The New Jersey sentences for DWI are all based on mandatory guidelines. Although the court will take into consideration the circumstances of your arrest including your age, prior violations and your overall attitude in court, the municipal court judge must work within the mandatory minimum guidelines set forth in New Jersey's DWI statute for a second offense DWI conviction when it comes to sentencing the defendant. It is for this reason that attorneys in New Jersey, such as those at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. in Point Pleasant Beach, must rely on their experience with the New Jersey Superior Courts in order to challenge the complex laws and regulations associated with drunk driving cases. A skilled DWI attorney will aggressively attack the prosecutors case in an attempt to avoid the harsh penalties their clients face. If you are facing a DWI conviction in New Jersey, and have already had a prior DWI conviction, then you need to seek experienced DWI legal representation. Just like your first DWI conviction, the court will base the extent of your punishment on several factors, but the judge will still have to work within the guidelines set forth by the New Jersey's DWI statute. Here are the potential penalties one will face if convicted of a DWI in New Jersey for the second time:
Penalties For Second DWI Conviction In New Jersey
- 2 years driving privilege suspension
- $500-$1,000 fine
- 30 days community service
- 12-48 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
- 48 hours – 90 days in jail
- Insurance surcharge of $1,000/year for 3 years
- $100 DUI enforcement surcharge
- Required installation of ignition interlock device during suspension and for 1-3 years after restoration of driving privileges
Heightened Penalties For Second Offense DWI In A New Jersey School Zone - N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g)
Penalties for DWI convictions that occur within 1,000 feet of a school zone are significantly increased. Additionally, a person under the legal drinking age of 21 found guilty of driving under the influence will face slightly different consequences than a defendant over the age of 21. It is important to speak with a New Jersey DWI attorney about the circumstances of your DWI arrest, as the penalties may be affected.
Ten Year Step Down Can Lower Penalties Of A Second DWI In New Jersey
Because of New Jersey's ten year step down rule established in 2008 , if your second DWI arrest happened ten years or more after your first DWI conviction, your attorney can challenge the court to have your first conviction not count towards the sentencing of your second DWI charge. This means that you could avoid the penalties for a second conviction and be sentenced under the first offense DWI penalties if convicted. This could mean a big difference in your driver's license suspension, fines and possible jail time.
The ten year step down is applied only when it is requested, therefore, before going to court for your sentencing hearing on a subsequent DWI charge, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer who is familiar with this specific law. Otherwise, your subsequent DWI will be viewed as a more serious offense with harsher sentencing penalties.