Community Service for a DWI in Princeton

If you are convicted of a drunk driving offense in the State of New Jersey, you face jail time, suspension of your driving privileges, and costly fines. In addition to these severe penalties, you may also be required to perform community service. This can create a major headache for you because you will need to find the time to clear up to six hours a day to perform the community service. If you are unable to fulfill the requirement, you may be subject to enhanced penalties.

Lawrence DUI Defense Lawyers

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm with more than 40 years of experience in New Jersey. We represent clients charged with drunk driving in Robbinsville, Hamilton, and everywhere else in Mercer County, NJ. Let our experienced DWI litigation team fight for you in the courtroom and help you avoid the most serious consequences of a conviction.

Mandatory Community Service for DWI Convictions

The court may impose community service on defendants in DWI cases. Depending upon the nature of the offense, community service may be mandatory:

  • First Offense DWI: There is no mandatory imposition of community service for first-time offenders; however, a first-time offender may be subject to community service requirements if they registered a high BAC reading.
  • Second Offense DWI: A conviction for second offense DWI will result in mandatory community service of 30 days.
  • Third Offense DWI: Third-time offenders are subject to a mandatory jail term of 180 days; however, the judge has discretion to allow the defendant to perform 90 days of community service in lieu of 90 days of jail time.
  • Underage DWI: Even underage DWI offenders are subject community service requirements of 15-30 days.

One day of community service is equal to six hours of work. The judge may set the exact terms of the community service. However, the community service requirement is typically referred to the county’s probation department, which will then set the terms and conditions of the defendant’s community service obligations.

The defendant may be able to set the terms of the community service by requesting a particular non-profit organization. The court or probation department has discretion to accept or reject the request. If the defendant does not live in the county, they may be able to get the community service requirement transferred to their home county so that it will be easier to fulfill.

Jail for Failure to Fulfill Community Service in Mercer County

The probation department will monitor the defendant’s compliance with the court’s order:

  • Defendants who fail to cooperate with either program staff or site staff will be considered in violation of the court order.
  • Defendants who fail to appear at the probation department or the placement site will also be considered in violation of the court order.
  • Defendants are generally expected to fulfill their community service requirement within one year of sentencing. Failure to fulfill the community service requirement within a sufficient time period will be reported to the court.

If a defendant fails to meet all of the court-imposed community service requirements, the court may sentence impose additional DWI penalties, including jail time.

Free Consultation with Princeton DUI Lawyers

The DWI defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson will challenge the evidence in your case and ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way. Call or email us to go over your charges and arrange a meeting at our offices in Pennington or Trenton, NJ.