New Jersey Court Discusses Proving a Refusal to Submit Offense

Under New Jersey law, motorists are required to submit to breath tests when they are requested by police officers due to suspicion of DWI. People who refuse to provide the police with a breath sample may be charged with the refusal to submit in addition to DWI charges. Recently, a New Jersey court issued an opinion in which it discussed proof of a defendant’s refusal to submit to a breath test. If you are charged with refusing to submit to a breath test or any other DWI related crime, it is advisable to speak to a dependable New Jersey DWI defense attorney to evaluate your potential defenses.

The Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that a police officer noted the defendant was driving erratically. He pulled him over, and when he approached the vehicle, he noted a strong smell of alcohol emanating from the plaintiff’s vehicle. When the officer spoke with the defendant, he observed that his eyes were bloodshot and watery and had droopy lids. Therefore, the officer asked the defendant to submit to field sobriety testing.

Allegedly, the defendant failed the field sobriety tests. He was then arrested and charged with DWI and transported to the police station. He was read a Miranda warning but refused to sign a form indicating he was advised of his rights. He was then advised of the consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test but stated he was not sure if he would provide a sample. After he was advised that he had to give a yes or no answer, he answered no. He was ultimately charged with and convicted of multiple DWI crimes, including refusal to submit, after which he appealed.

Refusal to Submit Under New Jersey Law

On appeal, the judge stated that the defendant’s refusal to submit to a breath test was evidence of the defendant’s intoxication. Further, the judge opined that the trial court ruled appropriately when it rejected the defendant’s confusion argument on the refusal to submit the charge, noting that it was not a viable defense in New Jersey.

Similarly, the court found that the trial court appropriately rejected the defendant’s argument that the standard questions posed by the arresting officer violated the defendant’s Miranda rights. The court noted that the defendant’s argument was contrary to the litany of cases indicating that anything other than an unambiguous consent implies refusal with regard to the implied consent law. The arresting officer warned the defendant multiple times, and the defendant refused to acknowledge the warnings. Thus, the court confirmed the defendant’s conviction.

Meet with a Skillful New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney

In most circumstances, the police cannot obtain a blood sample from a DWI defendant without a warrant, but they have the right to request a breath sample, and a refusal can result in criminal charges. If you are accused of refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test in New Jersey, it is prudent to speak to an attorney about your options. The skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorneys of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are proficient at defendant people charged with refusal to submit and other crimes, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us via our form online or by calling 877-450-8301 to schedule a meeting.

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