How Does a Previous DWI Conviction Influence a New Case?

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The New Jersey criminal court hopes that you learn your lesson after your first offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI). So if you are found guilty of subsequent offenses, the court may penalize you more severely. Follow along to find out how a previous DWI conviction may influence your current case and how a proficient Gloucester County DWI lawyer at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can fight on your behalf.

How might a previous DWI conviction influence a new DWI case?

Importantly, in your case proceedings, the New Jersey criminal court will conduct a background check on you. More specifically, it will uncover whether you have an existing criminal record that details previous interactions with law enforcement and instances in which you were a defendant in court proceedings.

Ultimately, if the court finds that you had a previous DWI conviction within 10 years of your new DWI case, then you may be facing harsher penalties. That is, you may be charged with a felony. With all that being said, the potential consequences for subsequent DWI offenses are as follows:

  • A second-offense DWI conviction within 10 years of your previous conviction:
    • Incarceration for up to 90 days.
    • A fine of anywhere between $500 to $1,000.
    • A suspended driver’s license for up to two years.
    • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.
    • Mandatory attendance at the New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) for anywhere between 12 to 48 hours.
    • A payment to the Drunk Driving Fund of up to $100.
    • A payment to the Neighborhood Services Fund of up to $75.
  • A third-offense DWI conviction within 10 years of your previous conviction:
    • Incarceration for up to 180 days.
    • A fine of up to $1,000.
    • A suspended driver’s license for up to 10 years.
    • A surcharge of up to $1,500 per year for three years.
    • Mandatory installation of an IID in your vehicle.
    • Mandatory attendance at the New Jersey IDRC for anywhere between 12 to 48 hours.
    • A payment to the Drunk Driving Fund of up to $100.
    • A payment to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund of up to $100.
    • A payment to the Neighborhood Services Fund of up to $75.

What other factors might influence a DWI charge?

Nonetheless, other external factors may enhance or aggravate the DWI charge placed against you. Examples are as follows:

  • You have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.15 percent or higher at the time of your stop: your DWI charge may enhance to a felony charge.
  • You get involved in a drunk driving accident that results in great bodily harm: your DWI charge may enhance to a felony charge.
  • You get involved in a drunk driving accident that results in death: your DWI charge may come with an additional first-degree manslaughter charge.
  • You have a minor child in the car at the time of your stop: your DWI charge may come with an additional felony charge of child endangerment.

You must tackle your defense strategy as soon as possible. So call one of the experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyers from The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. today.

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