Drunk Driving Defense: Addressing Concerns of the New Jersey’s First-time DWI Offenders

As many drivers know there is nothing so discerning to a motorist as seeing those flashing patrol car lights in one’s rearview mirror. But that sinking feeling of being pulled over by a New Jersey state trooper or local patrolman can be compounded simply because a driver may think he had one too many drinks or if he is on prescription medication from a physician. The important thing to remember is it is never a mistake to consult with a qualified legal professional who understands drunk driving law.

While many people may wonder why a person would need to hire a DWI-DUI attorney, the benefits can outweigh the potential fines, license suspension, and even jail time consequences associated with a drunk driving conviction. Whether a person has been picked up for operating under the influence, driving while impaired by doctor-prescribed medications, or breath test refusal following a DWI arrest, the experienced trial lawyers at the law offices of John F. Marshall can help explain your rights under the law.

When trying to decide whether it is advisable to hire a drunk driving attorney to handle your case, it is best to look at the downside to not having a qualified legal professional at one’s side. Fines and monetary penalties aside, the potential of a license suspension if one loses his or her DWI or drug DUI case is a real and potentially life-disrupting after-effect of a conviction. For individuals who rely heavily on their ability to drive to and from work, school or other important daily activities should truly consider what the loss of driving privileges can mean.

Here in the Garden State, it’s almost a given that being convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, prescription drugs or even an illegal or controlled dangerous substance (aka CDS) will likely entail serious sanctions. Hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, court fees, statutory assessments and auto insurance premium increases can hit motorists hard in the wallet following a guilty verdict; yet few people think of the life-altering consequences of losing one’s driver’s license for three to 12 months or even two years or more.

Of course the financial impact can be very serious. Fines of $1,000 or more and multiples of that figure in surcharges to a driver’s insurance premiums over the years following a conviction are nothing to sneeze at. In fact, while fines and fees — such as those that go to the DWI Enforcement Fund, MVC Restoration Charge, Safe Neighborhood Fund and the Violent Crime Compensation Board Fund — are serious considerations, the possibility of losing one’s job because of transportation issues is not an unlikely scenario.

Considering the possibility of losing one’s license for a period of time would certainly be a concern to a person who makes a living traveling for work, driving a delivery vehicle or company truck, or for anyone who lives in a less urban area where public transport is relatively thin or not provided. Nothing can strain friendships and familial relationships like the constant need for transportation assistance to and from work, school or everyday activities like shopping.

At our law firm, my colleagues and I often field questions from potential clients on driver’s license suspension or revocation. We always remind individuals accused of DWI-DUI that one should never underestimate the impact of a loss of driving privileges, especially when that loss covers such a long period as six months to a year or more. It’s easy to forget how much we all rely on passenger cars to sustain our livelihood and lifestyles.

For anyone who has ever had his or her driver’s license taken away following a drunken driving conviction, it is no surprise that he realizes, very soon, how badly he needs that license back. As professional DWI attorneys and skilled trial lawyers, we know that it is critical to approach any DWI charge by understanding whether it is a first-time, second, third or subsequent drunken driving offense. As DWI lawyers, we need to ask the client if he or she has a previous breath test refusal on their record; it can make a great deal of a difference if a previous conviction was specifically for drunken driving or breathalyzer refusal.

In general, when a driver has been charged with a first-time DWI on a blood-alcohol content (BAC) measurement of between 0.08 and 0.10 percent, the maximum suspension one will be facing is three months. But this can be longer is the offense involved a BAC of over 0.10 percent, which can result in a seven- to 12-month suspension. Second and subsequent offenses raise the stakes considerably.

This is just a look into the possible consequences of being found guilty on just a first-time DWI offense. Anyone who is arrested and charged with drunk driving owes it to themselves to find a lawyer who can help. At our firm, we are ready to handle your drug DUI or DWI case. Our skilled legal team will consider all the facts and look for deficiencies in the prosecution’s case and the key to identifying any prosecutorial problems is experience.

Whether an arrest occurred in Ocean, Atlantic, Middlesex or Hudson County, we know how to approach a drunk driving case; when to fight the battle in court and when to negotiate with a judge. Because it costs nothing to find out how we can help, we recommend that anyone accused of DWI take the time to talk with one of our many experienced DWI defense lawyers. You can call us toll-free at 877-450-8301 to arrange a free consultation.