DUI

What to Know Regarding DUI Sentence Enhancements?

The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are severe. However, there are added circumstances that can make the penalties even greater with a DUI sentence enhancement. A drunk driving sentence enhancement can include higher fines, longer license suspension and, in a growing number of states, mandatory jail time.

DUI Enhancement Factors

Although DUI laws vary from state to state, here are some of the factors that can trigger DUI sentence enhancements:

Prior DUI Conviction – Most U.S. states have increased penalties for any driver with repeated drunk driving offenses. Some states enhance the sentence for a DUI for a conviction within the past 5 years; other states enhance the sentence for a conviction within the past 10 years. Many states will enhance the sentence for any previous conviction irrespective of how long ago it was.

High Level Blood Alcohol Concentration – `Most states are beginning to adopt laws that increase penalties for drivers who have high blood alcohol levels at the time of their arrests. Some states place that level at 0.15 while others have greater enhancements for a BAC above .20.

Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test – If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you may be subject to more penalties. In some states, refusal means immediate revocation of your license whereas in other states, it can lead to jail time.

Child Endangerment – If you were arrested driving under the influence with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Accident Without the Appropriate Auto Insurance – If you cause an accident while driving under the influence and do not have the required auto insurance, your penalties will be greater.

Bodily Injury – If your accident is due to DUI and you cause injury to someone else, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Other Factors – Other circumstances that can make you subject to sentence enhancement for a DUI conviction include:

  • No valid driver’s license
  • On probation for another crime
  • Having an open container of alcohol
  • Having multiple previous convictions
  • Having an ignition interlock device on the vehicle

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Overview of a DUI Case and What Happens When It Goes to Trial

Facing a DUI charge can be an overwhelming experience. You may have many concerns such as whether or not you will be able to retain your driver’s license, how long it will take for your case to go to trial and what potential legal penalties you may face. Therefore, if you have been charged with a DUI, it is in your best interest to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for your rights.

Every DUI case is unique and has a distinct set of circumstances. However, the legal process is largely the same. Courts generally govern the entire process from the initial charge to the time when your DUI case goes to trial.

Below is an overview of the different stages of a DUI case and under what circumstances the case may go to trial:

Summons and Complaint: This is a document that states the charges against you. It will also include the date you are required to appear in court. Your lawyer may decide to move this date forward in order to give you additional time.

Arraignment: This is a formal procedure where the presiding judge will advise you of your rights, obligations and possible penalties associated with the DUI charge against you. During this period, you will enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial Discovery: During this stage, your attorney will review all documents produced by the State regarding your case and determine if your legal rights have been violated. The prosecutor is the representative of the State in a DUI case. Under the law, the State must give your lawyer all relevant material and evidence that it has gathered against you, including:

  • Narratives
  • Police reports
  • Video recordings of the sobriety tests and/or arrest
  • Witness statements
  • Audio recordings
  • Photographs
  • Scientific documents pertaining to the DUI breathalyzer machine
  • Any other evidence produced by the State in your case

Status Conferences: This is where the prosecutor and your DUI lawyer meet and talk about discovery or other issues related to your case. In addition, they may also talk with the judge about your case.

Pre-Trial Motions: This motion is made by your attorney in order to seek specific relief in your case. For instance, your attorney may file one or more motions that involve issues regarding suppression of evidence, production of discovery, and dismissing or prohibiting testimony. These motions are usually made orally before the court.

The Trial: This is the stage when you case goes to trial. This happens if your case was not resolved or dismissed before the trial or the district attorneys were unable to offer a reasonable plea resolution. Your trial will be held in the Municipal Court district where your DUI ticket was issued. Typically, your case will go before a single municipal court judge. The prosecutor will present evidence and possibly call witnesses for the State. Your attorney will provide evidence and introduce witness testimony in your defense. The presiding Judge will listen to both parties and make a determination as to your guilt or innocence.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you hire a highly skilled and experienced DUI attorney. At the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, our DUI defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle any DUI matter. We build the best possible defense on your behalf in order to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Video: What a DUI Defense Attorney Do for Me

A DUI defense attorney can utilize their experience in DUI defense strategies, negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor and expunge your conviction. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, you need to speak to the experienced DUI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC. We will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913.

 

What Does a DUI Defense Attorney Do?

DUI defense attorney

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offense can result in serious penalties. It can involve hefty fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time. DUI law is very complicated, and the facts of every case are different. A person who doesn’t have any legal training or experience may not know the viable defenses or ways to minimize the potential consequences of a conviction. Getting the help of a skilled DUI defense attorney is therefore crucial. Here are the things a DUI defense attorney can do:

Utilize their experience: One of the biggest advantages that a DUI defense attorney can provide is their experience. A skilled attorney will have experience and training in DUI defense strategies. He or she will know exactly what to do within the court system to achieve the best outcome for your case.

Keep track of legal deadlines: A DUI attorney can keep a track of the deadlines and fill out the necessary paperwork and documents within the protocols and procedures set by the court.

Negotiate with the prosecutor: Your attorney may work with the prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain. A plea bargain can have your case dismissed entirely or the charges reduced.

Find loopholes and errors: An attorney with experience in DUI cases can spot inconsistencies or procedural loopholes in your case and work toward having the case dismissed.

Expunge your conviction: If you are convicted, your attorney can help you get the conviction expunged so that it does not affect your credit or future employment. It is important to note that expungement procedures may differ per state and local jurisdictions. Only an experienced attorney will know how to navigate the system.

