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New Jersey DWI Penalties

We have successfully defended our clients against thousands of Criminal, DWI, and Municipal Court charges throughout Hudson County and New Jersey.

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Every state across the country treats DWI charges differently. In New Jersey, DUI charges are considered motor vehicle violations as opposed to criminal charges like most surrounding states. However, do not start celebrating just yet – New Jersey has some of the strictest DWI penalties in the entire country. This is because a first offense DWI in New Jersey carries a suspension of your driving privileges and/or mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Unlike other states, New Jersey does not offer a work license or “hardship” license, so suspension of your driver’s license is required if so ordered by the court. And don’t get caught driving while suspended for your DWI because that will result in mandatory jail time or even fourth degree indictable charge depending on the circumstances. To make matters worse, the suspension is normally accompanied by an interlock device, community service, thousands in fines, and even incarceration. Furthermore, New Jersey does not allow for any jury trials on DWI cases and prohibits the prosecutor from plea bargaining DWI and DWI Refusal charges. This means the only way to beat or downgrade a DUI charge is to aggressively challenge the state’s case against you that they cannot prove certain elements of the charged offense. Please see the following chart to get an idea of what New Jersey DWI and Refusal penalties entail:

First DUI Offense

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Ignition Interlock Device Fines and Assessments Prison Term
.08% – .99% Three (3) Months $805- $1005 plus $1000/ year surcharge (for 3 years) Up to 30 days
.10% – .14% Seven (7) to Twelve (12) Months $755- $905 plus $1000/ year surcharge (for 3 years) Up to 30 days
.15% and higher Nine (9) to Fifteen (15) Months, after License Suspension for Four (4) to Six (6) Months $755- $905 plus $1000/ year surcharge (for 3 years) Up to 30 days

Note: there is also a mandatory license suspension for the period prior to installation of the ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

 Second DUI Offense

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) License Suspension Fines and Assessments Prison Term
.08% and higher One (1) to Two (2) Years $1,055- $1,555 plus $1000/ year surcharge (for 3 years) 48 hours- 90 days

Following license suspension period, an ignition interlock device may be required for between 2 years and 4 years.

Third DUI Offense (within 10 years of 2nd offense)

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) License Suspension Fines and Assessments Prison Term
.08% and higher Eight (8) Years $1,555 plus $1,500/ year surcharge (for 3 years) 180 days

Following license suspension period, an ignition interlock device may be required for a period ranging from 2 to 4 years.

 

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