Little Falls NJ DUI Attorneys
Ringwood NJ DWI Lawyers
Unlike a first offense, the penalties someone faces upon conviction for a second DWI offense leave little for negotiation. The period of drivers license suspension is a non-negotiable two years and there are also other penalties that are quite stiff if you are convicted of DWI. This is a primary reason why a large percentage of second offense cases end up being tried. When you have been charged with a second offense it is therefore very important to hire an attorney who has the experience and skill to effectively defend you at trial. Absent this level of qualification, there is no assurance that you will reach the best possible outcome of your charge. We believe that the credentials of our DWI defense team are exceptional and we would be happy to conduct a free consultation in our Clifton or Wayne office, or by telephone at 862-203-4070. We hope you find the information on this page helpful and do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance.
License Suspension for a Second Offense
As previously stated, a second conviction for driving while intoxicated results in a mandatory two-year drivers license suspension. During this period, a driver cannot operate a motor vehicle in New Jersey for any reason. The suspension period becomes effective at the time the accused pleads or is found guilty by the Court; sentencing and confiscation of an individual’s drivers license takes place immediately at this point in time. Once the second offense suspension period has been served, an individual cannot resume driving until he or she has paid a $200 restoration fee to the NJDMV.
Period of Incarceration for a Second Offense
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, an individual faces a mandatory jail term ranging from 2 to 90 days for a second offense. A judge will look to numerous factors in deciding where, within this range, an individual should be sentenced. The following are aggravating and mitigating factors a judge will considering deciding the appropriate jail term:
- Whether the offender caused an accident that resulted in significant property damage or personal injury;
- The proximity of the first conviction for DWI to the second conviction for DWI (the closer they are, the worse it is for the offender);
- The degree of the offender’s blood alcohol content (BAC). A significantly high BAC reading can cause a judge to apply a more sever sentence;
- Whether there is an accompanying disorderly persons arrest for being aggressive with the police; and
- If the victim of the offender’s drunk driving appears in court and requests a severe punishment, pursuant to their right to make a victim impact statement.
Term in the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center
For a second offense, an individual must serve a consecutive forty-eight (48) hours in the Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center (“IDRC”). An individual’s obligation to the IDRC may, however, be extended if it is determined that further counseling is required. If an individual fails to adhere to the IDRC follow-up plan, their driver’s license may be suspended for non-compliance.
Fines and Surcharges
The fine for a second offense is anywhere from $500 to $1,000, the exact amount of which is in the discretion of the Judge. The New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles also imposes a surcharge of $1,000 per year for a period of three (3) years. The surcharge must be paid in order to maintain driving privileges in good standing.
A person convicted of a second offense faces 30 days of community service. This requirement must be fulfilled before the offender’s license can be re-instated.
N.J.S.A 39:4-50 imposes a requirement that an ignition interlock be installed during both the suspension period and a period following restoration of driving privileges. This device must remain installed for a period of 1-3 years following restoration as determined by the judge.
Wanaque DWI Defense Attorneys
As previously stated, anyone facing a second offense definitely needs to retain an attorney who has not only the ability to try a DWI case but also the desire. We find that many times lawyers are extremely eager to land a second offense case but reluctant to put the time and effort into going to trial if need be. Our firm takes a totally different approach and takes these cases with the idea that it will have be tried since the prosecutor is precluded from plea bargaining and there really isn’t anything to be accomplished with a guilty plea as two years is the mandatory license suspension for a second offense. Take a close look at our credentials, as well as the other lawyers you are considering. We suspect that you will be giving us a call if qualifications are what you are looking for. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Little Falls, Wayne, Clifton, Pompton Lakes, Wanaque, Bloomingdale, Paterson or Passaic City, we can help. We can be reached at 862-203-4070.