New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

Possible Consequences of A DUI Charge


What Are Some Possible Consequences Of A DUI Charge?

There are some other consequences that a lot of people do not consider. These tend to be specific to individuals and their life situations. For example, if a person is not a citizen, a DWI can be deemed a deportable offense, or even render that non-citizen inadmissible to the United States should they leave the country for whatever reason.

A DWI conviction also acts as a basis for exclusion to enter Canada. If an American citizen gets a DWI or a refusal, Canadian customs and immigration officials generally bar that person from entering their country. That is because DWI and refusal are crimes in Canada. They exclude the person based on the theory that in Canada, they would be a criminal and they do not want criminals in their country. So you have to ask a person about their citizenship, about whether they have to travel to Canada for whatever reason, because it can be very embarrassing when you go to the border and they do not let you in.

Certain occupations are also affected by a DWI or breathe test refusal conviction. Those include being a pilot. If you fly an airplane as a pilot, that is an event that has to be reported to the Federal Aviation Administration not once, but twice. If you have a coast guard certification to pilot a vessel, that is a reportable event. If you trade stocks, bonds or securities for the accounts of other people, that is a reportable event. If you teach drivers education and motorcycle safety, you are prohibited from the occupation. If you drive a taxi or a limousine, you are prohibited from both occupations. If you have vanity license plates, you lose your rights to possess them, even though that is very important for some people.

Also, you have to be careful about what you disclose to your employer about getting a DUI ticket. Most employment in this country is called ‘At Will.’ That means that an employer can hire you or fire you for any reason or no reason at all as long as it is not based on a suspect classification, like race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and things like that. This means if you disclose your DWI to your employer, you could end up getting fired. Some people have very close relationships with their employers, and those employers might feel sly of you for not telling them. Therefore, it is very much an individualized judgment call, and the fact is, it is such a sensitive choice.

A lot of people are employed pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement or some kind of an employment policy. If you get one of these charges, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with those agreements because they may affect your rights and obligations with regard to reporting when you get one of these kinds of tickets. There is also the requirement to report criminal charges. You have an argument that there is no need to report a DUI or a refusal because in New Jersey, those offenses are not crimes.

On the other hand, those policies may talk not only about crimes, but about serious traffic offenses in which case there would be an obligation to report. Again, based on the individual’s experience with the employer, that is very much their judgment call. Many people choose not to inform their employer even though they had an obligation to report, taking a calculated risk that they would be able to fly under their employer’s radar and that no one would be informed about the violation. Those are called Collateral Consequences. Those consequences do not directly come from the action of the government, but are very real consequences if you get charged with.

One of the other things people have to do because there is no provisional or work license in New Jersey, is that you do have to think about things like how are you going to get back and forth by the way of public transportation, whether you have to relocate, to be closer to work. If you are facing a longer period of driving privilege revocation in New Jersey, you may even think about moving out of state and getting a license there. One of the few good things about New Jersey is that there are no consequences unless and until there is a conviction. The only obligation the person has if they are charged is to show up in court when they are required to do so. Moreover, you can go about your business in all other respects unless and until there is a conviction. That means that if you were to move and you get a license in another state, there is a database called The Motor Vehicle Registry that every state subscribes to. Then if the new state were to check the registry, they would not see anything in New Jersey.

Most of the states would do immediate administrative revocation and that can cause problems. However, one of the few good things about New Jersey is they will cause you that problem. If you are facing a two year or ten -year revocation, it is not uncommon for people to relocate to another state like Pennsylvania where the laws are a bit more tolerant, or New York where the reporting is a little uneven, or other states where there are better opportunities. If someone is contemplating to a move to another state, or if they happened to be a licensee of another state and they get nailed in New Jersey for DUI or refusal, it is advised to consult with a lawyer that specializes in DUI and refusal in that other state. They should also talk to an attorney because attorneys deal with these interstate consequences. It is similar to the case where a person, who is not an American citizen, should consult with an immigration lawyer separate and independent from whatever advice the DUI attorney has to give them.

Read about some of the Possible Consequences of a DUI Charge or call the law office of New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel, J.D. for an Initial Consultation at (888) 394-1394 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

John Menzel, J.D.

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