Finding the right attorney to fight your DWI is crucial because not only is plea bargaining out of the picture in New Jersey but the consequences of the charge are very serious. Penalties and fines for first-time offenders vary depending on the details of the case, but general consequences for your first DWI include legal fees, fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.
The severity of the penalty is dependent on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest.
If you are under 21 years old and your BAC is anything over 0.01%, you will likely face a license suspension of 30-90 days, community service for 15-30 days, and take an Alcohol and Highway Safety Education class at the IDRC.
BAC of 0.08% to 0.10%
If you receive a DWI charge and your BAC was between 0.08% and 0.10%, possible penalties include:
- License suspension of 3 months
- Up to 30 days of jail time
- $250-$400 fine
- 12 to 48 hours attending the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
- IDRC fee of $230
- Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund fee of $100
- Drunk Driving Fund: $100
- Neighborhood Services Fund: $75
- Surcharges of $1,000 per year for 3 years.
BAC of 0.10% and higher
If you fail a breathalyzer test with a BAC of 0.10% or higher, the penalties are even more severe. First offense penalties that increase at this BAC level include:
- License suspension of 7 to 12 months
- Fines from $300 to $500
Along with the increased penalties, the court will additionally order the installation of an ignition interlock device in your car for between 6 months and a year after your license suspension has ended. This devices prevents you from starting your car before you breathe into it to ensure you have not been drinking. You must also attend the Intoxicated Driver Program in which you will take mandatory highway safety courses in order to restore your license.
Your first DWI offense will quickly turn your world upside down. To avoid the harsh fines, licenses suspensions, time in prison, and a record that will stay with you for life, you need an experienced attorney to fight your DWI charge. The Law Offices of Jef Henninger. Esq. offers a team of aggressive defense attorneys who fight to protect your rights and to dismiss life-ruining DWI charges.