Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NJ Standard Refusal Warning to DWI Drivers

The New Jersey Attorney General's office in 2004 issued a new directive to all Police Departments revising the standard DWI Refusal Statement. Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/municipal court tickets throughout New Jersey, including drivers charged with driving while suspended and refusal. The following is important information on the DWI and Refusal laws.
The Attorney General wrote: "Effective Monday, April 26, 2004, Governor James M. McGreevey signed Assembly Bill No. 2259, into law. This bill amends the penalties for refusing to submit to chemical breath testing, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a. The provisions in this bill became effective immediately upon adoption (A2259 [1R], §4).
With the adoption of this bill, it was necessary to have the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (formerly the Director, Division of Motor Vehicles) approve a revised Standard Statement for Operators of a Motor Vehicle, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2(e). The NJ MVC Chief Administrator approved that revision to become effective immediately upon the adoption of Assembly Bill No. 2259, First Reprint, into law. A copy of the revised Standard Statement for Operators of a Motor Vehicle is attached. It is also available, in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format, on the Division of Criminal Justice internet website at or at, under the heading Attorney General Guidelines, DWI Enforcement, “NJ MVC Standard Refusal Statements.”
Accordingly, this Letter-Memorandum superseded the Letter-Memorandum dated January 22, 2004 entitled, “New DWI 0.08% Per Se Offense, Revised Standard Refusal Statement.”
Effective immediately ALL law enforcement officers in this State who place a person under arrest for a DWI violation (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) are required to use the attached April 26, 2004 revised Standard Statement. Officers who place a person under arrest for a CDL/DWI violation (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13) or operating a vessel while intoxicated (OVWI) violation (N.J.S.A. 12:7-46) are to continue to use the Standard Statements for those offenses, as revised effective February 1, 2001. Please note, however, that the content of the Standard Statements cannot be altered or changed in any manner, and cannot be translated to any other language."
If the police officer reads an out dated statement, or does not read the statement "word for word", the refusal must be dismissed. The Appellate Division in State v Kayes reversed the Refusal where officer read outdated statement. State v. Kayes (App. Div. decided October 19, 2004). A-759-03T3, unreported

Convictions for refusing to submit to chemical tests and indecent exposure by urinating in public reversed; because the police officer read an outdated standardized refusal statement to the defendant, his conviction for refusing to submit to a chemical test was reversed; the officer's failure to sign the complaint did not require the dismissal of the urinating in public charge because the statute of limitations under the ordinance was one year and because the direction of the Municipal Court to the officer to sign the complaint cured the defect within the limitations period; however, the State failed to satisfy its burden of establishing indecent exposure or an act in a public place within the meaning of the ordinance where the defendant did not expose himself to anyone other than a consenting passenger in his car and where he had taken precautions to ensure that he would not be seen by pulling several feet off the road into a dark parking lot and by standing behind his car. Source: NJ Facts-on-Call Order No. 17186.

In 2001, the Attorney General previously issued a "Revised DMV Standard (Refusal) Statements". The Attorney General's Office wrote:

"In accordance with an amendment to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a (P.L. 1999, c.185, §5) and to conform to a recommendation of the Supreme Court in State v. Widmaier, 157 N.J. 475, 498-499 (1999), the Standard Statements (commonly referred to as the "Refusal" statement), which must be read to every person arrested for a DWI violation under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, or for a DWI in a commercial motor vehicle violation under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13, have been revised. These revisions, as adopted by the Acting Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, will become effective .........
By law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2(e); N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.24e), a standard statement prepared by the Director of DMV is required to be read to every person arrested by the police, based upon the officer's reasonable suspicion to believe that the person may have been operating a vehicle (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) or a commercial motor vehicle (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13) while under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration at, or above, the per se level.
In State v. Widmaier, the Supreme Court recommended that the language of the supplemental or additional paragraph of the standard statement be simplified and clarified. Subsequent to that opinion, the Legislature adopted a substantive change in the penalties to be imposed by a court for a DWI refusal upon a finding that a defendant refused to submit to breath testing, in an amendment to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a.2 As a result of these two independent actions, a comprehensive review all of the standard statements in use in this State was undertaken, and as a result, revisions were proposed and adopted for each one. Effective Thursday, February 1, 2001, all law enforcement officers in this State who place a person under arrest for a DWI violation (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) or for a DWI in a commercial motor vehicle (CDL/DWI) violation (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13) are required to use the attached revised Standard Statement applicable to the offense charged. All preceding Standard (Refusal) Statements will no longer be valid after that date. Since these revisions do not become effective until Thursday, February 1, 2001, each law enforcement agency will have sufficient time to arrange for the reproduction and distribution of the new statements to all personnel and stations. Please note, however, that the content of the attached Standard Statements cannot be altered or changed in any manner, and cannot be translated to any other language. "

In April, 2004, the Standard Statement was revised.


Driving Under Influence and other Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court, or receive points on your driver's license. A conviction will require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. MVC [Division of Motor Vehicles] and have your license suspended. In New Jersey, the Judge does not have to rule that you were drunk. The prosecutor only needs to prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol. Don't give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen offers information and can provide experienced attorney representation for Driving Under Influence and other Motor vehicle violations.
When your driver's license is in jeopardy, or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Please schedule an appointment if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter. Our website provides information on traffic offenses of which we can be retained to represent people. Our website also provides details on jail terms for Driving Under Influence and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.
If charged with a serious motor vehicle violation, such as Driving While Intoxicated, immediately schedule an in-office appointment with a trial attorney. Don't rely on a real estate attorney, public defender or a family member who simply attended law school. When your driving privileges and ability to drive to work is on the line, hire an experienced attorney.

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030

In his private practice, he has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He appears in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on many personal injury matters, Criminal and Municipal/ traffic Court trials, Probate hearings, and contested administrative law hearings.

Mr. Vercammen served as the Prosecutor for the Township of Cranbury, Middlesex County and was involved in trials on a weekly basis. He also argued all pre-trial motions and post-trial applications on behalf of the State of New Jersey.

He has also served as a Special Acting Prosecutor in Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, Berkeley Heights, Carteret, East Brunswick, Jamesburg, South Brunswick, South River and South Plainfield for conflict cases. Since 1989, he has personally handled hundreds of criminal and motor vehicle matters as a Prosecutor and now as defense counsel and has had substantial success.

Previously, Mr. Vercammen was Public Defender for the Township of Edison and Borough of Metuchen and a Designated Counsel for the Middlesex County Public Defender's Office. He represented indigent individuals facing consequences of magnitude. He was in Court trying cases and making motions in difficult criminal and DWI matters. Every case he personally handled and prepared.

His resume sets forth the numerous bar associations and activities which demonstrate his commitment to the legal profession and providing quality representation to clients.

Since 1985, his primary concentration has been on litigation matters. Mr. Vercammen gained other legal experiences as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Court of Appeals of Maryland (Supreme Court) with the Delaware County, PA District Attorney Office handling Probable Cause Hearings, Middlesex County Probation Department as a Probation Officer, and an Executive Assistant to Scranton District Magistrate, Thomas Hart, in Scranton, PA.

Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea

1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)

2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:

a. You will have a criminal record

b. You may go to Jail or Prison.

c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.

3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.

4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.

5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.

6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.

7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.

8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3

9. You could be put on Probation.

10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.

11. You may be required to do Community Service.

12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.

13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.

14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.

15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1

16. You may lose your right to vote.

The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:

If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.

NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500