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Stopped for DUI in NJ? Here’s What You Should Never Do

Stopped for DUI in NJ? Here’s What You Should Never Do

Getting stopped for DUI in New Jersey can be a daunting experience. The legal system is strict, and the consequences can be severe. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s crucial to know what actions to avoid to protect your rights and improve your chances of a favorable outcome. At Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A., we understand the stress and confusion that accompany a DUI charge. This article aims to serve as a guide on what you should never do if you are stopped for DUI in New Jersey.

1. Never Admit to Drinking

When you are stopped by the police, you may feel compelled to explain your situation or cooperate by admitting you’ve had a drink or two. However, this admission can be used against you in court. You have the right to remain silent, and it’s often in your best interest to exercise this right.

Why This Matters

  • Admissions can strengthen the prosecution’s case.
  • Statements made during a stop can be difficult to retract or dispute later.

What to Do Instead

  • Politely decline to answer questions about your drinking.
  • You can provide your identification and comply with requests for documentation without discussing your activities.

2. Never Perform Field Sobriety Tests Voluntarily

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are designed to assess your balance, coordination, and ability to follow instructions. These tests are highly subjective and can be challenging even for sober individuals. Refusing these tests is within your rights and can prevent the collection of potentially incriminating evidence.

Why This Matters

  • FSTs are not foolproof and can be influenced by various factors, such as nervousness, medical conditions, or uneven road surfaces.
  • Poor performance can be used as evidence of impairment.

What to Do Instead

  • Politely refuse to perform FSTs.
  • Understand that refusal may lead to arrest, but it could also limit the evidence against you.

3. Never Resist Arrest

If the police decide to arrest you, resisting or arguing will only worsen your situation. Physical resistance can lead to additional charges and potentially more severe consequences.

Why This Matters

  • Resisting arrest can result in charges of obstruction of justice or assaulting an officer.
  • Non-cooperation can be seen as an admission of guilt.

What to Do Instead

  • Remain calm and comply with the officers’ instructions.
  • Remember that you can challenge the arrest later in court with the help of an attorney.

4. Never Refuse the Breathalyzer Test Without Understanding the Consequences

In New Jersey, implied consent laws require drivers to submit to chemical testing if an officer has probable cause to believe they are under the influence. Refusing a breathalyzer test can result in severe penalties, including license suspension.

Why This Matters

  • Refusal leads to automatic penalties, such as license suspension for up to one year for a first offense.
  • It can also be used as evidence of guilt in your DUI case.

What to Do Instead

  • Consider the potential penalties before refusing the test.
  • If you do refuse, be prepared to face the immediate consequences and seek legal advice promptly.

5. Never Forget to Document the Stop

If possible, document everything that happens during the stop. This can include noting the time, location, officer’s name, badge number, and any statements or actions taken by the police. This information can be crucial for your defense.

Why This Matters

  • Detailed notes can help your attorney identify any procedural errors or rights violations.
  • Accurate documentation can strengthen your case in court.

What to Do Instead

  • Write down or record details as soon as it’s safe to do so.
  • Share this information with your attorney immediately.

6. Never Assume You Can Handle the Case Alone

A DUI charge is a serious matter that can have long-lasting effects on your life. Attempting to navigate the legal system without professional help can lead to unfavorable outcomes. Experienced DUI defense attorneys, like those at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A., can provide the expertise and guidance needed to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

Why This Matters

  • DUI law is complex and constantly evolving.
  • Legal representation can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and negotiate on your behalf.

What to Do Instead

  • Contact a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney immediately after your arrest.
  • Follow your attorney’s advice and attend all scheduled court appearances.

Contact Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. Today for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your DUI Defense

Facing a DUI charge in New Jersey can be overwhelming, but the experienced attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. are here to help. We specialize in providing comprehensive legal guidance and support to individuals arrested for drunk driving. Our team is dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case. With a deep understanding of New Jersey DUI laws and a commitment to personalized defense strategies, Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. will stand by your side every step of the way. Contact us today to secure the skilled representation you deserve.

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