South Jersey DWI/DUI Lawyer
Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights for Clients Arrested on DWI/DUI Charges in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout NJ
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) are relentlessly prosecuted criminal offenses in Cherry Hill and elsewhere in New Jersey. A conviction can limit your freedom by preventing you from getting work or finding housing in the future—more serious DWI/DUI charges can even result in jail time and substantial monetary penalties. If you or a loved one are facing DWI/DUI charges, it is critical that you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest. Our experienced and reliable Cherry Hill DWI/DUI lawyer will leave no stone unturned in analyzing every available piece of evidence in your case to formulate the most compelling possible defense strategy on your behalf.
At Gelman Law, LLC, we understand that good people can sometimes find themselves facing difficult circumstances. Complicated moments in life can result in a bad decision or misunderstanding. Our law firm believes that your DWI/DUI charge should not define who you are or impact your life far into the future. Regardless of the details of your arrest, our experienced team will formulate and administer the strongest possible defense strategy in your case.
New Jersey DWI/DUI Charges Carry Significant Penalties
Many clients who have been arrested on DWI/DUI charges in New Jersey are uncertain as to whether the DWI/DUI is actually a criminal offense. While the charge is technically a traffic violation in most situations, penalties remain extremely severe if you are convicted of any DWI charge. However, if your alleged offense caused injury, wrongful death or other damage, then you may face criminal charges.
DWI/DUI charges that are prosecuted on a criminal scale may fall into one of several different categories in the New Jersey judicial system’s various degrees of crime. Under New Jersey law, crimes are classified as indictable offenses ranging from first-degree to fourth-degree. When a DWI/DUI is prosecuted as a criminal offense, the penalties for the varying degrees of crime include:
- First Degree: 10 to 20 years in prison. These criminal charges almost always involve lengthy litigation. You may face a first-degree criminal charge if your DWI/DUI resulted in manslaughter.
- Second Degree: Five to 10 years in prison. If you are also charged with drug possession when you are arrested on DWI/DUI charges, then you may be charged with a second-degree crime.
- Third-Degree: Three to five years in prison. Third-degree crimes are similar to second-degree crimes but with less severe penalties. The prosecution may charge you with a third-degree offense if you have been arrested for multiple DWI/DUI charges in the past.
- Fourth-Degree: Maximum of 18 months in prison. You may face fourth-degree criminal charges for your first or second DWI arrest in certain circumstances.
When no extenuating circumstances are present, the penalties for DWI/DUI vary depending upon whether you have any prior DWI/DUI convictions within the prior ten-year period and your blood alcohol content (BAC). Substantial monetary fines, license suspension, participation in mandatory alcohol classes and installation of an ignition interlock device are all common penalties in DWI/DUI cases.
If you are facing DWI/DUI charges in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey, it is important that you contact an experienced DWI/DUI lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest. A skilled DWI/DUI lawyer will both explain your options with respect to potential defense strategies and will protect your legal rights, such as by challenging the prosecution’s evidence in your case. In some cases, your lawyer may even be able to negotiate reduced charges or an outright dismissal in your case.
You may be facing multiple charges at once including drug charges, weapons charges, driving while suspended and other alcohol related charges. We are able to help you with any and all charges you are facing.
Gelman Law, LLC Tenaciously Advocates to Protect Clients’ Rights in Camden County DWI Cases
If you have been arrested on DWI/DUI charges, it is important to remember that the prosecution is not automatically entitled to establish guilt based on the Alcotest results alone—you have important constitutional rights that must be respected. Importantly, you have the right to construct a legal defense that challenges any potential violations of those rights. Even if the simplest path seems to point you toward accepting a public defender, it is important to remember that public defenders simply do not have the time or dedication of a focused DWI/DUI lawyer. Our skilled DWI/DUI defense team will put all of their substantial resources to work in your case, and may also be able to negotiate with the prosecution to obtain a probationary sentence.
Call our Experienced DWI/DUI Lawyers for a Confidential Consultation Today
Do you have concerns about the fairness of your field sobriety test? Has law enforcement pressured you into believing you are already guilty? Do you feel overwhelmed and confused with how to protect your best interests? Unfortunately, DWI/DUI charges are common in Cherry Hill and throughout New Jersey. At Gelman Law, LLC, we have the resources and experience necessary to protect your rights. We will analyze every available piece of evidence and call on experts to defend you when you are most vulnerable, so call or contact our office today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About DWI/DUI Charges in New Jersey
FAQ: What are the penalties for a first offense DWI/DUI charges in New Jersey?
If you have never been convicted of DWI/DUI charges and no extenuating circumstances apply to elevate the arrest to a criminal charge, the maximum penalties for a first-time conviction include up to 30 days jail time, $250-$500 in fines, a minimum 3 month license suspension and maximum one-year license suspension, and approximately $500 in additional fines and fees—including mandatory contributions to the state’s drunk driving enforcement fund—and a $1,000 annual car insurance surcharge will apply for three years. The court may also order the installation of an ignition interlock device in some cases. The level of punishment will depend upon your blood alcohol content—BAC between 0.08 percent and 0.10 percent generates lesser penalties. The most common way BAC test is the breath test and many cases involve breath test refusal. For example, when your BAC exceeds 0.10 percent, the minimum license suspension term increases to seven months.
FAQ: If convicted, do I have to serve jail time for a first offense DWI/DUI charge in NJ?
No. While the court has authority to impose up to 30 days’ jail time for a first offender, there is no requirement that the court do so, aside from the initial time that you will spend in jail immediately following your arrest.
FAQ: What Are My Rights After a Failed Sobriety Test in NJ?
Criminal defendants have constitutional rights. Regardless whether or not you believe you are guilty, you still have the right to a good defense. While it may seem easy to accept a public defender, it can make things more difficult down the road. Public defenders simply do not have the time that a focused DWI law firm has to devote to your case. Our resources include a team of professionals who can examine your case from multiple disciplines. We fight as hard as possible because we genuinely care about you having a successful defense.
If you took a roadside sobriety test such as a breathalyzer, then you may have concerns and questions about your rights. Law enforcement may pressure you to believe that a failed sobriety test is an admission of guilt. However, field sobriety tests are unreliable. Some forms of testing, such as doing a one leg stand, are inaccurate over a third of the time. Furthermore, blood, urine and breath tests can be challenged by establishing a violation of fourth amendment rights.
FAQ: Is DWI a Criminal Charge in New Jersey?
Penalties are severe if you are convicted of a DWI charge. Adding to the confusion, the New Jersey judicial system defines varying degrees of crime. Crimes are listed as indictable offenses from first to fourth degree. If you have no prior criminal history, you may be able to use a pre-trial intervention program to avoid a criminal charge. You may also be able to have a probationary sentence. In some situations, a DWI charge is not a criminal offense but a traffic violation. However, if your alleged offense caused injury, wrongful death or other damage, then you may face criminal charges.