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What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2019 | DUI |

All 50 states take drunk driving very seriously, and New Jersey has especially harsh penalties for this behavior. Though many individuals use the terms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) interchangeably, in New Jersey, drunk driving penalties are listed under “driving while intoxicated” statutes.

The penalties for driving while intoxicated vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the charge, as well as the driver’s history of past convictions for driving while intoxicated.

Generally, someone charged with DWI for the first time in New Jersey faces the following penalties.

  • Jail time of a period not to exceed 30 days
  • A fine ranging between $250 and $500
  • The suspension of one’s driver’s license for a period ranging between three months and one year
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device

The following penalties must also be paid:

  • A $100 state and municipality fee
  • A $100 intoxicated driver program fee
  • A $100 violent crimes compensation fee
  • A $100 motor restoration fee
  • A $100 surcharge as part of the drunk driving enforcement fund

Needless to say, a DWI charge may quickly become very expensive. A DWI may also lead to the loss of a job and a damaged reputation.

However, it is important to remember that the penalties for a DWI in New Jersey apply only if one pleads guilty or is convicted of the crime. Many drivers who are arrested for driving while intoxicated are never convicted—especially if they have hired an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.

How does my attorney help me avoid a conviction for DWI?

You may be surprised to learn that there are many defenses available in a DWI case. For example, were you asked to complete a field sobriety test? You may have valid reasons for failing the field sobriety test, if you did in fact fail it. For example, some individuals have trouble walking in a straight line because of physical limitations, such as back or knee issues.

Due to the presence of ketones, the breath of some diabetics may register a high alcohol content on the Breathalyzer test when, in fact, the driver is not under the influence of alcohol at all.

Additionally, police officers and other members of law enforcement must follow certain steps when stopping a driver suspected of drunk driving, conducting the traffic stop, and arresting the driver. If the law enforcement officer fails to follow the proper protocol while stopping or arresting a driver for driving while intoxicated, the charges may be reduced or even dismissed.

However, you do not have to worry about what defenses you may possibly raise in your case—that is your attorney’s job. But, to strengthen your case, you should schedule an appointment with a respected New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Let our skilled New Jersey DUI attorneys help you fight your drunk driving charge

At Lomurro Law, our New Jersey DUI attorneys work hard to pursue every defense possible to protect your driving privileges, freedom and your future. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, call 732-482-9285 or contact us online.