Emerson NJ DUI Lawyer

   New Jersey Drunk Driving charges can cost you thousands in fines, assessments, skyrocketing insurance premiums, the loss of your driving privileges, and even jail time.  As such, it is important to defend yourself with the best Emerson NJ DUI Lawyer possible.

The Law Offices of Avery & Avery specialize in DUI / DWI defense, having practiced for over 40 years, as Defense Counsel, Municipal Prosecutor, and Municipal Court Judge (Ridgefield Municipal Court 1985 - 2000), with one of the best success rates in New Jersey.  For a free initial consultation, please call 201-943-2445. 

What are the Penalties?

The potential penalties for a DUI conviction depend upon your level of intoxication, as well as whether you have any priors.  If this was for driving under the influence of drugs, the penalties will simply correlate to whether it was a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd offense, with the same corresponding penalties below:

1st offense with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C.) of .08-.10%:

  • $250-$400 Fine + Assessments
  • 12-48 Hours in IDRC (Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center)
  • Possible Ignition Interlock Device on your Vehicle
  • 3 Month Driver’s License Suspension
  • Up to 30 Days in Jail

1st offense with a B.A.C. over .10%:

  • $300 - $500 Fine + Assessments
  • 12 - 48 Hours in IDRC
  • Possible Ignition Interlock Device on your Vehicle (mandatory with a B.A.C. reading over .15%)
  • 7 - 12 Month Driver’s License Suspension
  • Up to 30 Days in Jail

2nd offense with a B.A.C. over .08%:

  • $500 - $1,000 Fine + Assessments
  • 30 Days Community Service
  • 24 Month Driver’s License Suspension
  • Minimum 2 Days in Jail and up to 90 Days
  • Screening and Evaluation by the IDRC
  • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device for 1-3 Years

3rd or Subsequent offense with a B.A.C. over .08%:

  • $1,000 Fine + Assessments
  • Possible Community Service
  • 10 Year Driver’s License Suspension
  • Minimum 180 Days in Jail
  • Screening and Evaluation by the IDRC
  • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device for 1-3 Years

     In addition to the above, for any DUI, the State of New Jersey will assess a surcharge against you in the amount of $1,000 for each of the following three years.   Also, there are no motor vehicle points assessed against someone convicted in NJ of drunk driving,  there will, however, be insurance points which may greatly affect your insurance rate.  

In most cases, our DUI clients, will have been given numerous tickets in addition to their DWI summons.  Our team of Emerson DUI Lawyers have great success completely eliminating most if not all of these 'extras’, avoiding motor vehicle points.  

Can I Win my Case?  Do I Need a Lawyer?

There can be numerous defenses to all aspects of drunk driving cases, including lack of probable cause for the initial stop by the Emerson Police, together with dozens of technical defenses, which, when properly used, may defeat the State's case and result in significantly reduced fines and suspensions and possibly a complete acquittal.  The complex nature of drunk driving proceedings, however, mean that you will be far better served by being represented by a Emerson NJ DUI Lawyer.

I refused to take the Breathalyzer / Alcotest, what now?

New Jersey has an implied consent law which requires all drivers to submit to breath testing if suspected of drunk driving.  If you refuse to take the test you will be given a separate summons with additional fines and license suspension. The penalties for a DUI Refusal charge are essentially the same as those above.  For a more detailed explanation and the full penalties for NJ DWI Refusal charges, see here.  

This ticket presumes you guilty of Drunk Driving.  Even with this presumption, an experienced Emerson Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer can often defeat the charges.  For more information call 201-943-2445, for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I take the field sobriety tests?

Unlike the implied consent law regarding the alcotest / breathalyzer, which require you to supply breath samples, you are not required to take part in field sobriety tests.  The Emerson police use these tests only to accumulate evidence to convict you, they are not for your benefit.  While we always encourage clients to be cooperative and polite with the police, we do advise that if someone is not completely confident in their ability to perform the test, that there is no statute that compels you to take the field test. Please note that this only applies to tests in the field, and not to the Alcotest, for which there will be separate penalties if you refuse.  

Is there any difference between DUI and DWI?

The names are slightly different, Driving under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), but they cannote the same thing.  In New Jersey, they both refer to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which is the drunk driving statute.  

I was completely ‘wasted’, is this case over?

In many situations the police have caught a defendant dead to rights and there are no defenses.  Even in these situations, where the defendant was falling over drunk for instance, the case can be thrown out if there was no probable cause for the initial motor vehicle stop.  Even if there are no defenses to the DWI - DUI, the Attorneys of Avery & Avery, still often help clients by having other charges thrown out and reducing penalties to the minimums. Depending on the circumstances, this can mean the difference between a multi-year driver’s license suspension and a 7-month suspension.

I barely drank or was sober but the machine gave me a high reading, is there anything I can do?

This is an unfortunate situation which happens more frequently than one might think.  These cases often require bringing in an expert to testify as to the machines operation, certification and possible malfunction, potentially permitting the charges to be dropped.  Additionally, even with a high reading you may still have various defenses which only an experienced Emerson NJ DUI Defense Lawyer would recognize.

Is there anyway around jail time if convicted?

Jail is generally reserved for 2nd, 3rd, and subsequent offenders.  In most situations it is possible to avoid jail time completely.  In others there are a few methods usable to avoid the harshest consequences of jail such as the loss of a job.  These include time served in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center or inpatient rehabilitation program, amongst others.  These options are all at the discretion of the judge and must be argued for by your lawyer.

What do I tell the police? 

We give the same answer to all clients regarding all criminal charges, say nothing!  Until you talk to your Emerson NJ Criminal Defense Attorney.

