Getting convicted for driving while intoxicated can have all kinds of ramifications. In addition to the associated penalties, which include fines, jail time, and a license suspension, there are lasting consequences that can affect various aspects of your life.
If driving is within the scope of your job duties, for example, a DWI can threaten future employment opportunities. Having a conviction on your record can also limit your travel. If you were to go to Canada, for example, you could be denied entry at the border. A DWI will make it hard to secure affordable auto insurance, as well.
Should you be facing charges for drinking and driving, you’re probably wondering just how long you’ll have to deal with these and other aftereffects if a conviction results. Unfortunately, even after completing the mandated sentences and paying whatever fines you’ve been ordered, the DWI will remain on your record.
Convictions for driving while intoxicated that are handed down in New Jersey remain on the defendant’s record for the rest of their life. And since they’re classified as traffic offenses and not criminal offenses, they cannot be expunged.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the DWI is always going to weigh you down. After 10 years, for example, an additional drinking and driving charge will be treated like a first offense, and not a subsequent one. If you were to be accused of DWI within 10 years of the first conviction, on the other hand, you would be charged as a repeat offender and face harsher penalties.
Likewise, auto insurance companies generally only review a customer’s driving record from the past three to five years. That means after several years have passed, the conviction shouldn’t affect your premiums anymore.
How Can I Fight DWI Charges?
While it’s certainly possible to lead a normal and productive life after getting a DWI, it’s easier to just avoid the hassle that comes with a conviction. Thankfully, there are all kinds of strategies for challenging the evidence that prosecutors present during these cases.
The best defense inevitably depends on the circumstances, but it usually starts with the results of any chemical tests. After suppressing or at least undermining these results, you can shift your focus to disputing the arresting officer’s testimony, including whatever signs of impairment they claim you were exhibiting at the time.
Pleading a “wet reckless” is also a viable defense strategy. Although this approach acknowledges impairment, it reduces the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, thereby reducing the penalties, as well.
Even if you think the prosecutor has a strong case against you, it may be possible to secure a favorable outcome. As such, you shouldn’t merely accept the charges until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
Discuss Your Charges with a DWI Lawyer in Morristown
If you’ve been charged with driving while intoxicated, turn to The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura for help devising your defense. We’re available 24/7 to answer your questions. Call 973-832-0841 or complete our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a DWI attorney in Morristown.