Serious Penalties Await New Jersey Driver Convicted of Second DWI Plus Other Offenses

There is no better advice that one could receive — at least when it comes to avoiding an arrest for DWI — than to not invite misfortune in the first place by simply not drinking before driving. That said, if one is arrested for and subsequently convicted of drunken driving, the penalties for driving under a suspended license, especially while intoxicated will not engender much compassion from any New Jersey court. Our laws here in the Garden State are very strict concerning drunken driving and drug DUI, and because of this there can hardly be a good reason not to consult with a qualified drunk driving defense lawyer when facing some serious charges.

As longtime New Jersey DWI-DUI attorneys, my colleagues and I are very familiar with penalties associated with first, second or subsequent drunk driving convictions. We also know that there are few situations where going it alone in a courtroom will result in a good outcome for a defendant. Here in New Jersey, there are no plea deals allowed in situations involving DWI or drug DUI charges, therefore understanding what one is facing before stepping into a New Jersey municipal courtroom is in most everyone’s best interest.

Of particular concern would be those motorists who already have one drunk driving conviction under their belt. While it is preferable to avoid a first conviction for DWI-DUI altogether, once on a driver’s record there should be a great incentive for a motorist to pick up the phone and contact a qualified DWI attorney should a second arrest occur. There is never a better time like the present to find out the legal ramifications of a second or third conviction when it comes to penalties in terms of monetary fines and that of potential jail time.

Take the case of a Brick Twp. man who ended up in Ocean County Superior Court with a jury trial due to extensive and serious charges involving a second drunken driving episode. According to news reports, the 46-year-old defendant was found guilty of driving under a suspended driver’s license following two drunk driving arrests, which could land the man in state prison for upward of 18 months.

The incident that led to the latest charges against this particular Garden State motorist took place in mid-December, 2011, along a stretch of Arnold Ave. in Point Pleasant Beach when a local police officer on mobile patrol ran the defendant’s license plate number and found that the vehicle’s registration was expired. Following that routine computer check, it was also determined that the plates apparently belonged to a different vehicle.

Conducting a roadside traffic stop, the officer explained the reason for pulling the man over, after which the defendant reportedly admitted to driving with a suspended license, as well as fictitious plates. While the stop itself was not alcohol-related, upon further investigation, police noted that the arrestee had been convicted of DWI twice previously — once in 2004 and again in 2006 — which pointed to a much more severe situation than originally anticipated.

According to court records, the motorist’s driving privileges were never restored following the second suspension in 2006. It is important to note that an amendment to New Jersey’s legal statues, which was enacted in 2011, makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while suspended for a second (or subsequent) drunken driving offense. That particular change in the statutes provides for stiffer penalties.

As a result of the recent guilty verdict, the defendant faces a mandatory jail term ranging from six to 18 months. The final decision regarding the amount of jail time will be decided at a sentencing hearing in late June. Needless to say, this is an object lesson in the downside to ignoring the court’s orders and continuing to drive a vehicle while under suspension. As Garden State DWI legal experts, we would recommend that anyone facing similar hardship to consult with a qualified drunk driving lawyer before making any decisions that could have a negative impact later on.

Jury Convicts Brick Man After Two Drunk Driving Arrests, One In Point Beach; Patch.com; April 24, 2014