Monroe Township DUI Defense Lawyer

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    Individuals charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are in danger of not only losing their driving privileges but also their freedom. A conviction for DUI can have consequences that affect your life years after your sentence has been served.

    Whether this is your first offense or you have previous convictions, it is critical to prepare your defense quickly. Every DUI case is different, and different strategies might be employed to help reduce the charges in your case. Working with our team gives you the best chance of staying out of jail and reducing the time you lose your driving privileges.

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

    How DUI and DWI are Charged in Monroe Township

    Many people are familiar with the term “driving under the influence” (DUI) when referring to the charge of drunk driving. Some individuals might also be aware of the term “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), which is commonly used interchangeably with the first term. While these are distinct charges in Monroe Township and throughout New Jersey, N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50 essentially treats them as the same.

    DUI is charged more broadly as a person can be guilty of DUI if they are stopped while driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance, which can include alcohol but also drugs or other substances that affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. DUI can be charged if the driver was under the influence of an illegal narcotic or a legal prescription, such as an opioid or sleep aid like Ambien.

    DWI, on the other hand, is specifically charged when a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Regardless of whether you have been charged with DUI or DWI, our defense attorneys can ensure that your rights are protected throughout your case. Preparing a defense as soon as possible is the best way to determine if the charges were appropriate in the first place and provide time to investigate the prosecution’s evidence against you for any weaknesses. For instance, if evidence was illegally seized during your arrest, we can file motions to have that evidence suppressed in your case.

    Potential Consequences Defendants Face for DUI and DWI in Monroe Township

    DUIs and DWIs are charged in much the same way in Monroe Township and carry similar penalties if convicted. If this is your first offense, it could be easier to make mitigating arguments in your case in an effort to reduce your charges. If a defendant has prior DUI or DWI convictions, they will likely face harsher penalties, including jail time.

    Consequences for First-Time Offenses

    The penalties for a first-time offense will depend on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time they were stopped. Like most other states, the legal BAC limit in New Jersey is 0.08%. If a driver is stopped with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they will be charged with DUI. A driver will usually be fined between $250 and $400 if their BAC is over 0.08% but less than 0.10% and it is their first offense. However, a judge could still decide to include jail time, which could be up to 30 days. Further, it is very likely that you will lose your license.

    If the driver is convicted with a BAC over 0.10%, the fines increase to between $300 and $500. Further punishments can include jail time, as well as installing an interlock ignition device to prevent you from operating your vehicle if you have been drinking. Your 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 and a license suspension between four and six months.

    Defendants face even harsher license suspensions if they are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs. First-time DUI convictions involving drugs can be punished with a minimum seven-month license suspension but can be for up to a year. A defendant could also be sentenced to jail and will typically be fined hundreds of dollars.

    People make mistakes. 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.

    Consequences for Multiple Offenses

    It will be much more difficult to avoid the punishments that come with multiple DUI convictions. The court has less patience for repeated reckless behavior and can punish defendants with up to 90 days in jail for a second DUI or DWI conviction. Further, you could be required to pay fines of between $500 and $1,000, as well as losing your license for one to two years.

    Additional convictions beyond a second DUI will only be punished more severely. Defendants can expect to be sentenced to pay at least $1,000 in fines and have their licenses suspended for eight years. They could also be sentenced to half a year in jail.

    However, admitting you have a serious problem after multiple DUI arrests can go a long way in helping your situation. In certain situations, the prosecution and the court might agree to reduce your sentence to 90 days in jail if you agree to enter some acceptable program for alcohol or drug rehabilitation.

    Consequences for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

    You could also face penalties if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test upon the police’s request. Every driver in New Jersey implicitly consents to submit to a breathalyzer test in exchange for the privilege of possessing a driver’s license. This means that if the police instruct you to undergo a breathalyzer test, you are required to do so or face certain consequences.

    Some people think that if they refuse a breathalyzer test, they will not face the consequences that come with a DUI charge. This is not the case, however. Refusing a breathalyzer test will result in penalties that are just as bad as those that could be applied in a DUI case. This will almost certainly lead to the penalties being automatically applied since your refusal is a matter of fact. Unlike a typical DUI case, there is very little room to argue against refusing a breathalyzer test. These penalties will include a potential seven-month license suspension and fines of $300 to $500.

    Our Monroe Township DUI Defense Attorneys 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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    Three Convenient Locations

    Haddonfield (Main Office)
    25 Chestnut Street, Ste 2
    Haddonfield New Jersey 08033
    (856) 281-9600
    (877) 340-0609
    Hammonton Office
    Hammonton, New Jersey
    (609) 561-8100
    (877) 340-0609
    Atlantic City Office
    1014 Atlantic Avenue
    Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
    (609) 318-6196
    (877) 340-0609
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