New Jersey DWI Defense Attorneys
The Moriarty Law Firm has seen DWI and DUI law in New Jersey from both sides of the fence. Charles Moriarty is a former Prosecutor and a well known DWI Defense Attorney. This gives our firm a unique perspective on how these matters are handled at all levels.
Call 732-842-7773 anytime to speak with one of the Moriartys and set up a free initial consultation. You can also contact us by e-mail, and we will respond as quickly as possible.
Penalties for DWI in New Jersey
The penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey are severe depending on whether it is your first, second, or third or subsequent drunk driving offense. The penalties for driving under the influence are enumerated in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.
First Offense DWI in NJ
The penalties for a first offense of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey depend on the level of intoxication. The legal limit in New Jersey is .08% Blood Alcohol Content. As a result, if you are charged with DWI and your BAC is between .08% and .10%, you are facing a fine of $250-$400, a three (3) month license suspension, and up to thirty (30) days in prison. If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was greater than .10% you are facing between seven (7) months and one year license suspension, a fine between $300-$500, and up to thirty (30) days in prison. You will also be required to spend between 12 hours and 48 hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
Second DWI Offense in New Jersey
If you are charged with your second DWI offense in New Jersey, the penalties involved are significant. The penalties associated with a Second DWI offense are a fine of $500-$1000, two year license suspension, 48 hours incarceration, and thirty (30) days of community service. However, an experienced DWI attorney may be able to defeat this second DWI charge or, at the very least, allow you to be classified as a first offender (which means seven months to a year loss of license instead of two years). Our attorneys will examine your first DWI offense to determine if any disputable issues arise. Moreover, our attorneys will analyze this new charge to ascertain whether a valid traffic stop was conducted, if the State has significant evidence to prove operation and prove intoxication, and whether the proper procedures were followed with the Breathalyzer or Alcotest machine. Moreover, under New Jersey Law, if your first DWI charge was a refusal, you should be classified as a first offender for your second DWI charge. On the other hand, if your first DWI charge was a DWI and your second DWI charge is a refusal, you must be classified as a second DWI offender for the purposes of sentencing.
Third or Subsequent DWI Offense in NJ
If you are charged with a Third or Subsequent DWI offense in New Jersey, please contact the experienced DWI lawyers at the Moriarty Law Firm for immediate assistance. The penalties associated with a Third or Subsequent DWI Offense under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 are a $1000 fine, 180 days in jail (90 can be served at a drug or alcohol inpatient rehab facility), and a ten (10) year loss of license. The Third or Subsequent DWI offense can even result in a permanent loss of your driving privileges in New Jersey depending on the circumstances of your charges. Similar to the Second Offense DWI analysis above, our experienced DWI attorneys may be able to challenge your prior DWI convictions or have you classified as a Second Offender for sentencing purposes rather than a Third Offender. This could lead to a two (2) year loss of license rather than a ten (10) year loss of license which would have a significant impact on your life and your standard of living.
NJ’s Ten (10) Year “Stepdown” Rule
A recent decision by the Appellate Division decided that, if ten (10) years have passed between your first DWI charge and your second DWI charge or if ten (10) years have passed from your second DWI charge and your third DWI charge, you should be sentenced as a lesser offender and the charges should be “stepped down” because of the time elapsed between the charges. So, for example, if you were first charged and convicted of DWI in 2001 and your second DWI charge is in 2012, ten years have passed between the charges and, despite this being your second DWI charge, you should be sentenced as a First DWI Offender and you are looking at seven months to one year loss of license rather than two (2) years. Similarly, if you are charged with your Third DWI offense in 2014 and your Second DWI Offense occurred in 2002, you should be sentenced as a Second Offender rather than a Third and you are facing a two (2) year license suspension rather than a ten (10) year license suspension.
To explore the defense options that we can create for your case, contact the Moriarty Law Firm.
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle your DWI matter. We can be reached anytime by calling 732-842-7773. You can also contact us by e-mail for a free consultation.