Fort Lee NJ Refusal to Submit to a Breath Sample Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been charged with Refusing to Submit to a Breath Sample in towns like Edgewater, Fort Lee, City of Englewood, Elmwood Park, Hackensack, Paramus, or anywhere in Bergen County, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help. An individual charged with refusal to submit to a breath sample will also be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI), these two charges go hand and hand. However, with that being said these are two separate offenses under the law and both carry their own versions of harsh penalties. In New Jersey, DWI/DUI and Refusal charges cannot be plea bargained, which is why its important to hire an experienced criminal defense law firm. Our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has the experience and knowledge to defend you or a loved one from a refusal charge since we have:
- Over two-hundred (200) years of combined criminal experience;
- With a dedicated team of ten (10) attorneys that devote their entire practice to criminal defense;
- Seven (7) of our criminal defense lawyers were former prosecutors;
- With three (3) of them being former municipal prosecutors;
- Whom have prosecuted thousands of DWI and Refusal charges throughout their careers;
- Also on staff is Colin Bonus, Esq., the handling attorney on the infamous State v. O’Driscol case. The New Jersey Appellate Division in State v. O’Driscol changed the required procedures for a refusal charge in New Jersey.
If you or your loved one has been charged with a breathalyzer refusal in Fort Lee or anywhere else in Bergen County, and you have any questions please contact our Bergen County Office located at 530 Main Street, Suite 205, Fort Lee, NJ for a free initial consultation at 201-429-9783, we’re available 24/7.
What the Municipal Prosecutor must Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2, the State must prove six material elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you at trial of refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test:
- That the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol,
- That the said operation took place on a public road, street, highway or quasi-public area;
- That the defendant was in fact arrested for the aforesaid operation,
- That the defendant refused to submit to the Alcotest machine;
- That the request for the defendant to take the test was made by a police officer who had reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant had been operating a motor vehicle while being intoxicated; & lastly
- That the attempt to administer the Alcotest machine was conducted in accordance with the provisions of the implied consent statute.
It is important to note here that the law is well established that anything “substantially short of an unqualified, unequivocal assent to an officer’s request” by the defendant to submit a breath sample to the Alcotest machine will constitutes a refusal to submit to a breath sample, in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2.
Applicable Penalties if Convicted:
New Jersey recently revised its DUI/DWI laws. This included the refusal to submit to a breath test. The law took effect on December 1, 2019. Detailed below are the new penalties associated with a breathalyzer refusal if convicted or if you or your loved one pleads guilty.
First Offense Violation:
- If a defendant is convicted of refusal to submit to a breath test, the Municipal Court Judge no longer requires a loss of license. Instead, if convicted or a plea to a breathalyzer refusal carries at least nine (9) months to a maximum of fifteen (15) months of an ignition interlock device. The defendant will likely be fined anywhere between $450.00 to $1000.00.
Second Offense Violation:
- If a defendant is convicted of a second refusal to submit a breath sample offense or refusal in connection with a second offense of driving while intoxicated they will be subjected to a mandatory one-year loss of their driver’s license. In addition, the defendant will likely be fined anywhere between $700.00 to $1300.00, be required to attend an Intensive Drivers Resource Center for forty-eight (48) hours and must install the ignition interlock device for at least two (2) to four (4) years in their car.
Third or Subsequent Offense:
- If the defendant’s refusal to submit to a breath sample is in connection with a third or subsequent drunken driving offense, the defendant will be treated as a third offender for sentencing purposes under the refusal statute as well. Therefore, the Municipal Court Judge must suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for an eight (8) year period. In addition, the defendant will likely be fined approximately $1300.00, be required to attend an Intensive Drivers Resource Center, and must install the ignition interlock device for at least two (2) to four (4) years in their car. The key difference here between this offense and a third offense DWI conviction remains the same, which is the fact that there is no mandatory one-hundred eighty (180) days in the Bergen County Jail.
Unmatched DWI / Refusal Defense Qualifications
As you can see the applicable penalties for refusing to submit to a breath sample can be devastating to not only your life but on your families as well. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving while intoxicated or refusing to submit to a breath sample in towns like East Rutherford, Fort Lee, Lodi, Garfield, Teaneck, Paramus, Hackensack, Palisades Interstate Park or anywhere else in Bergen County for that matter we can help. Please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices if you have any questions with regards to a refusal to submit to a breath sample 201-429-9783, we’re available 24/7.