What Are the Long-Term Impacts of a DUI Conviction on Your New Jersey Driving Record?

  • Criminal Defense

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your New Jersey Driving Record?

A DUI or DWI, which are interchangeable terms in this context, is a serious offense in New Jersey. Depending on the factors involved in your case and whether you have a previous history of driving while intoxicated, DWI penalties can include a variety of fees, jail time, and loss of your driver’s license for months or even years.

In New Jersey, DUI is considered a traffic offense, which means it goes on your driving record too. That can have long-term impacts on car insurance premiums, and a DUI can stay on your record your entire life. The most proactive way to keep a DWI off your record is to engage in DWI defense.

Does a DWI Cause Points on Your L-=cense in New Jersey?

A DWI does not cause points on your license in the same way that most moving violations do in New Jersey.

The points system is meant to be an accounting of someone’s traffic violations to help the state evaluate the risk a driver presents on the road. If someone ends up with too many points in a certain period of time, their license may be suspended.

Here are some examples of traffic violations that result in points on your license:

  • Speeding, which can result in two to five points depending on how many miles per hour over the speed limit you were traveling when cited
  • Failing to yield to a pedestrian when they are in a crosswalk, which can result in two points
  • Making improper turns or u-turns, which can result in three points
  • Passing when there is a no-passing zone, which can result in four points
  • Reckless driving, which results in five points

While driving under the influence is not a violation that is listed on the New Jersey points schedule, you might end up with points related to a DWI charge if you also receive other citations at the same time. For example, if you are stopped because you engaged in improper turns, passing, or speeding and the officer suspects you are driving under the influence too, you can end up being charged with DUI while also incurring citations for traffic violations that result in points.

Will You Lose Your License for a DUI in New Jersey?

Even if you have no points on your record, you may face license suspension related to your DUI charge. License suspension information published by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission as of January 2024 indicates that you may face the following license suspension periods based on how many DUI offenses you have on your record in the past 10 years:

  • One offense: seven to 12 months of license suspension, unless you were driving in a school zone; in that case, it’s a one to two year suspension
  • Two offenses: license suspension for two years—or four years for driving in a school zone at the time
  • Three or more offenses: suspension of your license for 10 years—or 20 years if you were driving in a school zone at the time

How Do You Know What Is on Your Driving Record?

If you’re curious about what is on your license, you can order your Driver History Abstract. This can help you understand whether you have a DUI conviction on your record and how long ago it was. You can also see whether there are any points on your license.

This type of information can be important to understand because issues on your driving record have an impact on your life. First, they can drive up your auto insurance premium costs. In fact, for three years following a DUI conviction, you’ll have to pay a $1,000 surcharge on your auto insurance annually. That’s on top of any increase in your premiums caused by your driving record.

Your driving record can also impact your ability to get a job in certain circumstances. Employers hiring for positions that include driving fleet or customer vehicles, delivering items, or other road-based tasks typically pull your driving record. They need to see whether you present an unnecessary liability or might cause their insurance premiums to go up before they hire you. A lackluster driving record can cause employers to pass you over for this type of work.

Can You Get a DWI Removed From Your Record?

You can’t get a DWI charge removed from your record because it’s not considered a criminal offense in the same way other charges are. That’s because New Jersey categorizes DWI charges as traffic offenses. They are not eligible for the expungement process.

The good news, however, is that New Jersey has a 10-year rule. After 10 years, any DWI on your record is ignored for the purposes of determining whether a future DUI is your first offense or not.

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?

A criminal defense attorney may not be able to help you remove a DWI charge from your record, but they can offer plenty of help before you get to that point.

If you’re facing a DUI charge in New Jersey, reach out to a criminal law team to find out what your options are for defense. Proactively dealing with these types of charges can help reduce the challenges you might face in the future. Contact the Hernandez Law Firm, PC, at 732-582-5076.

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