so, they are obligated to read you your Miranda rights. If they fail to do so, they cannot proceed with questioning you. Whether or not they have read your rights, it is advisable to exercise your right to remain silent, except when requesting a defense attorney. Once you request an attorney, the police should stop questioning you until they arrive.

    Bail Hearings

    If circumstances allow, it is possible for you to secure bail promptly. If this is not the case, a bail hearing should be scheduled within 48 hours of your arrest. The primary objective of the bail hearing is to determine whether you can be released from custody while awaiting trial. During this proceeding, a bail judge takes various factors into consideration, such as the gravity of the offense, your past encounters with the law, and whether there is a credible concern for community safety.

    The specific amount of bail required for your release will depend on the nature of the DUI charges against you. However, it is common practice to pay only 10% of the total bail amount if bail has been set.

    Pre-Trial Conference

    At a pre-trial conference, the court will review the evidence presented by the prosecution and determine if it is sufficient to proceed to trial. During this hearing, the judge will ask about the details of your case to ensure that you understand the charges against you. You should take this opportunity to ask questions if anything is unclear. Additionally, the conference is a chance to assess whether there is enough evidence to move forward with the trial or if further investigation is necessary. For instance, if the judge agrees that the case should wait for the results of chemical testing, another pre-trial conference might be scheduled to review the findings or any additional investigations before the trial.

    Moreover, pre-trial hearings give your lawyer and the prosecutor an opening to discuss any plea agreements that have been proposed. In situations where the evidence against you is overwhelming or compelling, it might be advantageous to consider accepting a plea deal instead of risking the maximum penalty if found guilty at trial.

    Plea deals are often presented to defendants as an option to admit guilt in exchange for lesser charges or a more favorable sentence. This serves as an indication of taking responsibility and eliminates the necessity for a trial. However, it is of utmost importance to consult with your defense lawyer and examine the terms of the plea agreement before accepting it to ensure that it is in your best interests.


    In the event that a plea agreement is not reached or if the case is not dismissed during a pretrial motion hearing, a DUI or DWI criminal trial is likely to follow. It is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt during the trial, and they must present compelling evidence to support the charges against you.

    It is generally not recommended for you to testify in your defense in most cases. This is because prosecutors frequently utilize cross-examination techniques that can undermine your credibility. Instead, our skilled criminal defense attorneys can cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and present our theory of your case during the closing arguments of the trial. This approach allows us to effectively challenge the prosecution’s evidence and present a robust defense on your behalf.

    Defenses to DUI in Bridgeton

    Our law firm uses various strategies to defend our clients in DUI cases in Bridgeton. Our primary approach is to obtain all evidence available against the client and carefully examine it for any weaknesses. This includes analyzing police records to identify any constitutional rights violations or errors during the arrest. If we discover any unlawful collection of evidence, we can file a motion to exclude it from trial, which might result in the case being dismissed.

    We also review chemical reports to identify any inaccuracies in the police equipment or processes used to collect evidence. If any mistakes or improper processing of evidence is found, we can argue for its exclusion in court.

    It is essential to determine if the police had probable cause for the arrest. The police must have evidence that a crime has occurred and that the client is the likely suspect. If the police arrested the client without conducting a field sobriety test or breathalyzer but on mere suspicion of DUI, we can challenge the arrest and any evidence obtained during the incident.

    If the state’s case against the client appears strong, we can still try to negotiate a reduction of the charges through the prosecutor. However, this option is generally only available at the prosecution’s discretion.

    Our Bridgeton DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help

    For a free evaluation of your case, contact our DUI defense attorneys at the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 445-4300.

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    (877) 340-0609
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