Unfortunately, no, you cannot. Prosecutors and judges here in New Jersey are not allowed to negotiate a lower charge with defendants or their attorneys. Thus if you are charged with DUI, you cannot cut a deal to reduce it to a lesser charge, like reckless driving.
So what do you do? Are you limited to rolling over and pleading guilty or going to trial? Not always. The one thing that prosecutors can do is reduce the charge if he or she is convinced that the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This means that having an attorney review your case carefully in order to find chinks in the state's armor is critical if you are charged with a DUI.
Convincing the Prosecutor to Downgrade Your DUI Charge
If a prosecutor has sufficient evidence to prove his case, then he won't budge. So what you have to do is show that certain key evidence might be thrown out if the matter went to trial. For example:
- The police may not have had probable cause to stop you in the first place, which could have all the evidence that follows suppressed
- The police may not have had probable cause to arrest you (with the same result)
- The officer who took your breath sample may not have followed proper procedure, such as taking away your cell phone or observing you for 20 minutes
- There may not be clear evidence that you were the one driving
- The breathalyzer may not have been functioning properly at the time it was used on you
All of these things and more can come into play to force a prosecutor to back down because it could result in the breathalyzer reading not getting in to evidence. Without that reading, proving drunk driving becomes more difficult and less of a sure thing.
So What Do I Do?
Finding a chink in the armor of the State's case is critical to getting a downgrade to a lesser charge. You need the help of an experienced DUI attorney to help you look! So if you have been charged with drunk driving in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a free consultation.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.
If you liked this information and found it useful, then you might like or need these others:
- To Stop You for Drunk Driving in NJ, They Have to Have Probable Cause
- To Convict You of Drunk Driving in NJ, They Have to Prove You Were Driving!
- To Arrest You for Drunk Driving in NJ, They Have to Have Probable Cause
- To Convict You of Drunk Driving in NJ, They Have to Observe You for 20 Minutes
- The Breathalyzer Isn't Always Right in a NJ Drunk Driving Case