Get a fair judgement: Once convicted, you are likely to face serious punishment. If you have a DUI defense attorney representing you, he or she can negotiate a fairer judgment from the court, such as community service.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills in handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

How to Avoid Getting a DWI or DUI

Drinking and driving

DWI or DUI is a traffic offense in New Jersey. The consequences of a DWI or DUI can be life-changing. The simplest answer as to how to avoid a DWI or DUI is to avoid drinking or being intoxicated in any way when driving. There are many other behaviors that you should do before, during and after a DWI or DUI stop that can prevent you from getting a DWI or DUI charge or at least lessen your charges.

Have Updated Documents Ready: If you are stopped and asked by a police officer to hand over your documents, be calm and hand your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance to the officer.

Be Calm and Polite During Questioning: If the officer asks you if you have been drinking, politely answer. Be honest and calm. Do not be defensive or argumentative.

Field Sobriety Tests: New Jersey traffic laws allow police to ask drivers to step out of the car for any traffic stop. If this happens, do your best to stay calm and step out of your car. Try to maintain polite eye contact with the officer as he or she will observe you for any indications of intoxication including bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol or the inability to maintain your balance.

Roadside Breath Tests: If you are requested to breathe into a Breathalyzer to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), you should do it. The state of New Jersey is an implied consent state, which means that you gave your consent to be tested when you accepted your driver’s license. However, you can still request a more reliable test instead of the roadside test. It is then up to the officer to decide whether to take you into custody for refusal to take the test.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

Criminal attorney Joel Silberman can help you if you have been accused of a traffic offense in New Jersey. When you receive a ticket for a traffic violation, you can choose to fight back with the help of the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC.  Mr. Silberman has extensive experience in defending clients accused of traffic violations and offers skilled and experienced legal representation throughout New Jersey. We will provide an aggressive defense and keep you informed regarding your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Video: Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

When a person is pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the officer may administer a field sobriety test followed by a Breathalyzer test. Refusing this test can result in revocation or suspension of a driver’s license for up to 12 months, depending on your state, as well as the imposition of fines. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI or Refusal, you should speak with attorney Joel Silberman as soon as possible to start preparing a defense. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Slide | What Happens When a Person Refuses to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

When a person is pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the officer may administer a field sobriety test followed by a Breathalyzer test. A Breathalyzer test is one of the many tests used by police officers to take those suspected of driving while intoxicated into custody. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI or Refusal, you should speak with attorney Joel Silberman as soon as possible to start preparing a defense. Call 201-420-1913

What Happens When Refuses to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

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The Consequences of Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer Test

Taking a Breathalyzer Test

When a person is pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the officer may administer a field sobriety test, followed by a Breathalyzer test. A Breathalyzer test is one of the many tests that police officers use to take drivers suspected of being under the influence into custody.

Most states have implied consent laws regarding these types of tests. This means that when a person applies for and is issued a driver’s license, he or she is automatically giving consent to a Breathalyzer and other tests, whenever necessary, to determine impairment. However, many people refuse to take this test.

Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test can result in serious consequences. Your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended for up to 12 months, fines may be imposed, and you may face a jail term for not submitting to a BAC test when suspected of a DUI. Drivers with past DUI convictions can face even longer suspensions or jail time.

Refusing a Breathalyzer test is not advisable because prosecutors may still base a potential DUI charge on other evidence collected at the scene, such as officer observations, witness testimony, or the results of a field sobriety test. The refusal may also be used against you in a future trial.

Contact Us

New Jersey has extremely tough laws for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. The consequences can have a devastating effect on a person’s career and family. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI or Refusal, you should speak with attorney Joel Silberman as soon as possible to start preparing a defense. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 

Penalty for a DUI Charge

Penalty for a DUI Charge

Like any other criminal charge, a person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is presumed innocent until he/she is proven guilty. If you are found guilty, the penalty will depend on the state law, as well as on any other circumstances, e.g., if there was an open bottle of liquor in the car; and your cooperation with the police. The following are the penalties for a DUI charge:

Jail Time

In all states, first-offense DUI is a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. This jail time can be increased under certain circumstances. In some states, if the blood-alcohol content at the time of arrest was very high and crossing the legal limit of 0.08%, the punishment can be more severe.

In most states, a minimum jail sentence of at least several days on a first offense is required. Subsequent offenses will result in a jail sentence of several months to a year.

For a DUI that is a felony because either the driver killed or injured someone, or because it’s your third or fourth DUI, a jail sentence of several years can be given.

Fines

Courts also impose high fines for a DUI in addition to a jail sentence. This can range from $500 to $2,000.

License Suspension

Your license can be suspended for a considerable period of time. In many states, a first time offender’s license can be suspended for 90 days. A second time offender’s license can be suspended for one year; and a third time offender’s license can be suspended for three years. If you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, it can result in license suspension. In some states, if you are a repeat offender, you may not be allowed to get back on the road. Your registration can be canceled temporarily or permanently and the state may confiscate your car.

Young Offenders

In most states, the legal drinking age is 21. A minor who is arrested for driving while under the influence will not get any respite from punishment. Adult sentences on minors can be imposed, and their license suspended for one year.

Other Forms of Punishment

In many states, a court sentence may include alcohol education and prevention programs, rehabilitation for alcohol abuse, assessment of a person for alcohol or drug dependency, and community service or victim restitution. If you are a first time offender, these programs can be recommended instead of jail time or paying fines.

Other Consequences

Your insurance company may also cancel the insurance policy or increase the rates because of the mark on the driving record. A DUI charge stays on a person’s driving record for many years. If your license is suspended, the insurance company may cancel the insurance policy.

Get in Touch with Defense Lawyer from The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC

After being convicted under DUI charges, you can still protect your rights. You have the right to contact your DUI defense lawyer. We will work to protect your rights, and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious criminal conviction. Get in touch with The Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC You can call us at 201-420-1913 or email us at joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.

 
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