Those who drive drunk in Vineland, NJ can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Some states may refer to this offense as driving under the influence (DUI), but the term DWI is often used in New Jersey.
Many defendants in drunk driving cases are young adults and teenagers who lack any prior experience dealing with the criminal justice system. These defendants can often feel anxious, alone, and overwhelmed when facing their charges. Thankfully, our legal team can help the accused fight to have their charges reduced or eliminated.
Consult with our experienced DUI and DWI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by calling (609) 616-4956.
Factors that Can Affect Penalties for Drunk Driving Charges in Vineland, NJ
The penalties associated with DWI charges can vary in severity. Those who are convicted of DWI can face costly fines, license suspensions, and even time in prison. The following are factors that can influence the penalties applied to your particular case:
- Whether you were on probation when the arrest happened
- Whether you were operating a commercial vehicle or a passenger vehicle
- Whether anyone was killed as a result of your actions
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC)
- Whether you were old enough to drink when you were arrested
- Whether you had child passengers in the car
Will a DWI Charge Show Up on Your Criminal Record in Vineland, NJ?
If you were arrested for DWI in Vineland, you might not actually get a criminal record from these charges. DWI charges are considered traffic offenses, as opposed to criminal offenses. These charges will show up in your driving history but may be left off of your criminal record. However, there may be certain criminal charges that accompany your DWI charge.
For instance, if you were driving intoxicated and caused a fatal crash, you may be charged with vehicular manslaughter. A charge of vehicular manslaughter would be a separate offense from your DWI and would be added to your criminal record.
While it might seem like a good thing that these DUI and DWI charges will not be on your criminal record, that also means they cannot be expunged. Your driving record is more or less permanent, and removing these charges from your record is difficult. That is all the more reason to have a lawyer help you fight the charges in the first place.
Can Your DWI Charge Be Reduced to a Reckless Driving Charge in Vineland, NJ
After being charged with a DWI, you may enter into a plea agreement. A plea agreement occurs when defendants plead guilty to certain crimes in exchange for lesser criminal penalties.
In some other states, reckless driving charges may be used as bargaining chips during DWI cases. The criminal penalties for reckless driving are often significantly less severe than those that accompany DWI convictions. Accordingly, in order to save on the large amounts of time and money that may be spent during trial, prosecutors allow defendants to plead guilty to reckless driving and their DWI charges are dropped.
However, New Jersey, prosecutors are not allowed to enter into plea bargains for reduced DWI offenses. Therefore, if you were accused of DWI, your charge will likely stand, and you may have to defend yourself in court.
Can Your License Be Suspended for Drunk Driving in Vineland, NJ?
If you were arrested for DWI in Vineland, then your driver’s license may be suspended. If you were pulled over with a BAC of at least .08% but under .10%, then your license may be suspended for up to 3 months if it is your first DWI conviction. If your BAC was .10% or higher, then your license may be suspended for a time period between 7 months and one year.
There are more serious penalties for second and third-time offenders. For instance, after your 2nd DWI conviction within 10 years, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 2 years and you may spend between 2 and 90 days in jail. Your vehicle will also be equipped with an ignition interlock device which is a handheld breathalyzer that prevents drunk drivers from starting their cars.
Also, if you are convicted of a third DWI within 10 years, then you may face 10 years of license suspension and a 180-day prison sentence. Furthermore, third-time offenders will have to spend time in Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers and their vehicles will be equipped with ignition interlock devices.
Finally, there are also more severe penalties if you are convicted of DWI in a school zone. Driving drunk near a school can result in your license being suspended for an additional 1 to 2 years.
Even if your license was issued by another state, you can still lose your driving privileges at home if you were arrested for DWI while in Vineland, NJ. New Jersey can only restrict your right to drive in our state. However, there are interstate agreements that allow for your license to be suspended at home too.
There are many additional consequences of drunk driving like expensive fines and steep hikes in insurance rates.
Can You Get a DWI for if You Were High But Not Drunk in Vineland, NJ?
You can be charged with a DWI for driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, regardless of whether you were under the influence of alcohol at the time. You may even be arrested for driving while under the influence of a legal drug that you did not have a prescription for.
Field breathalyzer tests are incapable of detecting the presence of drugs in your system. Typically, if the arresting officer suspects that you were driving while high, they will request a urine sample or blood test to be analyzed. You have a right to refuse these tests. If you refuse, then law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant to conduct your urine or blood analysis.
Defendants in Vineland, NJ Can Call Our Law Firm for Help with Their DWI Cases
Speak with our experienced DUI and DWI defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by dialing (609) 616-4956.