Our New Jersey DUI Lawyer Explains the Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License

You could face severe consequences if you were ticketed to New Jersey for driving while suspended for a DUI conviction. Driving in New Jersey while your license (or NJ driving privileges, if you are licensed in another state) is suspended carries severe repercussions. However, if you are driving while under an active suspension for drunk driving, the penalties become "enhanced" and are assessed on top of those customarily meted out for the offense. As an experienced DUI lawyer, I can explain what penalties you may face for this type of offense.

Penalties for Driving While Suspended

The basic penalties for driving with a suspended license are as follows:

  • First offense: $500 fine
  • Second offense: $750 fine and 0-5 days in jail
  • Third or subsequent offenses: $1,000 fine and ten days in jail

Each offense also carries a potential additional license suspension of up to 180 days and a $250 per year surcharge for three years.

Penalties for Driving While Suspended for DUI

But if you are under an active suspension for a first-offense DUI, and this is your first offense for driving while suspended, you may face additional penalties, such as:

  • Sentence of 10 to 90 days in jail
  • A fine of $500
  • One to two-year suspension of your driver's license (tacked on to the end of your current DWI suspension)

Additional Penalties and Time in Prison

However, suppose you are convicted a second time for driving while suspended on that first offense DUI suspension or on a suspension for a second or subsequent DUI. In that case, it is also considered a fourth-degree crime (New Jersey's version of a felony). This can result in severe penalties, such as:

  • Instead of 180 days in county jail, it could be 18 months in state prison 
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • One to two-year suspension of your driver's license (tacked on to the end of your current DWI suspension)

Consequences Beyond the Judge's Ruling

The consequences of this charge go way beyond your sentence in court. You could:

  • Lose your job (if you haven't already for the DUI)
  • Have a criminal record that will follow you through life
  • Potentially lose out on another job because of the criminal record
  • Be saddled with a huge debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy

Obviously, flouting your DWI license suspension is a terrible idea. Should you be convicted of DWI, it is best not to drive until your license is restored.

How a Lawyer Can Build a Strong Defense

The consequences of this charge are just too significant not to hire a lawyer. Caught driving with a suspended license is far more serious than just a speeding ticket. There may be defenses to your case that an attorney could raise that could allow you to:

  • Keep your job
  • Provide for yourself and your family
  • Avoid a crushing debt that you can't get eliminate
  • Avoid a criminal record

If you have been charged with driving while suspended while driving through Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, or Cumberland County, New Jersey, realize that you need a lawyer to represent you, and are ready to take action now, then call me immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your options and possible defenses.

If you want more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.

Steven J. Richardson
Connect with me
Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.