Being charged with DWI in Freehold, New Jersey, can be an incredibly scary and stressful experience. This challenging time may come with damage to personal reputation, potential difficulties obtaining future employment, and jail time. Given the potential impacts this could have on your life, securing an experienced Freehold DWI attorney immediately becomes crucial.
Attorneys at our firm have decades of experience handling criminal matters, including DWI cases, and we will do whatever it takes to fight for your freedom. For help with a DWI charge in Freehold, NJ, contact our attorneys at Clark & Noonan, LLC, to schedule a free consultation with a Freehold DWI lawyer. You can call us at (732) 303-7857.
How Clark & Noonan, LLC Can Help if You’re Arrested for a DWI in Freehold
If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Freehold, NJ, the consequences can be severe and long-lasting. Fortunately, retaining an experienced Freehold criminal defense attorney can positively affect your case’s outcome. Here’s what we will do to help you:
Investigate and Gather Evidence
We will initiate a thorough investigation. We’ll review police reports, body cam, and dash cam footage, interview witnesses, and consult with experts in an effort to challenge the prosecution’s evidence.
Negotiate With Prosecutors
With our deep understanding of New Jersey courts and state law, we are skilled at negotiating with prosecutors. Our goal is to secure a favorable plea agreement for you by reducing charges or advocating for minimal penalties when appropriate.
File Motion To Suppress
If there has been inappropriate conduct on the part of law enforcement officials during your arrest, we may file a motion to suppress certain evidence. This means the prosecutor can’t use it against you at trial, which could lead to an acquittal or even a dismissal in some cases if it weakens the prosecutor’s case enough.
Fight for You at Trial
In the event that your case heads to trial, our defense team will passionately fight for you in court. We’ll challenge all aspects of the prosecution’s case and work tirelessly towards an acquittal or a reduction in charges.
Working with Clark & Noonan, LLC ensures effective legal representation when dealing with DWI charges in Freehold, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Freehold DWI attorney.
Overview of DWI Laws in New Jersey
In New Jersey, it’s worth noting that there isn’t a legal distinction between DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated); both terms are used interchangeably to reflect similar offenses.
Under New Jersey DWI law, you commit this offense if you operate a motor vehicle:
- While under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogenic substances, or habit-forming drugs; OR
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher.
Additionally, New Jersey law also prohibits you from allowing another person who is under the influence to operate a vehicle you own or are in control of. This is essential to understand, as it means you can be convicted of DWI without ever having driven a vehicle.
DWI Per Se in New Jersey
New Jersey adopts a “per se” DWI standard. Under this principle, any individual found operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is presumed to be driving under the influence.
DWI When BAC is Under .08%
New Jersey’s DWI laws also allow for conviction in cases where your BAC is below 0.08% if other evidence sufficiently demonstrates impairment at the time you were operating your vehicle.
Impairment might include observable signs such as unsteady gait, slurred speech, poor coordination, and poor performance on roadside sobriety tests.
What Are the Penalties for DWI Convictions in Freehold, New Jersey?
Facing a potential DWI conviction in Freehold, New Jersey, can be a stressful situation due to the severity of the penalties the court may impose. This could significantly disrupt your life and financial stability.
For first-time DWI offenders in New Jersey, consequences differ depending on the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether there was a narcotic or other type of drug in your system:
BAC Higher Than .08 But Lower Than .10
If you are convicted of a first-time DWI offense in Freehold, New Jersey with a BAC between 0.08 and less than 0.10 (or you allow another person with that same BAC level to operate your vehicle), there are serious penalties:
- Loss of Driving Privileges: Prepare for your driving privileges to be revoked until you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This means you would have to blow into a breathalyzer device installed in your vehicle before driving – the vehicle only starts if there is no alcohol in your system.
- Jail Time: Expect to spend at least 12 hours incarcerated but no more than 30 days.
- Financial Penalties: You will face fines ranging from $250 to $400 along with additional fees and surcharges amounting to over $525.
- Automobile Insurance: A $1,000 annual automobile insurance surcharge for three years following your conviction will be imposed.
- Substance Abuse Assessment and Mandatory Classes: You will be required to undergo an alcohol/substance abuse assessment and attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for mandatory six-hour classes over two days
BAC Higher Than .10 But Lower Than .15
When a first-time DWI offender’s BAC is higher than 0.10 but less than 0.15 percent, or they allow another person with that same BAC level to operate their vehicle, significant penalties apply, including:
- Loss of Driving Privileges: Your driver’s license will be suspended until you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
- Jail Time: Expect to spend at least 12 hours incarcerated but no more than 30 days.
- Financial Penalties: You will face fines ranging from $300 to $500 along with additional fees and surcharges.
- Automobile Insurance: A $1,000 annual automobile insurance surcharge for three years following your conviction.
- Substance Abuse Assessment and Mandatory Classes: You will be required to undergo alcohol/substance abuse assessment and attend an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center for mandatory six-hour classes over two days
Drug DWIs and BAC Above .15
In addition to the above penalties, there are longer license suspensions for drug DWIs and those where your BAC is above .15.
If you are convicted of a DWI and your BAC is .015 or higher, you will lose your license for at least 4 months and up to 7 months, and will also have to install an ignition interlock device.
If you’re convicted of your first drug-related DWI, you will lose your license for a minimum of 7 months and a maximum of one year.
Additionally, subsequent DWI offenses carry significantly higher penalties, including increased jail time.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Arrested for a DWI in Freehold, NJ?
If you’ve been arrested for DWI, there are several defense strategies an experienced attorney can use to fight the charges. Some common examples include:
Not in Control of or Driving Vehicle
To convict someone of DWI, it has to be proved that they were actually operating and controlling the vehicle, or they allowed someone under the influence to use their vehicle. It may be possible to argue against this.
Your lawyer could present evidence showing that you weren’t in the driver’s seat when police arrived at the scene or that there was another person present who could have been driving (and it wasn’t your car).
Another common defense is to prove that you were not actually under the influence. This could be contested by questioning the validity of roadside sobriety tests and chemical test results. This can also be established through witness testimony.
Violation of Rights Leading To Motion To Suppress
If law enforcement violated your rights during a DWI arrest – like failing to adhere to proper protocol during chemical testing or ignoring Miranda rights while questioning you – your lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress certain evidence, like the results of a blood or breath test. If the motion is successful, it may be possible for your lawyer to get your case dismissed or to obtain an acquittal.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Freehold DWI Attorneys
Being charged with DWI has both immediate and long-term effects on your life, affecting your freedom and your future. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the process alone. The attorneys at our firm are experienced in handling DWI cases and will fight for your rights every step of the way. If you are dealing with a DWI charge in Freehold, New Jersey, contact Clark & Noonan, LLC, to schedule a consultation with a Freehold DWI attorney.