A DWI will follow you for the rest of your life by remaining on your permanent driving record. With time the penalties will ease and become less significant.
Expungement In New Jersey
In New Jersey, a person can have certain previous convictions and arrests removed from their criminal record. These crimes are usually disorderly persons charges and some indictable crimes such as simple assault or drug offenses. In New Jersey the removal of criminal charges from your record is called expungement. Unfortunately a DWI conviction can not be removed from your record in New Jersey because it is a traffic offense and not a criminal offense under New Jersey Title 39, of the Motor Vehicle Statues. This means that if you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey, it will remain on your permanent driving record. This helps New Jersey identify and enforce stricter penalties for people with multiple DWI convictions.
If you have been convicted of a DWI in New Jersey you can challenge the judgment through a motion for post-conviction relief through the New Jersey Superior Court. You would file the motion in the court where you were convicted for your drunk driving charges. For example, if you were convicted in Monmouth County you would go to the New Jersey Superior Court in Freehold and if you were convicted in Ocean County you would go to the Superior Court in Toms River. The argument for post-conviction relief is made under the belief that the trial attorney did a bad job at defending the accused while the case was before the trial court. The defendant must show that their defense attorney had made mistakes during the trial and that the defendant was hurt by their attorney's actions or omissions. Although DWI appeals are rarely successful, there is no risk of your sentencing being increased in any way if you pursue one. You may be able to reduce the penalties you are facing but it is unlikely to completely reverse the guilty verdict.
10 Year Step Down For Future DWI Convictions
Normally the court would impose increased incarceration penalties which are normally reserved for repeat offenders who have had prior DWI/DUI convictions. If ten years has passed between your first and second DWI conviction or between the second and third convictions, the court will take into consideration the ten year step down rule. Due to the distance in time between the two convictions the court will show leniency and treat the repeat offense as though you have one less prior conviction when calculating the penalties for your most recent DUI. To better understand how the ten year step down rule impacts your case, you should speak to an experienced DWI lawyer.
Hire A Lawyer To help Fight A DWI In Ocean County
If you are worried about a pending DWI following you forever, or if you simply want to avoid the added burden of having a permanent scar on your record, consider hiring an experienced DWI/DUI attorney. It is critical to obtain quality legal representation at the time of your DWI arrest. An experienced attorney can properly challenge evidence and fight to have crucial sobriety test results suppressed and kept out of your trial. In doing so, your attorney might have your DWI charges reduced or maybe even dismissed. An attorney can also help avoid increased fines & penalties and might be able to prevent the loss of your drivers license.