NJ DUI Defense Attorney Warns that Insurance Premiums Could Increase as Much as 250% After a DWI Conviction

Insurance Premiums Could IncreaseHere on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, we regularly discuss what can happen to you if you are convicted of drunk driving, drugged driving, or driving while high. Most people are aware that consequences include jail time, loss of driving privileges, and excessive fines. However, this does not even begin to approximate the real cost of a DUI. One thing many people forget is that a conviction will also result in increased car insurance premiums.

A new report summarizes just how much your annual car insurance premium can increase after a DUI or DWI. The average car insurance premium increase in the United States is 80% for the first year after a DUI, although this can vary greatly from state-to-state. For instance, the average increase is highest in Michigan, where most drivers who are convicted of drunk driving experience a 249% increase in car insurance premiums.

New Jersey Car Insurance Increases After DUI/DWI

New Jersey already has one of the highest car insurance costs in the country with an average annual premium cost of $1,520-$1,679. According to one report, New Jersey drivers pay an average of 132% more in the year immediately following the conviction. Moreover, because the DUI conviction becomes a permanent part of your driving record, the average convicted driver will continue to pay increased premium rates long after he or she is convicted.

In New Jersey, the average convicted driver will continue to pay 75% more on car insurance – or an average of $1,273 more. This means, instead of paying $1679 for car insurance, a person who was previously convicted will pay $2,951 per year for car insurance.

High Risk Drivers Can Expect to Pay Even More

Car insurance companies classify people into different risk categories in order to determine car insurance premium costs. With regard to most factors, recent history is the most important factor. Accidents, tickets, or convictions in the most recent year will count more than something that happened five years ago.

If you are already categorized as high risk, getting a DUI or DWI increase the cost of your insurance premiums even more. For instance, a driver under the age of 25 with a DUI may pay three times as much for insurance as someone older who had a DUI 10 years ago.

Some car insurance companies may even refuse to give you insurance, in which case you will be required to obtain high risk insurance elsewhere.

Auto Insurance Costs After DUI

If you live in New Jersey, you are probably already familiar with shopping for car insurance. The amount you pay for car insurance after a DUI/ DWI can vary greatly from company to company.

A recent survey found that the following popular companies offered these average insurance rates for drivers after a drunk driving conviction.

Insurance company

Avg. rate after DUI

New Jersey Manufacturers

$1,392

Progressive

$1,745

GEICO

$1,850

Allstate

$4,872

State Farm

$6,755

However, these numbers can change quickly and will vary from person to person based on many factors. The only guarantee is that your car insurance premium will go up if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated in this state. For that reason, if you or someone you know is charged with DUI or DWI, it is important to hire an experienced attorney as soon as you can.

New Jersey Drunk Driver Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help

If you or someone you know is charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence in New Jersey, it is important to speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation. You want someone who understands the real costs and penalties you are facing. A good lawyer can make all the difference. Call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

What Happens If a Pennsylvania Resident Gets a DUI in New Jersey

Unrecognizable blurry police car lights and police force officer on night road background, crime scene, night patrolling the city.

Many Pennsylvania residents find themselves driving in New Jersey every day. As one of the six states that border Pennsylvania, New Jersey is a popular destination to travel for business, daytrips, dinner, or vacation. If a Pennsylvania resident is driving on New Jersey roads, this means that he or she will be subject to New Jersey’s driving laws during that time, including New Jersey’s strict laws against and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or marijuana.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident that is arrested, charged, or convicted of DUI or DWI in New Jersey, it is important to contact an experienced drunk driving attorney who is licensed in New Jersey and who regularly practices in New Jersey courts as soon as possible. An NJ attorney will be more familiar with the local court systems and how to defend your case, and you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed completely.

If you are convicted of drunk driving, drugged driving, or driving while high in the Garden State, the consequences could be severe and even result in you losing your out-of-state Pennsylvania driver’s license.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Driver Licenses Compact (DLC)

The state of Pennsylvania is technically part of the Drivers License Compact (or DLC), which was created to provide uniformity amongst participating states regarding documentation and record keeping for licenses, suspensions, convictions and other information related to driving privileges in the United States. The only states that are not members are Georgia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Tennessee.

However, it is important to recognize that Pennsylvania includes some exceptions to its participation in the DLC – specifically that Pennsylvania does not assess points for minor offenses and will only transfer points from another state under certain conditions.

