Toms River DWI Lawyer
Toms River police officers aggressively enforce the state's laws that prohibit driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. They are out in force on major roads in the area, including the Garden State Parkway and Routes 35 and 37, ready to pull over cars when they suspect that the driver has committed DUI offenses.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, the DWI lawyers at Villani & DeLuca can help you. You can reach a Toms River New Jersey DUI attorney who will help you mount a vigorous legal defense and work towards the best possible outcome in your case. These charges are far more serious than practically any of the other traffic violations with which you can be charged.
What Happens in a DWI Arrest
A DWI case begins the moment that the police officer has probable cause to stop your car when you are driving. Probable cause is defined as when a police officer has a reasonable basis to believe that a motor vehicle violation or crime is being committed. In DWI cases, probable cause is most often in the form of poor driving, or perhaps the appearance or actions of the driver.
Police will usually administer field sobriety tests on the spot when they stop you. Field sobriety testing could include:
Asking you to exit your car and walk a straight line
Asking you other questions to assess your sobriety
Police officers in Toms River may also use a chemical test to detect the presence of alcohol in the bloodstream. If the officer believes that you have broken the law, you will be arrested and taken to the police station, where you will be administered a breath test by a certified breath test operator.
You should always plead not guilty in your initial appearance. Before you come into court for the first time, you should contact a DUI lawyer.
Possible Jail Time for a DUI Charge
In New Jersey, DUI/DWI is treated as a traffic offense and is not considered a criminal offense. However, there is still potential incarceration and significant consequences.
Even if your DUI conviction is for a first offense, you could face jail time. For first DWI offenses, you can be sentenced to a jail term of up to 30 days. Whether you are sentenced to jail time in your case depends on a number of factors, including:
Whether you have a prior criminal record
Your blood alcohol content when you were arrested
How fast you were traveling and the degree of reckless driving involved
Whether someone suffered bodily injury in the crash
New Jersey License Suspension Rules
NJ laws do not automatically call for a suspension of your driving privileges for every DWI conviction. Whether your license is suspended, and how long it is suspended for, depends on whether this is the first time that you are facing DUI charges and what your BAC level was at the time of your arrest. Here are the license suspension rule for a first offense:
If your BAC was between .08-.10, license suspension until installment of ignition interlock device (IID), must use IID for 3 months
When your BAC is over .10, license suspension until installment of IID, must use IID for 7-12 months
If your BAC was over .15, license suspension 4-6 months, must use IID for 9-15 months
Repeat Offenders Face Tougher Sentences
The potential punishment for a DWI conviction rises when it is not your first offense. On a second offense, the defendant could receive the following punishments:
48 hours to 90 days in jail
30 days of community service
A fine between $500-1000
An auto insurance surcharge of $3,000 ($1,000 extra each year for three consecutive years)
A driver's license suspension between 1-2 years
While we would always recommend that you have a criminal defense lawyer for any DWI charge, it is extremely vital for a second offense, given the wide range of potential outcomes that are possible in your case.
Other Consequences of DWI Offenses
In addition to jail time and a driver's license suspension, you may also face other penalties for a DWI conviction. Here are some other penalties under New Jersey law:
Increased insurance premiums for up to three years after your conviction (a surcharge placed on your policy)
Community service (sometimes in lieu of jail time)
Mandatory courses through the New Jersey Intoxicated Driving Program
DWI Cases Are Never Routine for You
It should not matter to you that around one million Americans are charged each year with DWI. There is one person in the world that should matter to you - and that is you and your DWI defense.
The prosecutor may see your case as one on a large and crowded docket that they have to work through every day. However, your case is the most important thing in your life, and you need a Toms River DWI lawyer who listens to you and knows what is critical in your thinking.
You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a DWI Charge
If you are going to mount a strong DUI defense, you need an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system and how a municipal prosecutor would think. Our DWI lawyers will work with you to learn the facts of your case and help you figure out the best course of action. We will point out all the considerations that you should be thinking about and not just the possibility of jail time.
Reasons for a DWI Defense
While many defendants may end up reaching a plea deal in a DWI case, there is nothing that says that you need to plead guilty if you are not guilty. There are numerous grounds upon which you can defend against a DWI charge. You may even be able to get the charges dropped if you are successful. Here are some DWI defenses:
Police did not have a valid reason to stop you (they were lacking probable cause for the traffic stop)
You were not legally drunk at the time of the arrest
The breath test or chemical test was faulty
Police otherwise violated your legal rights during the arrest or booking process
If the police did not have a valid reason to stop you, the charges would need to be dropped because the arrest itself was invalid.
How DWI Lawyers Help You
When you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you do not know how the legal system works. You may only see what is in front of you and not be thinking about tomorrow. Before you decide what to do, you need to understand how your conviction will affect you both today and tomorrow.
What You Should Do When Facing DWI Charges
From your standpoint, there are two things that you can do when you have been arrested and are facing criminal charges:
Do not talk to law enforcement on your own or answer questions that they ask you - every defendant has legal rights, and you should not speak without a DWI lawyer present.
Call a criminal defense attorney immediately to help protect your legal rights. A criminal charge is not something that you should attempt to deal with on your own. The stakes are simply too high.
Other Considerations for Your DWI Case
Even if you ultimately plead guilty to the charges, there are other things for you to consider. If someone was injured in an accident, you may also be a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. If you admit guilt in court, the conviction may be used against you in a civil case to show that you should be held legally responsible for the damages.
In addition, even though a DWI conviction is a traffic offense and not a criminal charge in New Jersey, it could still affect your employment, especially when your job has something to do with driving or transporting people. Lastly, a driver's license suspension would drastically curtail your ability to live your daily life and leave you entirely reliant on family and friends.
Your attorney will review your entire situation before they give you advice on how to proceed the best way.
Call Our DUI Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
The DUI/DWI lawyers at Villani & DeLuca are available to you when you need us when you have been charged with driving under the influence. Our law firm was founded by a former prosecutor with a deep knowledge of the system and how law enforcement operates.
Our law office helps clients who are facing DWI charges, and we have other related practice areas to meet your legal needs. Call us today at (732) 709-7757 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation in Toms River NJ.
We help clients facing criminal charges throughout New Jersey, including in the Toms River area, Wall Township, Brick Township, Seaside Heights, Ocean County and Monmouth County. We have offices in Point Pleasant and Red Bank. Our attorneys practice law because we believe that everyone deserves a defense in their case.