New Jersey Drunk Driving Penalties
DUI Defense Attorney in Fort Lee, Begren County and Hackensack
A drunk driving conviction, even for a first offense, can carry with it a variety of serious consequences. From fines to jail time to driver's license suspension, your life can be greatly altered. If you have been charged with DUI/DWI (39:4-50) in New Jersey, the best thing you can do is get in touch with an attorney who understands the process and the penalties you face.
At Jae Lee Law, we are dedicated to helping drivers in Hackensack, Fort Lee, Paramus and throughout the region fight DUI charges. We work tirelessly to achieve positive outcomes for our clients — outcomes that minimize the penalties our clients face, which in turn minimizes the negative impact a DUI has on daily life.
Understanding the Possible Consequences
If convicted on a 39:4-50 DUI charge, the penalties you face will be harsh, and they will increase if you have prior drunk driving convictions, if there was a minor in the car when you were stopped, and if certain other factors were involved. Generally speaking, DUI penalties in New Jersey include some combination of:
- Fines: Depending on your history, you could face a fine of between $250 and $1,000.
- Motor vehicle surcharges: The New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles assesses surcharges against DUI offenders. If this is your first offense, the surcharge will be $3,000. For subsequent convictions, the surcharge is $4,500.
- Jail: A jail term is not usually imposed for a first offense, but is a real possibility for repeat offenders.
- Driver's license suspension: Your license will be automatically suspended. For a first offense, the suspension is three months to a year, depending on your blood alcohol content.
- Ignition interlock device: Some drivers will be required to have this device installed in their vehicles. It requires the driver to give a breath sample before the vehicle will start.
Penalties Increase for Repeat Offenders
If you have a past DUI/DWI conviction on your record, you will be considered a repeat offender and the penalties you face are even stiffer:
- Second conviction: Two-year driver's license suspension; fine of $500 - $1,000; up to 90 days in jail; and 30 days of community service
- Third conviction: 10-year license suspension; $1,000 fine; up to 180 days in jail; up to 90 days of community service
When you meet with our Bergen County lawyers, we will help you understand the penalties you face specifically. We will then work diligently to have them reduced or to avoid them completely. We will do our best to uncover weaknesses in the case against you and challenge breath test results, field sobriety test results and other evidence to help achieve a positive outcome.