DWI is one of the most prevalent criminal charges in Burlington County and throughout the state of New Jersey. According to the Century Council, 26,206 DWI arrests were made in New Jersey in 2011. Averaged out, that’s nearly 72 DWI arrests made every day of the year.
Because DWI is such a widespread offense, many people have a misconception of DWI as being a minor crime without serious consequences. In reality, New Jersey is actually known for imposing some of the harshest DWI penalties in the United States, including jail time, lengthy license suspensions, and expensive fines. Once your fines have been paid and your sentence has been completed, you will still have to contend with having a DWI on your record, which is visible to landlords and employers.
Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates: Burlington County DWI Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for DWI in Burlington County, it is vital to the outcome of your case that you retain the services of an aggressive and experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer as soon as you possibly can. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our veteran attorneys have handled over 5,000 DWI cases. Not only are our DWI attorneys equipped with over three decades of experience, we have a sterling track record of courtroom victories for our clients. While past results do not predict future results, 98% of our first-offense DWI clients receive no jail time, and no criminal record.
How is DWI Determined?
It’s a stubborn myth that if you feel sober enough to drive, you won’t get a DWI. DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is not based on how sober a person feels. It is based on your BAC (Blood Alcohol Count), which is most commonly analyzed through a breathalyzer test. The BAC that is considered above the DWI limit varies depending on who you are:
- Non-Commercial Drivers: 0.08%
- Commercial Drivers: 0.04%
- Under 21: 0.02%
Most people associate DWI with alcohol, but you can also be arrested for DWI if you are driving under the influence of narcotics. Because the presence of drugs in a driver’s system cannot be determined by a BAC, the justice system relies upon other methods of detection. You may be blood- or urine-tested, or interviewed by a DRE (Drug Recognition Expert).
New Jersey DWI Penalties
The consequences for a DWI conviction in New Jersey are severe to begin with. If aggravating factors are present, or if there are repeat offenses, the consequences become even harsher.
First Offense DWI
- Fines: $250-$400
- Sentence: up to 30 days
- License Suspension: 3 months
Second Offense DWI
- Fines: $500-$1,000
- Sentence: up to 90 days
- License Suspension: 2 years
Third Offense DWI
- Fines: $1,000
- Sentence: 180 days
- License Suspension: 10 years
Refusing a Breathalyzer
38 states conduct periodic DUI/DWI checkpoints, including New Jersey where they are upheld under both state and federal law. In Burlington County, checkpoints are sometimes conducted on Route 70 in Southampton Township, and on Route 38 in Hainesport Township, to name just a few. Some of the major roadways in Burlington County where checkpoints may be conducted include Route 413, Route 72, Route 73, Route 68, and the New Jersey Turnpike.
DWI checkpoints can be placed virtually anywhere, and the state of New Jersey conducts them on a regular basis. If you encounter a DWI checkpoint, a law enforcement officer may request to conduct a breathalyzer test.
Technically, you do have the right to refuse to submit to BAC testing. However, a refusal is never in your best interest, because of New Jersey’s implied consent law. Many drivers in Burlington County are unaware that, as soon as they first received their driver’s license, they gave “implied consent” to submit to breathalyzer and field sobriety tests. Breaking implied consent by refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test carries penalties of its own:
- License Suspension: 7 months-1 year
- Fine: $300-$500
There are certain conditions which, if present, can make DWI charges worse. Some of the aggravating factors for a DWI in New Jersey include:
- Being within 1,000 feet of a designated school zone.
- Resisting arrest, or being otherwise aggressive or uncooperative with arresting officers.
- Having a history of multiple DWI offenses.
- Having an open container of alcohol in the car, or drinking while driving.
- Causing injury or death.
- Driving without a license, or with a suspended license.
- Driving with a minor passenger.
DWI is a serious legal matter. You could go to jail, be forced to pay thousands of dollars, and lose your ability to drive for months or even years. An experienced Burlington County DWI defense attorney can reduce your charges, or even have your case dismissed. The New Jersey DWI lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates have over 30 years of experience helping thousands of clients just like you. To schedule a private, no-cost consultation with a Burlington County DWI lawyer, call our law offices at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.