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Mercer County

Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Over 100 Years of Combined Experience
  • Practice Exclusively in DUI & Criminal Defense
  • Former County & Municipal Prosecutors
  • Decades of Case Success Stories

New Jersey DWI Penalties

Fines, License Suspension & Jail Imposed in Mercer County DWI Cases

New Jersey drinking and driving laws are some of the harshest and most severe in the country. A major contributing factor is that there are no hardship or work licenses allowed during your suspension period. Moreover, DUI trials in New Jersey are before a municipal court judge and defendants are not given the advantage of plea bargaining or a trial by jury. These elements, combined with the fact that these cases are supposed to be resolved within 60 days from the date of the arrest, put defendants in a very tough and precarious position where they are normally fighting an uphill and often losing battle. However, unlike a lot of other states, a conviction for drunk driving in New Jersey is not a criminal conviction and therefore it will not come up on a criminal background check. However, since it is actually considered a motor vehicle violation it will permanently remain on your Drivers Abstract for life and cannot be expunged.

Under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, New Jersey sets different penalties depending on the breath reading and how many prior DWI offenses you have:

First Offense Conviction: A first offense DWI allows the court the most discretion and flexibility because the penalties often entirely depend on the breath reading and circumstances of the stop. A suspension period can drastically vary between three (3) months and one (1) year. Moreover, there is the possibility of 30 days in jail.

• Second Offense Conviction: The penalties for a second offense DUI increase greatly. There is a two (2) year loss of license, mandatory two (2) day jail term that can normally be credited through IDRC and community. Unlike a first offense, the judge has no discretion in determining the suspension time.

Third or Subsequent Conviction – The consequences for a third or subsequent are all the same and obviously carry the harshest penalties under the statute. Among other things theses include a ten (10) year loss of license and a mandatory six (6) months in county jail.

Drunk driving charges are, without a doubt, the toughest kind of municipal court cases in this state. The fact that there is no plea bargaining allowed means the only way to beat your charge is to win at trial or present the court with a blatant material problem which demonstrates that the state clearly cannot meet their burden of proof. Moreover, the discovery alone for each case is voluminous and complicated and routinely requires independent expert analysis in anticipation of trial. Therefore, it is always in your best interests to have the counsel and expertise of a defense attorney to navigate the difficulties of your case.

103 Carnegie Center, Suite 300 Princeton NJ 08540
By appointment only

3150 Brunswick Pike, Suite 300, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

100 Horizon Center Blvd., Hamilton, NJ 08691
By appointment only

We serve clients throughout Mercer County, New Jersey — including Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton Borough, West Windsor, East Windsor, Lawrence Township, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Princeton Township, Ewing and Hopewell — and surrounding areas, including Hunterdon County and Burlington County.

If you have been charged with a crime in Mercer County, New Jersey, it is in your interests to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. For a free consultation, you can call our firm 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This web site is designed for general information only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.