DUI is “driving under the influence.” In New Jersey, adults 21 years of age and older face charges of drunk driving if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. There is a zero-tolerance rule for drivers under the age of 21, meaning it is against the law to get behind the wheel with any alcohol in your system. Penalties and consequences depend on BAC levels, and whether it is a first-time offense or a subsequent offense.
Receiving a DUI charge can be very overwhelming. The penalties are harsh, and the charge can completely uproot your life. The first step is to contact a New Jersey DUI attorney to help with your case. Leon Matchin is an experienced DUI attorney in New Jersey. He has helped many clients have their DUI charges dismissed or at least downgraded to a lesser offense. He can help you, too! If you or a loved one has received a DUI charge, contact Leon today for a consultation.
New Jersey DUI Charges & Penalties
When it comes to DUI charges, the law gets a bit complicated. Our goal is to break it down for you so that you know exactly what you are dealing with.
First Offense DUI (BAC of 0.08-0.10) – $250-$400 fine, jail time of up to 30 days, ignition interlock device installed in car for 3 months, 2 days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, $1,000 per year insurance surcharges for 3 years
First Offense DUI (BAC of 0.10-0.15) – $300-$500 fine, jail time of up to 30 days, installation of ignition interlock device for 7 months to 1 year, 2 days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for 2 years
Second Offense DUI – $500-$1,000 fine, jail time between 2 days and 90 days, 1-2 year license suspension, program requirements provided by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, 30 days community service, insurance surcharge of $1,000 per year for 3 years, license suspension followed by installation of ignition interlock device in car
Third Offense DUI – $1,000 fine, jail time for 180 days, license suspension for 8 years, 30 days of community service, program requirements provided by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, surcharge of $1,500 a year for 3 years, installation of ignition interlock device in car for 2-3 years after license suspension period
In addition, anyone charged with a DUI will also owe fines/fees to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, Motor Vehicle Commission, Intoxicated Driving Program, Violent Crimes Compensation Fund, and the Safe and Secure Community Program. Also, if you are caught driving on a suspended license from a prior DUI charge, you will face more fines, extended jail time, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Getting a DUI charge comes with hefty consequences. Between the financial burden of the fines and the disruption of life with jail time and license suspension, you can see why lawyers fight so hard for their clients to have DUI charges dismissed.
Getting Charges Dismissed
Your attorney’s number one goal will be to get your DUI charge dismissed. A dismissal of charges means no fines, no jail time, no ignition interlock device, and no mark on your permanent record! You may be thinking that this sounds too good to be true. While it’s not always possible, many defenses in court have successfully had DUI charges fully dismissed. If a dismissal is not possible, the next step is for your attorney to work on having your charges downgraded so that you are facing fewer penalties. When you meet with your attorney, be sure to tell them all the details of your DUI arrest. Factors such as an improperly administered field sobriety test or no probable cause for arrest can work in your favor.
How a New Jersey DUI Attorney Can Help
Having DUI charges dropped or downgraded requires the help of an attorney. An experienced lawyer like Leon Matchin has defended many DUI clients. His experience helps him to understand what works in court and what doesn’t work. He will review your case for important details that could get your charges dismissed. During your initial consultation, be open and honest with your attorney. You never know what you will say that will help your attorney create a successful defense. Remember, no detail is too small. Your attorney will appreciate any information you give them.
A DUI charge is not the be-all-and-end-all when you are working with an attorney. An experienced New Jersey DUI attorney will fight in court to have your charges dismissed. Leon Matchin knows how devastating the penalties associated with a DUI charge can be. He will do everything in his power to help you avoid those penalties. There’s a chance that the charge will be downgraded instead of dismissed. For example, your attorney might be able to fight for you to have the charge downgraded. In that case, it is equivalent to something like a traffic ticket.
If you or a loved one have received a DUI charge, don’t wait another minute. Contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help you understand New Jersey DUI laws and how you can fight the charge. Contact Leon Matchin by phone at 732-887-2479, or email him at [email protected] He will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.