Middlesex County DWI Attorney
Getting charged with drunk driving is a frightening experience, especially if you don’t know how to fight it. A Middlesex County DWI lawyer can help you build a defense with the best chance of getting your charges reduced.
While many people think of driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses as equivalent to any other traffic violation, this is simply not accurate. A DWI is known as a “quasi-criminal offense” in New Jersey. Even though it’s technically a motor vehicle offense, a conviction carries a number of potentially serious consequences.
Because of this, it’s critical to fight a DWI charge, whether it’s your first offense or a subsequent one. A conviction for drunk driving will have very real repercussions for your life and future.
The best way to fight a DWI charge is to build a defense with the help of a Middlesex County DWI lawyer from Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC. We never give up on a case, and our goal will be to see your charges dismissed from the moment we start working on your defense.
Understanding Your Drunk Driving Charge
Like most states, New Jersey sets the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level for most drivers at .08 percent. If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and test at or above this level, you will likely be charged with driving while intoxicated.
Commercial drivers and drivers under the age of twenty-one have different legal standards, however. Commercial drivers are only allowed a BAC of .04 percent, while anyone under age twenty-one is only allowed a BAC of .02 percent.
You can also fail a field sobriety test and be charged. These tests are more subjective, often involving balance and coordination. This type of sobriety test often provides a number of potential defenses that can be used by your DWI defense attorney, however.
Legal Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated in New Jersey
As a quasi-criminal offense, a DWI can carry some harsh penalties that aren’t typically seen in other motor vehicle violations. Not only do these legal penalties involve a number of expensive fines, but they can also result in jail time, the loss of your drivers license, and more.
The exact penalties you face depend on the number of DWI offenses that you’ve previously been convicted of. Your conduct during your traffic stop and a number of other factors can also play into the sentencing.
Your Middlesex County DWI lawyer will help you determine what penalties are likely in your specific situation. Listed below are the general guidelines for DWI penalties in New Jersey:
- First DWI Offense – Up to thirty days in jail, $250–$500 fine, three-month to one-year license suspension
- Second DWI Offense – Up to ninety days in jail, $500–$1,000 fine, two-year license suspension
- Third DWI Offense – Up to 180 days in jail, $1,000 fine, ten-year license suspension
It’s also possible that you’ll be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. This device will require you to blow into it before your vehicle can be started, which can lead to significant public embarrassment.
Finally, while all drunk driving offenses will have a monetary fine of some sort, there are a number of additional fees you’ll be required to pay, such as the Motor Vehicle Restoration Fee and Intoxicated Driver Program Fee. In total, these additional fees can add up to over an additional $500.
Other Consequences of a DWI Conviction
Unfortunately, a DWI conviction carries more than just the legal consequences described above. A DWI can cause substantial damage to your personal reputation, and it can even damage your career.
If you drive for a living, then a drunk driving conviction will likely cost you your job and make it extremely difficult to find new employment in the same field.
Because a DWI can result in the suspension of your drivers license, your personal freedom and mobility is also infringed upon. This can make it difficult to get to work and to take your kids to events—just to name a few of the inconveniences it can cause.
Fighting a DWI Charge in Middlesex County
Because a DWI is not an indictable offense (felony) or a disorderly person charge (misdemeanor), you will not be tried in front of a jury. Instead, a judge will hear your case and make a verdict.
Judges have in-depth knowledge of the law, and they hear cases day-in and day-out, so it’s essential to work with a Middlesex County DWI lawyer who knows the judge’s temperament and how to effectively present a defense.
Our firm has substantial experience defending people charged with DWI. Even if you failed a breathalyzer test, there might still be defenses available. For example, the device’s calibration might be called into question, or fumes present in the air at the traffic stop might have interfered with the reading.
It’s even possible that the officer’s probable cause in pulling you over could be called into question.
A field sobriety test might also offer avenues for your defense, such as rocky ground that interfered with your balance, or a loud environment that prevented you from understanding the officer’s instructions.
Middlesex County DWI FAQ
A driving while intoxicated charge can create an incredible amount of stress in your life. We know that you’re going to have questions, and we’ve provided answers to a few frequent concerns below. If you don’t see your question, please contact us so that you can speak with a DWI lawyer directly.
Can I get a DWI conviction expunged from my record?
Unfortunately, no. Because DWI is considered a motor vehicle offense rather than a criminal offense, a conviction is not eligible for expungement, even after many years have passed.
What is a wet reckless driving charge?
This is a motor vehicle offense that is less serious than DWI. It’s sometimes possible to obtain a plea bargain that reduces your charge to a wet reckless offense, although you should first determine whether it’s possible to have your drunk driving charge fully dismissed.
Can I refuse to take a sobriety test in New Jersey?
New Jersey has an implied consent law, which means that you’re considered to have already agreed to submit to a chemical or breath test simply by getting behind the wheel. If you refuse, you can be fined and will likely have your drivers license revoked.
Contact a Middlesex County DUI Lawyer
Even though New Jersey doesn’t treat drunk driving as a criminal offense, a conviction can still have dramatic consequences for your future. The simple truth is that you don’t want to take risks when it comes to building your defense.
Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC never gives up on a client’s case, and we never back down. If you’ve been charged with DWI, we can help. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Middlesex DWI lawyer, simply contact us through the form on this page or call 732-303-7857.