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DUI Refusal

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Trenton DUI Refusal Lawyers

Breath Test Refusal Defense Attorneys in Mercer County, NJ, ensuring rigorous defense strategies in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Throughout New Jersey

DUI charges can lead to serious consequences, but refusing to take a breathalyzer test may not work in your favor. Under New Jersey state law, operating a motor vehicle anywhere in the state constitutes implied consent to chemical tests. A refusal to provide a breath sample for chemical testing can result in separate charges and penalties such as extended license forfeiture and fines. You can still be charged with DUI even without submitting to a breathalyzer test if the prosecution can present other types of evidence as proof of your offense. This legal situation is serious, and it’s going to take the guidance of knowledgeable Trenton DUI refusal lawyers to help you achieve the most favorable outcome. 

At Scardella Law Firm, our team of breath test refusal defense attorneys in Mercer County, NJ, is prepared to assist you with both DUI charges and charges of refusal to submit to a test. Through a robust defense strategy, we may be able to expose any weaknesses in the case against you and any improper procedures that could lead to the suppression of evidence or the dismissal of the charges. 

For a free, confidential consultation, contact us today. We’re equipped to take timely action to review your case and begin preparing your personalized legal defense strategy. 

What Are DUI Refusal Charges in Mercer County, NJ? 

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in New Jersey, but so is refusing a breath test. When you’re facing these charges, it’s essential that you understand exactly what the charges against you mean and what the potential consequences entail. Your Trenton DUI refusal lawyers can advise you of your rights, likely outcomes, and possible defense strategies we could pursue to fight these charges. 

What Constitutes DUI? 

Statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 of New Jersey law establishes the violation of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). 

In refusing a breathalyzer test, you may be hoping to avoid providing evidence that establishes your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level as reaching or exceeding the 0.08% legal limit above which you cannot operate a motor vehicle. For drivers under age 21, a BAC of even 0.01% can constitute DUI under the state’s zero-tolerance law. 

However, a breath test above 0.08% for adults 21 and over or 0.01% for underage drivers isn’t strictly required to be charged with or convicted of DUI in New Jersey. It’s possible to be charged with DUI or DWI even if a test shows that your BAC was below 0.08% if a case can be made that your driving was impaired by drugs or alcohol. 

In its case against you, the prosecution can use other forms of evidence, such as: 

  • Law enforcement officers’ observations of your behavior or even smelling alcohol on you during the traffic stop 
  • Accounts of your behavior, appearance, or impaired driving by any witnesses
  • Footage from dashboard cameras 
  • Your performance in field sobriety tests 

Just because the prosecution may use such evidence doesn’t mean that the prosecutor will be able to secure a conviction. The prosecution must prove its case against you with compelling, appropriately obtained evidence. 

During the course of the DUI legal proceedings, your breath test refusal defense attorneys in Mercer County, NJ, will examine the evidence against you and the procedures by which it was acquired. Our goal is to identify procedure errors, rights violations, and ways in which the prosecution’s case falls short of proving that you committed the violation. 

Implied Consent to Breath Testing in New Jersey 

The implied consent law in New Jersey establishes that, by operating a motor vehicle in the state, drivers consent to submit to testing in connection with a stop or arrest related to suspicions of driving under the influence. This law means that refusal to submit to testing constitutes a violation distinct from the DUI or DWI charge. 

Charges and Consequences of Breath DUI Refusal

Under Statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a, you can be charged and penalized for refusing to submit to a chemical test when arrested for driving under the influence separately from any charges and penalties for DUI or DWI. 

If convicted of the additional violation of refusing a test, you could face a longer license revocation and additional fines compared to what could be imposed upon you for a DUI conviction, as detailed by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. When your driver’s license is revoked due to a DUI breath test refusal, you will also be referred to an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.

Whether you have prior convictions for DUI affects the penalties you could face for DUI test refusal charges.

First Offense DUI Refusal Penalties

For a first offense, you may have to forfeit your right to operate a vehicle on New Jersey roads for seven months to one year and must have installed an ignition interlock device in your vehicle at your own expense. This period of license forfeiture may run concurrently with any license suspension imposed as a result of a DUI conviction or may be imposed as a consecutive penalty in the case of a first offense. 

For refusing a breath test as a first offender, you could face fines of $300 to $500 in addition to other fines and financial penalties arising out of the DUI charges. 

Second Offense DUI Refusal Penalties

A DUI test refusal that would constitute a second drunk driving offense will cause you to forfeit the right to operate a vehicle for a period of up to two years. This license forfeiture must be served consecutively after license forfeiture imposed as a result of a DUI conviction. 

The fine for refusing a breath test as a second DUI offense amounts to $500 to $1,000. 

