DWI Defense in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey takes drunk driving charges very seriously. Being caught Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a very major charge. In New Jersey, a driver can be found guilty of a DWI if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08%. An individual’s BAC can be determined by administering a Breathalyzer or Alcotest. Receiving a DWI charge may result in devastating fines and possible jail time. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to seek legal counsel to represent your defense.

First Offense DWI

For drivers with a BAC over 0.08% but under 0.10%, those penalties may include:

  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Loss of license for 3 months
  • A $1000 fine per year for 3 years
  • A $250-$400 fee
  • A $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund fee
  • A $100 Drunk Driving Fund Fee
  • A $75 Neighborhood Services Fund Fee
  • 12-48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center

Second Offense DWI

If an individual is caught driving while under the influence for a second time, there are a different set of consequences than they were the first time. This may include:

  • Possible 90 days in jail
  • Loss of license for 2 years
  • A $500-$1000 fee
  • A $100 Drunk Driving Fund Fee
  • A $75 Neighborhood Services Fund Fee
  • 12-48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

Third Offense DWI

When an individual is charged with their third DWI within 10 years of their first charge, they are subject to more severe penalties. This may involve:

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of license for 10 years
  • A $1500 yearly surcharge for 3 years
  • A $1000 fine
  • A $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund fee
  • A $100 Drunk Driving Fund Fee
  • A $75 Neighborhood Services Fund Fee
  • 12-48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device

Challenging a DWI

In any DWI case, whether it may be your first or third charge, it is important to have a strong attorney to help defend you. When challenging your charges, legal counsel can look into the following situations:

  • Illegal Stops: According to the United States and New Jersey Constitution, a law enforcement officer must have a valid reason to pull a driver over on the road. If there was not a valid reason, any evidence from the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court.
  • 20-Minute Rule: When an individual is pulled over, an officer must conduct an assessment of the driver’s condition. In New Jersey, the assessment must be at least 20 minutes before administering a breath test. If the protocol was not followed, it is possible for charges to be dismissed
  • Field Sobriety Tests: Drivers are often asked to conduct a series of tests to determine their level of intoxication through motor skills and balance. In order for these tests results to be used in court, an officer must follow certain guidelines. This includes reading the instructions before the test, demonstrating the test, allowing drivers to remove high heels, and recognizing any health issues that may prevent the driver from passing the test.

Contact our Firm

If you have been pulled over for a DWI and wish to speak with an attorney about challenging your case, contact the Law Offices of Kevin T. Conway today.

 

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