In New Jersey, the law states that a person who is requested by an officer of the law to take a breath test to determine whether or not he or she is committing the traffic offense known as driving while intoxicated (DWI) must agree to do so. This agreement is made when a driver is issued a New Jersey driver’s license. If the individual chooses not to acquiesce to this request, it won’t make a DWI charge go away. In fact, it will add another charge of refusing to submit to a DWI breath test on top of the DWI charge.
This infraction can lead to the revocation of one’s driver’s license and fines that can add up. Depending on the number of times the person has committed this offense and whether or not it occurred in an area that is deemed to be a school zone, the time of license suspension and fines accompanying a conviction of this offense can be extensive. In addition, it is likely that an ignition interlock device will be placed on the individual’s car for as much as three years after it his or her license is reinstated.
The Prosecutor can Downgrade the Charges
When refusing to take a DWI test upon being requested to by a police officer, it may not seem to be a serious offense. In reality, it can result in the above mentioned penalties and, according to New Jersey law, cannot be plea bargained down to a lesser charge. The Attorney General of New Jersey has prohibited plea bargains for charges of DWI and for refusing to take a DWI test.
There is, however, a chance that the prosecutor might be willing to downgrade the charges. The prosecutor has the discretion to decide whether or not to reduce certain charges if there is a legal basis to do it. For example, if an individual is charged with both DWI and refusal, it may be possible that the prosecutor will withdraw either the refusal or DWI charge, leaving the defendant with only one charge to face sentencing for if found guilty.
The questions asked when there is a request for a dismissal or downgrade of charges include details of what the proposal for resolution of the charges will be; what are the factual basis for this downgrade; and if the arresting officer knows and agrees with what the prosecutor is doing. If there is a proper legal basis for the charges being reduced, then it is likely that the judge will allow it.
Contact an Experienced NJ DWI Refusal Attorney
If you have been charged with refusing to submit to a breath test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer, there is not much room to maneuver out of the penalties accompanying this charge. However, it is possible that the charges might be reduced with the right legal team on your side. This is why it’s important to contact the DWI attorneys of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey to represent you in your case.
You may have made a mistake while driving under the influence in Toms River, Asbury Park or any shore town in New Jersey. You might also have failed to agree to take a breath test because you weren’t aware of the consequences of that decision or through other reasons such as fear. The ramifications for committing a DWI test refusal in New Jersey are costly in numerous ways. If you have been charged with this traffic offense in Ocean County, Monmouth County or any other part of New Jersey, contact Villani & DeLuca to discuss your case and learn your legal options. Call today!