What Happens After You’re Charged with a DUI in NJ?
A drunk driving conviction is a serious charge that can stay on your record for years to come. If you want to remove the conviction from your record in New Jersey (known as expunging your record) you can expect to wait up to ten years before it can happen. There are also certain instances, such as multiple convictions and other circumstances, that can keep the conviction on your record for much longer. Here is a short guide to DWI/DUI convictions in New Jersey and what you need to know about them.
What Does A DWI Conviction Affect?
A DWI conviction is considered a traffic offense, and thus only shows up on a background check if someone is specifically searching for it. So, if someone does a general criminal conviction background check on you, a DWI will not automatically show up. A conviction, though, will permanently affect your driving record. If you are stopped for driving while intoxicated in another state, law enforcement officers from that state can search your driving record and see any previous convictions that you have in New Jersey. This could lead to an arrest in the other state and having to deal with multi-jurisdictional issues that would force you to hire an attorney.
Employment and DWIs
A DWI conviction could also negatively affect your ability to get a job. If you have a conviction on your record, you can expect that the majority of employers will not hire you for a job that involves driving a company vehicle. But what if you are applying for a job that does not involve driving? Do you need to disclose your DWI conviction? It depends. While a DWI is not considered a criminal conviction, if you are applying to a government agency or for a government-contracted, job you may need to disclose it. In these situations, it is best to contact an attorney to ask what the proper thing to do is.
If one DWI conviction on your record can cause problems, then more than one can be a real nightmare. Multiple convictions mean increased penalties. Additional DWIs come with mandatory minimum jail sentences. However, after the ten year period the clock essentially resets, and punishment may go back to a more lenient first-time offense punishment. While law enforcement can still see the DWI on your driving record, they cannot count it against you after ten years have passed.
Seek Legal Help!
Whether you are facing your first or fifth DWI, it is important to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney to explain possible punishment and expungement options. Jail and prison are a possibility with each DWI conviction, and prosecutors are not allowed to reduce mandated state charges. In addition, an individual accused of driving under the influence does not have the right to a jury trial under New Jersey law, which makes it all the more vital to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to navigate a tricky legal situation.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your DWI Charges Today!
Were you arrested or charged with a DWI in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Offices of Lauren Scardella have successfully represented clients charged with DUI in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Burlington County and throughout South Jersey. Call (609) 250-9761 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. The Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella is conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619, near the Five Points.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.