Most people in New Jersey are aware that they should not drive their vehicles if they drink too much alcohol prior to driving. If people do consume too much and are stopped by the police, they may be charged with a DWI.
If the first DWI charges result in a conviction, people can face significant penalties that include fines, probation and a loss of their drivers’ licenses for a period of time. Drivers may try to learn their lessons, but unfortunately may still be charged with another DWI later on.
While the penalties for a first-time DWI are harsh, they only become more severe if they are convicted of a second DWI within 10 years of a first-time conviction.
Potential penalties for a second DWI conviction
The penalties for people who are convicted of a second DWI within 10 years of a previous conviction could face the following penalties:
- They will need to spend at least 48 hours in jail, but could be sentenced up to 90 days in jail
- They will need to complete 30 hours of community service
- They could face a fine between $500 – $1,000
- Their drivers’ licenses could be suspended for two years
- They may have to install ignition interlock in their vehicles for one to three years after the license suspension
These types of penalties can have a major effect on people’s lives. However, people need to be convicted of the DWI to face these penalties.
Drivers may have defenses available to them. These defenses usually start with whether the police had a valid reason to stop the vehicle and then whether there was sufficient evidence to believe the driver was under the influence at the time.
There are many people in New Jersey who have DWI convictions and then are subsequently charged with another DWI. If the second charge is within 10 years of the first conviction, the driver could face even more severe penalties than with the first conviction.
Having a strong defense is important to hopefully avoid a conviction. Experienced attorneys understand the potential defenses and may be able to guide one through the process.