South Jersey Breath Test Refusal Lawyer
New Jersey Defense Lawyer Advocates Vigorously for Clients Charged with Breath Test Refusal in Burlington County and Throughout the State
Many drivers mistakenly believe that they can avoid charges for driving while intoxicated simply by refusing to take the breathalyzer test presented by law enforcement officials which, in New Jersey, is known as the Alcotest machine. This belief is a myth—under New Jersey’s implied consent rule, every driver is deemed to consent to the breath test simply by getting behind the wheel on the New Jersey roadways. Breath test refusal is, in and of itself, a serious offense in the state and must be treated as such. In fact, the consequences for breath test refusal can be equally serious to those you would face if convicted of the underlying DWI/DUI charge in the first place.
The breath test is considered so important in New Jersey because it is the primary means by which the state polices the roads for drunk drivers—and law enforcement in the state takes DWI/DUI extremely seriously. At Gelman Law, LLC, our experienced breath test refusal lawyer understands how difficult it can be to build a strong defense in breath test refusal cases. However, we have the skills and resources necessary to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and get the charges against you reduced or dismissed if possible based on the circumstances of your refusal. We have experience working both for and against the prosecution, so understand the strategies that the prosecution may use to build their case against you, and we use that experience to our advantage in building the strongest available defense in your case.
Breath Test Refusal Carries Substantial Penalties in New Jersey
The penalties for a breath test refusal in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey depend upon several factors, including whether you have prior or multiple DWI/DUI offenses and where you were pulled over. For example, breath test refusal can lead to:
- First offenders: Seven months to a one-year license suspension, up to $500 in fines, $3,000 in related surcharges and 12 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
- Second offenders: A two-year license suspension, up to $1,000 in fines, $3,000 in insurance-related surcharges and 12 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
- Third offenders: A ten-year license suspension, $1,000 in fines, $4,500 in insurance-related surcharges and 12 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
If the refusal was made while in a school zone, your license suspension period and relevant fines will be doubled.
Notably, these penalties closely mirror those imposed upon drivers who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated. However, the breath test refusal charges can be “stacked” together with an underlying DWI/DUI charge—meaning that you can be facing multiple DUI-related charges even if law enforcement never obtained a breath test reading.
Experienced Defense Lawyer at Gelman Law, LLC Fights to Get Results for Clients Arrested on Breath Test Refusal Charges in Camden County
Building a defense against breath test refusal charges can be more challenging than in the case of typical DWI/DUI charges. Despite this, it is far from impossible and there are many strategies that we can employ on your behalf. For example, law enforcement officers are still required to respect your constitutional rights in breath test refusal cases, meaning that they must have probable cause to stop your vehicle in the first place and to request that you submit to the breath test. Further, New Jersey requires that you be read a standardized statement (which is different than your Miranda rights) informing you of your obligation to submit to the breath test. Failure to do so can result in dismissal of your breath test refusal charges.
Contact the Seasoned Defense Lawyer at Gelman Law, LLC for a Confidential Consultation to Discuss Your Breath Test Refusal Case
If you have been arrested on breath test refusal charges or received a traffic ticket in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to protect your rights. Call or contact our dedicated breath test refusal lawyer for a confidential consultation to discuss options for building a strong defense in your case today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breath Test Refusal Charges
FAQ: Can I still be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol if I never took the breathalyzer test?
Yes. The prosecution is not required to provide the results of the breath test to prove that you were driving while intoxicated. In these cases, the testimony of the law enforcement officers may be sufficient to convict you of DWI charges, and you will also continue to face the charges for the breath test refusal. In some cases, the breath test refusal can even be used as evidence by the prosecution to support the DWI/DUI charges.
FAQ: What if I wasn’t drinking and refused the breath test? Can I still be convicted on breath test refusal charges?
Yes. You could potentially face all of the penalties associated with breath test refusal even if you weren’t driving under the influence of alcohol. The simple refusal itself is a punishable offense under New Jersey law and the prosecution does not have to establish that you were, in fact, driving while intoxicated to support breath test refusal charges. It is also not a defense to breath test refusal charges that you were not drinking, so felt you should not have to submit to the testing.
FAQ: What if I didn’t actually say no to taking the breath test?
Basically, anything short of an unconditional “yes” can result in breath test refusal charges. For example, if you say that you’ll take the breath test but impose conditions on your doing so, the officer may be within his or her rights for arresting you on breath test refusal charges. Providing insufficient samples—for example, breaths that are too short to register your BAC—can also provide grounds for breath test refusal charges. However, if you suffer from a legitimate medical condition, such as asthma, that makes it physically difficult for you to submit to the breath test, this may provide a valid defense.