If you are facing a DWI conviction in New Jersey, the sentences and penalties are rather harsh. Due to the escalating DWI conviction penalties, offenders with multiple prior DWI convictions need an attorney's representation more than ever. There are mandatory sentencing minimums set by the New Jersey courts that a judge must adhere to when sentencing a multiple offender of drunk driving. The judge hearing your case will use their discretion when deciding your sentencing. An experienced DWI lawyer will use their knowledge of the New Jersey court system to work to get you the minimum sentence. If you choose to represent yourself you might not know what kind of questions to ask or motions to request leaving you crippled by higher penalties and loosing your license for an extended period of time. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. can help you to avoid some of these harsh penalties. Being aware of the potential punishment you could face if found guilty is important. Below is a list of the range of sentencing options for a third or subsequent DWI conviction in New Jersey.
Penalties For Third DWI Conviction In New Jersey
- 10 years driving privilege suspension
- $1,000 fine
- Up to 90 days community service
- 12-48 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Insurance surcharge of $1,500/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 Certain New Jersey DWI Third Or More Offense - N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g)
The penalties for similar DWI convictions that occur within 1,000 feet of a school zone are increased. For example, the license suspension is for 20 years if convicted of your third DWI within a school zone. 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 third or subsequent DWI arrest as the penalties may be affected.
Ten Year Step Down Can Lower Penalties Of A Third DWI In NJ
Because of New Jersey's ten year step down rule established in 2008, if your third or subsequent DWI arrest happened ten years or more after your previous DWI conviction, your attorney can challenge the court to have your previous conviction not count towards the sentencing of your newest DWI charge. This means that you could avoid the penalties for a third conviction and be sentenced under the second 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.