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DWI Defense Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

According to a study conducted by the CDC, 1.5% of New Jersey drivers report driving after having too much to drink at least once within the last month. Are you one of them? 

If you or someone you know is facing a DWI charge, you must know that it is a serious offense that could lead to various legal consequences if not handled correctly. Therefore, it is so important to understand the process of DWI defense and how it can benefit you.  

As a criminal defense lawyer, William Quirk is here to help you navigate through this tough time and make sure all of your questions are answered. Give him a call if you're not sure what steps to take in the process—but know that, when it comes to DWI defense, knowledge is power. Continue reading to get an ultimate guide to DWI defense so you know which steps to take and what to expect. 

If you or someone you know is facing a DWI charge in Hackensack, New Jersey, don't hesitate to reach out to William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC today. Your rights matter, and William Quirk can help you protect them.

Charged With a DWI?

DWI Charges in New Jersey

DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated, and it is a criminal offense that refers to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher in New Jersey, as is the case in most other states as well. 

However, it's important to note that even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you can still be charged with a DWI if you show signs of impairment or fail a field sobriety test. 

Believe it or not, you don't actually need to be behind the wheel to be charged with a DUI/DWI in New Jersey. If you are in "actual physical control" of a vehicle while under the influence, you can still face serious consequences.  

This means that if the keys are in your possession, and you have the ability (and intent) to operate the vehicle, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI.  

Sobriety Tests and Your Rights

Sobriety tests aim to determine whether someone is too impaired to drive safely. Field sobriety tests typically include walking in a straight line, standing on one leg, and following an object with your eyes. Breathalyzer tests check for alcohol in your bloodstream by measuring the amount of alcohol that has evaporated from your breath. 

But what are your rights when it comes to sobriety tests? Well, you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. While states have different laws when it comes to breathalyzer tests, in New Jersey, you have the right to refuse this test too. However, it's essential to understand the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test. In most cases, refusing a breathalyzer will result in an automatic license suspension, and it can be used as evidence against you in court. 

If you do take a breath test and the results show that you're over the legal limit, remember that you still have rights. You have the right to an attorney, and you should exercise this right as soon as possible. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and can represent you in court. 

Possible Penalties

When it comes to possible DUI penalties, there are two types - criminal and administrative. The criminal penalties include fines, jail time, probation, participation in a drunk driving program, community service, and required ignition interlock devices.  

The administrative penalties include license suspension, license revocation, and vehicle impoundment or immobilization. 

Fines are the most common form of criminal penalty for DWI. Fines can range from $500 to $10,000, depending on the severity of the offense.  

Higher fines are usually imposed on repeat offenders or first-time offenders who had a blood alcohol level of .16% or higher. Jail time is only imposed on repeat offenders, and jail sentences can range from a few days to several months. 

Possible Defenses

One possible defense to drunk driving charges is to challenge the police stop. To make an arrest for DWI, the police must have a legitimate reason to stop your vehicle, such as a traffic violation or suspicion of criminal activity. If the police failed to establish a proper reason for stopping your vehicle, your DWI charges could get dismissed. 

DWI cases often rely on evidence such as field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, or blood tests to establish intoxication. These tests are not infallible, and mistakes and inaccuracies are common. A DWI defense lawyer can analyze these tests and challenge the results if they were conducted improperly or experienced other issues. 

Sometimes, health conditions can mimic the signs of intoxication. For example, certain medications or medical conditions can trigger false positives on breathalyzer tests, leading to a DWI arrest. A criminal defense lawyer can conduct an investigation of your medical history and use it to build a strong defense in your case. 

Ignition Interlock Program

The ignition interlock program is a device that can be installed in your car to ensure that you do not operate it while under the influence of alcohol. The device works by requiring you to blow into a small breath analyzer before starting your car. If your breath alcohol concentration exceeds a certain limit, your car will not start. 

The ignition interlock program is offered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is often a mandatory condition of reinstating your driving privileges after a DWI charge. In some states, it may also be required for first-time offenders or for those with high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). 

In New Jersey, the ignition interlock program is administered by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The program is mandatory for individuals convicted of DUI offenses, and the duration of the program depends on the specific circumstances of the conviction. 

It's important to note that the specific requirements and details of the ignition interlock program can vary, so it's advisable to consult the New Jersey MVC or seek legal advice for accurate and up-to-date information regarding the program. 

DWI Defense Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

When choosing a DWI defense attorney, you need to find someone who has the right combination of knowledge, experience, and compassion. William Quirk possesses all of these traits and more, making him the perfect choice for anyone in need of a reliable and effective DWI defense attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey, as well as the surrounding area (including Clifton, Paterson, and West New York). Call him today to learn more.