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First Offense DWI

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First Offense DWI Lawyer Hopewell Township, NJ

New Jersey Drug Crime Lawyer Defends Clients Arrested for First Offense DWI in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Burlington County, NJ

A Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrest can leave you feeling shaken, embarrassed, and worried about losing your license and other potential penalties. In New Jersey, the penalties for a DWI arrest are designed to be severe in order to deter individuals from getting behind the wheel after drinking—and the penalties increase with each subsequent offense and based on the level of alcohol found in your breath alcohol reading. Although first offense DWIs in Robbinsville, Princeton, West Windsor, and everywhere else in NJ carry relatively low-level penalties compared to second and third DWI offenses, the penalties can still have a substantial impact on your life, in terms of monetary fines, embarrassment, and even jail.

At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, New Jersey, I have years of experience navigating first offense DWI cases. I will analyze the prosecution’s evidence to uncover any possible errors or omissions in the administration of the state’s Alcotest, or any irregularities in the arrest itself. If there is no basis that could allow the DWI case to be dismissed, I will fight for reduced suspension time and penalties. You may feel that no possible defenses to your DWI charge exist, but as an experienced Hopewell Township first offense DWI attorney, I understand that there are many potential defense avenues to a first offense DWI charge. Contact my Hamilton office at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free consultation today.

First Offense DWI Penalties in Hamilton & Trenton, NJ

In New Jersey, the penalties for a first offense DWI are often determined based upon the reading obtained during a breathalyzer test. New Jersey uses the Alcotest breathalyzer. When an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) reading on the Alcotest exceeds 0.08%, he or she can be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). When the individual’s BAC is between 0.08% and 0.10%, the first offense DWI can be punished in Mercer County by:

  • A fine of between $250 and $400.
  • 12 to 48 hours spent taking alcohol-related classes at New Jersey’s Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IRDC).
  • Loss of driving privileges for three months.
  • Up to 30 days of jail time.
  • A potential Ignition Interlock requirement for between six (6) and twelve (12) months.
  • Additional miscellaneous fees in excess of $500.
  • A motor vehicle (insurance) surcharge of $3,000, payable in installments of $1,000 per year.

In addition to the penalties outlined above, under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, when the individual’s BAC is above 0.10%, the punishment for a first offense DWI increases as follows:

  • Driver’s license may be suspended for between seven (7) and twelve (12) months.
  • The fine increases to between $300 and $500.
  • The Ignition Interlock requirement becomes mandatory for six (6) to twelve (12) months if the individual’s BAC is greater than 0.15%.

An Ignition Interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer that is installed in the individual’s car. The driver will be required to blow into the device in order to start the vehicle, and if his or her BAC exceeds 0.08%, the car will not start. If the Ignition Interlock device requirement is imposed, the individual is not permitted to drive any other car during the time the device is required.

Why Choose Attorney Lauren Scardella to Defend Your First Offense DWI Case in West Windsor, NJ?

I have a reputation for successfully defending DWI clients in Robbinsville, East Windsor, Princeton, Lawrence, and across New Jersey. I have effectively obtained reduced charges, lower penalties, and outright dismissals in hundreds of different drunk driving cases. I will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your DWI or DUI arrest, as well as any criminal history that could impact the prosecution’s willingness to provide leniency, in order to determine how to best proceed with your case. In many DWI cases, it may be possible to challenge the Alcotest reading or have it suppressed on procedural grounds. This can reduce a second-tier DWI case to a first-tier offense to minimize suspension time and fines. Other possible defenses to a first offense DUI charge include:

  • Insufficient breath sample, meaning that the defendant was unable to breathe into the machine for the requisite period of time.
  • Improper handling of evidence.
  • Improper documentation.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with East Windsor First Offense DWI Attorney Lauren E. Scardella

A DWI offense is not actually a criminal offense in New Jersey—it is treated as a traffic offense, albeit the most serious traffic offense. Despite this, the penalties can be harsh, and the “lookback” period for determining whether a subsequent DWI offense is a first or second offense is ten (10) years. Retaining the assistance of an experienced DWI attorney can significantly reduce the punishment that you may be facing for your drunk driving charge. Contact my Hamilton office today at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your DWI or DUI case, or fill out this online form. My office is conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619. I accept all major credit cards.

Frequently Asked Questions About First Offense DWI Charges in New Jersey

Will I have to go to jail following a first offense DWI conviction?

Jail time after a first offense DWI is rare, but it is still possible. The judge has the authority to require up to 30 days in jail. Typically, however, jail time will only be imposed if drugs were involved (in which case, additional charges may also be brought against you), if you are unable to satisfy the DWI penalties, or if the DWI involved a drunk driving accident that resulted in criminal charges. Jail time is required for a third or subsequent DWI offense.

What happens if I drive while my license is suspended following my DWI?

The penalties for driving with a license that has been suspended because of a DWI can be harsh. The monetary fine is $500, and ten (10) to 90 days of jail time can be required. Further, your license can be suspended for up to two (2) additional years and your car registration can be revoked. If someone is hurt while you are driving with a suspended license, 45 days of jail time becomes mandatory.

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