DWI Defense


Impaired Driving: New Jersey DWI Penalties and Defenses

If the police have charged you with violating New Jersey DWI laws, you are probably wondering what you should do to protect your future. The effects of a DWI conviction in New Jersey can follow you for many years if you don’t take the right steps to achieve the best possible outcome. The legal system will likely impose a range of punishments if it earns a conviction:

  • Steep Fines
  • Loss of Driving Privileges
  • Imprisonment

This guide explores all of the problems and penalties you could face following a DWI charge and what steps you must take to secure your future. If you are serious about defending your rights, working with a competent New Jersey DWI defense lawyer is the only safe bet.

Review New Jersey DWI Penalties

Learning the penalties of getting a New Jersey DWI is a good place to start when you want to understand the situation you are facing. Title 39:4-50 covers the penalties the court can impose if they find you guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The court can force you to pay a fine of up to $400, suspend your license for three months and sentence you to up to 30 days in jail for your first offense. Spending at least six hours a day in an intoxicated driver resource center for two days is another requirement you need to meet, and you can expect to pay $1,000 more per year in insurance fees following a DWI conviction.

Many of these penalties are enhanced if your blood alcohol content, or BAC, is 0.10 or higher. The legal penalties get even worse on your second and third convictions or if the police charge you in a school zone.

Additional Fallout of a New Jersey DWI Conviction

While you can face a range of harsh punishments imposed by a New Jersey court, you will also experience several other problems after a conviction. The mark will stay on your driver abstract forever and could impact your employment. Higher insurance premiums are another consequence of having a DWI on your record.

Possible Defenses

You are now ready to review the possible defenses that a skilled attorney can use to protect you from a conviction.

Improper Traffic Stop

Title 39 of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle and Traffic Regulation requires a police officer to conduct a traffic stop only when they have probable cause to believe that the driver has committed a traffic violation.

Officers that stop vehicles without probable cause can lose the case before it even begins. If your lawyer can prove that probable cause did not exist and that the traffic stop was not legal, a judge may dismiss your case.

Improperly Performed Field Sobriety Tests

Police officers almost always use field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is impaired. The three field sobriety tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn and one-leg stand. These tests will be used so that the officer can determine if he has probable cause to arrest you. How these tests are administered and scored can be challenged in court.

Improper Alcotest Administration

The police officer who pulls you over for a suspected New Jersey DWI violation must follow guidelines when using the Alcotest to test your blood alcohol content. If the police officer’s training is not up to date, if the test is administered improperly or if the Alcotest machine is not calibrated properly, your lawyer can try suppressing the results so that the prosecutor can’t use them as evidence against you at trial.

There are no plea bargains or jury trials for New Jersey DWI cases. Therefore, it is crucial that your attorney establishes a strong defense that encourages a prosecutor to use his discretion and provide you with a better alternative.

Why You Need a New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer

A New Jersey DWI defense lawyer will review the evidence against you and work hard to craft the best possible defense. Your lawyer will tell you the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you on what defenses are available so that you can decide if you prefer going to trial. Without the experience and education of a defense lawyer, you significantly jeopardize your chance of earning a favorable outcome.

Di Lauri & Hewitt Law Group, LLC

55 Madison Ave, Suite 400
Morristown, NJ 07960
Tel: (973) 285-3220