Lakewood Municipal Court
Getting arrested for drunk driving in Lakewood can be a serious charge that will require you to go in front of a Lakewood Municipal Court Judge. The court room is located in the municipal complex in Lakewood. For more information visit the Lakewood Municipal Court Website.
Lakewood Municipal Court
231 Third Street - Municipal Building
Lakewood, NJ 08701
Phone: 732-364-2500 ext 5988
Refusal Charge After a Lakewood DWI
Lakewood is home to one of the largest growing populations in the state of New Jersey and also the state's well-known minor league baseball team: the Lakewood Blueclaws. Each summer, hundreds of people drive down to take their families to these games. Some people unfortunately make the mistake of having too much to drink before driving, which can lead to a violation of New Jersey's DWI statute, N.J.S.A 39:4-50. What most people don't realize is that if stopped on suspicion of DWI, any refusal to submit to a breath test is also a violation of New Jersey state law. It is important to be aware that if you or a loved one was stopped in Lakewood and refused to submit to a breath test, serious consequences could follow. Our firm Villani & DeLuca, P.C. is located in Ocean County, and our attorneys have years of experience in defending these type of cases.
What exactly is a DWI refusal?
DWI breath test refusals are prohibited by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2. This statute creates what is known as the “implied consent” agreement between you as a driver and the state of New Jersey to submit to breath test when you operate a motor vehicle on the public roads. The government cannot force you to submit to these tests, but this statute acts as a warning to drivers across the state that if you refuse to submit to the test, there will be severe consequences. This concept may seem to be straightforward but you should know that there are several mannerisms that constitute refusal of a breath test. First, the statute states that “anything substantially short of an unqualified, unequivocal assent to an officer's request that a defendant take a breathalyzer test constitutes a refusal to do so.” What this means is that anything short of “yes” can be considered a refusal. Several types of refusals include:
Silence: remaining silent when the officer asks, even if you have the good faith belief that you have the right to remain silent.
Insufficient number of breath samples: Typically drivers are required to provide more than one breath sample, so if you provided one sample but then declined to give another, this also constitutes a refusal.
Express refusals: Words such as “no” or conduct that demonstrates the driver will not submit to a breath test.
Conditional refusals: The driver consents but only after asking for conditions to be fulfilled, such as a request to make a phone call or use a restroom.
Language Barriers: A driver does not have a defense unless they are fully incapable of understanding English.
DWI Refusal Defense Lawyer
The law mandates that police officers adhere to strict guidelines and steps when asking for breath samples, so having a lawyer who has been trained in these practices will be invaluable. In regards to the language barrier, in 2010 New Jersey law was changed in a landmark case which held that defendants who do not fully understand, speak, or have knowledge of the English language may have a defense against a refusal charge. Here in Lakewood, there is a growing Spanish speaking population which will include members who do not yet fully understand English. If you know of any family or friends that have found themselves in this position, do not hesitate to seek legal representation.
Carmine R. Villani Esq. has many years of experience in defending clients who face DWI refusal charges. The penalties for these charges include loss of a license for 7-12 months to, required participation in a program at an Intoxicated Driver's Resource center, and $1,000 in MVC surcharges for 3 years. These penalties can be even greater for second or third offenders in which case the driver's license suspension could last from 2-10 years. Schedule a FREE consultation by calling us at 732-965-3999 and speak to an attorney with over 20 years of experience in handling DWI cases.