Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test in NJ

Trenton NJ Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test Lawyers

Many people mistakenly believe that it is in their best interests to refuse to submit to a chemical breath test when they are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. However, refusing the Alcotest is actually the worst thing you can do in this situation. Once you refuse a breath test, contesting your DWI charges becomes extremely difficult because the refusal itself is a violation of NJ state law.

Hamilton NJ DUI Refusal Lawyers

The trial lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson can help you beat your DWI or Refusal charges. We have more than 40 years of experience handling these kinds of cases throughout Mercer County, NJ, including Hamilton, West Windsor, and Princeton. Our firm’s team of skilled lawyers is composed of skilled negotiators and tenacious litigators, including a New Jersey Certified Trial Attorney, so we know how to win in the courtroom. Call KCR today to discuss your case and determine the next step in your defense.

NJ Refusal Statute: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a

It is important to understand that N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a allows law enforcement to charge you with Refusal even if you do not explicitly refuse to take the test. For example, remaining silent when the officer asks for your consent is the same as outright refusal.

Penalties for Refusal in Mercer County

A conviction for Refusal in New Jersey can have significant consequences. The penalties vary, depending upon the number of prior offenses.

First Refusal Offense:

Second Refusal Offense:

  • Driver’s License Suspension: 2 years
  • Fine: $500–$1,000
  • MVC Surcharges: $3,000 over 3 years
  • IDRC: 12–48 hours of alcohol education classes and treatment
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Required installation on all of motor vehicles for 1–3 years upon return of your license

Third Refusal Offense:

  • Driver’s License Suspension: 10 years
  • Fine: $1,000
  • Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Surcharges: $4,500 over 3 years
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): 12–48 hours of alcohol education classes and treatment
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Mandatory installation on all of your vehicles for 1–3 years following return of your license

Additionally, if you are charged with Refusal in a School Zone, you face enhanced penalties. This happens more often than you might think, since NJ law defines “school zone” very broadly to include any area where juveniles are crossing and present.

Penalties for DWI and Refusal in Princeton, NJ

Even if you do not take the chemical breath test, you can be charged with a drunk driving violation because New Jersey courts may use your refusal to infer guilt on the related DWI charge. This means that you will face charges for the DWI and additional charges for refusing the breath test. Worst of all, judges are able to impose sentences for DWI and Refusal consecutively; when your first sentence is over, you will then have to begin your second sentence.

Free Consultation with Ewing DUI Attorneys

The attorneys at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson understand how important it is for you to maintain your driving privileges. That’s why we will do everything possible to help you beat your Refusal charges and keep your license. Call us today to discuss your case, or email us to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Trenton or Pennington.

Contact Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson

The experienced lawyers you can trust. We focus on success and get results. That’s why we’ve been trusted by clients for over 40 years.

Let us help you navigate your legal challenges.
Call (609) 528-2596 or (215) 337-4915 or send us an email. We're here when you need us.