DUI & DWI Attorney in Morristown
Dedicated to Providing Effective Defense for DUI and DWI Charges in NJ
New Jersey has some of the harshest drinking and driving penalties in the country.
Convictions for DWI/DUI and other serious traffic offenses can result in:
- Loss of license
- Jail time
- Installation of an interlock device
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Increased insurance costs
If you have been arrested for a DUI in New Jersey, get the help of an experienced Morristown DWI lawyer by calling The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura and scheduling a consultation.
What are the Penalties for DWI / DUI in New Jersey?
DWI Defense in New Jersey has developed into a complex, highly technical field that combines aspects of criminal defense with aspects of science and procedures unique to the area of DWI/DUI. You can visit the Motor Vehicles Website for a summary of the associated penalties. People often misunderstand that you do not need to be impaired or "intoxicated" to be convicted of DWI—it is a violation of the law to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or above, regardless of the level of impairment.
Penalties for a DUI or DWI can include:
- Fines between $250-1,000 depending on whether this is your first offense
- License suspensions ranging from three months to ten years
- Jail sentencing
Unlike other states, New Jersey does not allow for a conditional or “worker’s” license, meaning a driver suspended for DWI cannot operate a vehicle for any reason. If a driver is caught operating a vehicle while under suspension for DWI, there are substantial enhanced penalties, including mandatory jail time.
Wet Reckless Defense in NJ
A successful defense for DWI charges will first challenge the results of any blood alcohol test administered to the driver by the arresting officer. When the blood alcohol results are suppressed or undermined, the focus will pivot to the actual impairment of the driver. One possible defense strategy is to plead what is known as a “wet reckless,” reducing the charge from a felony down to a misdemeanor.
Our DWI attorney in Morristown, NJ has successfully defended many DWI cases, in which the odds seemed to be stacked against the accused.
What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI Charge in NJ?
DUI means someone is illegally driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while DWI means that a person was illegally driving while intoxicated.
The state of New Jersey sees no difference between the two acts, so the terms can be used interchangeably. Prosecution and sentencing is the same for both, as they are both included in the same set of statutes. Both acts share the same set of consequences, detainment, surcharges, license suspensions, and program requirements.
How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in NJ?
In New Jersey, a DWI conviction will stay on your record for the rest of your life. A DWI can affect a present DWI depending on the length of time between DWIs. For example, if you were charged with a DWI within ten years of your previous conviction, the second DWI will be charged with harsher penalties. If you receive a second DWI within ten years of your first DWI conviction, then the second DWI will become a first DWI. If you win a DWI conviction, there are still certain complications that can still arise from the case such as higher insurance rates, trouble passing job screening.
Can You Get Fired for a DUI in NJ?
In New Jersey, a DWI conviction will not prevent you from being hired or fired from a school job, but if your job requires you to drive, then your employer can fire you.
Refusal to Submit Breath Samples
Refusing to submit to a breath test in New Jersey is a separate offense in and of itself (N.J.S. 39:4-50.4a). Many people arrested on suspicion of DWI believe that the way to “beat” a DWI is to refuse to provide a breath sample. That may have been the case years ago, but the State of New Jersey has since closed that loophole by enacting stiff penalties for those that refuse to take the test. A first conviction for refusal carries a minimum 7 month loss of license (up to 12 months) and the same financial penalties of a DWI. (Note-the law on this issue differs from state to state, the foregoing only apples to the NJ).
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