New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer

Drunk Driving Lawyer New Jersey

Your New Jersey DUI and DWI Attorneys

Being charged with driving under the influence can have a lasting impact on your life. We at Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. are fully aware of all that you stand to lose as the result of a drunk driving conviction. We are a group of established, experienced, and savvy attorneys who are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the best results possible. With over 20 years of experience representing residents throughout New Jersey, we understand that merely being arrested for drunk driving can have a devastating impact on someone’s life.

It is perhaps one of the biggest fears for most people, to be placed in handcuffs and then put in the back of a cop car for a very serious criminal offense. Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can impact a person’s future for many, many years to come. The consequences for this conviction may be even more severe if another person was hurt or property was damaged at the time of the arrest. On the flip side, a person who made an honest mistake but didn’t hurt anyone may still face overly harsh punishments from a judge who wants to be sure a lesson is learned.

Table Of Contents

The Financial Burden of a Drunk Driving Conviction

When all is said and done, a drunk driving charge can be expensive — and a conviction can cost even more. Depending on the severity of the charge, and on whether there are previous alcohol-related charges on the person’s record, they might end up spending thousands of dollars before all is said and done. In the long run, this is far more expensive than simply taking a cab on the evening you got behind the wheel. Upon receiving a drunk driving conviction, an individual might incur some of the following costs for a number of years:

  •     Alcohol awareness classes
  •     Bail money in the event of an arrest
  •     Attorney fees
  •     Fines
  •     Regaining the driver’s license
  •     Alternative transportation if the license is suspended/revoked
  •     An increase in the cost of auto insurance

Financially, an individual will take a big hit as a consequence of a drunk driving conviction. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, you’ll want to set yourself up so that you do not suffer the financial burden of a conviction for years to come. There are many other hidden repercussions that you may have to face as a result of a drunk driving conviction. What many people do not realize is how far-reaching a conviction of this magnitude could be.

Have you been injured in a drunk driving accident and you are now in need of a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey? If so, then consult Rispoli and Borneo, P.C., an experienced law firm with a wonderful, compassionate team of lawyers who have handled hundreds of personal injury drunk driving lawsuits.

Why Choose Us?

It is our mission to represent you thoroughly and diligently, especially when you have sustained terrible and expensive injuries because someone else chose to drink and drive. Because we care about you and see that you are made whole again, we are an excellent law firm that you can trust. As your medical bills pile up and as the stress of adjusting to life post-drunk-driving accident continues, there is no reason to wait any longer. Call Rispoli and Borneo, P.C. today for a consultation, and we will work enthusiastically to help you move forward with your case.

The Most Common Myths About DUI and DWI Cases

Myth: It’s Impossible To Win a Drunk Driving Case

Some people don’t even try to fight DUI/DWI charges because they believe there’s no point. In fact, there are several strategies for fighting drunk driving charges. How police gather evidence and conduct an arrest is every bit as important as the charges against you. A drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey can look for evidence of mistakes made by officers.

At Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., we can investigate eyewitness testimony, police records, bodycam video, and other pieces of evidence. Errors in the way officers handled things can get the charges against you thrown out or reduced. With legal advice, you can also reduce the impact of drunk driving charges on your criminal record or driver’s license.

Myth: Breathalyzer Tests Are Never Wrong

Depending on the methods used, breathalyzer equipment can make mistakes. In many states, breath test results aren’t even allowed as evidence in court.

Also, officers generally need a valid reason to stop drivers and perform a test. If they didn’t have one, it may be possible to have the results thrown out. A drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey can review your case and determine what options are available for defending against DUI/DWI charges.

Myth: You Shouldn’t Agree to a Blood-Alcohol Test

Some people go to the opposite side of the spectrum, thinking that they can refuse to cooperate with police officers during a traffic stop. This usually isn’t a good idea. Refusing to take a blood-alcohol test, or BAC test can result in additional misdemeanor charges against you.

It’s OK to ask to see a warrant if officers order you to take a blood or urine test at the police station. You also have the legal right to call a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey for assistance if you think something suspicious is going on.

Myth: You’re Obligated To Answer All of the Police’s Questions

There are some details you’re required to give police officers, such as your name, proof of insurance, and driver’s license number. Not cooperating, or lying to police officers, can result in serious charges.

That said, you’re not obligated to answer all of the questions officers ask. You don’t have to sign any statements or provide other information about the time leading up to the arrest. Instead, you should contact our team at Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., right away. Follow the advice of your attorney regarding what to say and not say.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Infographic

4 Common Myths About DUI and DWI Cases Infographic

5 Rights You Should Be Aware of When Stopped for Drunk Driving in New Jersey

1. You Have a Right To Avoid Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The police are not allowed to stop you without a reasonable suspicion that you are doing something illegal. If they do stop you, they can not arrest you unless they have probable cause. They are also not allowed to search you or your vehicle unless they have a warrant, you give consent or certain specific situations apply. If you believe the police have violated this right, you may want to contact a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey.

