A DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is a very serious offense that can put the driver and many others at risk. For anyone that has been charged with a DWI, especially for the first time, the process can be very frightening and overwhelming.
From the expert criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Edward J. Hesketh, here’s what you can expect from the arrest process for a DWI in New Jersey:
At The Scene
The police can pull over anyone behind the wheel if they have a suspicion they are intoxicated. If the pulled-over driver is under the influence, the police officer will administer a series of tests. This may include a physical sobriety test consisting of walking in a straight line, following a finger with your eyes, etc., and a breathalyzer test. If the driver fails the physical test or the breathalyzer determines the driver has a blood alcohol content, BAC, of .08% or higher, they will be arrested and brought back to the police station via the officer’s car.
At The Police Station
Once the driver and officer arrive at the police station, they will undergo further intoxication testing, this time with a stationary version of the breathalyzer. Any refusal to take this test or other tests will result in additional punishment, including immediate license revocation. Since New Jersey classifies DWI arrests as traffic violations and not criminal offenses, it is unlikely the driver will be required to make bail or be held overnight unless there are criminal charges as well. The police will, however, tow the driver’s vehicle and impound it for a minimum of 12 hours.
After being released from the police station, the driver will be given one or more traffic tickets for the DWI and any other infractions, such as speeding, driving through a red light, etc. Next, the driver will be given a court date for a few days later, where they will be arraigned on the charges. This will be the time to hire an experienced DWI attorney to help you navigate the court process.
At the arraignment, the judge will explain the driver’s rights and charges and ask whether they plead guilty or not guilty. If the plea is not guilty, the judge will set a trial date. If the plea is guilty, they may be sentenced right then and there.
Turn to The Law Office of Edward J. Hesketh For Your DWI Case
If you’re looking for a New Jersey DWI Attorney, look no further than the Law Office of Edward J. Hesketh. We are a full-service law firm specializing in protecting and defending the rights of individuals during their DWI case.
To schedule a free case consultation, contact us today at (908) 243-0800 or complete a quick form. We look forward to speaking with you!