People charged with second-offense DWI crimes in New Jersey often face the risk of substantial penalties if they are convicted. As such, in some instances, they will plead guilty in hopes of being granted a reduced sentence. It is within the court’s discretion to determine an appropriate sentence, however, and defendants who plead guilty may not always find the terms of their penalties agreeable. As long as a sentence is legal, it will likely be upheld, though, as shown in a recent opinion issued by a New Jersey court. If you are faced with charges of a second offense DWI, it is in your best interest to consult a skillful New Jersey DWI defense lawyer to weigh your options.
The Defendant’s Conviction and Sentencing
Reportedly, the defendant was charged with driving under the influence and driving during a period of license suspension for a DWI. He pleaded guilty to the charges. In accordance with the defendant’s plea agreement, the court sentenced the defendant to a total of 360 days imprisonment, with a mandatory period of parole ineligibility that also lasted 360 days imposed as a term of probation.
Allegedly, the sentence encompassed a 180-day term of imprisonment for the DWI conviction and a 180 term of imprisonment for the conviction for driving with a suspended license. The defendant filed an appeal, arguing that his sentences were illegal, as the criminal code did not permit the courts to authorize compulsory periods of parole ineligibility as a probationary condition. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed his sentence. Continue reading