In New Jersey (and all other states), it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. State law enforcement takes drunk driving very seriously and if convicted, the consequences can be severe, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Here is a short guide to determining a DUI and to the charging and sentencing guidelines under New Jersey state law.
What Is Legal Intoxication?
Every state has their own legal definition of what it means to be impaired for DUI purposes. Although most DUIs are based on intoxication, you can be charged with a DUI if you are on drugs, or a combination of the two. Most of the time, law enforcement will determine your level with a BAC, or blood alcohol content test, either by breathalyzer or blood draw. If your BAC is above .08%, you are legally drunk. There are a few exceptions, though. Drivers under 21 are considered intoxicated at .02%, and those with a commercial driver’s license at .04%.
If you are pulled over under suspicion of driving drunk, law enforcement officers may ask you to do a roadside test and then ask for a breath or blood sample, or immediately ask for the sample. New Jersey is an implied consent law, which means that there is an automatic penalty if you refuse to give a sample.
If you refuse to give law enforcement a breath or blood sample, there are immediate consequences. For the first offense, your license is revoked for 7 months; for the second offense a 2 year revocation, and the third a 10 year revocation. In addition, you will be fined.
If you are successfully convicted of a DUI, you can receive a fine, license suspension, and possible jail time, depending on the offense. A first time offender could spend 30 days in jail, pay up to $500 in fines, and have their license suspended up to a year. A second offense brings up to $1,000 in fines, 2 years of license suspension, and up to 90 days in jail. The third offense could mean up to 180 days in jail and a 10 year suspended license. Any of these could also earn you an Ignition Interlock Device, which is that breathalyzer you blow into in order to start your car.
Seek Legal Help!
If you find yourself in possible legal trouble for DUI, contact an experienced attorney immediately. New Jersey has strict drunk driving laws, and if convicted your finances and your freedom are at serious risk. You can talk to your attorney about pleading to a lesser charge to avoid having a DUI conviction on your record. After all, New Jersey has a 10 year look-back period that affects a DUI count. It could mean the difference between losing your license for a short amount of time, or much longer. Be sure to know your rights!
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your DUI Charges Today!
Were you arrested or charged for a DUI in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper have successfully represented clients charged with a DUI in Moorestown, Mt. Holly, Lumberton, Cherry Hill and beyond. Call 856-333-3586 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.