New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

The Consequences Of DUI In New Jersey

The Consequences Of DUI In New JerseyWhat Are The Consequences Of Drugged Driving In New Jersey?

Drugged driving in New Jersey is a traffic offense that often results in significant fines, surcharges, and fees in the amount of several thousand dollars. What’s more, those convicted often face a loss of driving privileges and are restricted to operating vehicles that have an alcohol ignition interlock device installed. In the cases of multiple offenders, consequences can also involve community service and jail.

Getting a drugged driving charge is a relatively serious offense as it differs from crimes that can be expunged or taken off their record after some time. A drugged driving charge will remain on your driving record forever if you get a conviction in New Jersey. So, it’s an offense that should be defended against as much as possible.

What Are The Penalties Of A DWI Or DUI Charge In New Jersey?

New Jersey has various levels of punishment regarding DUI and DWI…

The most straightforward definitions involve first, second, and third (or subsequent) offenses. When we get into second and third offenses, that’s where penalties such as community service, extended periods of loss of license, and interlock device restriction occur.

When it comes to first offenses, we’re dealing with shorter periods of license restriction. But even first-time DUI offenses have three tiers of punishment — depending on what the blood alcohol content (BAC) level is.

If your BAC was less than 0.10, your license will be revoked. However, you can get a restricted license if you install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle and obtain a restricted driver’s license with the interlock restriction imprinted on that license. Once those conditions are met, the interlock period will be required for three months.

If your BAC was between 0.10 and 0.14, your license will be revoked. However, you can get a restricted license under the same conditions listed above. In these cases, the interlock period is longer – lasting anywhere from 7 to 12 months.

If your BAC was 0.15 or higher, things get more complicated. In these cases, your license will be revoked and you can obtain a restricted license by meeting the requirements above.

However, there will also be a defined period of no less than 4 and no more than 6 months during this time when you can’t drive. (The frustrating part of the law here is that you’re paying for an interlock on a vehicle when you can’t drive it.)

Once that 4 to 6-month “defined” period has elapsed, you will then begin an interlock period of anywhere from 9 to 15 months.

Who Does The Prosecutor Use To Provide Evidence And Testimony For A DUI Case?

In cases where a breath test has been administered, the officer who stopped, tested, and arrested you will be the primary witness.

In cases where a blood test was administered, it’s a bit more complicated because not only do they need to bring in the officer who made the stop and the arrest, but they need to bring in somebody to talk about how your blood was drawn. (Usually, this is the nurse or medical technician who performed the blood draw.)

Additionally, the prosecution would bring in the officer who witnessed the blood draw, and they would bring in an officer to explain the “chain of custody.” The chain of custody is how the blood gets from a person’s arm and, ultimately, to the laboratory.

The last step is getting the chemist into the courtroom. The chemist is who conducts the blood analysis in the laboratory to determine what the result is from the blood sample.

Could I Also Receive A Drug Charge In A Drunk Driving Case If Cops Found Drugs In My Vehicle In Ashbury, New Jersey?

Possessing certain drugs is illegal since you must have a prescription for many medications. As such, you can be accused of possessing the drugs if you don’t have a prescription for them, and that’s a charge that will be totally separate from DWI.

In some cases, the prosecutor is willing to drop the drug possession charge in exchange for a plea to the DWI… and if pleading guilty to a traffic offense like DWI is the price of getting rid of a criminal charge, it may be worth doing.

Is Diversion Available For First-Time DWI Drug Cases?

Diversion is not available for first-time DWI drug cases in New Jersey – in fact, there is no pre-trial diversion available in any DUI or DWI case at all. Instead, New Jersey has a “plea bargain prohibition.”

In theory, plea bargain prohibition in DWI charges means that the only option a person has is to either plead guilty or go to trial and let the judge make the call.  As such, people will often choose to plead guilty to the DWI to get the lower-tier punishments instead of the upper-tier punishments that might come after losing at trial. This is one reason that our firm’s trial rate is only 20 to 25% – because we work out many cases without going to trial.

In New Jersey, prosecutors on DWIs in municipal courts are part-time. They don’t get paid extra to try cases. As a result, there is an incentive for them to find ways where they feel comfortable representing to a court that there’s some weakness in the state’s case.

So as your lawyer, we can help you figure things out. Depending on the facts of the case, prosecutors may amend or even dismiss a DWI charge if they’re willing to say on record that they can’t prove you were driving under the influence. (For example, this may be the case if there was a problem with the breath test result, meaning that they cannot use it as evidence against you.)

There are no pre-trial diversions, and there’s no plea bargaining except in exceptionally extremely limited circumstances. So our goal is to take the case to trial or work it until the prosecution breaks.

With the guidance of a skilled attorney for DWI Law In New Jersey, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.

For more information on the Consequences Of Drugged Driving In NJ, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (732) 218-9090.

John Menzel, J.D.

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