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DWI Penalties

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DWI Penalties in New Jersey | DWI Defense Lawyer East Windsor, NJ

What Are the Typical Sentences for First-Time and Multiple DWIs in New Jersey?

A first offense DWI in New Jersey is subject to the following fines and penalties:

  • For defendants with a BAC higher than 0.08% but less than 0.10%, or for any defendant who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol:
    • Mandatory 3 month license suspension;
    • $250 to $400 fine;
    • 12 to 48 hours in the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center (IDRC);
    • up to 30 days in jail
  • For defendants with a BAC of 0.10% or higher, or any defendant who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug:
    • Mandatory 7 to 12 month license suspension;
    • $300 to $500 fine;
    • 12 to 48 hours in IDRC;
    • up to 30 days in jail
  • For defendants with a BAC of 0.15% or higher:
    • All the same penalties as for 0.10% BAC, plus an Ignition Interlock Device installed on the defendant’s vehicle for the period of suspension and 6 to 12 months following license restoration

A second offense DWI in New Jersey is subject to the following fines and penalties:

  • Mandatory 2 year license suspension;
  • $500 to $1,000 fine;
  • Mandatory 30 days community service;
  • Mandatory 48 consecutive hours in IDRC;
  • Up to 90 days in jail;
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device for period of suspension and 1 to 3 years following license restoration.

A third or subsequent DWI offense in New Jersey is subject to the following fine and penalties:

  • Mandatory 180 days in jail, 90 of which may be served in an IDRC-approved inpatient rehabilitation program;
  • Mandatory 10 year license suspension;
  • Mandatory $1,000 fine;
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device during period of suspension and for 1 to 3 years following license restoration.

For all DWI and Refusal offenses, you will pay a $1,000 per year Insurance Surcharge to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for 3 years. This is regardless of whether you are a New Jersey resident or not. If you do not pay the surcharge or miss a surcharge payment, your license will be suspended automatically.

What Factors Will Enhance or Aggravate a DWI Charge?

If you have an accident in which someone is injured or dies and you are Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), you will be charged with the additional offense of Assault by Auto or Death by Auto. These are indictable offenses (which are akin to felonies in other states) and you may be sentenced to prison on any of them, regardless of how many prior offenses you have on your record.

If you are Driving While Intoxicated while you have a minor in the car, you can be charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child. That too is an indictable offense, which can carry prison time. You can further be charged with the disorderly persons offense of Driving Under the Influence with a Minor as a Passenger. A disorderly person offense is akin to a misdemeanor in other states.

If you do not stop for the police when they attempt to stop you and you are Driving While Intoxicated, you could be charged with Eluding, which is an indictable offense, which can also carry prison time.

There are many ways your DWI charge could be enhanced, so you should consult with and retain an experienced DWI attorney who will assist you in obtaining the best outcome for your charges.

What Are Some Alternative Punishments or Diversion Programs Available for First-Time DWI Offenders in New Jersey?

There are no alternative punishments for first DWI offenses in New Jersey. The penalties are mandatory and you cannot pay a higher fine, do community service or agree to a period of probation in order to avoid any of the mandatory penalties, including the license suspension.

Are Most People Surprised at the Collateral Consequences a DWI Conviction Can Have on Their Life?

Most people probably think that there are going to be more consequences to a DWI conviction than there really are. That is not to say that there are not many collateral consequences, because there can be. Your insurance premiums will absolutely increase. You’ll have to pay a Motor Vehicle Commission Surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 years. You will not be allowed to travel to Canada.

Those are just a few examples of actual collateral consequences. Many people worry that the DWI will be on their record, but when they say that they usually mean their criminal record, and since DWI is an only a traffic offense in New Jersey, it will not be on their criminal record. It will be on their driver’s abstract, and if they’re in a job that requires them to drive, having a DWI on their abstract could be a problem. If they have a professional license that could be impacted by having a DWI. They may have to report the DWI to your employer, depending on what your employee handbook says. By law, teachers must report when they are arrested for a DWI to the superintendent of the school district they work for. It is best to consult with an experienced East Windsor DWI defense attorney and address these issues with them so that you know best how to address the collateral consequences so they don’t become worse than they already are.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Trenton DWI Defense Attorney Today

Have you been charged with drunk driving in Mercer County or Burlington County, NJ? Then it is imperative that you speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyer immediately. The Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella can help you. Call (609) 587-1144 or fill out the online contact form. Our office is located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.

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