What This Means if You are a PA Resident Who Gets a DUI or DWI in New Jersey

First, if you are convicted in New Jersey, you will be subject to all penalties under New Jersey law, including fines and potential jail time. Furthermore, Pennsylvania does recognize out-of-state drunk driving convictions. This means that if you are convicted in New Jersey, the New Jersey state motor vehicle commission will report the conviction to the Pennsylvania Division of Motor Vehicles (PennDOT), and it will become a part of your driving record. If you are in a position where this could affect your job, employment prospects, parole, or other status, you will want to contact a New Jersey licensed attorney to defend against the charges before you are convicted – especially if you have a CDL or commercial driver’s license.

At the same time, Pennsylvania will not suspend a resident’s Pennsylvania driver’s license because of an out-of-state DUI conviction if it is the person’s first actual DUI or DWI conviction – meaning there are no previous DUI/DWIs including one that was resolved through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.

Pennsylvania will treat the out-of-state conviction as a violation of Section 3802(a)(2) prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle with the blood content of at least .08 but less than .10. Therefore, it is possible that you could lose your driving privileges on New Jersey roads under New Jersey’s laws, but still be allowed to drive elsewhere under your Pennsylvania license.

Nonetheless, if you are convicted in New Jersey (or another state), it is important that you divulge this information if you ever apply or re-apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s license. Failure to answer license application questions truthfully could result in your license being canceled, suspended, or otherwise voided.

New Jersey DUI Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Can Help Residents from Another State who are Arrested in this State

Whether you live in New Jersey or you are just visiting, a charge for driving under the influence is a serious matter. If you or someone you know is arrested or charged with drunk driving, drugged driving, or driving while high, only a good defense can help get the charges dismissed. A good attorney can make a big difference. To speak with an experienced DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Your Case Could Be Dismissed if You’ve Been Arrested or Charged with DUI or DWI Due to Drugs

Woman pulled over by policeAs we have frequently discussed here on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, you can be arrested, charged, or convicted of driving while intoxicated as the result of drugs or marijuana in the same way you can be charged for drunk driving.  New Jersey’s DUI and DWI laws include any form of intoxication – even from prescription medications or other legal drugs.

At the same time, as we have also discussed before on the Edward M. Janzekovich DUI/DWI blog, there are few, if any, reliable methods of testing for drug intoxication.  Unlike drunk driving, which can be tested with a state mandated and prescribed breathalyzer test that follows strict rules, there are no magic tests that can detect drugged driving or current intoxication due to marijuana or other drugs.

Accordingly, the government is often forced to rely on a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to determine if someone is actually legally impaired after he or she has been arrested.  The state must then use circumstantial or observational evidence – as opposed to scientific evidence – to support their case that the driver was actually intoxicated AT THE TIME that he or she was operating the vehicle.  This type of evidence can be extremely unreliable.  A good attorney will know how to attack and defend against any use of this evidence.  In the end, a good attorney may even be able to get the case dismissed completely.

Many believe that the work of good attorneys in pointing out the flaws in prosecuting drugged driving cases is leading to more and more DUI/DWI cases being dismissed every year.

Why Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) are Unreliable

Since there is currently no technology that would allow a police officer to quickly determine whether or not a driver has been driving under the influence of many drugs, local police departments must rely on DREs.  According to recent statistic, New Jersey has more than 500 drug recognition experts— more than any other state except California.

A DRE is a police officer who has special training in identifying if someone is intoxicated or impaired.  No blood, urine, or breath tests are involved.  The DRE may also receive training to determine what kind of drugs the person is on.

Since DREs rely on mostly subjective observations, their abilities are increasingly being called into question. Some of the things a DRE looks for may include droopy eyelids, dilated pupils, a racing pulse, red eyes, or slowed involuntary responses to stimuli.  However, no two DREs are exactly the same.  What one DRE might think is slow may not be considered slow by another DRE.

For example, one part of the DRE standard evaluation includes observations regarding muscle tone – whether a driver’s muscles appear loose, tight, rigid, or flaccid.  Defense attorneys and experts have called into question this test, because there is no clear distinction between these muscle states and any differences in muscle tone can be caused by more than drugs.

Challenges in Court Have Resulted in Dismissals

For the reasons stated above, as well as for many other reasons, the reliability of DREs is being called into question – in New Jersey courts and in other places around the country.  As previously discussed on this blog, there has even been a federal court case challenging the reliability of DREs.  Many defendants have been wrongfully accused of driving under the influence of drugs, based on DRE evidence, even though subsequent blood tests showed no drugs in the system whatsoever.

