New Jersey DWI Penalties
Possible Consequences of Getting a DUI
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey, you could be facing a license suspension, possible jail time, an ignition interlock requirement, fines and other serious penalties, even if you have a good driving record. Depending on the facts of your case, you may even be subject to a potential jail sentence.
If you are looking for a lawyer to defend you against New Jersey DWI penalties, don’t hesitate to contact me, attorney John W. Tumelty, for a free consultation. I have 30 years of experience in criminal and DWI law. I am a former deputy attorney general with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and former assistant prosecutor with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. I am a New Jersey Supreme Court-certified criminal trial attorney. I represent clients who have been charged with DWI/DUI throughout South Jersey, from Atlantic City to Cape May.
Understanding the Potential Consequences of a DWI Conviction
New Jersey takes drunk driving very seriously. Over the years, many penalties have been put in place for people convicted of DWI, and many of them have been made mandatory. The following are the major penalties you are facing if you have been charged with DWI:
- Driver’s license suspension: Everyone convicted of DWI in New Jersey will have his or her driver’s license suspended for anywhere from three months to 10 years. The length of a license suspension depends on your driving record and if you have prior DUI convictions.
- Prison: If you are convicted of DWI for the first time, the judge will have the discretion to send you to jail for up to 30 days. For a second offense, a jail term of at least two days and up to 90 days is mandatory. A third offense carries a 180-day sentence.
- Community service: In addition to a jail sentence, you can also be sentenced to community service for a second, third or subsequent DWI conviction.
- Alcohol classes: Anyone convicted of DWI must attend between 12 and 48 hours of Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) classes at the judge’s discretion.
- Fines: The fines, fees and surcharges associated with a DWI conviction and the accompanying driver’s license consequences can range from $3,755 to $6,055.
- Ignition interlock requirement: An ignition interlock requirement is mandatory if your blood alcohol level is .15 percent or higher or if you are looking at a second or subsequent offense. This means that you may have to have a device installed on your vehicle once your driving privileges are reinstated.
If you are arrested in a school zone, some or all of these penalties can be doubled. While DWI is not considered a criminal offense in New Jersey, it can still leave a major mark on your driving record, potentially causing your insurance rates to increase dramatically.
As your lawyer, I will carefully evaluate your opportunities for avoiding these penalties. Depending on the facts of your case, you may have defenses against the charges, or it may be possible to get them reduced to a lesser offense like reckless driving. Contact me today at 609-390-4600 to discuss your options.