When convicted of DWI in New Jersey, it is a general belief that the mistake and conviction will haunt the individual for the rest of his or her life. In some instances, however, that may not be the case. While it is not likely to have a DWI expunged, or erased, from your permanent record, there are a few instances in which the penalties of a DWI conviction may be lessened based on particular circumstances. Each case is different based on the facts, so it is important to speak with an experienced NJ DWI lawyer about your options.
A person who has been convicted of a DWI has the right to apply for what is known as post-conviction relief (PCR). In a request for PCR, a person may either request that a prior DWI guilty plea be reversed or that it not be used against him or her most recent DWI charge to heighten sentencing if found guilty. If you have been previously convicted of DWI, this could lessen the potential jail time you could face for your current charge by effectively having one less conviction for sentencing purposes, if your post-conviction relief is granted by the prior court.
Reasons for Pursuing Post-Conviction Relief
In seeking post-conviction relief, the process involves examining the prior convictions, seeking errors that might have been made by the defense, prosecutor or court. If a significant error is found, such as the failure of the court to notify a defendant of his or her right to counsel, a petition for post-conviction relief may be granted. The PCR petition is filed with the municipal court in which the prior conviction was entered.
In post-conviction relief proceedings, the defense attorney seeks to have the case reopened to negotiate a more favorable sentencing on the present DWI charge. If PCR is granted by the previous court, an order will be issued requiring that the current court doesn’t use the prior conviction to increase the sentence given with respect to jail time.
Contact a DWI Lawyer if You May Qualify for Post-Conviction Relief
Have you been charged and convicted of DWI in Monmouth County or Ocean County and you think you may be eligible for post-conviction relief on a subsequent DWI charge? If so, the DWI attorneys of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey can help you. With experience in obtaining post-conviction relief to lessen sentencing for subsequent DWI convictions, Villani & DeLuca can assist you by filing a PCR petition to seek relief.
If you are facing your second or subsequent conviction for DWI in Belmar, Toms River or any other New Jersey town, Villani & DeLuca will be happy to examine your case and help you. Call today!