Driving under the Influence of Drugs (Drug DUI) Attorney in Middlesex County
Edison NJ Drug DUI Lawyer
Driving under the Influence of Drugs Attorney in Middlesex County, New Jersey
When most people think of DWI and DUI charges, they think of alcohol-related offenses. But the truth is that a lot of DUI charges in New Jersey are actually drug-related. Relevant driving laws, codified in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, make it illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicated narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug. In New Jersey, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) of Drugs and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) arrests are similarly prosecuted. Regardless of the substance, be it alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or prescription medication, an individual who drives under the influence may be subject to severe consequences under New Jersey law. If you or a loved one is facing charges for a Middlesex County NJ drug DUI offense, it is vital that you seek out and retain experienced, skilled, and aggressive legal counsel.
At the Law Offices of William Proetta Criminal Law, our attorneys dedicate a significant portion of their practice to assisting clients with first offense, second offense, and third offense DUI charges throughout Middlesex County, including in Piscataway, Edison, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, and Perth Amboy. For a free consultation with an experienced Middlesex County DUI attorney, contact our conveniently located Edison office at (732) 659-9600.
New Jersey Law on Driving under the Influence of Drugs (DUI)
New Jersey Law defines Drug DUI in N.J.S.A. 2C 39: 4-50 as “a person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of… narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug… or permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control.”
The statute specifically mentions chemical substances “capable of causing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction or the dulling of the brain or nervous system as a result of the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of such chemical substance.” This is quite broad, which means that the law covers a wide range of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and even legal prescription drugs. Basically, any chemical compound or substance that can adversely affect a driver’s cognitive abilities or slow down their reaction time while driving is covered by the NJ DUI law.
Drug DUI Penalties in Middlesex County NJ
The fines, assessments and monetary penalties are stiff if you simply accept your driving under the influence of drugs (DUI) charge. A minimum surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years, fines and assessments of between $800 and $1,500, and increased insurance rates are some of the consequences you might be facing. There is also a mandatory drivers license suspension of 7 months to one year for a first offense, 2 years for a second offense, and 10 years for a third offense (or subsequent one). Jail is discretionary on a first offense but a mandatory 2-90 days for a second offense and 180 days for a third offense.
As you can see, the consequences for your first, second, or third offense for driving under the influence of drugs (DUI) are grave and carry the additional stigma and inconvenience regarding employment and transportation difficulties. Other penalties include mandatory drug and alcohol counseling, community service, and installation of an ignition interlock device. Other less obvious penalties include financial constraints, diminished reputation, and interference with job and family time. For more information on penalties, please see our DWI and DUI Penalties Page.
Defending a DUI on Drugs Charge in New Jersey
There are many different forms of evidence that prosecutors can use to prove you were driving under the influence of drugs in New Jersey. Some of the proof used in a Drug DUI case is similar to that of a driving while intoxicated case. For example, the way you perform on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) such as the walk-and-turn test may be used, in addition to the observations of the arresting officer. There are also several unique forms of evidence used to prosecute a defendant charged with DUI drugs in New Jersey. The first is the result of a lab test, either a urine test or a blood sample. However, urinalysis is not entirely reliable, as controlled substances like marijuana can remain in your system for up to a month after initial ingestion.
The second type of evidence is a report from a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), a law enforcement professional trained to identify signs and symptoms of being under the influence of drugs. Police may call a DRE to the scene of a DUI arrest to conduct a serious of exams and tests on a driver suspected of using a prescription drug like Xanax or an illegal drug like heroin before operating a motor vehicle. Recently, police began maintaining Drug Recognition Experts at sobriety check points to identify potential drugged drivers. The DRE’s report and testimony may be used in your DUI case; however, it is not necessary in driving under the influence of marijuana cases. If you have been arrested for driving on drugs in New Jersey, it is critical to have an attorney who knows and understands the nuances of drug DUI prosecutions and can construct the best possible defense.
Contact a Piscataway NJ Drug DUI Defense Lawyer
Drug DUI’s are extremely serious offenses that are accompanied by severe consequences. Therefore it is critical that you have a skilledNew Jersey drug DUI defense attorney fighting to minimize or extinguish the charges that you face. Will Proetta, Esq., is certified in standardized field sobriety instruction. This unique qualification allows him to understand the very specific protocol that offices must adhere to when conducting a Drug DUI arrest. If you are facing these serious charges, do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation at (732) 659-9600. You can also follow the links below to learn more about the nuances of DWI and DUI law in New Jersey and common locations in Middlesex County where DUI stops often occur.