Cherry Hill NJ DWI Lawyer
DUI Defense Attorney in Camden County, New Jersey
Your first DWI can be a frightening experience. It may be your first run-in with the law, your first time arrested, and your first time appearing in court. Feeling overwhelmed after such an event is entirely understandable, particularly because the consequences of a DWI conviction can be so life-altering. Considering that the majority of DWI charges are issued against first-time offenders, tens of thousands of people have been in your shoes each year. New Jersey strictly enforces its driving while intoxicated laws and punishes DWI offenders harshly, imposing mandatory periods of driver’s license suspension for each level of offense. Specifically, for your first DWI offense, you are subject to mandatory suspension of your driver’s license and installation of an ignition interlock device, depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time. Unlike other municipal court cases in New Jersey, there is no room for negotiation in DWI cases. In other words, if you are found guilty, you lose your license for a prescribed amount of time, period.
Attorney William Fay has been successfully defending individuals charged with DWI offenses in New Jersey for years. With a wellspring of knowledge and experience as a Deputy Attorney General for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Fay is able to deliver results for his clients. In courts across New Jersey, including those in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Bellmawr, Evesham, Gloucester Twp, Winslow, Haddonfield and Pine Hill. A former client charged with Driving While Intoxicated said this about his experience:
“He did a fantastic job on my case, making my penalty much less than I thought it could possibly be. He clearly understands what he is doing and can explain everything in a way that anyone can understand. Any questions I had were answered very clearly and he listened to all small details of my case.” – ★★★★★ Former Client
Feel free to contact Mr. Fay at 609-832-3202 for immediate assistance and a cost-free consultation.
First Offense DWI Penalties in Pennsauken NJ
In recent years, the penalties for drunk driving offenses in New Jersey may have been changed. While there has been some reduction on the impact to those facing these charges, the consequences of a conviction are remain significant. Depending on the facts of your case, the judge may impose a sentence that will have a long-term impact on your daily life.
Specifically, the penalties for a first offense DWI in New Jersey include the following:
- Can I Get Jail Time? While a judge has discretion to impose a jail sentence up to thirty (30) days for a first offense DWI, the reality is that most first-time offenders avoid any period of incarceration (subject to the facts of your case). Factors like your BAC level or whether there was an accident and injury suffered by a third party victim, will directly relate to a judge’s determination as to whether or not they will impose a jail sentence.
- What are the Fines for a DWI? The judge is restricted in the specific fines that he or she may impose for a DWI conviction. In those instances where you are convicted of a first offense DWI and your BAC is between 0.08% – 0.10%, the court may only impose a monetary fine between $250-$400. However, if you are facing a first offense DWI and your BAC is above 0.10%, then the judge may impose a fine between $300-$500.
- What is an Ignition Interlock Device? Prior to the recent change in law, first-time offenders were not required to install an Ignition Interlock Device. However, changes to the laws under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 created a mandatory period of installation of an interlock device for all DWI offenses, including first offenses. For a first-time offender, the installation period is will depend upon your BAC level. The period o installation could be as low as three (3) months or as high as fifteen (15) months after your license suspension period. The only exception to the installation of an ignition interlock device applies to individuals who neither own nor have access to a motor vehicle (these individuals are subject to a mandatory license suspension though). Failure to install the device is a criminal offense. If you are caught operating a motor vehicle without this device then you will be arrested and charged with a criminal offense.
- Will The Judge Suspend My Driver’s License? Similar to the Ignition interlock Device, the changes in law affected the license suspension periods. For a first offense DWI, the period of suspension is directly related to the BAC level. For a BAC level above .08% but below .10%, the suspension is imposed only until installation of the ignition interlock device. For a BAC level above .10% but below .15%, the suspension is imposed only until installation of the ignition interlock device. However, for a BAC level above .15%, the suspension of your driver’s license is between 4-6 months and will be followed by the installation of an ignition interlock device.
- Do I Have to go to IDRC? A conviction at trial or guilty plea prior to trial for a first offense DWI requires mandatory classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center. Attendance is mandatory and will vary between 12-48 hours of classes pursuant to the judge’s orders. Failure to show up for these classes could result in you being ordered to appear in court, where the judge may impose additional penalties that include suspension of your driving privileges.
How Does a New Jersey DWI Impact My Life?
Notwithstanding the mandatory penalties imposed by the judge, your DWI offense will have other unanticipated consequences. These may include the following:
- Surcharges to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission: While some courts will advise you of possible MVC/DMV surcharges, many defendants are unaware of these monetary assessments until they receive a notice in the mail. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is authorized to impose three (3) years of surcharges at a rate of $1,000 per year. That is a grand total of $3,000 (well-beyond the fees imposed by the Court). Failure to pay these surcharges will result in the suspension of your driving privileges and interest accumulation on the principal amount.
- Increase to Your Car Insurance Premiums: This particular consequence varies depending on who is your insurance provider. However, there is a strong likelihood that a conviction for a first offense DWI will result in an increase in your car insurance. You should contact your carrier before moving forward with any guilty pleas.
- Employment Issues: Again, this is a very unique consequence as it can vary by person and across job placements. Certain employers run regular background checks that can unveil a DWI on your driving record. Alternatively, other jobs require that you operate a motor vehicle. A guilty plea that involves the installation of an ignition interlock device could directly impact your job if you need to drive a work vehicle that does not have the device installed.
Contact a Cherry Hill NJ DWI Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with a first offense DWI in Camden County or elsewhere in Southern New Jersey, contact our firm at 609-832-3202 to discuss your case. Mr. Fay will answer all of your questions and provide you with a cost-free consultation.