DWI is one of the most common criminal charges throughout the nation, including New Jersey. According to the Department of Justice, there were 24,313 DWI arrests in New Jersey in 2013, out of a total population of 8,821,155. That means nearly 0.3% of the state’s entire population was arrested on DWI charges in the previous year alone. According to data from the New Jersey State Police, during the six-month period from January to June of 2011, 13,295 DWI arrests were recorded — compare that number to 101 murder arrests or 136 rape arrests during the same time span.
Many people have the idea that because DWI is a prevalent criminal charge, it isn’t serious and you don’t need to worry about going to jail or hiring a lawyer. However, this could not be further from the truth. New Jersey is known for mandating some of the toughest DWI laws in the country, and the penalties for a DWI conviction can result in jail terms, long license suspensions, expensive fees, and other ramifications. For example, you may be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your personal vehicle or attend alcohol counseling.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that a DWI conviction can have long-term repercussions that outlast a jail sentence or license suspension. Having a criminal history indicated on your record can cause problems when it comes to finding a job, or even a place to live.
Advantages of Choosing Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates
If you are facing DWI allegations in New Jersey, you need to retain an experienced team of Mercer County DWI defense attorneys as soon as you possibly can. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our New Jersey DWI lawyers have defended over 5,000 DWI/DUI cases in over 30 years of litigation. Not only are we experienced, we consistently obtain excellent results for the clients we represent. Over 98% of our first-offense DWI/DUI clients receive no jail time and no criminal record. Our bottom line is achieving positive results for our DWI clients.
We have another edge over the other New Jersey DWI practices: we come from legal backgrounds as prosecutors ourselves. Our team of lawyers includes two former prosecuting attorneys, which gives us ample insight into how prosecuting attorneys think and work on DWI cases. Because we know prosecutorial litigation from the inside out, we are in a unique position to anticipate and counter the arguments against our clients.
Finally, we understand that clients are often concerned about the costs of litigation and attorney fees. We work diligently to create affordable, cost-effective payment plans — without ever sacrificing the quality or depth of the representation we provide.
Consequences of a DWI Conviction in New Jersey
If you are convicted of a DWI in New Jersey, the consequences can be severe. If you accumulate multiple DWI convictions, the penalties become harsher with each successive incident. The difference between the license suspension from a first and third offense, for example, is an extremely significant nine years and nine months.
DWI First Offense
- Sentence: up to 30 days
- Fine: $250-$400
- License Suspension: 3 months
DWI Second Offense
- Sentence: up to 90 days
- Fine: $500-$1,000
- License Suspension: 2 years
DWI Third Offense
- Sentence: 180 days
- Fine: $1,000
- License Suspension: 10 years
Additionally, there are aggravating factors which can make a DWI case worse if present. For example:
- Having a BAC meeting or exceeding 0.10%.
- Being within 1,000 feet of a school zone.
- Not cooperating with law enforcement officers.
- Causing physical injury.
Most DWI cases in New Jersey are the result of an individual driving while intoxicated from alcohol. However, drunk driving is not the only offense pertaining to DWI.
- Breathalyzer refusal. New Jersey is one of 38 states which conduct DWI sobriety checkpoints. Because of New Jersey’s implied consent law, refusal to submit to an officer’s request for a breathalyzer test is a criminal offense, with penalties nearly as severe as those for a DWI.
- Open container. Driving in a vehicle with open alcohol is a crime in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. 39:4-51a. Even if everyone in the vehicle is sober, open containers are still illegal. The minimum fine is $200, in addition to community service.
- DWI with drugs. DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. While commonly the result of alcohol, intoxication could also be caused by drug use. Because there is no BAC for narcotics, law enforcement relies on several factors to gauge whether drugs were present. Finding drugs or paraphernalia in the vehicle is an obvious indicator, but chemical testing and DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) testimony are other methods of detection.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI in New Jersey, you could be facing severe consequences. You could lose your license, thousands of dollars in fines, and even your freedom. To speak with a member of our experienced team of Mercer County DWI defense attorneys confidentially and at no charge, contact the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates online, or call today at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.