The attorneys at The Law Offices of John Zarych remain dedicated to our clients during this difficult time. Our office is open and staffed and we are performing free consultations virtually or by phone. If you have been arrested, please do not hesitate to call us.

Mays Landing DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

Being charged with driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in New Jersey, and is one you should not take lightly. The best way to avoid being charged and convicted of driving under the influence is not to drink and drive, arrange a ride, or take advantage of taxi services and ride share services.  However, if you are charged with driving under the influence you should consider hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will be able to advocate for you and protect your rights.

The court system and process can be very harsh, and judges do not often look favorably on those who have been charged with driving under the influence. Therefore, the sooner you contact our office, the sooner we will be able to help.

What is the Definition of Impairment?

When you consume even a small amount of alcohol, your senses are dulled, your reaction time is lessened, and vision and alertness decrease, and your ability to make sound judgment calls is also lessened.  All of these can negatively impact your ability to drive and may result in you being charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Under New Jersey law, a person is guilty of drunk driving if they operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in your blood and is based on a scientific formula. Although the New Jersey statute for driving while intoxicated N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (Driving While Intoxicated) refers to a 0.08 percent BAC, it is important to note that you can be convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor even when your BAC is below 0.08 percent.  In addition to driving while under the influence of alcohol, you can also be convicted under this statute if you operated a motor vehicle under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug.  Additionally, you can also be convicted for allowing another person to operate a motor vehicle when that person does so in violation of the driving while intoxicated (DWI) law. What follows is a summary of the penalties that result when a person is convicted of violating New Jersey’s DWI law.

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What are the Penalties for DWI?

New Jersey treats driving while intoxicated very seriously, and the fines and penalties reflect how serious these charges.

First offense with BAC of 0.08% but less than 0.10%:

Under New Jersey Law (P.L. 2003, CHAPTER 314), if a person has a BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, but less than 0.10 percent, or if they permits another person with a BAC over 0.08 percent, but less than 0.10 percent to operate a motor vehicle, the penalties are as follows:

  • License suspension: 3 months.
  • Imprisonment: Maximum 30 days.
  • Fine: $250 to $400.
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours.
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $230.
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years.

First offense with BAC of 0.10% or higher:

If a person’s BAC is 0.10 percent or higher, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or permits another person with a BAC of .10 percent to operate a motor vehicle, the penalties are as follows:

  • License suspension: 7 to 12 months.
  • Imprisonment: Maximum 30 days.
  • Fine: $300 to $500.
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): Mandatory 12 to 48 hours.
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) Fee: $230.
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund Fee: $100
  • Drunk Driving Fund: $100
  • Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
  • Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): 6 months to 1 year after the license is restored if BAC was 0.15% or over.

2nd Offense

  • A fine of $500-$1,000
  • Imprisonment of at least 48 consecutive hours,
  • and up to 90 days
  • 2-year license suspension
  • 48 consecutive hours detainment in a regional
  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for 3 years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 year to 3 years after license restoration

3rd Offense

  • A fine of $1,000
  • Imprisonment of 180 days
  • 10-year license suspension
  • Detainment in an in-patient alcoholism treatment program
  • A fee to be paid to the Intoxicated Driver Resource
  • Center dependent upon court sentence
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,500 a year for 3 years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of 1 year to 3 years after license restoration

Common Charges in Addition to DWI

When someone is charged with DWI they are often issued multiple tickets for multiple charges. In our experience there are common additional charges that are closely related to DWI/DUI and they are often written at the same time. Some of this include:

  • Refusal to submit a breathalyzer test;
  • Driving with a suspended license;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Possessing an open container of alcohol;
  • Drug possession and
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia.

The fines and penalties for those charges vary depending on the facts surrounding the arrest. If you are charged with something in addition to DWI/DUI at the time of your arrest, it is important that you consult with a DWI attorney for help in understanding your rights.

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Registration Revocation and Ignition Interlock

In addition to these penalties, a judge may make an order to have the vehicle registration revoked, or have an ignition interlock system installed.

The ignition interlock device is a device, which measures a driver’s blood alcohol level. This device may be required for up to three years after a person’s license is restored following a DWI conviction. Under the law in New Jersey, if a person has been convicted of DWI and as part of their sentence are required to have an ignition interlock system in place in their car, they will be required to use this device anytime they want to operate the car.   If someone other than the person who was convicted attempts to bypass the ignition interlock system in order to start a car, they may be charged with a disorderly persons offense.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

The legal process in New Jersey and throughout the country can be brutal for someone who does not know the process and is not aware of all of the intricate steps and processes.  We find that many of those who are charged with DWI have never been arrested before and often try to face their charges without knowing exactly what to expect when they step into court.  Many defendants believe that they have no other options to being charged with a DWI than to plead guilty to all of the allegations against them.  However, in our experience and practice, we have found that it is best to do the opposite because prosecutors will often employ complicated legal strategies and techniques to obtain convictions even if there may be a reason why a defendant should not be convicted.

A knowledgeable and experienced criminal attorney, like those at the Law Offices of John. J. Zarych, will be able to employ some of the defense strategies that you are entitled to employ under the New Jersey constitution and the Federal Constitution. By carefully examining your case, we will be able to uncover possibles defenses to your driving while intoxicated charge. Some common aspects of DUI allegations which can be challenged by your attorney include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Whether the stop was legal.
  • The accuracy of the breathalyzer machine’s readings.
  • Whether the person who administered the breathalyzer was properly licensed.
  • Whether you fully understood your legal rights, which is sometimes an issue in cases where English is not the defendant’s first language.
  • Whether there was probable cause for your arrest.

Mays Landing, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you love was arrested for DWI in New Jersey, you should strongly consider seeking legal assistance from a criminal defense attorney. In addition to handling legal paperwork, protecting your Constitutional rights, and helping you navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system, your defense lawyer will fight aggressively to have the charges against you dismissed or obtain an acquittal (verdict of not guilty).

The sooner you reach out to the Law Offices of John J. Zarych for legal help, the sooner we can start analyzing your case and formulating a defense strategy. Don’t wait to get trusted, respected legal representation in New Jersey: call our law offices at (609) 616-4956 today. Our line is always open, including nights, weekends, and holidays.

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