2. The Police Must Read You Your Miranda Rights 

If the police want to question you in custody about suspected drunk driving, they must read you your Miranda rights first. If the police fail to do this, any evidence they gather from questions you may not be admissible in court. If the police took you into custody and asked you questions before reading you your Miranda rights, tell your drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey. This information may be important for defending your case.

3. The Police Must Inform You About Your Rights Under the Implied Consent Law

New Jersey’s implied consent law requires you to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test during a DUI traffic stop. However, the police must read you your rights first. If the police do not read you your rights, your drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey may be able to use this as a defense for a DUI charge or a DUI refusal.

4. You Can Refuse To Take a Field Sobriety Test

You have to submit to a BAC test during a DUI stop, but you do not have to take a field sobriety test. The prosecution can not use a refusal to take a field sobriety test against you in court. There is no benefit to taking a field sobriety test in most cases, so your attorney at Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. may advise against taking this test. 

5. You Do Not Have To Answer Questions

The Fifth Amendment guarantees you the right not to incriminate yourself. This applies to DUI traffic stops. You are required to provide identifying information to the police, but you do not have to answer any other questions that may provide any evidence that can be used to prove you were driving drunk. If you are arrested, it may be a good idea to speak to your attorney at Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. before you agree to answer any questions.

Everything You Need to Know About a First-Offense DUI

If you have never been charged with a DUI, you may not realize the severity of what could happen. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and getting caught by a police officer can mean you have to face a lifetime of consequences, including a criminal record. Even if you have gotten pulled over for other traffic violations in the past, you likely are not familiar with what might happen when the police officer pulls you over, what they will do if they believe you are driving under the influence, and what the various consequences are.

This is why if you have been charged, arrested, or convicted because of a DUI, you should seek the help of a New Jersey drunk driving lawyer as quickly as possible to know what your legal rights are and how you should proceed. For more information, reach out to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. now for more help.

Other Punishments for a First DUI

A DUI will either be labeled as a misdemeanor or a felony, though most DUIs, especially for first-time offenders, are labeled as misdemeanors. If you have been charged with a felony, your New Jersey drunk driving lawyer will be able to determine what the factors were that caused the more serious offense charge. Most of the common DUI punishments are:

  •     License suspension
  •     Jail time
  •     Community service
  •     Fines
  •     Probation
  •     Possibly points off your driving record

It is important to note that not all DUI charges end in a felony conviction, but there are certain circumstances that may increase these odds. For example, if you had a child in the vehicle with you will you were driving under the influence, or if other people were severely injured while you were driving, the judge may choose to convict you of a felony.

Your Attorney Will Have Extensive Experience and Knowledge Regarding New Jersey DUI Laws

There are so many legal nuances when it comes to New Jersey’s drunk driving laws, that it is almost impossible for someone who does not practice law to understand what all the potential consequences are. It is also important to realize you are not just facing charges in the criminal courts but will also need to answer to the charges in the administrative process, as well. 

Experienced in Drunk Driving Cases

Not every attorney has experience in criminal cases. This is why when you retain an attorney, he or she should be an experienced New Jersey drunk driving lawyer. Just as you wouldn’t go to a dermatologist for a heart condition, you should not consult with the attorney you used for your divorce when it comes to DUI charges. 

The drunk driving lawyers at our firm are seasoned in all areas of the legal process for DUI arrests. Our lawyers have extensive experience in cases that go to trial, as well as negotiating reduced charges and plea agreements with prosecutors if that is in our client’s best interest and will aggressively protect your rights and your future. 

Lesser Charges

When the prosecution case is not as strong as it should be to guarantee a conviction, a skilled New Jersey drunk driving lawyer is often able to negotiate a lesser charge for their clients. For example, instead of facing drunk driving charges and all the potential penalties, your attorney may be able to get the prosecutor to reduce the charge to reckless driving, especially for first offenses. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a conviction of reckless driving may also mean some loss of license, points on the person’s driving record, and a fine, the penalties are much less severe than those for driving under the influence. 

Other potential plea agreements that may be able to be worked out to avoid full DUI penalties include court supervision and/or substance abuse treatment programs. 

Long-Term Consequences

There are many long-term consequences with a conviction. In addition to the above punishments, you will have a criminal record that will remain in place for the rest of your life unless your lawyer can get it expunged in the future. With a criminal record, you may have a hard time finding a place to live or getting a job.

