Articles Posted in Second Offense DWI

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

It’s safe to say that here in New Jersey few individuals would have anything pleasant to look forward to given a drunken driving or drug DUI conviction as the end result. Not only does a guilty verdict mean thousands of dollars in court fines, statutory fees and auto insurance premium increases, but the addition an ignition interlock device on one’s vehicle and the possibility of some jail time can be onerous as well.

For those who are considering the services of a drunk driving defense attorney, the time to act is very soon after one is charged with a DWI-DUI offense. It is quite important to find a qualified trial lawyer who has years of experience in defending motorists against charges such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle, breath test refusal, and marijuana DUI, among others. But we recommend that a person act swiftly, while choosing carefully, before too much time elapses.

As Garden State DWI defense lawyers, my legal team and I are keenly aware of the anxiety that a drunk driving summons can cause for many otherwise law-abiding people. The best suggestion is to find legal counsel as quickly as is practical so that you allow your defense attorney enough time to prepare a strong case. As long-time DUI-DWI attorneys, my law firm has assisted many individuals accused of impaired driving, such as by alcohol or narcotics. If a driver has been served with a summons and has a pending court hearing, the time to act is now.
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For those individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of the law, that is, a motorist who has been arrested for a drunken driving offense, the immediate issue at hand is often trying to locate a competent DWI-DUI attorney to represent oneself against the local municipal prosecutor who is pressing the charges against him. To put it in simple terms, if your turn in the DWI barrel has come, now is the time for action, not later.

As Garden State drunk driving attorneys, my colleagues and I have a very good track record of defending motorists who have been charged with some kind of impaired driving. Whether these accusations involve the consumption of alcohol or the use of legal narcotic medications, or even illegal substances, the need for a qualified legal professional is always a priority. Let it be said at this juncture that my firm in no way condones any kind of impaired operation of a motor vehicle, be it a car, commercial truck, motorcycle or watercraft. From our point of view, the best defense is a good offense, and the best way to avoid a DWI or DUI is to avoid drinking or taking drugs any time one expects to be driving on New Jersey roadways.

As recognized experts in the field, my legal team gets a lot of questions from prospective clients who are just beginning to learn about the intricacies of DWI law. In the interests of edifying our readers, we feel that learning something now about drunk driving defense may come in handy in the future, especially if someone finds himself in a difficult situation involving a drunk driving arrest.
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Here in New Jersey, being arrested for DWI or driving under the influence of alcohol is different from many states because Garden State motorists accused of impaired driving are not permitted a trial by jury. Instead, drivers who have been charged with DWI or drug DUI will get a court trial with only a judge to decide the defendant’s guilt or innocence. As with many aspects of the legal system, there are pluses and minuses associated with a non-jury trial.

As experienced DUI-DWI defense attorneys, my colleagues and I know that with the lack of a jury trial, a defendant who is found guilty by a New Jersey municipal court judge in a standard drunk driving trial will usually be able to challenge that decision in a high court under the legal concept known as a “de novo appeal.” In such instances, the de novo appeal for a New Jersey DWI conviction will usually be heard by a second, county level Superior Court judge.

Under our system of laws, an appeal is usually filed by one of the two parties following a particular legal outcome arrived at by either a judge or jury, and which typically seeks a formal change to an official court decision. In broad terms, in a typical de novo appeal, the judge will review the trial transcripts from the original hearing, as well as listen to additional arguments from the defendant’s lawyer and the attorneys from the prosecutor’s office that originally filed the charges against the motorist.
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Although the majority of drivers here in New Jersey are likely aware of the more immediate effects of a drunken driving arrest and conviction — such as license suspension, fines, insurance premium assessments and even jail time — fewer people have considered the longer-term effects of a DWI-DUI. As Garden State trial lawyers and experts in the area of drunken driving defense, my legal team is well aware of the often more serious, and possibly life-altering effects of a DWI or drug DUI conviction.

While the average motorist would not likely consider who critical his or her driver’s license is to daily life, those with jobs that require the ability to drive, not just to and from work, but drive a vehicle during the course of their work day. For those individuals who rely on their personal driver’s license (not to mention a commercial driver’s license, or CDL) to make a living, there could be very dire consequences should they be arrested for drunken driving or drug-impaired vehicle operation.

