New Jersey DWI Attorney John Menzel

What Happens If I Am Charged With A Second Or Third DWI In Monmouth County?

If you are charged with a second or third DWI in Monmouth County or anywhere else in New Jersey, the first thing you should do is hire a qualified lawyer because the stakes are high. Those convicted as a second offender are looking at one to two years of hard revocation when driving is prohibited altogether. A two-to-four-year period follows where the right to drive is restricted to vehicles equipped with an alcohol ignition interlock. Third offenders face six months in jail, eight years of driving privilege revocation, and up to four years of interlock restriction.

These consequences linger because other hidden consequences may come along, including potential delays in license restoration. Attendance at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) is not only a part of the court’s sentence but also a prerequisite for license restoration. The unfortunate thing about this is most people aren’t informed of these requirements until they arrive at the threshold of license restoration. They often believe they’ve done their time only to find out they are going to be delayed months if not another year because they failed to adhere to IDRC requirements.

What Happens If I Am Involved in Vehicle Accident and Am Charged with DWI after the Accident?

The circumstance of the accident can significantly affect your exposure for punishment. In the case of death, the charge would be aggravated manslaughter, reckless manslaughter, or death by auto. The least of these is a second-degree crime punishable by a minimum of five years in state prison and a maximum of 10 years. That’s in addition to all the usual consequences of a DWI which pale in comparison to the jail term.

If there’s injury, the charge would be vehicular assault. The level of injury determines level of punishment, with significant bodily injury, serious bodily injury, and bodily injury warranting classification of the crime as either second degree, third degree, or fourth degree, respectively.

Punishment for a second-degree crime includes mandatory incarceration. Third- or fourth-degree charge may lead to jail, as well. But an attorney may help avoid jail.

John Menzel, J.D.

John Menzel, J.D.: Dedicated DWI Defense in New Jersey. With over 30 years of experience, committed to protecting your license, your freedom, and your reputation. Let's work together to beat that charge.

Request a Consultation Session (732) 218-9090

Will I Get Any Leniency If I Admit Right Away that I Was Drinking and Driving?

You will not receive leniency if you admit to drinking and driving right away. The best thing you can do is say as little as possible. The Fifth Amendment constitutional right to remain silent when confronted by police is important to remember in these circumstances. It’s acceptable to ask if the other person is okay, but beyond that, it’s best not to answer any questions. If the police press you or make you uncomfortable, ask for your lawyer. Hopefully, you’ll have your lawyer on your cell phone and available right away. You should not speak with the police because they will use anything you say to build a case against you, justify an arrest, or persuade a judge or jury that you are guilty of something.

Do I Still Need to Hire an Attorney If I Am Going to Plead Guilty to DWI Charges in Middlesex County?

Whether you are charged in Middlesex County or elsewhere, you never want to plead guilty before understanding the full scope of a case. There may be legal defenses you are not yet aware of or inconsistencies in police reports or video footage. Since June 1, 2021, our state legislature has required local police departments to have body cam video unless they are under severe financial constraints. Still, video is available in almost every case. Thus, it’s unwise to plead guilty without first consulting with a lawyer who is very familiar with DWI laws.

The penalties can be significant, and the downside risk is often very nominal if you are convicted after trial versus pleading guilty upfront. That’s why you never want to plead guilty right away. Instead, seek competent legal advice.

Is There a Way to Avoid Forfeiture of My Driving Privilege If I Get Convicted of DWI?

Effective February 19, 2024, the New Jersey Legislature put in place a way for those accused of DWI can avoid a driving privilege suspension. If charged with DWI, the accused can get an AIID installed in whatever vehicle they would principally operate and, within seven days thereafter, obtain a license with the AIID restriction imprinted on it. If there was no accident involving serious bodily injury and the driving privilege of the accused person was in good standing when charged and maintained in good standing until conviction, that person will get a one-day credit against the driving privilege revocation imposed on conviction for every two days the person had the AIID installed before conviction.

This change in the law includes other incentives to install the AIID before conviction. For example, fines amounting to between $250 and $1,000 are eliminated, but $390 in mandatory assessment would remain. Whether this is worthwhile must be weighed against the cost of maintaining an AIID which runs about $120 to $140 per month.

Because of how the statute is written, there are a few open questions concerning, among other things, how this new law would apply to drivers licensed outside of New Jersey, what would happen if the person with a pre-conviction AIID is caught operating a motor vehicle without an AIID while charges are pending, when the seven-day period in which to install the AIID begins, and whether the credit would apply if one is convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.

Installing an AIID before conviction is a hedge against the possibility or probability of a conviction. The hope is that the installation of the AIID before conviction was done for nothing by beating the DWI charge.

For more information on 2nd, 3rd & Subsequent DWI Charges In NJ, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (732) 218-9090 today.

John Menzel, J.D.

John Menzel, J.D.: Dedicated DWI Defense in New Jersey. With over 30 years of experience, committed to protecting your license, your freedom, and your reputation. Let's work together to beat that charge.

Request a Consultation Session (732) 218-9090