The Smart College Student’s Pocket Guide to DUI Defense
1.) Pulled Over for a DUI
If you’re a student at Sevens Institute of Technology here in Hoboken, New Jersey and you’ve been drinking, a lot has to do with how old you are. If you’re under the age of 21, that’s under the legal drinking age. More than likely, the officer, if they can smell alcohol on your breath, think that your eyes are bloodshot and watery, will essentially order you out of the car to do standard field sobriety tests. You can refuse to take those field sobriety tests, but the officer may, if they have what they feel is probable cause, arrest you for a DWI.
Now, if you’re 21 or older, and you’re a college student at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, you’ll be treated the same way in the sense that if the officer believes that you’re under the influence by smelling your breath, asking you some questions, and you admit to drinking, you’ll be processed for driving while intoxicated, DWI or DUI. In that case, I would suggest that you seek out an attorney that’s familiar with the court that you have to go to so that you can get the proper legal advice for that case.
- The officer will ask you some questions, like:
- Where Have you Been?
- Where Have You Going?
- Be honest to the police, but do not give them to much information.
- You will be charged with a DWI or DUI.
2.) Being Honest with the Police
If you’re a college student here in New Jersey at Seton Hall University and you get pulled over by a police officer, the officer will more than likely ask you several questions. The reason they’re asking you questions is to try to see how you answer them in the sense of whether or not you’re disoriented, whether or not they can pick up an odor of alcohol, or whether or not they think you might be under the influence of marijuana or some other substance.
While it’s a good idea to be honest with the police officer, and I would never suggest that anyone not tell a police officer the truth, what you have to understand is that any information you provide to the police officer the officer will write down and memorialize that in a police report. If you are ever processed for an arrest for DWI or careless driving or reckless driving, those words will come back to be used against you in a court of law. I would be very measured in the way I answered those questions without lying to the police officer because that can also be detrimental.
- Being honest with a police officer is a good idea, but any information you provide them, they can use against you in court and on a police report.
3.) Taking the Breathalyzer
If you’re a student at Rutgers University, and you’ve been pulled over for a DWI, and you’re deciding whether or not to refuse to take a Breathalyzer test, clearly, if you have not been drinking alcohol, you should not refuse. You should take the Breathalyzer because that would prove that you’re innocent. It would prove that you had not ingested any alcohol whatsoever. Be aware that if you do refuse to take a breath test, you’ll be charged with a separate offense, which is refusal. That carries a minimum of a seven-month suspension. Very hard to win unless you have a very, very good defense to it. Some of those defenses really fall back on whether the police officer did the proper thing in arresting you with probable cause or reading you the standard statement.
- If you have not been drinking alcohol, you should not refuse, because that will prove you’re innocent.
- You could be charged with refusal, which carries a minimum of a 7 month license suspension
4.) Underage Drinking
Let’s say you’re a university student, and you’ve been charged with underage drinking or an open container, and you now have to go to the municipal court. There might be some charges that are brought up by the university, which you’re going to have to deal with. There are attorneys that actually handle those cases. Then there’s the municipal court cases. You want to be able to have a fair defense and fair hearing on those issues, not only at the university level, but also at the municipal court level, where perhaps, you can plea bargain; do some community service, or somehow try to minimize the penalties and the effect it may have on your future. I would suggest that you deal with an attorney that’s dealt with the municipal court level cases like this in the past, as I have.
- You will have to go to the municipal court to have your case handled.
- The college where you attend may also have charges against you.
- You may be required to do community service.
5.) Paying for an Attorney
. If you’re a university student at Drew University and you have a DWI or a DUI pending – you just got arrested or a friend of yours got arrested and you’re looking for pricing. In other words, you’re looking for an attorney that is affordable. I would say call at least three attorneys. What I ordinarily do is I’ll give a reduced rate or a payment plan for college students, knowing full well that a college student usually does not have a high bank account with a lot of money.
While they might get some help from their parents, ordinarily, the parents want the student or their child to take financial responsibility ultimately for the fee. While I can’t quote you exact amounts for your case, I can certainly work out either a payment plan or a reduced fee because you’re a college student.
- I will give a reduced rate or payment plan for college students, seeing as they usually don’t have a high bank account.
6.) College Ramifications
I speak to college students all around the country about the consequences of a DWI with regard to their tuition and getting kicked out of school.
While it may be that your financial aid may have some detriment if you wind up with a DWI conviction, in the state of New Jersey, you have to realize that a DWI is not a criminal offense and will unlikely get you expelled from school. It may have an effect on your housing and your financial aid. Speak to a competent DWI attorney in your area.
- You may have some issues with financial aid, but it is unlikely that you will be kicked out of school.
Are you a college student that drank a bit too much and got pulled over by the police for a DUI? Let our experienced Criminal Attorney fight to keep your clean record intact.