If you were recently charged with a DUI, you need to reach out to a drunk driving lawyer New Jersey clients recommend at Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. as soon as possible so we can begin crafting your defense.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Law FAQs

What Constitutes a DUI or a DWI? 

It’s against the law to drive any vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol, and this includes prescription drugs. Essentially, a high threshold of drugs or alcohol is considered unsafe if such substances affect a person’s ability to drive. A person generally reaches this level before they’re considered drunk or “stoned.” In every state, the alcohol threshold is a BAC level of 0.08% or higher in the bloodstream. In most states, however, a person can be considered for a DUI if they’re under 21 and have a BAC level of 0.1 or 0.2%. 

How Do Police Determine If Someone Is Under the Influence?

A police officer generally has three main ways to test if someone is under the influence: 

  • Observing a driver’s behavior: A driver exhibiting behaviors like swerving, driving too slowly, or driving erratically may indicate that that person is under the influence. However, you can have a good explanation, such as being tired, but if the officer notices slurred speech or smells alcohol then they may not believe your story and pursue other tests. 
  • Sobriety tests: Sobriety tests can include reciting the ABCs, balancing on one leg, or walking a straight line. If you fail these tests, an officer may arrest you and have you take a chemical test. 
  • Blood tests: A blood test will take a sample of your blood to measure the amount of alcohol. Other tests exist, like breathalyzers and urine tests. 

Can You Refuse to Take a Urine, Blood, or Breathalyzer Test? 

You can refuse to take these types of tests during a DWI or DUI stop, but most states have an implied consent law that means a refusal to take these tests can result in your driver’s license being suspended for between three to 12 months. This suspension can occur even if you’re later found not guilty of drunk driving. 

As a First-Time Offender, Will I Go to Jail? 

It’s possible for first-time offenders in New Jersey to face jail time, but first-time offenders receive far less severe punishments than repeat offenders. For example, it’s possible to go to jail for at least 12 hours, but you shouldn’t be in jail for any more than 30 days. A New Jersey drunk driving lawyer can also help you avoid incarceration altogether, making it vital to get in touch with an attorney. 

What Can An Attorney Do? 

It’s important to note that an attorney can’t wave a magic wand and completely make you avoid the consequences of drunk driving. An attorney, however, can help you fight your case if the police exercised the wrong procedures or if you refused to take a chemical test. An attorney can also help lessen penalties and fines, help you avoid incarceration, and even keep a DUI charge off your permanent record. A New Jersey drunk driving lawyer can help you or your loved one when you call our Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. office today! 

Do I Need a New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer to Defend Me?

Despite all the potential consequences you may be facing because of a DUI arrest, you may still be wondering if you really need a New Jersey drunk driving lawyer to defend you against these charges. The answer is yes. According to state data, more than 70 percent of all people arrested for DUI are convicted. Your risk of being convicted is even higher if you do not have an experienced drunk driving lawyer defending you. 

As mentioned above, a conviction – even for a first-time offender – means an automatic loss of license, potential jail time, and heft fines. It also means you now have a criminal record. If you are still unsure about hiring an attorney, consider the following factors. 

What are the consequences of a first-time DUI offense?

When you are being charged with a DUI by a police officer for the first time, you may not know what to expect. Is it the same routine as a traffic ticket? Will the police officer let you go? What happens if you are convicted of a DUI? Many people think that they will likely receive a probation sentence if this is their first DUI offense. While this is highly possible, and most first-time offenders do indeed get some sort of probation, when a judge convicts you of a DUI it is a criminal conviction. Because of this, you may still need to serve time in jail. In addition to jail, it is highly likely the DMV will revoke or suspend your license for a certain period of time.

In some cases and depending on your driving and criminal history, a judge may allow you to have an occupational license if you need to get to work or school. Your New Jersey drunk driving lawyer from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. can help you determine if this is something that you should pursue.

Should I Answer Any Questions?

You should always be as respectful as possible to the arresting officer. While you must identify yourself to the officer, you have the right to not answer any additional questions such as how much you’ve had to drink or where you’ve been. This cannot be used against you, but be mindful that the officer is taking note of all your behaviors and those notes will be admitted into the court record. 

Should I Be Taking Notes of My Arrest?

While the arresting officer is taking notes, you should also be taking mental notes of everything that happens before, during, and after your arrest. You should especially note if and when you were read your Miranda rights.

As soon as you are able, write your notes on paper and share them with your drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey. You may record an action, behavior, or violation against you that would result in a lighter sentence or the case being thrown out entirely. 

Should I Submit to Field Sobriety Tests?

You have the right to refuse field sobriety tests which include touching your nose and walking a straight line. 

Should I Submit to a Breathalyzer Test?