For anyone whose job involves driving, the thought of losing one’s job may only come to the fore when he or she sees the flashing lights of a police cruiser in the rearview mirror. The fact is, when all is going well, most people never take into account the downside of a drunk driving arrest. But as the inevitable hearing date draws nearer, it often becomes more and more evident that the services of an experienced DWI-DUI defense attorney may be needed.
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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.
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For the average motorist, a conviction for even a first-offense DWI can represent a serious hit to one’s pocketbook. Here in the Garden State, drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol can face fines upward of $500, depending on the defendant’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Yet, these fines are hardly the worst penalties that an individual can experience if convicted for drunken driving; considering the substantial and long-term mandatory increases in one’s insurance premiums, the financial pain of a DWI or drug DUI guilty verdict can be extended for several years beyond any initial conviction.

Monetary penalties aside, there is always the possibility of jail time, which can be significant depending on the offense. While even a first-time drunk driving offender can face jail time — upward of 30 days — this undesirable penalty can often be avoided when choosing an experienced DWI defense lawyer to act as one’s legal representative. It is not uncommon, in such instances, for a convicted drunken driver to be ordered by the court to participate in a program at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).

Convictions for second- and third-time offenses brings even more serious penalties, with fines upward of $1,000 and a required 30-day stint of community service. Following a conviction for a second offense, there is a mandatory period of incarceration ranging from two days to three months. It is important to note, however, that “incarceration” does not necessarily mean jail time here in the Garden State; a skilled DWI attorney can sometimes persuade the court to substitute a stay at the IDRC in place of a jail term. Note that when personal injury or some other unique circumstance is connected with a DWI charge, jail time can often be unavoidable following a possible conviction.
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With all of the focus on illegal immigration over the past decade or so, it is should not be a surprise that part of this debate regarding undocumented aliens leads to discussions of deportation for various crimes committed by individuals who have entered the country under questionable circumstances. While there are various points of view regarding the benefit to this country as a nation built by immigrants, the argument that those who flout our laws blatantly and with criminal intent is a strong one.

As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I are dedicated to helping those individuals who have been accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs and other controlled dangerous substances (CDSs). My staff has a great deal of experience in trial law, which includes both civil and criminal litigation.

Being charged with a drunken driving offense is serious, not to mention embarrassing and potentially detrimental to one’s personal, professional and public life. There is really no good reason why anyone should walk into a courtroom unprepared to fight for one’s legal rights following a DWI or drug DUI arrest. While there is never any guarantee of a not guilty verdict or dismissal of charges, having a qualified drunk driving attorney by one’s side is a smart choice.
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Traveling the Garden State Parkway, coastal highways or city streets while legally intoxicated could be much more of a gamble in coming years for those who already have a drunken driving conviction under their belt. As New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyers, my firm understands the serious nature of any drunk driving arrest, not to mention the conviction that could follow. But for those already convicted of a first-time drunk driving offense, the next time might be even more expensive than it is today.

According to news reports, the New Jersey legislature is considering a piece of legislation that would increase the fines and other penalties well beyond what are on the books right now. As experienced drunk driving attorneys and skilled trial lawyers, we know that even with large-scale anti-DWI campaigns, frequent roadside sobriety checkpoints and high-saturation DWI patrols, the chances of someone being stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol are pretty good.

Whether one lives in Monmouth, Ocean, Sussex or Middlesex County; or if a driver is simply traveling through the Garden State, state and municipal police officers are always on the job looking for potentially drunk drivers. And while a patrolman cannot stop a car simply on a hunch that a driver is impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs, there are more than enough potential traffic and vehicle offenses happening on a regular basis to give a policeman any number of excuses to pull a drunk motorist over.
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Those arrested for drunken driving here in the Garden State don’t have much to look forward to should a conviction for DWI be the end result. In addition to the hundreds and even thousands of dollars in monetary penalties, such as assessments, fines, insurance premium increases and court fees, the law also requires convicted drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her vehicle for a period specified by the court.

As New Jersey drunken driving defense lawyers, I and my colleagues have the skills and experience necessary to represent individuals accused of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, prescription drugs, or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). While many people may not think that they have a chance to avoid a DWI or drug DUI conviction, the fact remains that if you don’t try, you won’t ever know what is or isn’t possible.

When it comes to being found guilty of a drunk driving offense, many of those people who are convicted receive not only harsh monetary penalties but also possible jail time or other punitive measures. One of the increasingly common penalties that individuals find themselves being ordered to follow by the court is the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
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