What Are The Penalties If I’m Convicted?
In New Jersey, a DWI/DUI conviction carries harsh penalties. The state has several laws specifically dedicated to drunk driving punishment. While the consequences depend on the facts of your specific situation, below is a list of possible penalties:
- Jail time. If you are convicted of DWI/DUI, jail is always a possibility. If the offense involved minors or commercial vehicles, or was an accident that caused serious injury, the chance of serving jail time greatly increases.
- Fines. Drunk driving is expensive. In New Jersey, DWI/DUI fines can quickly reach tens of thousands of dollars. The state also has an annual surcharge.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). Recent changes to New Jersey law now require you to install an IID when you are convicted of DWI. Refusing to do so will result in harsher penalties against you. This IID must remain installed in your vehicle anywhere from three months to three years, depending on the severity of your charges.
- Completion of an intoxicated driver program at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Aftercare. These classes are mandatory and can result in the ordering of additional treatment that lasts anywhere from four months to one year.
- Alcohol education classes. Twelve- or 48-hour intoxicated driver program classes are required after a DWI/DUI conviction. You may also be required to attend additional outpatient treatment courses.
- Suspended or revoked driver’s license. While New Jersey law used to require license suspension when convicted of DWI, this is no longer the case. As of 2020, many first-time offenders may be able to keep their licenses. However, you may still lose your license if the incident was especially serious, if you are a repeat offender or if you fail to install an IID.
- Community service. A community service sentence can range from hours to months. If you fail to fulfill your community service, you can be found in violation of probation.
- High car insurance premiums. A DWI/DUI conviction can cause your car insurance rates to spike for years to come.
Even if this is your first DWI, you may be facing steep penalties if you are convicted. If you have been convicted of DWI in the past and this is your second or third time, you could receive a large fine and jail time in addition to losing your license and ability to drive. Each time you are convicted of DWI the penalties become more severe, which is why you need a strong criminal defense attorney in every case.
You Can Avoid These Penalties. I Can Help.
Certain types of DWI/DUIs carry mandatory minimum sentences. However, DWI/DUI sentencing is often left to the discretion of the judge. That is why it is extremely important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyer you choose could mean the difference between going to jail or staying free with jail alternatives such as community service and probation.
“I hired Tom for a DUI case that I was involved in. I was looking at getting my driving privileges suspended for seven months and an interlock device for one year after I received my license back. At the end of it all, I only lost my license for three months with no interlock device needed! I promise you, Tom is your best hope when it comes to DUI cases. DO NOT LOOK ELSEWHERE!” — Dimitri, a former DUI client
At the Law Offices of Thomas Carroll Blauvelt, LLC, my goal is to minimize the negative impact of a DWI/DUI charge. I will fight for you. To discuss your case in detail, contact my firm online or by calling 877-676-7729. Consultations are free. My office is in East Brunswick.