Second Offense DWI Lawyer Ewing
DWI charges in New Jersey should always be taken seriously because the sentences can be severe. This is especially true if you already have prior drunk driving convictions on your record. You are less likely to receive leniency on a second offense because NJ judges and prosecutors are much harsher on repeat offenders.
West Windsor NJ DUI Defense Attorneys
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm with a rich tradition of success and more than 40 years of experience in New Jersey courtrooms. We regularly handle DWI cases in East Windsor, Robbinsville, and everywhere else in Mercer County, NJ. Additionally, our firm has strong local ties and connections throughout the legal community, which gives us a major advantage when we represent you. Contact KCR to speak with a member of our drunk driving defense team about your second offense DWI charges.
Second Offense DWI Law: N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
The legal limit in New Jersey is fairly low. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, anyone who registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent may be charged with a DWI. This means that just a few drinks could push you over the legal limit. Moreover, underage drivers and commercial vehicle drivers are subject to an even lower BAC threshold. Additionally, the statute stipulates that anyone who has been convicted of a DWI within the previous 10 years is subject to enhanced penalties.
Mercer County Second Offense DWI Penalties
The penalties for a second DWI offense in a 10-year period include:
- Jail: 2–90 days
- Driver’s License Suspension: 2 years
- Fine: $500–$1,000
- Other Monetary Penalties: More than $600
- Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Surcharges: $1,000 per year for 3 years
- Alcohol Education: 12–48 hours of alcohol education classes and treatment at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
- Community Service: 30 days
- Ignition Interlock Device: Must be installed on all motor vehicles for 1–3 years
The statute imposes a mandatory jail sentence for a second DWI offense. However, it may be possible to spend additional time at the IDRC in lieu of jail. The judge might also order you to return to municipal court so that you can observe court proceedings and learn about the dangers of drunk driving. These alternatives to jail time are entirely at the discretion of the judge.
Aggravating factors – such as a high BAC, whether you caused an accident that injured someone else or damaged property, or a short period of time between your first and second offenses – can greatly affect the sentencing ranges and influence the judge’s decision to allow attendance at the IDRC or at an in-patient rehabilitation program instead of jail.
The NJ “Ten Year Rule” and Post-Conviction Relief
You can only be charged with a second offense DWI if you were a convicted of another DWI within the past 10 years. That means that if your previous DWI violation occurred more than 10 years ago, your most recent DWI offense will be considered your first violation.
You may be able to seek Post-Conviction Relief to get a prior conviction overturned. If any errors were made by the court or by your previous attorney, it might be possible to vacate the conviction or obtain a court order that prevents the judge in your current case from using the earlier conviction during sentencing. This matters because getting your first DWI offense removed from your record will minimize the potential penalties for your subsequent offense. In other words, even though you are charged with a second offense DWI, you will be sentenced as a first-time offender.
Free Consultation with Hamilton DUI Lawyers
Anyone who has prior DWI convictions on their record needs to take great caution when it comes to subsequent offenses. The experienced drunk driving defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson can help you avoid the most serious penalties. Call us today, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Pennington or Trenton.