In New Jersey, the penalties for Refusal to Consent to a Breath Test are serious. In addition to any DWI penalties you may be facing, you could also face a 7 month loss of license plus the mandatory requirement of an ignition interlock device installation for a first offense Refusal conviction, among other penalties.
In contrast, a defendant facing a first offense DWI charge who gave a breath sample of 0.08 to 0.10 would normally be facing a 3 month license suspension and no mandatory interlock device installation.
Many attorneys will admit that Refusal charges are difficult to beat. However, due to New Jersey’s policy that bans plea bargaining in DWI cases and due to the severe nature of the penalties, it is worth fighting these charges.
In other words, you cannot reduce a DWI or Refusal charge to a lower offense, you must fight these charges in order to have them dismissed.
Some of the defenses to a Refusal charge may include:
1) Did the officer properly instruct you on how to give breath samples?
2) Did the officer provide you with the Attorney General’s Standard Statement form?
3) Did the officer give you instructions in a language that you can understand?
4) Was the breath test machine working correctly and able to receive samples?
5) Do you have any physical conditions that would prevent you from giving adequate samples?
If you are facing a Refusal charge it is important to speak to an attorney who can review your case for defenses such as these. DWI attorney Jason T. Komninos provides free consultations and can be reached at (201) 343-4622.