When New Jersey resident agrees to the conditions of their driver’s license, they are also agreeing to submit to drug and alcohol tests when requested by law enforcement. Refusing the test could bring about additional violations but would not result in additional criminal proceedings. 

There are certain situations in which a driver may refuse to submit to a breathalyzer without repercussions. If the driver has severe asthma or other documented severe respiratory condition, he or she may refuse a breathalyzer. If the driver has received a serious injury to any part of their respiratory system as a result of a traffic accident, including the face and lungs, they may refuse a breathalyzer. 

Consult with a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey if you have additional questions about your rights during a DUI criminal proceeding. Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. are experienced DUI attorneys who can help you navigate complex legal proceedings. 

Does a DUI impact my car insurance rates?

A DUI conviction can be not only stressful but quite expensive as well. A person may face thousands of dollars in fines, legal fees, bail, towing, and insurance increases. A car insurance rate may go up, as these companies decide amounts based on an internal point system. A DUI is likely to add a few points to a person’s driving record, which the insurer can raise the price drastically. A person may be dropped from their insurance company completely if he or she is deemed too much of a risk to cover.

Is there a way to get a DUI offense off my driving record?

Erasing a DUI arrest from your driving record can be virtually impossible. Many people take the approach of not committing any more offenses, and just wait out several years before the conviction eventually drops off. But, a person may have the chance to get the charge expunged from his or her criminal record. With help from an experienced drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey, it may be possible to have the charge at least decreased or removed from the criminal record for good.

How long will the insurance rates be increased?

Insurance rates are likely to be more costly in the three to five years after the conviction. If you have another violation or accident within that time frame, the car insurance may go up even more. Repeat offenders may have their license revoked and canceled by their insurance provider. Some people may be permitted to continue driving but are limited in where they can go. For example, a judge may permit the driver can go to school and work but must go straight home afterward.

How can a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey help me during this time?

A New Jersey drunk driving lawyer can act not only as a representative but as an advocate for you when facing your arrest in front of the judge. It can be frightening to battle this conviction alone, especially if you are someone who is not familiar with legalities. The entire process can be confusing and complicated, so hiring a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey is usually highly encouraged. A drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey who has represented clients in the past for criminal arrests can help create an influential defense strategy in hopes that the judge does not inflict expensive, long-term, and harsh consequences.

Why Do I Need A Drunk Driving Lawyer?

You should hire a drunk driving lawyer for two main reasons: to receive expert legal counsel regarding what you can be compensated for and to ensure that your case is professionally handled, and so that the at-fault driver pays you for your compensatory damages. Also, a lawyer is better suited to calculate your damages accurately and discuss what all you can sue for and deserve compensation for. Not to mention, a lawyer is prime to confront the at-fault driver who may be intimidating and who is bound to lawyer up herself or himself. You having a lawyer of your own evens the playing field.

What Can I Sue For If I Was Injured By A Drunk Driver?

A drunk driving personal injury suit is a civil case. In a civil case, you can sue for compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are broken into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are your actual damages, as in your out-of-pocket expenses, such as lost earnings and medical bills. Non-economic damages are your sentimental damages, such as the mental anguish or pain and suffering you might be undergoing post the trauma of a drunk driving collision. Punitive damages are what you request when you want the at-fault driver to be punished for her or his reckless, malicious behavior.

Here is a list of some of the other damages you can sue for:

  • Loss of consortium between you and your spouse
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Car Repair
  • The value of your car if it is not repairable
  • The greater your injuries, the greater your recovery amount.

What To Do If Pulled Over for DUI in New Jersey?

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, everything that occurs between you and the officer can have consequences on the outcome of your case. It’s important to know your rights, know your best course of action, and know who to call if you are charged with drunk driving. Calling a drunk driving lawyer in New Jersey, like Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. is a good first step in increasing your odds of no sentence or a lighter sentence. 

Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. New Jersey Drunk Driving Lawyer

Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.

At Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., we’re not only dedicated and confident; we are experienced and knowledgeable in matters pertaining to drunk driving laws in New Jersey. By choosing Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., you can expect the following:

  •     We develop legal strategies that are suited to the needs of specific cases.
  •     We help prepare clients for court and we go over what to expect from the legal process.
  •     We are honest regarding the direction each case is headed.
  •     Clients are never left in the dark; we provide up-to-date information regarding developments in each case.

Although it can be tempting to settle for a court-appointed criminal defense lawyer after a drunk driving charge, this might not be the best choice. An independent drunk driving lawyer New Jersey residents choose to hire, such as one from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., may be better able to help you achieve optimal results. We are dedicated to working tirelessly for our clients, no matter how serious their charges may be.

Contact us without delay. Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. is ready to help you resolve your drunk driving charges so that you can move on with your life.