It’s a stressful place to be when you’re facing the possibility of a third conviction for DUI. You know that the possible penalties are going to be more serious than you’ve dealt with before and the impact is going to be far-reaching. Your career, driving license, relationships and even your liberty are all on the line.
If you’ve found yourself in this position and are worried about what’s coming next, the best thing you can do is to be aware of the possible penalties so you can know what steps to take.
Mandatory jail time for a third DUI offense
The penalties for DUI in New Jersey are severe and get progressively more onerous as the number of infractions increase. This takes into account the seriousness of repeating the offense.
For a third DUI offense in NJ, the penalties include a minimum $1000 fine, a ten-year period of driving license suspension and mandatory jail time of not less than 180 days in the county jail.
What are the options for serving this jail time?
In some states and for certain offenses, there’s the option to hand yourself in at weekends to serve your time in jail. For a third DUI, this, unfortunately, isn’t an option. It has to be served as “straight time” which means 180 days consecutively.
There is an opportunity to reduce this amount by half if you enroll in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. This has to be approved by the court to count towards jail time served.
The only way to avoid going to jail for a third DUI offense is to make a strong defense and potentially have your case dismissed. It’s critical that you get legal assistance as soon as you can given the potential repercussions of a third DUI conviction. It’s the best approach to guarantee that your case is presented before the judge in a way that highlights all of the mitigating evidence.