Many people believe that it is better to refuse the breathalyzer test if they are stopped under suspicion of DWI. Some drivers assume that if they blow over the limit, the State will have more evidence to use against them than if they refuse to take the test.
Although there is an element of truth to this, it is often smarter to take the breathalyzer test. This does not necessarily hold true in every state, but in New Jersey, it is best to take the breathalyzer if an officer asks you to do so.
Even if you fail the test, the results may be inadmissible in trial if the officer made a procedural error or if it is found that the machine produced unreliable results. There are many other potential defenses that could apply to your case; however, if you refuse to take the breath test, you will be essentially giving yourself an automatic conviction, and the penalties for a first offense are equivalent or sometimes even worse than a DWI conviction.
It is far better to give your DWI attorney a fighting chance at defending against your charges. If you would like to discuss your case with a criminal lawyer in Jersey City, turn to the Law Office of Eric M. Mark.
Eric M. Mark is a former Assistant Prosecutor, so he has a skillset that makes him uniquely effective as a defense attorney. Call 973-453-2009 today to schedule a consultation.
Can I Be Charged with Refusing to Submit If I Remain Silent When Asked to Take the Breathalyzer Test?
Yes. You can be charged with refusing to submit to the breathalyzer if:
- You explicitly refuse the test;
- You provide a conditional or ambiguous response; or
- You are silent when asked to submit to the test.
Refusing to submit is a separate charge from DWI, so you could be charged with both. The State does not necessarily need the results of a breathalyzer test to gain a DWI conviction.
You can read about the penalties for refusing to submit here.
Are the Potential Penalties Worse If I Refuse to Submit to a Breathalyzer in a School Zone?
Yes. If you commit the offense in a school zone, you may lose your license for a longer period of time and face a steeper fine. For example, if it is your first offense and you are not in a school zone, you could lose your license for up to one year and pay a fine of up to $500. If you are in a school zone, though, you could lose your license for up to two years and pay a maximum fine of $1,000,
If you are facing changes for DWI or refusing to submit to a breathalyzer, your first call should be to a criminal lawyer. If you would like to discuss your defense options with a DWI attorney in Jersey City, contact the Law Office of Eric M. Mark.
Call 973-453-2009 today to schedule a free consultation. You can learn more about DWI defense strategies in New Jersey by visiting https://usattorneys.com/dui-lawyers/new-jersey/.