DWI is one of the most common criminal charges in Trenton and throughout the state of New Jersey.  Every year, tens of thousands of people from across all ages, genders, and backgrounds are arrested for DWI.  But while DWI is unarguably a common charge, it shouldn’t be taken lightly, because the penalties for a DWI conviction in New Jersey can be devastating.

If you are facing DWI allegations in Trenton, you stand to lose your money, your driving privileges, and even your freedom.  Furthermore, you may be forced to complete long terms of community service, to attend alcohol counseling, and to install monitoring devices in your own car.  In addition to the immediate penalties brought by a sentencing, individuals with DWI convictions in their past can be haunted well into the future.  Having one or more DWI offenses on your record may bar you from working in positions related to transportation or other fields.

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Advantages of Choosing Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates

If you have been charged with DWI, you need to enlist the experienced Trenton DWI defense attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates immediately, because the sooner we can start evaluating the details of your case, the better prepared you will be.  But why choose us?

With over 10,000 cases handled, not only do we have over 30 years of experience practicing criminal law, our track record is impeccable.  Over 98% of our first-offense DWI/DUI clients receive no jail time, and no criminal record.  Not only are we a highly skilled DWI defense team with the statistics to prove it, we strive to offer affordable representation for every client.  Our attorneys will work with you to create a cost-effective payment plan for your case.  In addition, we offer initial consultations at no charge to you.

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What Causes a DWI Charge?

Some states call it DUI (Driving Under the Influence).  Other states, like New Jersey, call it DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).  Differences in terminology aside, the charge refers to the same thing: driving while impaired by either alcohol or narcotics.

When it comes to determining a DWI, personal feelings of being “okay to drive” simply don’t hold up.  DWI is determined based not on how sober and competent the driver feels, but by a hard and fixed measurement of alcohol in the blood, known as BAC (Blood Alcohol Content).  The BAC cut-off that has been determined for safe and legal driving in New Jersey is 0.08%.  That means that if your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you can be charged with DWI.  The presence of drugs in the driver’s system is generally determined by a combination of blood and urine testing, physical evidence of drugs or paraphernalia in the vehicle, the officer’s observations (e.g. lethargy, red eyes), and the testimony of a DRE (Drug Recognition Expert).

It should be noted that while 0.08% is the standard cut-off, that number is even lower for certain types of drivers.  For example, commercial drivers may be charged if their BAC meets or exceeds 0.04%, and drivers under the age of 21 can be charged at 0.02%.

DWI Penalties in New Jersey

New Jersey is known for enforcing some of the toughest DWI penalties in the nation.  As with other repeat offenses, the consequences of repeated DWI convictions become increasingly harsh.  For example, the length of a license suspension between a first offense and third offense leaps from three months to ten years.

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

Criminal In Handcuffs

Refusing a Breathalyzer

Not all states conduct random DUI/DWI checkpoints.  However, New Jersey is one of the states which does.  According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, New Jersey holds these checkpoints once or twice per month. While checkpoints are controversial and hotly debated in some states, in New Jersey they are firmly upheld under both state and federal law.

Should you encounter one of these checkpoints, you do have the right to refuse to submit to a BAC test. However, you should not refuse. Why not?

New Jersey observes a law called “implied consent.” This means that drivers who are stopped by officers requesting a sobriety test have already implied that they consent to be tested, as consent goes into effect as soon as the driver receives his or her license. Therefore, if a driver refuses to comply, the refusal itself can lead to penalties.

Drunk Driving

First Offense Refusal

  • Fine: $300-$500
  • License Suspension: 7 months-1 year

Second Offense Refusal

  • Fine: $500-$1,000
  • License Suspension: 2 years

Third Offense Refusal

  • Fine: $1,000
  • License Suspension: 10 years

DWI and related charges, like refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, can have severe consequences in the event of a conviction.  Don’t leave it to chance: if you need Trenton DWI defense attorneys, contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today, or call our law offices at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.