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What are the Penalties for a 1st DWI in NJ?

Posted by Carmine R. Villani | Jul 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

DWI Penalties Depend on Various Factors

A conviction for a first offense DWI in Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey will result in substantial penalties and monetary fines, the severity of which will depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of your arrest, among other factors.  There are heightened punishments for first DWI convictions for circumstances in which the driver is under the age of 21, the DWI occurred in a school zone, or if you were also charged with refusal at the same time as your first offense DWI for failure to submit a breath test.

First Offense DWI – Lower Tier

If your BAC is between 0.08% and 0.09% and you are found guilty of DWI, there is a mandatory 3 month loss of driving privileges in addition to numerous fines and penalties.

First Offense DWI – Higher Tier

If your BAC is 0.10% or higher you will lose your driver's privileges for a period ranging from 7 months to 1 year, be charged with a fine of up to $500, ordered to attend 12 to 48 hours at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), and serve as much as 30 days in jail.
The installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle depends on your BAC level at the time of your arrest.  If your BAC level was between 0.10% and 0.14%, the interlock device is a penalty left to the discretion of the judge.  If your BAC was registered at 0.15% or higher, it will be mandatory that you have an ignition interlock device installed on your car during your license suspension and for 6 months to 1 year after restoration of your New Jersey driver's license.

Judge's Considerations in Sentencing for 1st DWI

gavel legal scales

While some of the penalties for a DWI conviction are mandatory, there are a few aspects that a judge has control over.  The level of fines and duration of your license suspension after a first offense drunk driving conviction in New Jersey will depend on whether there were aggravating factors such as:

  • property damage
  • high BAC level
  • driving by the defendant in a particularly reckless manner
  • defendant's behavior when interacting with law enforcement officers

This list of possible influential factors that the court will weigh is not exhaustive.  For this reason, it is important that you consult a seasoned DWI defense attorney.  An experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer will be able to professionally assess your case and all of the defenses available to you that may work to minimize your penalties.

Download the Free Villani & DeLuca DWI iPhone App

Villani & DeLuca has developed the first New Jersey DWI iPhone application in the state.  It can be downloaded for free. The Villani & DeLuca NJ DWI App includes the following features:

  • Calling a taxi based on your current location for a safe ride home;
  • NJ Moving Violation Points Calculator;
  • Penalties for DWI/DUI/Refusal in NJ for 1st, 2nd and 3rd offenses;
  • DWI Facts and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's);
  • Immediate ticket/summons submission to a Villani & DeLuca lawyer;
  • Ability to immediately request a free consultation with one of our experienced DWI/DUI defense lawyers

Carmine R. Villani is Your DWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI you need to call an experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorney to protect your rights.  Partner Carmine R. Villani, Esq. has a wealth of experience in New Jersey criminal defense, having served as municipal prosecutor and municipal public defender in numerous municipalities in Ocean County and Monmouth County throughout his 20+ year legal career.  Contact the experienced NJ DWI attorneys of Villani & DeLuca for a free initial consultation about your DWI charge. Call (732) 709-7757 today!

About the Author

Carmine R. Villani

Founding partner, Carmine Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor with over three decades of experience in Criminal and DWI Defense.


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