Knowledgeable DWI Lawyer Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions about DWI Charges in NJ & PA

We Represent DUI Clients in Pennington & Trenton, NJ

Drunk driving convictions can have serious implications, including jail time, a suspended driver’s license, fines, mandatory community service, and higher insurance premiums. You could also be subject to the embarrassment and social stigma that comes with having a drunk driving conviction on your record.

An experienced DUI lawyer can help you. There are many legal arguments for suppressing evidence that you may not know or be aware of, but we know them all. The DWI lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson have the experience needed to contest your drunk driving charges and help you avoid the most severe penalties.

FAQ about Drunk Driving Charges in NJ & PA

If you or a family member have been charged with drunk driving in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, it can be a scary and confusing time. However, as with most things in life, knowledge is power. Once you understand the details of the situation, you will be in a better position to fight the charges against you. Some of the most frequently asked questions about DWI charges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania include:

Q. What is the process after I’ve been arrested and charged with a DWI in New Jersey or Pennsylvania?

A. If you are charged with a DUI in New Jersey, you will receive a notice to appear in the local municipal court. Your court date is difficult to change, but it is not set in stone. An experienced attorney at KCR may be able to get an extension from the court. Getting an extension is important because it gives your attorney more time to investigate the circumstances of your arrest and explore potential defenses.

Your initial court appearance will take place at what is known as an arraignment. Any constitutional issues in your case must be raised during the arraignment process or you will be unable to raises these issues at a later date. This is another reason to be represented by a knowledgeable lawyer. It’s likely that you are not in a position to know all the constitutional issues that apply to your situation.

DWI cases are unique and follow a different procedure than criminal cases. If your DWI case goes to trial, the proceedings will be heard by a judge, not a jury. An experienced DWI lawyer who has familiarity with local court procedure is crucial to contesting your charges if the case goes to trial.

Q. I’ve been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Do I need a lawyer?

A. Your freedom, your driver’s license, and even your ability to earn a living could be on the line if you’ve been charged with a DUI in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. You will also be facing major fines. That’s why proper legal representation is a must if you have been charged with DUI/DWO. Don’t go it alone. Don’t speak with police or anyone else before you speak with your lawyer. Our experienced DUI attorneys at KCR will help protect your rights.

Q. What are the fines and penalties that I face if I am convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey?

A. The penalties for a DUI offense in New Jersey vary, depending upon your blood alcohol content (BAC) and the number of previous offenses. A knowledgeable lawyer from KCR may be able to get your charge downgraded or even dismissed, thereby limiting your penalty.

  • For a first offense DUI with a BAC greater than .08 percent, the penalties include: 30 days in jail, three-month license suspension, 48 hours of mandatory attendance at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), $3,000 in Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) surcharges, and $400 in fines.
  • For a first offense DUI with a BAC greater than .10 percent, the license suspension may be extended for up to one year.
  • The penalties are enhanced for a second offense DUI. The potential penalties include: 90 days in jail, license suspension for two years, 48 hours of mandatory attendance at IDRC alcohol-education classes, mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on your vehicles, 30 days of mandatory community service, $3,000 in MVC surcharges, and $1,000 in fines.
  • A conviction for a third offense DUI (as well as subsequent offenses) can result in the most severe penalties, including: six months in jail, a decade-long license suspension, alcohol education classes, installation of an ignition interlock device on each of your cars, $4,500 in MVC surcharges, and $1,000 in fines.

Q. What are the fines and penalties that I face if I am convicted of drunk driving in Pennsylvania?

A. As is the case in New Jersey, the potential penalties for a DWI conviction in Pennsylvania are determined by the number of previous offenses:

  • First offense – Three days in county jail, one-year license suspension, mandatory attendance at safe driver classes, and $5,000 in fines
  • Second offense – Between five and 90 days in jail, suspension of driver’s license for 18 months, safe driver classes, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system on each vehicle you own, and $10,000 in fines
  • Third offense – Between 10 days and one year in jail, loss of driving privileges for 18 months, safe driver classes, installation of ignition interlock system, and $10,000 in fines
  • Fourth offense (and subsequent offenses) – Minimum of one year in jail, suspension of driver’s license for 18 months, safe driver classes, ignition interlock device, and $10,000 in fines

Q. If I am convicted, can I get a license just to drive to and from work?

A. New Jersey does not offer any provisional licenses. If your license is suspended for drunk driving, you will not be able to drive at all in New Jersey. Don’t try to represent yourself in a DWI case. In addition to other penalties, you may not be able to earn a living because you are unable to drive to your place of employment.

In Pennsylvania, it may be possible for you to obtain a restricted license in some cases. Speak to a lawyer at KCR about this option.

Q. If I receive my ticket in a state other than the one in which I am licensed, can I continue to drive in my home state?

A. If you are convicted of a DUI in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, the state in which you received your conviction will notify your home state. As a result, your driving privileges could be suspended in your home state as well.

Additionally, interstate agreements mean that licensed NJ drivers must follow New Jersey driving laws even when they are driving in a different state. Since NJ law applies to out-of-state DUI convictions, the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will suspend your license if you are convicted of drunk driving in another state.

Legal assistance is advisable because there are some instances in which “cross-border” issues may arise and potentially allow you to avoid a license suspension in your home state.

Q. What are the chances of beating a DWI/DUI charge in NJ or PA?

A. Beating a DWI case has become increasingly more difficult over the years because state legislatures and prosecutors are really cracking down on drunk driving. The traffic and DWI defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson have successfully represented countless clients facing drunk driving charges in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We will be happy to review your case and advise you about possible defense strategies for your particular situation.

Call Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson Today for a Free Consultation about Your DUI Charges; Protect Your Legal Rights and Your Future

All DUI cases are fact-specific. Consult with an experienced DUI lawyer who can examine the facts of your case and determine the best strategy to help you avoid the most serious DUI penalties.

Please call Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson today or contact us online for a free consultation about your NJ DWI case or PA DWI case. We will treat you with respect and put your priorities first as we explore the best available options in your case. The initial consultation is free of charge.