So you’ve been charged with a DUI/DWI (drunk driving) for the first time in New Jersey and you want to know what things you’ll have to face in lieu of a conviction.  Here’s a snap shot of some things you have to look forward to:

DUI Charge

    • Loss of License:  This is perhaps the most obvious of the consequences of a DUI conviction.  A first offense in the state of New Jersey grants you anything from 3 months to a year’s suspension of your driving privileges depending on your BAC level.
    • Fines and Prison Term:  For first offense convictions, your fines can range anywhere from $3,905 to about $5,000.  Jail time can be anything up to 30 days.  In addition, you are also required to complete 12-48 hours of community service.
    • Ignition Interlock Device:  If your BAC level was greater than a .15% on your first offense, you also must have an ignition interlock device installed in all vehicles you own for as long as 6 months up to a year after your driving privileges are reinstated.
    • Higher Insurance Rates:  You’re now considered a “high-risk” driver so your premium will increase and could possible even double or triple in cost for the next few years following your conviction.  Based on your auto insurance company policy, they could even terminate your coverage.
    • Background Checks:  A lot of employers now perform background checks on their applicants before hire.  A drunk driving conviction will show up on a background check.  Colleges and universities look at this for admissions and financial aid purposes and many landlords also will do a background check before renting out their spaces to you.  You should note that most schools don’t admit students with DUI convictions and any scholarships could also be withdrawn.
    • Employment:  Jail time, court dates, and community service that come along with a DUI conviction can greatly affect your job and work schedule.  A conviction can give you a massive disadvantage to other applicants since a lot of employers are uncomfortable bringing on an employee with a DUI conviction.  To take this further, some jobs might no longer even be an option (like anything with a delivery service or driving a cab).
    • Moving Out of State: It’s important to know that most states share conviction information for DUI/DWI charges.  That means that in moving to a new state, they will honor your conviction from the other state and treat it like it happened in theirs.

A DUI conviction is not a one and done thing—it will haunt you for years to come.  Don’t leave your freedom in the hands of fate.  When faced with charges, you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your case.  The Law Offices of Leon Matchin, LLC has been defending clients who have been charged with driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated for over ten years.  Give us a call immediately at (833) 732-7320 for a free consultation if you are facing a DUI charge.