Monmouth County DWI Lawyer
If you are facing a DWI charge in Monmouth County, you need a DWI attorney to represent you throughout the legal process. The stakes are too high to leave anything to chance. You may face jail time and a mandatory license suspension. As far as you are concerned as the defendant, DWI cases are never routine because your future is on the line. If you have been charged with drunk driving, contact an attorney with Villani & DeLuca for legal help today. We work with clients in Monmouth County NJ and surrounding areas like Ocean County and Middlesex County.
A DUI arrest is much more than just a traffic offense. Not only is your freedom on the line, but you will also face consequences in other areas of your life.
When You Are Pulled Over for DUI in NJ
Police will pull you over when they have probable cause to believe that you are violating NJ drunk driving laws. Probable cause is defined as when an officer has a reasonable basis to believe that a crime is being committed.
The police officer may attempt to administer field sobriety tests to confirm their initial belief that you could be driving drunk. New Jersey has standardized field sobriety testing.
Officers may try to administer an alcotest breathalyzer to detect your blood alcohol concentration. Like practically every other state, New Jersey has a legal BAC limit of .08.
There are consequences for a breath test refusal, even if it is what you feel that you must do to avoid DUI charges. Furthermore, the penalties are very similar to those of a DWI charge.
Penalties for a Monmouth County DUI
DUI cases could result in severe penalties if you are convicted. New Jersey law imposes the following punishments for a Monmouth County DUI conviction.
For the first offense, the punishment depends on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. Regardless of the BAC, you may face up to 30 days in jail. Prosecutors would be more likely to seek jail time when there are aggravating factors such as bodily injury or a criminal record with drug charges or domestic violence convictions.
The main difference in sentencing for a first offense is whether or not the driver's license will be suspended, and how long the driver will have to use an ignition interlock device (IID). When your BAC is between 0.08 and 0.10, the driver is subject to 3 months of IID usage, with a suspension until the IID is installed. If the driver's BAC was between 0.10 and 0.15, they again will be suspended until they get an IID, which they will use for 7-12 months. Those above a BAC of 0.15 will face 4-6 months of license suspension followed by 9-15 months of IID usage.
For a second DUI offense, there is a mandatory license suspension of 1-2 years, depending on the judge's discretion. This may be something negotiable as part of a plea deal. Furthermore, they are subject to 2-4 years of IID usage.
The jail sentence would also escalate for a second DWI offense. In New Jersey, the jail sentence would range between 48 hours to 90 days. You may also be sentenced to community service. You may be able to negotiate the jail sentence if you plead guilty to a second charge.
Other Penalties for a DWI Conviction
Jail time, IID installment and license suspension are not the only penalties that you may face if you have been convicted of a DWI charge. Here are some other punishments that you would receive:
There is a mandatory surcharge to your auto insurance premiums for up to three years
Your conviction is administered by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, and you will have the requirement for a course that could be between 12-48 hours
You may be ordered to perform community service, either in addition to or in lieu of a prison sentence
You might also be expected to pay other fees and fines
Consequences in Your Life from a DWI Conviction
Jail time is only part of your worries. Having a criminal record could affect you both now and in the future. Criminal convictions could impact other circumstances, including:
When you try to find certain jobs
In your custody matter
Your immigration status and your ability to obtain United States citizenship
In New Jersey, a DWI charge is a traffic offense and not a criminal case, but a conviction will still greatly impact you.
New Jersey DUI Procedure
When you have been charged with Monmouth County NJ, this is the procedure for your case:
After the arrest, you are taken to the police station and booked
Most likely, you would be released on your own recognizance or a very low bail would be set
You would be brought into Superior Court for an initial appearance where you should plead not guilty to the charges
After your initial plea, your lawyer would either work to negotiate a favorable plea deal with the prosecution or determine whether you can fight the charges
If you choose to fight the charges, your attorney will defend you in court.
How a Successful DUI Defense Attorney Helps Your Case
After a DUI/DWI arrest, you should immediately contact an experienced attorney. They would work with you on your DWI defense. You have two primary options when you are facing DUI charges in Monmouth County:
You can enter into a plea bargain when you have a prosecutor ready to reach a deal. Our law firm has attorneys with prior experience as a prosecutor, so we know how law enforcement thinks. We are able to negotiate, knowing the considerations that the prosecutor faces.
You can fight the DWI charges if a DWI lawyer figures out a weakness in the prosecution's case and a way that you can defend the case and avoid a DWI conviction.
Considerations When Facing DUI Charges
DWI lawyers will tell you that there is far more to a case than just the potential sentence. If you are considering whether to plead guilty, you should also be mindful that you could be facing a personal injury lawsuit. If you plead guilty to the charges, you may be automatically admitting liability in the civil case because your guilty plea would be used as evidence of negligence.
Common Defenses to Your Case that a DUI Lawyer Will Use
A skilled DUI lawyer knows when you are better off reaching a plea bargain and when you can fight the DWI/DUI charges against you. There may be advantages to taking your case to court. Here are some ways that you could defend against DWI charges:
Police wrongfully stopped you when they pulled you over
Law enforcement otherwise violated your rights in the arrest or booking process (such as questioning you without a lawyer when you expressed that you wanted one)
There was something faulty with the breath test that found you were legally intoxicated
The chain of custody for a chemical test that confirmed intoxication was faulty
DWI attorneys would review your case and determine whether there is an opening to defend yourself. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to show your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call Our DUI Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
If you are facing DWI charges, you can call our law offices today to get the help of a skilled DUI attorney. A Monmouth County DUI defense lawyer can provide you with an NJ free consultation when you are facing a DUI charge. Our NJ DWI attorneys have experience on both sides of cases, as our founding partner is a former prosecutor.
Our lawyers will see you in a free consultation visit at our New Jersey offices. We are available to our clients at all times. You can call us today at (732) 709-7757 or message us online to schedule your free consultation. We work with clients throughout the area in Toms River, Red Bank and Ocean County.