Accordingly, if you or someone you know is ever arrested or charged with drugged driving, you have a constitutional right to challenge the evidence against you.  A good lawyer will be able to review the circumstances of your case and determine if the police officers acted appropriately, including whether a DRE’s testimony is reliable.  A good attorney may be able to have your case dismissed or thrown out of court completely.

New Jersey Drugged Driving Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Will Fight for Your Rights

In order to win its case, the police and prosecutor must be able to prove that you took drugs or alcohol AND that the drugs or alcohol actually impaired your ability to drive when you were actually behind the wheel.  If you or someone you know is charged with DUI or DWI, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney right away.  A good lawyer can present the best defense in your case and can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 1-732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Delayed, as well as the Draeger DrugTest 5000

New Jersey Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Delayed

In a surprise turn of events, New Jersey state legislators took action to cancel and postpone its vote to legalize recreational marijuana today.  Most news agencies reported that legalization was likely to occur, particularly after two legislative committees – the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee — approved cannabis legalization bills last week that would have made legalization possible.  Moreover, as we previously discussed on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog, Governor Murphy and Senate President Stephen Sweeney reached an agreement regarding how marijuana sales could be taxed if cannabis were legalized.

Any debate about taxations schemes are moot for the immediate future, however, now that the vote has been delayed.  Although leading lawmakers apparently agreed on the terms of the proposed law, there ultimately was insufficient support to pass the bill.  Knowing that the legislation would fail, legislators chose, instead, to pull any formal votes on the law from the congressional agenda.

Despite this setback to legalization of recreational cannabis in the state, popular support for marijuana continues to grow.  According to a poll taken by Monmouth University last month, 62% adults in the state support legalization of recreational marijuana, and 68% believe legalization could be a benefit to the state’s economy.

Driving While High, Get a DUI

For the time being, driving while high is still illegal.  If marijuana is eventually legalized in New Jersey, every sign indicates driving under the influence of THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana, will continue to be illegal.  In either case, if you are convicted of driving while intoxicated due to marijuana, you will face significant fines, loss of driving privileges, and possible jail time.

How You Might Be Prosecuted for Driving High in the Future

One thing that might change if marijuana is ever legalized in this state, however, is that New Jersey may implement new methods or devices to detect marijuana intoxication.  Currently, it is illegal to driving drunk in the Garden State, and most people know that the legal alcohol limit is .08% BAC or blood alcohol concentration.  What many people do not know is that there is still only one legal breathalyzer machine that may be used in the state, the Draeger Alcotest 7110.  It is the only make and model of the machine that may be used to prove breath alcohol content in this state, even though there are other machines and models that can and are used in other states.

In the future, New Jersey may choose to adopt a similar machine to test marijuana intoxication.  In Canada, one such government approved device is the Draeger DrugTest 5000.  According to the company’s own website, the Draeger DrugTest 5000 tests a person’s saliva sample quickly in order to identify for drugs like amphetamines, designer drugs, opiates, cocaine and metabolites, benzodiazepines, methadone, and cannabinoids (meaning marijuana and marijuana related products).  If such a machine is ever used in New Jersey, you can guarantee that there will be challenges to its reliability and effectiveness, as well as questions about what levels of drugs indicate legal intoxication.

If you or someone you know is ever charged with driving while high as the result of marijuana, THC, or any other chemical substance, it is important to get an experienced DUI and DWI attorney as soon as possible.  Only a good attorney working with an experienced expert can challenge drug intoxication evidence in many intoxicated driving cases.  It’s important to discuss the evidence against you with a trusted lawyer as soon as possible.

NJ Driving While High Defense Lawyer Edward M. Janzekovich Is a Lawyer You Can Trust

If marijuana is ever legalized for recreational use in this state, you can guarantee that the number of DUI and DWI cases related to THC and cannabinoids will increase.  If you or someone you know is charged, you will want an experienced attorney on your side.  A good lawyer can make all the difference.   To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County and Somerset County.

