DWI Charges in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey takes driving while intoxicated (DWI) very seriously and is working hard to prevent it. A driver in the state can be found guilty of a DWI if they are found with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08%. The legal limit changes if a driver is below the age of 21. In order to determine a driver’s BAC, a law enforcement officer may administer a Breathalyzer of Alcotest. Penalties for being charged with a DWI may vary from devastating fines to the possibility of jail time. It is important to seek experienced legal representation if you have been charged with a DWI.

First Offense DWI

When a driver is pulled over for a DWI for the first time, there are many consequences the driver may face. For drivers with a BAC over 0.08% but under 0.10%, penalties may include:

  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Loss of license for 3 months
  • A $1000 yearly surcharge 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 a driver is found driving under the influence for a second time, there are a different set of penalties. These may consist of:

  • Possible 90 days in jail
  • Loss of license for 2 years
  • A $1000 yearly surcharge for 3 years
  • A $500-$1000 fee
  • A $100 Drunk Driving Fund Fee
  • A $75 Neighborhood Services Fund Fee
  • A $100 Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund fee
  • 12-48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center

Third Offense DWI

Drivers who are charged with their third DUI within 10 years of their first charge are subject to much more severe consequences. This may include:

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • License suspension 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

Challenging a DWI

Whether you are facing your first or third DWI charge, it is important to be guided by strong legal counsel for your case. When facing a DWI charge, your attorney can consider the following:

  • Illegal Stops: Officers are required to have a valid reason for pulling over a driver. If there was not, evidence from the stop may be thrown out in court.
  • 20-Minute Rule: Officers must conduct an assessment of the driver’s condition. This assessment must be at least 20 minutes. If it was not, it is possible for charges to be dismissed.
  • Field Sobriety Tests: Officers often administer a series of tests to determine a driver’s level of intoxication. They are required to follow certain guidelines: 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 you case, contact The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. today.

The dedicated and compassionate attorneys at Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. would be happy to provide you with assistance in your case and help you protect your future when so much is on the line. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so we can assess the specific circumstances surrounding your lawsuit.