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DUI Defense Attorneys in Middlesex County, New Jersey

If you’re facing drunk driving charges, you may feel overwhelmed, ashamed, or even confused. This is especially true if this is your first DUI. And, if you’re thinking you can just handle this on your own or that the possible penalties may not be too bad, you need to think again. In most cases, you’ll want a DUI defense lawyer to help you address your charges and protect your interests.  

To learn more about how to challenge your DUI, call us at Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C. Our firm is based in Middlesex County, New Jersey, and serves clients in the nearby communities of Somerset County, Morris County, Passaic County, Essex County, Bergen County, and across the state.  

DUI Charges in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a DUI conviction [also referred to as DWI (driving while intoxicated)] means you’re guilty of operating a vehicle with more than a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is typically measured using a handheld device called a breathalyzer. You can also get a DWI for driving while impaired on other drugs, though there’s no reliable test for this.  

Additionally, you can also get a DUI even if you're not actually driving. This may seem impossible, but it falls under the category of being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. Say, for example, you were sitting in your car after attending a party with the keys in the ignition and the heat on. Even if you had no plans of driving anywhere soon, you could still technically be charged with drunk driving since you’re technically “in control” of the car.

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Sobriety Tests and Your Rights

As in all states, drivers have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test (breath, urine, or blood) if arrested on suspicion of a DUI. However, there are other sobriety tests that you are not required to comply with. These are commonly known as roadside field sobriety tests that test your balance, coordination, and attention. The arresting officer may ask you to perform these but know that you are within your rights to (politely) refuse.   

To learn more about your rights or to see if you have a solid case for challenging your DUI charge, our team at Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C. is here to help.  

Possible Penalties

In general, the penalties for a DUI conviction increase the more DUIs you have in your past. For instance, a first-time conviction may bring with it: 

  • fines 

  • jail time (up to 30 days) 

  • mandatory attendance in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center 

  • license revocation 

  • Increased insurance charges 

Subsequent offenses will increase the fines, jail time, the length of time your license is revoked, and will likely also include community service. For any offense, you will also be required to participate in the ignition interlock program.  

Ignition Interlock Program

For those who receive a DUI conviction, state law mandates the driver install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their car for a certain period of time. This device requires the driver to blow air into it each time they operate their vehicle and only if there’s no alcohol detected will the car start.  

For a first offense, you must have the IID installed for a minimum of three months unless your BAC was above 1.0% or 1.5% in which you’ll have to have it for 7 to 15 months. For a second and third offense, you may have to have an IID for as much as two to four years. 

DUI Defense Attorneys in Middlesex County, New Jersey     

If you live in or around Middlesex County, New Jersey and you’d like to consult with a seasoned DUI attorney, reach out to us at Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C. With over 80 years of combined experience, we pride ourselves on offering the very best legal services you can find. Call today to schedule a consultation.