Bergen County, NJ- One of the more common questions our team of DWI lawyers in New Jersey are asked is: Should I submit to a breathalyzer test? It’s a valid question and in some states a person is better off refusing a breathalyzer test. But that isn’t the case in the New Jersey. In the Garden State refusing a breath test will often result in double the charges.
There is this prevailing notion that if person refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test they deny the prosecution the evidence they need to secure a DWI prosecution, but that isn’t the reality. It is just as easy for a prosecutor to secure a DWI conviction without the results of a breath tests as it is with those results. Often, an officer’s observations and their report can be enough for a conviction, so refusing a breath test won’t shield you from conviction and it could actually make things worse.
When you refuse a breathalyzer, your refusal can be used as evidence against you in court and it could result in additional charges. In New Jersey, like many states, have an implied consent law. This law requires licensed drivers to submit to field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests and chemical tests. By the very act of obtaining your driver’s license you agree to comply with an officer when you are pulled over.
If you refuse any sobriety tests, you can still be charged with a DWI along with additional charges for refusing sobriety tests. That means it is possible for you to be convicted of a DWI and be convicted of refusal at the same time. That means you will lose your license immediately and face double the consequences and fines.
Under the state’s implied consent statutes, a conviction for refusal could result in a 7 to 12-month suspension of your driver’s license, thousands of dollars in fines and fees and mandatory installation of ignition interlock device. Additionally, a conviction for a refusal will also go on your permanent record, so it’s just good idea to submit the breath test and retain and defense attorney. This isn’t true in all states but with two sets of charges and two sets of penalties your better off taking the tests and allowing a New Jersey attorney to work on your defense and give you the opportunity to avoid a conviction.
If you are facing a DWI or a refusal get in touch with one a DWI attorney in Bergen County to discuss your case. USAttorneys has a team of lawyers who understand how to challenge the evidence against you and give you a greater chance of avoiding conviction. If avoiding conviction is not possible, which is sometimes the case, an attorney can help you minimize some of the penalties you potentially face. As soon as you are able, you are advised to contact a lawyer and enlist them to work on your defense.