New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer
In the state of New Jersey, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is one of the most common causes of arrest. In 2011, over 26,000 DWI arrests were made — and nearly 200 fatalities were caused by DWI. While DWI may be one of the more typical charges brought against New Jersey residents, that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. A DWI conviction can lead to incarceration, steep fines, and the loss of your license for months or even years.
Additionally, the severity of the penalties incurred from DWI increase with successive convictions. One DWI can take your license away for months — a second or third can take it away for years.
If you are facing allegations of DWI in New Jersey, it is inadvisable to attempt to defend yourself in court before a prosecuting attorney. Don’t go it alone: call on Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates to defend your case. Our New Jersey DWI defense attorneys are highly experienced, with over 30 years of experience to draw upon and over 10,000 cases defended. We specialize in providing aggressive defense to all of our clients, while always handling every case with respect, compassion, and understanding. We know how to get results for you: that’s our bottom line.
How is a DWI Determined in New Jersey?
The state of New Jersey determines DWI status based on blood alcohol content, or BAC, which is generally measured with a breathalyzer device, or through chemical testing. The legal limit for alcohol intoxication is 0.08%. If a driver’s BAC meets or exceeds the 0.08% cut-off, they will be charged with DWI. Even if a driver feels sober and able to drive safely, in the eyes of the law, it isn’t the driver’s opinion that determines whether or not it’s a case of DWI: it’s the BAC reading.
Furthermore, it’s important to note that the BAC cut-offs become drastically lower for two categories of drivers. For commercial drivers, the BAC threshold is reduced to 0.04%. For drivers who are drinking underage (all drivers under the age of 21), the BAC threshold is set extremely low, at just 0.02%.
It’s also important for drivers to be aware that, contrary to popular belief, alcohol alone isn’t the only substance which can lead to a DWI charge. Being impaired by drugs can also be the cause for a DWI. Obviously, a BAC — blood alcohol content — doesn’t take drug levels into consideration. Instead, drugs in the system are determined based on a few factors, such as blood and urine testing, and the observations of the arresting officer and a specially trained DRE (Drug Recognition Expert). Of course, the presence of drugs or paraphernalia in the driver’s vehicle also counts against the driver where drug use is being alleged.
DWI Penalties in New Jersey
The penalties for DWI convictions in New Jersey can be severe, particularly if an individual is convicted on multiple occasions. DWI convictions can result in jail time, expensive fines, and the loss of driving privileges.
DWI First Offense
- Sentence: up to 30 days
- Fine: $250-$400
- License Suspension: 3 months
It should be noted that those are the penalties for a DWI when the driver’s BAC is less than 0.10%. If a driver’s BAC reaches or exceeds 0.10%, the penalties increase:
- Sentence: up to 30 days
- Fine: $300-$500
- License Suspension: 1 year
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
Notice that while the loss of license for an initial DWI offense is three months, a third offense will result in a license suspension lasting a decade. When it comes to DWI recidivism in New Jersey, the penalties increase exponentially.
In addition to the fines, suspensions, and prison sentencing, DWI offenders may also be required to spend hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, and pay increased insurance rates. Ignition interlock devices work by requiring drivers to breathe into them, and will prevent vehicles from starting if the driver has a BAC exceeding 0.05%.
Our New Jersey DWI Defense Attorneys Can Help
If you or a loved one is facing charges of DWI in the state of New Jersey, it is a serious matter. Don’t wait until it’s too late: contact the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates online, or call us today at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania to speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorney. Your first consultation is free, so call now.