Over 35 Years of Experience Winning DWI/DUI Cases On Your Side

New Jersey’s drunk driving laws — driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) — are among the strictest in the country, including a restriction on DWI plea bargaining for a lower charge. A first DUI conviction can cost you hundreds of dollars in fines, up to 30 days in jail, loss of driving privileges for 90 days, and other long-term financial consequences. A DWI conviction remains on your record for prospective employers, loan officers, college officials, and others to find during background checks.

Proving a DUI drug charge is far more difficult than proving a DWI based on alcohol intoxication. However, if convicted, the DUI drug violation penalties are the same as the DUI alcohol violation penalties.

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated or other drunk driving offenses in New Jersey, it is critical that you have an experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorney, like Charles Nugent, represent you. At Nugent Law, we know this may be the most difficult time in your life, so we are The Right Firm. Right now.

DUI-1st Offense 0.10 percent or higher

If the reading is higher, the penalties for a first offense DWI become significantly more severe. For example, under 39:4-50 of the DWI statute, if your BAC is.10 percent or higher, you could face the penalties listed below.

  • License suspension for 7 to 12 months.
  • Increase in fines of $300 and $500.
  • Ignition Interlock Requirement for 6 – 12 Months (if BAC is greater than 0.15 percent )
  • For three years, there could be a $1,000 insurance surcharge.
  • Other charges and fees in excess of $525.
  • Required 12 hours of alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).

DUI-2nd Offense

The penalties for drunk driving in New Jersey are serious and costly. Furthermore, they become more severe with each subsequent offense. A defendant could face a significant increase in suspension time for a second DUI within ten years of the first offense. In New Jersey, unlike for a first offense DUI, the law removes almost all discretion from the municipal judge over your suspension – if you are convicted of a second DUI, you could lose your license for two years. This also means that even if your BAC is 0.08 percent or 0.09 percent, you may not be eligible for a reduced suspension, as you would be for a first offense, but could instead face a mandatory two-year sentence. Below are the penalties for a second offense DWI:

  • Jail sentences ranging from 2 to 90 days
  • Suspension of license for two years and 30 days of community service
  • Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000
  • 12 to 48 hours spent in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Over a three-year period, $3,000 in automobile insurance surcharges
  • An ignition interlock device while the license is suspended and after the license is returned

DUI-3rd Offense

The severity of the penalties you could face increases significantly if you are convicted of a third offense DWI in New Jersey within ten years of your second offense DWI conviction. If you are convicted of a third DWI, you could lose your driver’s license for ten years, and unlike a first offense DUI in New Jersey, the judge will not have the discretion to reduce the suspension period. Furthermore, six months in the county jail are mandatory, and the judge cannot convert the incarceration to IDRC, as is the case with second offense DUI jail time. However, the court has authorized up to 90 days of the 6-month county jail sentence to be served in an inpatient facility. Below is a list of penalties for a 3rd offense DUI in New Jersey:

  • License suspension for ten years
  • 180 days in prison
  • A maximum of 90 days of community service is permitted.
  • 12 to 48 hours spent in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Automobile insurance surcharges totaling $4,500 over a three-year period
  • $1,000 minimum fine
  • An ignition interlock system

DUI-Drug Charge

In New Jersey, driving under the influence includes more than just driving while under the influence of alcohol. Driving while impaired by narcotics, habit-forming, or hallucinogenic drugs is also prohibited. According to the New Jersey DUI Statute, a wide range of illegal and legal substances, including heroin, Xanax, and even school glue, can be classified as narcotic, habit-forming, or hallucinogenic drugs. However, proving a DUI drug charge is far more difficult than proving a DUI based on alcohol intoxication. If convicted, the DUI drug violation penalties are the same as the DUI alcohol violation penalties.

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