Former New York Giants Player’s DUI Arrest After Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Police car on the streetBarry Cofield is an Ex-New York Giants defensive lineman who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft.  Cofield went on to play five years with the team before leaving in free agency and spending 4 years with division rivals, the Washington Redskins, from 2011 to 2015.  In 2015, Cofield resigned with the Giants where he finished out his career.  He is well-known for the “taser” dance that he would perform after sacking the opposing quarterback.  Cofield also helped the Giants win a World Championship ring in Super Bowl XLII following the 2007 season.  Although named as a New York team, the Giants actually practice and play in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On July 6, 2018, Cofield was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of heroin, as well as possession of heroin, assaulting an officer, eluding police, and resisting arrest.  Police body cam footage documented the harrowing arrest.  The 10-year NFL veteran recently pleaded no contest to some of the charges and will not be serving jail time.  Unfortunately, the arrest and sentencing occurred in Florida, where the laws are significantly different from the laws in New Jersey, and Cofield was able to plead to charges carrying a more lenient sentence.

Circumstances of the Arrest at Gunpoint

Barry Cofield’s arrest was actually quite an intense situation, as officers held the former NFL player at gunpoint and forced him out of his Cadillac Escalade prior to the arrest.

The entire ordeal began when Cofield fell asleep at the wheel.  Cofield was near Interstate 4 and Lake Mary Boulevard in Lake Mary, Fl. with his foot on the brake when he was discovered.  It is alleged that he remained stopped at the light while the light cycled or changed multiple times before police officers approached the vehicle and attempted to wake him or break his window.  One officer reported that his window would not break.  Subsequently, Cofield woke up and immediately stepped on the gas, refusing to stop at the direction of the officers.  After a pursuit or police chase, Cofield was ultimately stopped after ramming another vehicle and a police cruiser.

Finally, Cofield exited the vehicle and was ordered to the ground.  Accordingly, Cofield was charged with eluding police.  The entire ordeal was captured on body cam.

Officers noted that they smelled alcohol on his breath, but he refused a sobriety test.  Officers then found a substance in his vehicle that was later tested to be heroin.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Although Cofield’s arrest occurred in Florida, New Jersey laws also generally prohibit a driver from falling asleep at the wheel.  Whether the vehicle is parked and turned off, turned on with just the engine running in park, or stopped at a light with the driver’s foot on the brake, if a driver is found asleep in the car, there is a good chance police officers will attempt to arrest the driver for drunk driving.  The law, however, is much more complicated or nuanced.  Therefore, this should not automatically result in a conviction.

For this reason, if you or someone you know is charged with a DUI or DWI and the arrest involves sleeping, you should contact an experienced drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible.  The truth, which a police officer may not tell you, is that the State may have a difficult time proving by clear and convincing evidence that any sobriety, breathalyzer, or drug testing occurred within a reasonable period of time from when the vehicle was operated.  Pursuant to the case of State v. DiFrancisco, the charges may actually need to be dropped.

Barry Cofield’s Sentencing

Ultimately, Cofield pled no contest to the charges brought against him.  In New Jersey, there are different rules regarding pleas or plea bargaining than in Florida.  Cofield faced 12 months of probation, 50 hours of community service, random drug testing and a $500 fine for the DUI charges alone, but he was ultimately able to plead guilty only to the DUI charge and the possession charge.  He did not have to serve any jail time.  In New Jersey, it is likely that he would have faced even higher penalties, and he would have served time in jail.

Accordingly, if you are charged in New Jersey, it is even more important that you retain a good lawyer as soon as possible.

New Jersey Drugs and Alcohol Driving Lawyer Can Help if You’ve Been Charged

No matter the circumstances, if you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI in New Jersey, the best thing you can do is get a good lawyer as soon as possible.  You know someone who knows the law, knows the system, and knows the best way to help you within the specific circumstances of your case.  An experienced lawyer can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

Should You Challenge a Traffic Ticket in New Jersey?

What Are the Benefits of Fighting a Traffic Citation?

traffic ticket in new jerseyYou’ve been stopped by police in New Jersey and issued a ticket. Maybe you were speeding or failed to come to a complete stop. Maybe you made an illegal turn. If you’re like most people, you may feel like you have no recourse other than to show up and pay your fine. To the contrary, there can be a number of good reasons to fight the ticket.

You Might Save a Lot of Money

If you plead guilty, you’ll have to pay a fine, known as a “surcharge,” which can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000. And that’s for each infraction! If you are charged with multiple offenses— speeding, failure to use due caution, reckless driving—the costs can add up quickly. If you don’t pay in a timely manner, you could risk the seizure of assets to pay the fines.

You Might Avoid the Accumulation of Points on Your Driving Record

The state of New Jersey maintains a point system for all licensed motorists. You accumulate points for certain types of infractions. If you amass too many points in a given period—typically two years—you can risk the suspension of your driving privileges. You can have points removed after the fact, but it’s much easier to keep them from being added to your record. An experienced attorney may be able to negotiate an agreement with prosecutors to avoid or minimize points.

