Differences In DWI And DUI Charges In New Jersey
Consequences of a DUI in New Jersey
New Jersey law does not differentiate between a DUI (driving under the influence) for drugs and a DWI (driving while intoxicated) for alcohol. Both are against the law and are subject to punishment. However, every case is different based on the specific circumstances, and therefore the possible punishment for a conviction can vary. You can lose your license, pay fines, be required to perform community service, even serve time in jail. Here is a rundown of how DWI and DUI laws work in New Jersey, and what the possible punishments are.
How DUI/DWI Punishment Works
The possible punishments for a DUI/DWI conviction usually depends on two things: the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and whether or not they have any past convictions for the same charge. The legal BAC threshold in New Jersey is .08%. New Jersey law also differentiates between a lower BAC and a higher one for charging and punishment purposes, if your BAC is between .08% and .10%, the possible punishment will be lesser. If it is above .10%, you can expect harsher punishment.
First Time Convictions
New Jersey law enforcement takes drunk driving very seriously, and even a first timer can expect significant punishment for a conviction. You can expect to pay significant fines and expect to lose driving privileges for at least three months, with those having a higher BAC receiving more for both. You might also be required to take alcohol rehabilitation classes, perform community service, or even serve a short sentence in jail depending on the circumstances. There are also non-legal consequences that should be considered, as well. A DUI/DWI conviction on your record could mean that you will have to pay a lot more for car insurance, and it could affect your ability to qualify for certain jobs.
Subsequent DUI/DWI convictions receive even harsher punishment. If you receive another within ten years of your first conviction, you can expect to spend months in jail, pay large amounts in fines, lose driving privileges for several years, amongst many other penalties. Ignition interlock devices are commonly used tools for repeat offenders. This is a device that forces you to provide a breath sample in order to start your vehicle. If the device detects alcohol, your vehicle will not be operable. The vast amounts of money that a repeat offender has to spend to take mandated classes, pay fines, pay attorney’s fees, and other associated costs quickly add up, and you can spend thousands of dollars getting your life back to normal. The law makes it so costly for drunk drivers to deter them from getting behind the wheel and causing harm. After all, when you drink and drive, you are much more likely to get into an accident.
Talk To A Lawyer
If you are arrested for DUI/DWI, you need to contact a knowledgeable attorney to see if they can be successfully contested. The possible consequences for a conviction are serious, so having an attorney take a look at your case can make all the difference. Understanding field sobriety testing strategies can allow a criminal defense lawyer to identify any errors in an arrest and possibly get your charges dismissed.
Contact An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges In NJ Today
Were you arrested or charged with a crime in NJ? 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. David Gelman, of Gelman Law, LLC has successfully represented clients in criminal matters throughout New Jersey. Call us at 856-861-4236 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 1940 Rt. 70 East, Suite 4, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.
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.