Penalties for drunk driving in New Jersey increase with each offense, so it gets worse every time you are convicted. This is shown clearly in the sentencing guidelines for a third or subsequent offense, which involves a suspension of your driver's license for a significant period of time, and a substantial prison sentence.
So What Are the Penalties?
You essentially face the following:
- A fine of $1,000
- 180 days imprisonment
- $1,500 in DMV surcharges per year for three years, depending upon if the prior conviction occurred within three years
- $364 in other fees, charges and costs
You Will Go to Jail!
The scariest part of all of this is the jail term, which cannot be served on weekends, on work release, or house arrest. However, the judge may allow up to 90 days of it to be served in an approved in-patient alcohol treatment facility.
There is no discretion left to the court on the length of the incarceration. This denial of discretion is also shown in the amount of the fine and the length of the suspension period.
A drunk driving conviction can have additional devastating effects on your life, including the potential loss of your job. This is because New Jersey, unlike some other states, does not allow a "to and from work" driver's license. You cannot drive at all!
Your Driver's License Will Be Suspended!
Yes, you will, for 8 years. This is down from the 10 years that was meted out for offenses that occurred before December 1, 2019, but it still hurts. In addition, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) must be installed on a car you own, lease, or principally drive during this suspension and for 2 to 4 years after your license is restored.
This leads to another cost that people do not consider. An IID can cost around $100 per month, which will add up to $9,600 during your license suspensiuon and another $2,400 to $4,800 after that! Ouch!
And That's Just What the Judge Can Do to You!
The consequences of this charge go way beyond your sentence in court. You will:
- Lose your job (if you haven't already for the DUI)
- Have your auto insurance premiums skyrocket
- Be saddled with a huge debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy!
Don't Try to Handle This Yourself!
The consequences of this charge are just too great not to hire a lawyer! This isn't 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 rid of
So Don't Give Up the Fight!
Most people think that there is nothing they can do about their DUI charge; they just give up and plead guilty. Don't surrender; you may have defenses! If you want to know what they are, click here! Then scroll down and see what to do next!
What Should I Do?
Considering what you face, if you have been charged with drunk driving, you need to consult with a lawyer. If you received the ticket in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, want to do everything you can to avoid conviction, and are ready to act, then call me immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.
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