The Police Officer May Not Show at the Hearing

Under the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to question your accuser. If you challenge the ticket, the police officer must appear in court to answer your questions. Police officers cannot do this with every ticket they write. If the officer is a no show, your case will be dismissed.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

The New Expungement Law in New Jersey

Expungement-Law-in-New-Jersey

New Provisions Went into Effect on October 1, 2018

Last December, outgoing New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed bill S-3307, enacting significant changes to the state’s expungement laws. Those changes went into effect at the beginning of October.

What is Expungement?

Under New Jersey law, an expungement officially “removes” and isolates all records filed with courts, correctional facilities, law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice agencies, criminal justice agencies or detention centers. That includes any information about your arrest or apprehension, any detention or incarceration, and all trial proceedings. When your petition for expungement is granted, the court will issue an order which states that the crime/offense “shall be deemed not to have occurred.” Your records, however, will not be destroyed, but only sealed.

The New Expungement Law

The new expungement law reduces some waiting periods and adds to the number of convictions for disorderly persons offenses that a person may have expunged. Specifically, the new statute:

  • Shortens the waiting period for expunging felony convictions from 10 to 6 years. You can, however, still seek “early pathway” expungement after 5 years
  • Allows a person to expunge up to four disorderly persons convictions, up from three (provided the applicant has not been convicted of a felony)
  • Allows a person to expunge up to three disorderly persons convictions, up from two, if the applicant has a prior felony conviction
  • Allows a person to expunge more than one felony conviction, but only if the felonies were part of a “crime spree,” listed in a single judgment of conviction
  • Gets rid of the “PTI” bar—Under the prior law, a person who has a felony dismissed as part of a “pre-trial intervention (PTI)” could not subsequently seek expungement of any offense. That provision is no longer part of the law.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

Comparing Alcohol by Volume (ABV) Between Modern Drinks and the Standard Drink

Cocktail drinks on barYou may have heard the old adage that “A drink is a drink is a drink.”  The saying means that one beer is equal in strength to one glass of wine is equal to one mixed drink or one shot.  Once upon a time, this saying probably held a little more truth.  Unfortunately, these days with the extreme variation in alcoholic beverages available (from craft beers to session ales to craft distillers and cask strength whisky), one drink can mean many things to different people – and the alcohol content of one drink can vary wildly.  Of course, that means that the way each person is affected by different drinks can vary wildly, too.

When it comes to blood alcohol content (BAC), you may have also heard that having only one drink per hour will probably keep you sober enough to drive.  This is based on the belief that the average human liver can process one drink’s worth of alcohol in one hour.  Unfortunately, that also may not be true.  Depending on who you are and what you’re drinking, having more or less than one drink per hour can still be enough to put your BAC over the legal limit of .08% BAC, resulting in intoxication and making it illegal for you to get behind the wheel.

What is the Standard Drink?

When the standard drink was first defined, the definition considered that the majority of alcoholic beverages being consumed were largely similar.  Until recently, the average beer drinker had access to regular beer (like Budweiser or Coors Banquet) that had about a 5% alcohol content or a light beer (like Bud Light or Miller Light) that had 4.2% alcohol by volume.  Wine drinkers drank wine that was about 12% alcohol, and liquor drinkers had drinks that were 1.5 fluid ounces and 40% abv or 80 proof.

Comparing Alcohol by Volume

Click Image for full size view

This graphic from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) summarizes the traditional view:

Craft Beer and Other Modern Drinks

Unfortunately, the standard drink model is less applicable in 2018.  According to one study, the average craft beer sold in 2014 was 5.9% ABV, nearly 18% stronger than a traditional regular beer.  Nowadays, there are many beers available at bars that are 10% ABV or more.  Dogfish Head, one of the nation’s largest independent craft breweries regularly makes beer that is around 18% ABV (World Wide Stout, 120 Minute IPA, Fort, and others).  One 12-ounce beer that is 18% ABV is stronger than 4 Bud Lights!

Similarly, craft distilleries and non-standard liquor offerings are becoming more popular.  Single barrel bourbons and cask strength whiskies are widely available.  Cask strength means that the liquor is not diluted from the liquor available in the barrel where the liquor is aged.  This will vary from one liquor to the next, from one brand to the next, and from one year to the next.  For comparison, however, Maker’s Mark is a popular bourbon that is normally sold at 45% ABV or 90 proof.  One recent bottle of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is 55.65% ABV or 111.3 proof.  This means that the Cask Strength version can get you intoxicated nearly 25% faster.

