What to Expect When You’ve Been Charged with a DWI in New Jersey
In New Jersey, as in most states, if you are pulled over by police and a blood alcohol test is administered, you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher. You don’t need to be on the road, and can even be booked for DWI if you get behind the wheel and attempt to engage the ignition. If you are detained and charged, you will be required to appear at a Municipal Court Hearing where if convicted could result in severe penalties to you and your driving privileges will be suspended.
The Legal Sanctions for Driving While Intoxicated
If you plead or are convicted of a DWI in New Jersey, you may face fines, incarceration and a number of other penalties. As a general rule, though, the severity of the sentence is based on the number of times you’ve been convicted. If you avoid conviction for a period of ten years, your sentence may be reduced.
- First offenders—If you’ve never been convicted before, you’ll face a maximum of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $400 ($500, if your BAC is .10 or higher), and the loss of your driving privileges for 90 days (seven months, though, if your BAC is .10 or higher). You won’t be required to perform community service, but you will have to enroll in a IDRC program.
- Second offenders—If it’s your first repeat offense, you can spend up to 90 days in jail. The fines may be as much as $1,000 and you can lose your license for up to two years. The court can order 30 days of community service and you’ll need to complete the IDRC program.
- Third and all subsequent convictions—The court can sentence you to 180 days of incarceration, take away your license for up to 10 years and fine you $1,000. You can be required to perform up to 90 days of community service, but it will offset any jail time. You must complete the DWI program, too.
Contact the Law Offices of Howard N. Sobel
Protect your rights when you’ve been charged with drinking and driving in New Jersey. For professional and knowledgeable legal counsel with a personal touch, contact our office by e-mail or call us at 856-424-6400 to see if you qualify for a free initial consultation (on selected cases). We are available evenings and weekends upon request.
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