Drunk driving is a serious crime. If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, or DWI (used interchangeably with driving under the influence, or DUI) in New Jersey, you face a number of penalties. These penalties include jail time, large fines, a suspended license, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. If you are convicted of aggravated DWI, the penalties are even more serious.
What is aggravated DWI?
There are certain factors that elevate a standard driving while intoxicated charge to an aggravated driving while intoxicated charge. These factors include:
- The driver’s blood alcohol concentration was greater than 0.15 percent
- The driver also committed another traffic-related crime at the time of the offense (for example, reckless driving)
- A passenger or other individual was killed as a result of an accident
- The driver has previously been convicted of driving while intoxicated
- The driver would not blow into the Breathalyzer at the scene
- A minor child was present at the time of the DWI
- The driver caused an accident
- The driver traveled through a school zone or school crossing while intoxicated
These aggravating factors generally result in harsher penalties.
The penalties for aggravated DWI
The penalties for aggravated DWI may include any of the following:
- A jail sentence of up to 30 days
- Losing one’s driver’s license for a period of between seven months and one year
- A fine ranging between $300 to $500
- Completing twelve to forty-eight hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
- If the driver’s blood alcohol content is in excess of 0.15 percent, an ignition interlock deice must be installed in the driver’s vehicle.
Depending on the severity of the incident, additional charges and penalties may be possible.
How does an attorney help me with a DWI charge?
New Jersey’s drunk driving laws are harsh, and many drivers charged with DWI believe that they are stuck with a specific punishment. However, this is not always the case. There are many different factors that influence the decisions a prosecutor and a judge make when it comes to sentencing a defendant, whether in a guilty plea or after a trial. Additionally, there have been many cases in which a prosecutor reduces or dismisses charges after discussing the case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. For example, an attorney may discover that the police officer tampered with evidence or did not administer the Breathalyzer properly. Perhaps the officer had no reason to stop the driver in the first place. Criminal defense attorneys often prevent their clients from having serious charges on their records.
If you have been charged with aggravated DWI in New Jersey, contact our attorneys today
At Lomurro Law, our attorneys are experienced in all types of drunk driving claims, including serious ones that have resulted in death. To schedule your free consultation and learn about your legal options, call 732-482-9285 or contact us online.