Third and Subsequent DUI Refusal Penalties 

In third or subsequent DUI offenses in which the accused refused a breath test, the driver forfeits their right to drive in New Jersey for up to 10 years, served consecutively with the license suspension arising out of DUI charges. 

You will face fines of $1,000 for refusing a breath test if the offense would constitute a third or subsequent DUI violation. 

Defending Against DUI Refusal Charges 

For you to be convicted of refusing to submit to a DUI test, it must be established by a preponderance of the evidence that the officer had probable cause to arrest you for driving while under the influence and that you refused to submit to a test. Further, the arresting officer should inform you of the consequences you could face for refusing to submit to the test. 

When defending against charges for this offense, our Trenton DUI refusal lawyers will examine the facts of your case from every angle to identify any procedural errors, rights violations, or ways in which the evidence fails to prove these elements. 

Often, DUI or DWI charges accompany refusal to submit to testing charges. Our seasoned breath test refusal defense attorneys in Mercer County, NJ, offer a comprehensive array of legal defense services to help you fight both types of charges. 

How Scardella Law Firm Can Help

DUI charges require aggressive defense, especially when you’re also facing charges of refusing to submit to a breath test. The experienced Trenton DUI refusal lawyers at Scardella Law Firm have defended countless clients throughout New Jersey against DUI and related charges through our dedicated approach to drunk driving defense. 

Developing Personalized Defense Strategies 

We meticulously investigate all aspects of your case to identify evidence that works in your favor. Based on that evidence, we approach your case strategically and craft customized defense arguments. 

Fighting for Favorable Outcomes 

Through the strong, evidence-backed defense we prepare just for you, we will pursue a more favorable outcome in your case. Depending on the specifics of your case, these efforts might include seeking to have charges dismissed or reduced, representing you in trial with the aim of securing a not-guilty verdict, and advocating for lighter sentences. 

Why Choose Scardella Law Firm as Your Trenton DUI Refusal Lawyers

At Scardella Law Firm, our legal team is committed to advocating for the accused, making sure your voice is heard and your rights are protected throughout all proceedings. We bring to your case:

  • More than a decade of experience handling complex DUI and criminal defense cases 
  • A record of achieving favorable results for countless clients 
  • A commitment to exhausting every possible avenue for dismissals of charges and outright not-guilty verdicts 
  • Insider insights on how the prosecution thinks, thanks to attorney Lauren E. Scardella, Esq.’s experience working in the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
  • A focus on providing exceptional legal representation through continuous advocacy and smart, thorough defense strategies

For DUI and breath test refusal charges in Mercer County and throughout New Jersey, entrust your case to Scardella Law Firm’s knowledgeable legal team. 

Contact the Trenton DUI Refusal Lawyers Today at Scardella Law Firm for a Free Consultation

You’re going through a lot right now, but you don’t have to go through it alone. During a free, confidential telephone consultation, you can learn about your legal rights and options and how our team can assist you in fighting DUI test refusal charges. 

For help from a DUI refusal attorney in Trenton, NJ, contact Scardella Law Firm online or call us today.

Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Refusal Charges in Trenton

What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer test in New Jersey? 

Refusing a test when pulled over for DUI constitutes an additional violation, and doing so won’t necessarily protect you from facing DUI charges. When you refuse a breathalyzer test in NJ, you could face penalties such as additional fines and increased license suspension duration. 

Can you be charged with DUI if you refuse a breath test?

A breathalyzer test result showing that your BAC was above the legal limit is not required to charge you with DUI or DWI in New Jersey. Even if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, you could be charged with DUI. The prosecution can use other evidence to build a case against you. If you refused a test, it’s in your best interests to consult breath test refusal defense attorneys in Mercer County, NJ, as soon as possible. 

Should you refuse a breath test for DUI in New Jersey?

Due to NJ’s implied consent law, the implications of refusing a breath test are serious. Before you refuse a breathalyzer test, you need to be aware that doing so constitutes a separate violation of state law and that you may still face DUI charges. It’s best to turn to an experienced attorney for advice specific to your unique situation, if possible. 

How do you beat a DUI refusal charge in NJ?

When representing you against refusal to submit to test charges, our Trenton DUI refusal lawyers will look at the evidence and use it to formulate a defense strategy unique to the facts of your case. For example, we may be able to identify procedural errors or rights violations that could lead to dismissals of these charges or not-guilty verdicts, such as: 
-The officer stopping you without probable cause
-The officer demanding that you undergo a breath test without probable cause 
-The officer failing to inform you of the consequences of breath test refusal 
The best opportunity for beating a DUI refusal charge is with the guidance and representation of experienced breath test refusal defense attorneys in Mercer County, NJ.

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