What this Means for Intoxication

Under New Jersey’s drunk driving law, it doesn’t matter how many drinks you’ve had.  You can be arrested and charged if you are driving while intoxicated, meaning you can be convicted of DUI or DWI if you are impaired.  If a blood alcohol test or breathalyzer test finds that your BAC is over .08%, you can be convicted even if you don’t feel drunk and your driving isn’t affected.  This means that the law doesn’t care if you’ve only had one drink, since one STRONG drink can actually be more alcoholic than four light drinks and can get you drunk 4 times faster!

Therefore, we at the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog always recommend that you have a designated driver or call a taxi or Uber if you’ve had even one drink.  If you or someone you know is pulled over after drinking, telling a police officer you only had one drink may not mean anything.  Instead, we recommend keeping what you say to a minimum, because anything you say can be used against you.  If you or someone you know is arrested, charged, or convicted, calling a good attorney as soon as possible will be the best defense.

New Jersey DUI Defense Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is There If You’ve Been Arrested, Charged, or Convicted

A DUI/DWI charge for operating a motor vehicle will involve many complicated evidential issues. Such a charge can also result in severe penalties that affect you and your loved ones. If you are charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of any substance in New Jersey, an experienced DWI/DUI attorney can make all the difference.  To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today.  We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

The Penalties for DUI in New Jersey

Penalties-for-DUI-in-New-Jersey

If you’ve been stopped and charged with drinking and driving in New Jersey, you face significant potential sanctions. Similar to other states, the penalties for DUI in New Jersey depend on a variety of factors, including severity of the offense and whether or not there are any prior convictions. Here’s an overview of the statutory penalties for drunk driving in New Jersey.

First Conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

New Jersey takes any DUI charge seriously. Even if you’ve never been charged or convicted of drinking and driving before, you can spend up to a month in jail and pay a significant fine. In addition, you can lose your license for up to year or be required to have an ignition interlock on your car.

Second DUI Conviction

As a repeat offender, you can face up to 90 days in jail, as well as fines of up to $1,000. A second DUI can also lead to a two-year suspension of your license, and a mandatory ignition interlock.

Subsequent Convictions

With a third conviction, you can be sentenced to 180 days in jail, and can lose your driving privileges for up to 10 years. The court can also assess a $1,000 fine and order installation of an ignition interlock.

Penalties Applicable to All DUI Convictions

Regardless of how many convictions you’ve had, you incur the following:

  • A $100 fee paid to the drunk driving enforcement fund
  • A $100 fee to restore your motor vehicle registration
  • A $100 fee to the violent crimes compensation fund
  • A $100 fee to the Intoxicated Driver program
  • A $100 state and municipal fee

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

Can You Beat a New Jersey Traffic Ticket?

New-Jersey-Traffic-Ticket

Did you know that plea bargaining is not allowed in a DUI prosecution in New Jersey? You can plead guilty, but you’ll simply have to accept the punishment handed down by the court. You may, however, be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely if you can successfully challenge the admissibility of critical evidence, such as the blood alcohol test.

Ways to Challenge a Blood Alcohol Test

If you’ve been pulled over while driving in New Jersey and issued a ticket for a moving violation of any kind, you’re typically faced with two options—pay the ticket and accept the consequences or appear before the judge and contest the citation. Don’t be confused—the decision to pay the ticket amounts to a guilty plea and may result in points added to your driving record.

If, on the other hand, you opt to challenge the ticket, there are a number of things you can do. First, you can write the police officer a letter, documenting any extenuating circumstances. The police officer has the discretion to dismiss the charge before you are scheduled to go to court.

Next, you can present your case to the prosecutor. While you cannot plea bargain on a DUI charge in New Jersey, you can seek to have the prosecutor reduce or dismiss charges on other traffic offenses.

If you are unable to convince either the police officer or the prosecutor to reduce or drop the charges, you can schedule a trial before a municipal court judge. You can represent yourself, but it’s in your best interests to have a lawyer advocate for you. The judge won’t be able to help you and the prosecutor will be prepared.

At the trial, you’ll want to bring as much evidence as you can to support your position. If you were ticketed for running a stop sign, but the sign was partially hidden, bring a picture that shows that. If there were witnesses who can testify that you did not violate the law, make certain they are present in court.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.