Our dwi defense team represents many individuals who are categorized as multiple offenders. It is not uncommon to represent someone on their fourth, fifth or even sixth DWI. This was the case of someone we recently defended in Wall New Jersey on a offense. While the case resolved with our client being subject to a license suspension, the case was nevertheless a victory in our client’s eyes as she avoided the mandatory 180 day jail term that exists for a Third or Subsequent offense. Indeed, the original charge was PD’s Fourth.
So how did we avoid the jail despite the client ultimately being found guilty of DWI under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50? This question cannot be answered easily as achieving such a result was a long process that took considerable work and more than one victory. The process involved post-conviction relief whereby we challenged the client’s prior convictions. We were successful in two of the prior courts so that those convictions, the clients first offense and third offense, could not be utilized for purposes of imposing jail. In other words, the convictions had to be disregarded insofar as jail time was concerned. The client was thus treated as a second offender for purposes of jail.
Defending a third or subsequent DWI is a much more complicated process than a first or even second offense. In order to properly handle the case, it typically turns into multiple cases; challenging each and every prior case and attempting to have the convictions vacated and/or modified so that they cannot be utilized against a client. This is precisely what we successfully did in this Wall Township case and do in all third offender plus cases.