Do You Need to Hire a New Jersey DWI Lawyer?

  • DWI

Drunk driving is very dangerous; it poses a serious risk to both a car driver and other road users. Thousands of people lose their lives or are seriously maimed because of driving while being intoxicated. Traditionally, national and local laws have always had a hostile stance towards drunk drivers. Even worse, more states are pushing for even more draconian punishment for drunk drivers. Considering, the menace drunk drivers have caused, both in terms of lives and properties lost, such laws are in some cases quite welcomed. But sometimes, we make costly mistakes, even those potentially fatal as driving while intoxicated. It could be from all friends’ night-out, a school or family reunion, or some wild party that involves a drink or two. It could also be from a 12-bottle binge drinking session we certainly won’t judge, these things happen. However, a New Jersey DWI lawyer could be the only thing standing between you and some jail time if you find yourself in such a situation.

The penalties that accompany a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) offense are quite stiff, but there are some circumstances where they could potentially get even worse. All states have drunk driving laws that provide for stiffer punishments under “enhanced sentencing”. Sentence enhancement for drunk driving offenses is usually motivated by certain circumstances, either legal or factual, which necessitates stiffer punishments as a means of deterrence. These sentences usually range from higher fines, suspension of driving license for a longer time, to even mandatory jail time. If you were arrested for a DWI offense with a child in your vehicle, your sentence could be enhanced, even if the child is yours.

The enhancement applies for children under the age of 18 and could be much stiffer if the child was under the age of 14. Similarly, if someone was injured as a result of an accident that occurred due to driving while intoxicated, your sentence could also be enhanced. Other factors that could further complicate your legal stance including being arrested without a valid driver’s license, being on active probation for other crimes, having an open container of alcohol, having previous other convictions, or having an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Experienced DWI Lawyer

To be specific, if you are pulled over for DWI offenses in New Jersey, you could potentially be up for some serious problems. The punishments for drunk driving in New Jersey drunk are quite severe. It could be quite costly and far-reaching even for first offenders. If you’ve been previously booked for DWI offenses, the consequences could increase significantly. So, from the moment you are arrested for a drunk driving offense, it is important to seek the advice of a New Jersey DWI lawyer immediately. Taking more time could mean you’re making yourself more vulnerable and even susceptible to stiffer punishments. Though the circumstances surrounding your arrest will be hugely weighted in court, your actions or inactions could further complicate your legal stance.

In New Jersey, the penalties for DWI conviction could include losing your license for 3 months to as long as 10 years, usually depending on the severity of your charges you face. Similarly, fines, surcharges, jail time, and community services you may be subjected to will also vary depending — in some cases — on the severity of your charges. The severity of your charges in New Jersey is partly based on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest and record of past offenses. Your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), is usually categorized based on two values; a BAC above 0.08%, but less than 0.10% and a BAC higher than 0.10%. 

Punishment For Drunk Driving

If you are arrested and subsequently convicted of DWI in New Jersey with a BAC of about 0.08%, but less than 0.10% (on your first DWI conviction), you’ll likely lose your license for 3 months, between 12 hours to 30 days of jail time, between $250 to $400 in fine, and about $1,000 in annual automobile insurance surcharge for three years. However, the penalties become stiffer if your BAC at the time of arrest was more than 0.10%.

However, registering your BAC to be above the permitted limit does not automatically make you guilty. That you failed the different tests at the point of arrest could mean also does not mean you shouldn’t take up legal defense.

In situations like this, many “offenders” are usually quick to plead guilty, perhaps to solicit for leniency. However, in most situations, these usually doesn’t help your case but rather further complicate your legal chances of escaping conviction. It is quite important that you seek legal assistance from a competent New Jersey DWI lawyer immediately, to avoid saying or doing things that could be used against you in a court of law.

To aid your legal defense, it is important that no matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, that you do not plead guilty to the offense which you are being accused of. Always remain conscious of the fact that there could be loopholes in those circumstances that could significantly help in arguing your innocence in court, or at least for less stiff punishments, if punishments may be inevitable.

Once you hire a qualified DWI lawyer, they will immediately initiate processes and investigations to support your defense. This could include studying and looking for loopholes in police reports as well as your recollection of the details of the circumstances surrounding your arrest.

DWI lawyers are professionals, are endowed with an enormous wealth of invaluable legal advice; something you’ll most definitely need if you want to keep your head out of serious legal repercussions. So do you really need to hire a New Jersey DWI lawyer? If you have a pending DWI case — sure, you definitely do. Being convicted for DWI offenses isn’t funny at all. Sure, you just drank a few bottles, maybe one, two or five, but once your convicted, things could get a lot worse quite quickly. 

Having a DWI conviction on your record can sometimes come with lots of negative consequences throughout your life. Even after you have completed your sentence and probation requirements, including paying hefty fees and fines, you’ll easily find that such convictions may linger for a while longer.

A DWI conviction can sometimes hamper your ability to get a job, obtain credit, get a student loan, buy a gun, or in some cases; even renting an apartment. Additionally, you could also have issues with getting insurance and the premium you pay on insurance. The most effective solution to such a potential problem is to avoid being convicted at all.

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Steven W. Hernandez, Board-Certified DUI Attorney