If you have been charged with a DUI or a DWI, you may feel helpless and that you have no options. In New Jersey, a DUI or a DWI is certainly a heavy charge and carries the most serious penalties of any traffic violation that you could be charged with. But if you work with a New Jersey DUI lawyer, you may not have to face the full penalties and suffer for years for your mistake.
Most DUIs begin with a simple mistake: you had a fun night out with friends and had a few drinks, and you think you feel fine enough to drive rather than spend the money to get a taxi home. However, statistics are not on your side when you get behind the wheel of a car buzzed. Science has shown that even one drink can impair your ability to make good judgments and drive safely, and having multiple drinks can make your judgment abilities even worse, even though you may not feel any different.
Unfortunately, under New Jersey law, the penalties that accompany DUIs are especially steep. The legal limit for someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. If you are pulled over by an officer and your breathalyzer test reveals a BAC of between 0.08% and 0.10%, you can expect a fine between $250 and $400, a $1000 per year surcharge for three years, up to thirty days in jail, 12 to 48 hours in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) with associated fees, and a few other payments to specific funds.
If you are pulled over and breathalyzed and have a BAC of over 0.10%, you can expect higher penalties. These include fines between $300 and $500, a $1000 per year surcharge for three years, up to thirty days in jail, 12 to 48 hours in an IDRC plus fees, payments to specific funds, and if your BAC was over 0.15%, you will have to have an ignition interlock device put in your car that breathalyzes you before you can turn the car on to make sure you are not drunk.
The worst case scenario for those charged with a DUI is if it is a second or third DUI offense. Repeat offenders in New Jersey have the harshest penalties of all. If it is your second DUI in ten years, you will lose your license for two years, pay fines between $500 and $1000, spend 48 hours to 90 days in jail, and have the ignition interlock device in your car. If it your third DUI, occurring under ten years after your second, you will lose your license for ten years, pay a $1000 fine, spend 180 days in jail, and perform community service.
Similar offenses include driving while possessing drugs, where you will lose your license for two years and pay a $50 minimum fine; and driving with an open container, where you will have to pay a fine of $200.
These steep and frightening penalties not only place a financial burden on you, but they could make you lose your ability to drive and even have jail time on your record, which can affect your ability to go to school or get a job. This can be even more frightening when you realize that you are facing all of this because you made one simple mistake. Do not panic — instead, call a New Jersey DUI attorney to help you with your case.
Our lawyers are dedicated to fighting New Jersey traffic violations, including DUIs and DWIs. We have extensive experience handling these kinds of cases, whether it is your first DUI or your second or third. We will make sure that your judge treats you fairly and does not simply take the arresting officer’s side of the story at face value. There are many ways to reduce your sentence or to even have your DUI charge dismissed altogether. Sometimes, the breathalyzer test they gave you will give false readings or will have been administered improperly, potentially messing up the results. In other cases, the police officer who pulled you over had no right or reasonable cause to pull you over in the first place. Your attorney will have access to records and documents that will help prove these circumstances and help reduce the steep penalties you would otherwise be facing.
Do not wait too long to contact your New Jersey DUI attorney, because the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to fight your case. Our offices are ready and waiting to help. We keep our fees low, and we know that it is more affordable to work with a lawyer than to pay the steep fines and face the other harsh penalties from your DUI. We will also provide you with a free initial consultation so we can talk about a plan for your case with no pressure. Call our offices at (856) 295-2100 today.