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Breath Test Refusal

Manchester NJ Refusal Attorneys

If you have been charged with a DWI or Breath Test Refusal anywhere in Ocean County, our defense team is prepared to fight for your rights. Call us today for a free consultation regarding the defense of the charge pending in Toms River, Manchester, Jackson, Seaside Heights or another municipality. Our team of DUI defense lawyers include former prosecutors in over 50% of the municipalities in Ocean County and include several who possess certification in not only Standardized Field Sobriety Testing from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but are even instructors in this discipline. Attorneys at the firm are available 24/7 at (732) 286-6500. This is what you need to know if you have been charged with refusing to submit to breath test.

What Is Required Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2 to Prove a Refusal Violation?

The requirements necessary to prove someone guilty are actually much more extensive than most anticipate. First, the police must establish that the stop of the motorist was valid. Second, there must exist probable cause to believe that the motorist is intoxicated. Third, there must a proper request for consent to provide a breath sample. Fourth, the defendant must have refused to provide the sample.

Did I Have to Provide a Sample?

Every person that drives in the State of New Jersey has impliedly given their consent to provide a sample of their breath to be screened for alcohol, upon valid request by a law enforcement officer. Having said that, an officer can not require a driver to submit to a breath test at random, the officer must be able to display “reasonable articulable suspicion” that the person was intoxicated. Despite the theory of “implied consent”, there are many ways that refusal charges can be fought and dismissed in New Jersey.

What Constitutes a “Refusal”?

While there are obviously clear-cut cases of refusal (where a person simply declines to blow into the machine), there are also much less obvious circumstances that lead to a person being charged with refusal. Since alcohol concentration in a person’s blood stream dissipates over time, the police have an incentive to administer a breath test as soon as possible. For the same obvious reasons, a driver may attempt to stall or delay the police from obtaining usable results by blowing an insufficient sample into the device or by stalling the administration of the test without outright refusing. Even if the driver has not out-right refused to take the test, the police will often charge them with a refusal for conduct that delays or stalls the test from being administered. This creates a legal grey-area as to what type of behavior actually constitutes a refusal. Hiring an experienced Breath Test Refusal Attorney can be crucial to avoiding a conviction and the harsh penalties that accompany it.

Can the Court Presume That I was Drunk Based on My Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample?

If a Defendant refused to take a breath test, a Municipal Court Judge MAY use this conduct to conclude that the Defendant was in fact driving while intoxicated. In the legal world, this type of conclusion is known as an Adverse Inference. The Judge is permitted to use the Defendant’s refusal as evidence against him in his DWI case.

Penalties for a Breath Test Refusal

If convicted of Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test, the offender is subject to all of the penalties for a first offense DWI as if the Blood Alcohol Content had been at or above 0.15%. This means that a conviction for Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test automatically triggers 7-12 month loss of license, mandatory 12 hours in the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (and all accompanying fees) and a mandatory 6-12 month installation of an Ignition Interlock device. All of the monetary fines and fees generally associated with a first offense DWI are also applied to a conviction for this offense. The fine for a first-offense Refusal charge is between $300 and $500. All of these penalties increase significantly for a second offense or third offense for refusing to submit to a breath test. These include a two year driver’s license suspension for a second offense and ten year revocation for a third offense.

Little Egg Harbor Breath Test Refusal Lawyer

As a firm that includes the former prosecutor in Little Egg Harbor, Nicholas Moschella, we are well aware of what is entailed in defending a refusal offense in this court. We have similar intimidate knowledge in the other courts in which we have served including Stafford, Berkeley, Brick Township, Lacey, Little Egg Harbor and Ocean Township to name a few. To discuss the facts surrounding your motor vehicle stop and what transpired following the encounter, contact our firm by calling (732) 286-6500 for a free consultation. An attorney on our staff will be happy to answer all of your questions without obligation or a fee.

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