The old adage, “Where there’s one, there’s two,” can apply to many aspects of life. For motorists convicted of a first DWI offense, there is unfortunately the distinct possibility of being stopped at a future date and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. For those individuals facing the possibility of multiple drunken driving convictions, you should definitely consider enlisting the services of a qualified DWI defense lawyer.
Whether an individual has been charged with a DWI or DUI in Essex, Atlantic, Bergen or Monmouth County, the consequences of multiple convictions remain the same and can be extremely detrimental to a person’s future. Careers have been forfeited, relationships have been destroyed and friendships lost over something as seemingly inconsequential as driving with a slight buzz.
But the penalties and consequences of a second or third DWI conviction are anything but trivial. My suggestion to anyone facing this kind of scenario is don’t make a bad situation any worse; take the necessary steps now to defend yourself in a court of law — consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney.
Although it may seem that a first-time DWI arrest and conviction shouldn’t be that serious, one should never make that assumption. Not only are the penalties rather stiff for a first-time DWI conviction, it will only makes a future drunken driving arrest and conviction that much more serious.
As a New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer, I know that many first-time DWI offenders go before the court without representation. In some respects this is not always a bad idea. The reason being that if a motorist did not have legal representation in their first DWI case, it’s quite possible that a court could allow a second drunken driving offense to be treated as your first.
In fact, in such instances, a DWI defense attorney will often ask the court to treat a second offense as if it were the first for sentencing purposes. But keep in mind that timing is everything. If you are pulled over for a second DWI while the first case is still unresolved, a judge may allow multiple sentences, including license suspensions, to run concurrently. This is one way of making the best of a bad situation.
An additional consideration is the location of the various DWI arrests. If a driver had his or her first DWI conviction in another state, it will not necessarily qualify a subsequent New Jersey offense as that of a multiple DWI or drug DUI offense. Bringing in an experienced attorney to argue possible discrepancies drunk driving laws between the two states could mean that a driver will only be sentenced as a first offender in New Jersey.