Being placed under arrest for a DWI is a serious matter that can affect almost every aspect of your life. You could lose your license, face incarceration and be forced to pay fines. However, the circumstances of your arrest and prior criminal history could be taken into account during sentencing. There could be aggravating factors that may lead to harsher penalties. Aggravating factors that could be considered include:
- Multiple DWIs: Repeat DWI offenders face harsh consequences in New Jersey. If this is your second DWI, then you could lose your license for two or more years and be incarcerated for 48 hours to 90 days. Once your license is restored, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device. The consequences for additional offenses are even more severe.
- Your BAC is .10% or more: If you are arrested for your first DWI and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is greater than .10%, then the penalties could increase. With a BAC of .10% or more, you could be incarcerated for up to 30 days and may lose your license for seven months to one year. In addition, if your BAC is .15% or greater, then you could be required to use an ignition interlock device for six months to one year after your license is restored.
- People were injured or killed: If you caused an injury or death because you drove under the influence, you could face additional charges. You may also face more severe penalties if you put others at risk of injury or death.
- You were not cooperative with police: The court could consider disrespect towards the police to be an aggravating factor during sentencing. Were you cooperative with police or did you resist arrest? This is an example that may be considered by the judge.
Do I Need a New Jersey DWI Attorney?
In New Jersey, a DWI is treated as a traffic offense and not a criminal offense. This means that unless you were arrested with additional criminal charges charges, then you do not have the right to a jury trial. However, you still have the right to legal defense.
You should always speak to a DWI attorney following an arrest. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for your attorney to seek a reduction in penalties due to mitigating factors with your case. There may also be technicalities that could factor into reducing the charges. If you were arrested for a DWI in New Jersey, then Gelman Law, LLC could inform you of your rights and possible options for reducing the penalties.