New Jersey is one of many states that has an implied consent law. This means that if people are stopped for suspicion of DWI, it is presumed under the law that they consent to submit to breath tests, and if they do not, they can be charged with refusal crimes. In a recent New Jersey opinion, a court explained the grounds for charging and convicting a person with refusal in a case in which the defendant argued his conviction was improper because he was charged under the wrong statute. If you are accused of a refusal crime, it is prudent to meet with a skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding your possible defenses.
The Defendant’s Arrest
It is alleged that the defendant was stopped by a police officer, who detected a smell of alcohol from within the vehicle. Upon questioning, the defendant admitted to drinking alcohol. He submitted to field sobriety tests, which he failed, and he was arrested. The defendant was transported to the police station, where the officer read the defendant the statement required by New Jersey law, which informed him of the consequences of refusing to submit to breath tests. The defendant then refused to submit to the breath test twice.
It is reported that the defendant was charged with multiple offenses, including DWI and refusal. Prior to the trial, he filed a motion to dismiss the refusal charge, claiming that the summons was defective because it stated that the defendant violated the implied consent statute rather than the refusal statute. The court denied the motion, and the defendant was found guilty of refusal. He then appealed. Continue reading