Drivers that get ticketed in New Jersey for drunk driving will usually see on the summons a court date that is less than a week from the date that they were stopped. This gets them thinking that they have very little time to get a lawyer and protect their rights. That is not the case. Because courts in New Jersey are mandated to resolve, as best they can, DUI matters within 60 days of the incident, the ball gets rolling right away.
This court date on your ticket is not for a trial; it is for something called a "rights hearing." All those people charged with DWI in the days leading up to the hearing are brought in and read their rights on drunk driving. This includes all of the penalties they are facing first, second, or third/subsequent violations, along with their right to a lawyer. This is usually done en masse for everyone, who are then excused from court for the day. A notice of trial date is then mailed to them.