How will my drunk driving charge affect my immigration status?

This is not a simple question.  Depending on what your status is, and what your charges are, there can be vastly differing consequences including deportation from the United States.  Generally a conviction under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, is not considered as a removeable offense.  However under certain aggravating circumstances, such as if you were driving on the revoked list, or in combination with other offenses, a Emerson DUI conviction could affect your immigration status.

I have been caught on this before is there anyway around the additional penalties?

If your prior DUI was more than 10 years prior to your current charge, your penalties will be stepped down.  This means if it is your second DUI but your first one was 11 years ago, it will count as a first offense for sentencing purposes.  Also, if you were indigent and without an Attorney during your first conviction you may qualify to have your sentence reduced if you were not counselled as to increased penalties on subsequent offenses.

I have a prior DUI / DWI in another state, will this count as a second offense or third offense?

Depending on which state you were convicted in and what their drunk driving law is, it may or may not.  Generally if you were caught drinking in another State with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over .08, your prior conviction will count towards enhanced penalties.  There are fairly common situations however in which we can have your out of state DUI conviction not count as a prior offense in NJ.

It was in a school zone how does that affect the case?

School Zone DUI cases carry the strictest penalties under New Jersey's DUI laws.  As such, it is it is even more urgent to be represented by a Emerson NJ School Zone DUI Lawyer.  The additional penalties include:   

  • For a first offense mandatory 1 year and up to 2 years loss of license, a large fine, and possible 60 days in jail.  
  • A second offense includes a large fine, 60 days community service, a minimum of 4 days in prison which can be extended up to 6 months, and a 4 year license suspension.  
  • A third offense in a school zone shall result in a large fine, 6 months in jail, and a 20 year license suspension.  

I did fine on the field sobriety tests but failed the alcotest (breathalyzer), can I still be convicted?

Often times the police will arrest you even after a perfect test.  Fortunately, they need probable cause to arrest you and often cannot prove it without failed sobriety tests.  This means that if you did perfectly or near perfectly on the tests, we may be able to have the case thrown out for lack of probable cause.  

Unfortunately this is an issue that needs to be dealt with via trial.  The prosecutor will almost always try to convict you regardless.  To do this, it is highly advisable to be backed by a NJ DUI Defense Attorney.

How does a DUI affect my professional license?

For many professions a drunk driving charge will have no affect.  Normally it is up to the board of licensing for your profession, be it as an engineer, lawyer, doctor, etc, to determine if the DWI affects your ability to practice.  

How will a NJ DWI affect my CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)?

CDL Drivers have far more stringent rules than regular drivers.  A drunk driving conviction could mean a revoked CDL.  Additionally, NJ CDL drivers have slightly higher penalties and easier proofs than regular drivers.  This means that a NJ DUI is  even more dangerous to your CDL and can greatly effect your livelihood.  If you are a CDL driver and have been charged for drunk driving, call today.

What happens with a DUI checkpoint?

DUI checkpoints are a common device used by the Emerson police to catch drunk drivers.  NJ provides several protections against unlawful police checkpoints.  The police must comply with certain procedures to ensure the lawfulness of the stop.  If they have not complied with these procedures, any evidence collected may be excluded from prosecution.  This area is a common hub of activity and is subject to additional checkpoints.

What is the IDRC?

The Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) is a program designed to educate about and deter drunk driving.  You must complete this program before your license may be reinstated.  For more information see here.

What is an ignition interlock?

An ignition interlock is a device that is attached to your car and prevents it from starting if you have a BAC over .05, measured by its internal breathalyzer.  For more information click here.

What is a Drug Recognition Expert?

In all Driving under the Influence (DUI) of drugs cases, except Marijuana, the police must have you evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).  These are specially trained police officers who may recognize the symptoms of drug intoxication.  Their reports are used in lieu of a breathalyzer test.  

In Marijauna cases, given its prevalence in society, the court allows the testimony of normally trained police officers to prove guilt of driving under the influence of pot.

Are the police allowed to take samples of my blood without my consent?

In certain instances the police may take your blood, if they do so in a reasonable manner.  The reasonableness of the withdrawal depends upon numerous circumstances, such as if whether there was consent, the amount of force used, etc.  Blood samples provide many possible defenses, including chain of custody, proper withdrawal, and consent / warrant issues.  

Does New Jersey have provisional or work licenses if convicted for a Drunk Driving?

Unlike States like New York, New Jersey does not have any provisional or work licenses for those whose licenses are suspended due to a DUI / DWI conviction.  There are been attempts to make this the case, but it has been continually shot down by the legislature.  The best option is to hire an experienced NJ Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer and avoid the conviction in the first place.

If you have an out of state license to begin with, rather than a NJ license, you may be able to obtain such a license at the mercy of those States.  You will, however, be barred from driving in NJ even if you can obtain a provisional license from that other state.

What happens if I'm caught driving with a Suspended License after an Emerson NJ  DUI?

If you are convicted for driving on the suspended list, due to a DWI, you may be subject to an additional suspension period and various other fines.  See here, for a list of the penalties.

Emerson Municipal Court Information:

The Emerson Park Municipal Court (0214) is held in the Municipal Building, located at 146 Linwood Avenue, Emerson, New Jersey 07630. Court is scheduled on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 3:00 P.M.

Judge: Hon. Francis J. Leddy, Jr.

Court Administrator: Laurel Carnazza, Ext. 208

Phone: 201-262-6086

Fax: 201-262-1256

Prosecutor: Arthur Balsamo, Esq.

Public Defender: Jeffrey Carney, Esq.

Police: 201-262-2800

Police Records Officer: Capt M. Mazzeo, and Lt. M. McDermott

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