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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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DUI penalties in New Jersey dependent on prior offenses and BAC

In New Jersey, not all driving under the influence convictions are treated equally. In fact, the amount of time a license will be suspended for and how long a person can end up in jail for greatly depends on the driver’s blood alcohol content and if there have been prior DUI offenses.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission publishes a brochure that looks at the consequences for DUIs in the state.

According to this brochure, which can be found online, with a first offense DUI where a driver’s blood alcohol content, or BAC, is less than 0.08 percent, a driver can expect three months of a suspended license and a fine between $200 and $400. The driver also faces a maximum of 30 days in jail and must complete between 12 and 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.

However, even if a conviction is someone’s first DUI offense, the penalties are higher if the driver’s BAC was 0.10 percent or higher. If this is the case, the license suspension can be between seven months and one year and the fine between $300 and $500. The number of hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and the maximum jail time stay the same.

From here though, the penalties just go up. According to the commission, for a second offense the driver’s license is suspended for two years, while a third offense will result in a three year suspension. The cost of the fines and the maximum jail terms also increase with second and third DUI offenses.

Outside of a driver’s BAC and prior offenses, a DUI in a school zone or school crossing also increases the penalties.

Source: New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, “NJ Facts driving under the influence (DUI) + point system,” accessed on Nov. 7, 2013

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