Winslow NJ Third Offense DWI Lawyer
Drunk Driving Defense Attorney in Southern New Jersey
A third DWI conviction in New Jersey has life-altering implications. With the mandatory suspension of your driving privileges for the next eight (8) years, your ability to work and conduct the activities of everyday living can be severely hindered. New Jersey does not allow for hardship licenses in DWI cases, nor does it provide for plea agreements that reduce periods of license suspension. In other words, your third offense DWI has the potential to change the way you live for the next decade, not to mention it means you will be forced to spend six (6) months in jail. So, what to do in this position? Hire the most experienced, aggressive DWI defense attorney you can find. He or she can thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case in order to find potential grounds for a dismissal. For instance, was there probable cause for the initial motor vehicle stop? Are there potential issues with the breathalyzer or blood test results? Did police follow protocol through every step of the process? There are a host of potential arguments that may beat your DWI charges. The key is having an attorney who can find them.
William Fay is a DWI defense lawyer who has been successfully fighting DWI charges on behalf of clients in New Jersey for years. After leaving the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Fay entered private practice to fight for the rights of the accused. He uses his previous experience serving on behalf of the state to pinpoint and aggressively pursue holes in the prosecution’s arguments. To read some of Mr. Fay’s client reviews, visit his individual profile page on Avvo.com. You can also contact his offices at 609-832-3202 for immediate assistance and a cost-free consultation.
Third DWI Offense Penalties in Cherry Hill NJ
The statute that addresses DWI offenses in New Jersey is located in section N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, where you can find the penalties associated with a first DWI offense, second DWI offense, and third/subsequent DWI offense. In general, the consequences associated with a conviction for DWI increase relative to the number of previous offenses for which you were found guilty. Although the penalties for a first offense DWI vary based on the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time; third and subsequent DWI penalties remain consistent regardless of the driver’s BAC. In other words, a third DWI with a BAC of 0.09% results in the same 8-year license suspension as one involving a BAC of 0.15% or higher.
The penalties for a third offense DWI in New Jersey include:
- Jail: While a DWI is not a “criminal offense” (unless an accident and/or bodily injury occur), the judge must still sentence you to a period of incarceration in the county jail. While some first and second offenders may avoid a jail sentence, third or subsequent offenders face a mandatory sentence of 180 days in the county jail.
- License Suspension: One of the most devastating aspects of a third offense DWI is the length of suspension for your driver’s license. If found guilty, you will be facing a mandatory eight (8) year license suspension. There is no exception to the license suspension and you cannot obtain a permit or special license to drive to work or the doctor in this period. Furthermore, if you risk driving during the suspension period and are caught, then you facing new criminal charges!
- Ignition Interlock Device: In addition to the jail sentence and license suspension, the court must require the installation of an ignition interlock device on your motor vehicle. This device must remain installed on your vehicle for a period of 1 to 3 years after your 8-year license suspension.
- Court Fines: Adding to the already heavy penalties, a third offense DWI/DUI carries up to a $1,000 fine to the municipal court.
- Community Service: Following completion of your jail sentence and during your period of license suspension, the court may require that you complete up to ninety (90) days of community service. Typically, you are required to complete this community service within one (1) year of your release from jail. Failure to comply with this part of your sentence can result in a court-issued warrant for your arrest.
- Intoxicated Driver Resource Center: The last and final penalty that the court can directly impose on a third offense driving while intoxicated violation is mandatory attendance at alcohol education classes through an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). The length of these classes can range from 12-48 hours but you may be subject to additional counseling or classes based on the IDRC counselors requests.
NOTE: In order to be charged with a third offense DWI in New Jersey, your second DWI conviction must have occurred within the last ten years. If your second DWI conviction occurred outside of the ten-year window, there is what is known as a ten-year step-down, which allows you to be charged with a second offense DWI.
Ancillary DWI Penalties in New Jersey
In addition to court-imposed penalties, there are ancillary consequences for individuals who are convicted of a 3rd DUI offense in New Jersey, which include:
- Surcharges to NJ MVC: The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) imposes surcharges on motor vehicle violations, including driving while intoxicated. These surcharges vary based on the nature of the underlying driving records. However, for a third DWI offense will result in the assessment of three (3) $1,500 surcharges in consecutive years. Failure to satisfy these payments will result in the indefinite suspension of your driver’s license.
- Insurance Rates: Depending on your insurance provider, you will likely face “insurance points” that could render you a high-risk driver. This might result in the imposition of insurance premium rate hikes or even and make it impossible to obtain coverage.
- Foreign Travel Restrictions: Anecdotally, we have been told that drunk driving violations may directly impede your ability to travel in-or-out of the country. Border Patrol officials may deny or detain you at the points of entry.
- Employment: The most obvious repercussion is with your employers. Depending on the type of employment you maintain, your driver’s abstract may be regularly checked by employers for violations. Alternatively, if you are required to drive for work, you may be left with no option but to lose your job.
Is Jail Required for a DWI Offense in New Jersey?
While a first or second DWI offense may not result in a jail sentence, you can rest assured that a third DWI offense carries a mandatory jail sentence. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 mandates that anyone convicted of a third DWI/DUI violation must be sentenced to a minimum of 180 days in the county jail where the offense occurred.
Even though the court is required to impose a 180-day jail sentence, there is an opportunity to serve some of your jail sentence in a court-approved alcohol rehabilitation program. Specifically, the municipal judge is permitted to let your serve up to 90 days (out of the 180-day sentence) of jail time through a court-approved alcohol rehabilitation program. Contact our office to discuss this type of sentencing condition in your case.
Contact a Pennsauken NJ DWI Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with a third offense DWI in Camden County or elsewhere in 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.