New Jersey DUI/DWI Lawyers
Aggressive DUI/DWI Defense Lawyers Work Tirelessly to Protect Clients’ Rights in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Bergen County and Somerset County, NJ
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in North Jersey, you might think that you don’t need a strong lawyer because your punishment is set in stone. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Although a DUI/DWI charge cannot legally be downgraded to a lesser offense under New Jersey law, an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer can argue that your case should be dismissed outright if we can show that the prosecution does not have evidence sufficient to prove their case.
Because of our years of experience defending clients in DUI/DWI cases, the skilled lawyers at Zegas Law know what it takes to challenge the prosecution’s case, and we leave no stone unturned in evaluating every piece of evidence that can be used in your favor. We treat every case we take on seriously and are committed to crafting the strongest possible defense strategy in your DUI/DWI case. For our team, this means taking a personalized approach that considers all facets of your life, as well as the circumstances surrounding the accusations you face, into account. By putting the full extent of our substantial experience and resources to work in every case, we have built a reputation for excellence that you can depend upon. If you have been arrested on DUI/DWI charges in Union County or elsewhere in Northern New Jersey, call us today to learn about your legal rights.
Understanding the DUI/DWI Penalty System in Northern New Jersey
A DUI/DWI conviction under N.J.S.A. Section 39:4-50 can carry a wide range of penalties, depending upon your blood alcohol content (BAC—0.08 percent is the legal limit in New Jersey) and whether you’ve had any prior DUI/DWI convictions. A first-offense DUI/DWI can carry the following penalties:
- Significant monetary fines and court costs,
- A $3,000 insurance surcharge, payable over three years,
- Driver’s license suspension for up to three months,
- 12 to 48 hours spent in the Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center,
- Jail time, potentially up to 30 days,
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device.
When aggravating factors are present, or you have been convicted of DUI/DWI charges in the past, the penalties only escalate—more significant jail time can be imposed, your license will be suspended for a longer period of time and the fines and surcharges associated with the charge increase correspondingly. Aggravating factors in a DUI/DWI case may include circumstances where:
- You were involved in an accident and someone was injured,
- You were driving with a minor in the vehicle,
- You refused to consent to the breath test,
- You were under age 21 at the time of the arrest,
- You were driving in a school zone while intoxicated.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your DUI/DWI arrest, you need a lawyer with a strong arsenal of defense tactics in your corner to protect your rights, your finances, and your future.
Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyers at Zegas Law Craft Strong Defense Strategies for Clients Arrested on DUI/DWI Charges in Morris County, NJ
At Zegas Law, we don’t rely on cookie-cutter defense strategies commonly employed by other law firms in DUI/DWI cases. We take a client-centric approach and give every one of our clients personalized attention that allows us to build a unique and effective defense strategy designed to reflect the specific circumstances surrounding your DUI/DWI arrest. While every case is unique, we may be able to challenge:
- The traffic stop,
- The basis for your arrest, including any field sobriety testing that was administered,
- The reliability and maintenance of the Alcotest breathalyzer machine,
- The police officer’s qualifications in administering the breath test,
- Chain of custody issues related to a blood or urine test,
- The scientific reliability of the blood or urine test used.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with the Trusted Lawyers at Zegas Law to Discuss Your Union County DUI/DWI Charges Today
When charged with DUI/DWI in New Jersey, you need a trustworthy lawyer who knows the system and will take your case as seriously as you do. At Zegas Law, we have a nuanced understanding of the New Jersey justice system and know how to handle your DUI/DWI case with the prosecution and in court. All of our interactions with potential clients are completely confidential, so call or contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our talented North Jersey DUI/DWI lawyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About DUI/DWI Charges
FAQ: Do I have to go to jail if I was arrested on DUI/DWI charges for the first time in New Jersey?
While you’ll likely spend a night in jail after your arrest, the judge has significant leeway when it comes to imposing a jail sentence for first-time DUI/DWI offenders. Our lawyers will always advocate for no jail time, but whether the judge finds it necessary to impose jail time will depend upon a number of factors, including your prior criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your current DUI/DWI arrest. In the majority of cases, we are able to advocate successfully for no jail time in first-offense DUI/DWI cases.
FAQ: Should I agree to take a breath test if pulled over by the police?
You are legally required to submit to the breath test—failure to do so is a separate offense that is punishable with some of the same penalties that apply in DUI/DWI cases. This obligation to submit to the breath test is known as New Jersey’s “implied consent” rule, meaning that when you get behind the wheel, you consent to take the breath test when asked. Even if you refuse the breath test, you can still be convicted of the underlying DUI/DWI based upon the police observations at the scene. In many cases, the refusal will carry even harsher penalties than the underlying DUI/DWI charge would, because refusing to take a breath test results in an automatic one-year license suspension. Because of all this, it’s usually best to simply take the breath test and fight any resulting charges later.