Breath Test Refusal Lawyer Atlantic County, NJ
If you are driving on New Jersey roadways, get pulled over by law enforcement and are suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI/DUI), you may be asked to take a chemical breath test (more commonly called a breathalyzer.) If you refuse to take the test, you may be charged with a serious crime: failure to submit to a breath test.
Experienced NJ criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty has been fighting DWI charges and related breath test results for clients for over 35 years. Whether your charges related to breathalyzer results – you had a BAC (blood alcohol content or blood alcohol level) that is higher than the legal limit – or because you refused to take the breath test, Mr. Tumelty will fight your charges. Contact him today; your driver’s license and possibly your freedom depends on it.
Yes, You Must Agree to a Breath Test When a Cop Suspects DWI
In the State of New Jersey, we have what is known as “implied consent” as it relates to tests that prove DWI. Simply put, if a police officer suspects a driver of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they have an obligation to pull them over and administer a breath test. While legally you must submit to the test, an officer cannot force you to do so. Instead, they can charge you with refusing to take the breath test. When this happens, you are going to need a skilled Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court to defend the charges.
A former NJ deputy attorney general and former assistant prosecutor with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Tumelty now focuses on defending good people, like you, who are fighting charges in South Jersey including Atlantic and Cape May counties. He will talk to you by phone or meet you in one of his three offices in Atlantic City, Marmora or Somers Point.
NJ Has Guidelines When it Comes to Refusal Laws
An officer must have probable cause to stop your car in the first place. Speeding, weaving or driving with a busted tail light provides probable cause to stop you. Additionally, the breath test must be conducted at the time of the traffic stop by an officer who has been trained and certified to operate the testing equipment.
If you do any of the following, you may be charged with refusal to take a breath test:
Keep Silent: When the police ask you to take a breathalyzer test, you do not have the right to remain silent.
Give Two Samples: The officer has a right to request you take the test twice. Failure to provide two samples is illegal.
Sufficient Breath Samples: If the defendant provides only a short sample, which happens when the driver either pretends to blow into the breathalyzer or does not supply a sufficient amount of breath to fill the chamber, the officer can charge the driver with refusal.
Waiting: The suspected driver must take the test in a timely fashion after being requested to do so. If they run or drive away or deliberately waste time before submitting to the test (insisting on making a phone call or using the restroom), refusal charges are likely.
Penalties for Breathalyzer Refusal
Penalties vary for DWI charges depending on the number of times you’ve been charged. For refusing to take the breath test, first time offenders face:
- License suspension of seven months to a year
- Mandatory alcohol education at a New Jersey Intoxicated Driving Resource Center
- Court costs and fines
- Ignition interlock device on your motor vehicle for six months to a year
- Higher insurance premiums
If you have had previous multiple breathalyzer refusals or DUI convictions, another refusal will result in greater penalties including extended driver’s license suspension and ignition interlock device periods.
Plus, if you refuse a breathalyzer in a school zone or crossing, the penalties are also increased.
Contact Atlantic City, New Jersey John W. Tumelty to Help You Beat a DUI Charge after Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
You must have an experienced DWI attorney who can help fight your drunk driving charges especially if you refused to take a breathalyzer test. There are many ways a skilled criminal defense attorney like John Tumelty can challenge breath test results or charges of refusal. Perhaps the officer wasn’t properly trained or you weren’t pulled over for probable cause. There’s a possibility that you weren’t read your rights or that you didn’t understand your rights as they were presented to you. In any case, Mr. Tumelty will explore every angle to fight the charges against you.
If you are facing DUI/DWI charges or are facing any criminal charge in NJ, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. Seek the counsel of experienced NJ criminal defense attorney John W. Tumelty. Contact him now for a free consultation. He is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 609.385.4010.