Drunk drivers in New Jersey can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The state treats drunk driving cases very seriously. Accordingly, the consequences of a DWI conviction can be severe, especially for repeat offenders.
For instance, the penalties for a fourth DWI can include significant fines, a license suspension, mandatory alcohol treatment programs, community service, increased insurance rates, and even jail time. Further, a motorist who is convicted of a fourth DWI may have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle if their driving privilege is restored. Thankfully, our legal team can help defendants fight to have their penalties reduced or eliminated.
If you are arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, seek support and guidance from our experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyers by calling the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956.
Consequences of a Fourth DWI Conviction in New Jersey
The penalties for DWI in New Jersey are outlined by N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50. For a fourth conviction, you may face any of the following consequences:
A fourth DWI conviction carries with it the significant penalty of a lengthy driver’s license suspension. This suspension can have a profound impact on your daily life, as it may last for up to 10 years. During this period, you will be unable to operate a motor vehicle legally. This loss of driving privileges can disrupt your ability to commute to work, run errands, and fulfill family responsibilities.
Our New Jersey DWI defense attorneys can help our clients explore any potential avenues for minimizing this suspension or seeking alternative transportation options during this challenging period.
The financial consequences of a fourth DWI conviction can also be substantial. Beyond the fines which range from $1,000 to $2,000, there are additional court costs and fees that can cause further economic distress. These financial penalties serve as a reminder of the state’s determination to deter repeat DWI violations.
Furthermore, you will face a mandatory jail sentence of 180 days if you are convicted of DWI for a fourth time. This period of incarceration can be emotionally and mentally challenging, affecting your personal life, employment, and overall well-being. Building a strong defense strategy is paramount to mitigating or avoiding the impact of jail time in your case.
Ignition Interlock Device
After a fourth DWI, you may also have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle if your driving privilege is restored. This device adds an extra layer of monitoring by measuring your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before allowing your car to start. If your BAC is above a specified limit, then your vehicle remains inoperable.
While this measure is intended to prevent future incidents of driving under the influence, it can also pose logistical and financial challenges to defendants. The team at our firm can help you understand the requirements and implications of installing an ignition interlock device.
Mandatory Alcohol Treatment
Mandatory alcohol treatment and evaluation are often included in the penalties for a fourth DWI. The aim is to address any underlying issues related to alcohol abuse and provide support for individuals to overcome these challenges. Participating in alcohol treatment programs can have a positive impact not only on your legal situation but also on your overall well-being. Embracing these opportunities for personal growth and rehabilitation can lead to a more positive outcome in the long run.
As a fourth-time DWI offender, you may also be ordered to perform a significant amount of community service as a form of restitution and community reintegration. Engaging in community service not only allows you to give back but also demonstrates your commitment to making amends for your actions.
However, fulfilling community service requirements can be time-consuming and may require careful coordination with your other responsibilities. Finding ways to balance these obligations can be very difficult for defendants.
Increased Insurance Premiums
Finally, your auto insurance premiums are likely to increase significantly after a fourth DWI. Your insurance policy may even be canceled altogether. This can result in financial strain as you seek coverage options, potentially facing high costs for obtaining insurance in the future.
Are There Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in New Jersey?
Intimidated by the prospect of facing a fourth DWI conviction, a drunk driver may be inclined to refuse a breathalyzer test. However, in New Jersey, refusing a breathalyzer test can also result in the assessment of criminal penalties.
The statute governing these penalties is N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50.4a. Among these penalties is an automatic driver’s license suspension. For a first-time refusal, the suspension can range from seven months to one year. Additionally, refusing the breathalyzer test can result in increased fines, which are separate from any fines or penalties associated with a potential DWI conviction. Additionally, you might even be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle as a result of refusing a test.
It’s important to recognize that while individuals have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, this decision comes with serious legal consequences.
How Our DWI Defense Lawyers Can Help After a Fourth DWI in New Jersey
As a defendant facing a fourth DWI charge in New Jersey, having competent legal representation by your side can significantly help when seeking to minimize or avoid potential penalties. Our legal team possesses an extensive understanding of the state’s legal system. We can help navigate complex proceedings, scrutinize evidence, and identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Our primary goal is to negotiate on your behalf, aiming for reduced charges or exploring alternative sentencing options. Furthermore, we will ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the legal process.
Call Our DWI Defense Attorneys for Help with Your Case in New Jersey
After being arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, seek assistance from our experienced Ocean City, NJ DWI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by calling (609) 616-4956 for a free assessment of your case.