New Jersey Second Offense DUI Lawyer

If a person has been convicted of DUI in the past, they may assume that as soon as they are arrested for drunk driving again, that a conviction is a certainty. Nothing could be further from the truth. Prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant’s conviction was entered into their record within a certain time frame.

New Jersey second offense DUI lawyers work with someone who has been convicted of driving under the influence in the past to both fight the new charges. An experienced DUI attorney can help you prevent any possible conviction from being counted as a second conviction.

New Jersey DUI Laws

New Jersey’s DUI statute mainly deals with the potential penalties for impaired driving, it also defines DUI as, driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance that has produced a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more.

An interesting concept worth considering here is that the word “operation” is used in place of “drive.” There have been multiple court cases explaining the difference between these two terms, but a simple explanation is that a person operates a vehicle when they get behind the wheel, regardless of whether the vehicle is moving.

If a person gets into their car and sits behind the wheel, but does not have their keys in their possession, it will make for an interesting argument over whether that person was “operating” the car. New Jersey second offense DUI lawyers help potential clients to argue the concept of “operation” in court.

Defining Implied Consent

An aspect of DUI cases is the requirement to submit to a breathalyzer test. In New Jersey Revised Statute, all drivers give implied consent to submit to a breathalyzer test when stopped by police officers who have a reasonable ground to think that the driver is under the influence.

The penalties for refusing to take the test are stiff and include a loss of license for no less than seven months, heavy fines, and mandatory community service. Many DUI defense cases center on the police officer’s initial observations that led to the defendant being stopped, prior to taking the test.

Impact of Subsequent DUI Convictions

A final aspect of a second time DUI case involves the subsequent conviction. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to demonstrate to the court that this was the defendant’s second conviction.

It is not as simple as simply showing a person’s criminal record. New Jersey Revised Statute 39:4-50 subsection three states that a similar conviction in another jurisdiction will be counted against a defendant’s total convictions.

If a person is convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania, then is convicted of DUI in New Jersey, they will be considered to have two convictions for the purpose of sentencing.

Accruing Charges

There is a time limit within which a defendant needs to have multiple convictions for increased penalties to take effect. If a second conviction is accrued more than 10 years after the first conviction, then the second conviction will be treated as a first conviction for sentencing purposes. More information about this is found in New Jersey Revised Statute 39:4-50.

New Jersey second offense DUI lawyers will examine the case to determine not only how to best defend against the new charge, but also how to counter the allegation of a second offense.

Penalties for a Second Drunk Driving Offense

The penalties for a second DUI conviction in New Jersey are contained in New Jersey Revised Statute 39:4-50. They contain a mandatory jail sentence, a long-term loss of license, mandatory community service, and heavy fines.

Specifically:

  • Two years loss of license
  • 48 hours to 90 days in jail
  • $2,055 minimum fines, fees, and insurance surcharges
  • 30 days community service
  • 12-48 hours in an alcohol education program

Installation of an ignition interlock device for one-three years after the end of the term of license suspension.

Help from a Lawyer

Facing a second offense DUI is a serious matter. With penalties ranging from a mandatory jail sentence, to heavy fines and required loss of license for two years, the stakes are extremely high.

Not only are a person’s finances at stake, but so is their personal freedom. Do not take any unnecessary chances. A New Jersey second offense DUI lawyer can work with potential clients to better understand the nature of their charges, to formulate an effective defense and present that defense in court.