It’s a serious offense if you are being arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). A skilled and experienced DWI lawyer who understands the law and what is required for a DWI charge to stick is required to overcome the charges. The existing legislation prohibits the defendant from negotiating a plea deal on their behalf.
A client’s DWI accusation and other evidence were removed. A criminal defense attorney must be inventive in supporting a client in getting their DWI accusation and other evidence removed, which is generally done on technical grounds. The technicalities are difficult to establish, but if the defense attorney can prove that the proper procedures were not followed, the DWI sentence may be dropped or reduced to a lesser charge with less severe punishment.
If charged with DUI/DWI after being involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is even more critical that you get a DWI accident lawyer in New Jersey to defend you. The offense is referred to as an ‘aggravating factor,’ resulting in increased penalties and even criminal charges if someone is hurt due to the collision.
Here’s What Happens If You Get in a DWI Accident
A DWI or DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) is considered dangerous by politicians and law enforcement officials, not only for the driver and other passengers in the car but also for the pedestrians and other drivers. It is well recognized that a certain level of alcohol or other harmful chemicals in a driver’s bloodstream impairs their judgment and reflexes, increasing the chance of an automobile accident. Even though a DWI is a traffic infraction that can be handled in municipal court, drivers involved in an accident while driving drunk or with drugs in their system may face considerably more serious charges than a traffic violation. A DWI alone has serious ramifications, including driving limitations, license suspension, penalties, surcharges, and additional taxes and charges. In case you are involved in a DWI accident, you could be tried in court for the crime, especially if someone is seriously harmed. If found guilty, it can be extremely damaging both immediately and in the long run.
Being Charged with DWI
The punishment for a first-time conviction for DWI with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) between 0.08 and 0.10 is a fine ranging between $250 and $400, along with a possible 30-day prison sentence if the incident did not result in an injury. A breathalyzer measures a driver’s BAC, usually administered after an officer has stopped them for driving erratically or otherwise suspiciously. The driver has failed or performed poorly during the field sobriety test to the officer who arrested the driver.
The driver must also pay a $1,000 insurance surcharge per year for the next three years and have an Ignition Interlock device fitted in their vehicle to be allowed to drive again legally. They must also attend two days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
DWI-related offenses carry additional fines and sentences along with the standard DWI penalties; this can include driving with a suspended license due to a DWI, refusing to go through the breathalyzer test, and driving intoxicated with a child in the car. For a second offense, penalties include fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, up to 90 days in prison, a one- to two-year license suspension, and 30 days of community service.
The accused would also be required to use an Ignition Interlock device for two years after the license suspension is lifted, along with 48 hours in an IDRC and the payment of $1,000 in insurance surcharges for three years. For a third offense, the fine goes up to $1,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to six months, a license suspension of eight years, interlock maintenance for two to four years after the license suspension period has ended, completion of the IDRC program, and an increase in the insurance surcharge to $1,500 per year. All infractions result in an additional $425 in fees to be paid to various funds.
Charges Increase When Involved in a DWI Accident
If you are arrested for DWI/DUI and are involved in a major injury accident, the penalties escalate significantly. An attack by automobile is the charge filed against a driver who injures another person in an accident while driving under the influence (NJSA 2C:12-1c).
Suppose a driver is charged with assault by an automobile. In that case, they face a third-degree offense punishable with five years sentence in prison and a fine of $15,000 if driving while under the influence or in violation of a DWI sentence or refusal legislation. A second-degree offense could be filed against the driver for driving while intoxicated through a school zone or crossing and causing injury to others.
Prison sentences ranging from five to ten years and penalties of up to $150,000 are available for second-degree offenses. However, any time a person drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is engaged in an injury accident, they commit a fourth-degree offense that can result in 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. This encompasses all sorts of bodily injury, which means that the harm inflicted does not have to meet a “severe” injury standard to be charged with a fourth-degree offense at the very least.
How to Fight DUI Car Accident Charges
With credible evidence required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was impaired or had a BAC greater than.08 percent, casting doubt on the test results or police officers’ practices and judgment may be a successful defense. Otherwise, they must prove that the evidence against you was improperly acquired or maintained and should be suppressed or never considered when determining the charges.
This could prove to be a successful defense strategy. A skilled DUI attorney can cross-examine witnesses, such as police officers, to expose flaws in the prosecution’s case against the defendant. They may also demonstrate that the defendant’s motorist did not cause the accident or that the defendant’s driver was not the sole cause of the accident.
Demonstrating that an accident occurred due to a driver’s negligence or willful violation of DWI/DUI regulations and that the accident resulted in the victim’s injuries is critical to determining who is more at fault. A competent DWI defense attorney can assist you in casting doubt on the facts that are being used against you in a criminal, traffic, or civil case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is DWI a criminal charge?
DWI is referred to be a “quasi-criminal crime.” This essentially indicates that it shares some, but not all, of the elements of a criminal charge. This is true in the sense that depending on the seriousness of your offense, how you manage it, or how many times you’ve been arrested for the charge, you could wind yourself in jail. Regardless, you will not have a lifelong criminal record if you are convicted of DWI.
What are the charges of a DWI offense?
When charged with DWI, an accused motorist does not have the right or opportunity to have a jury trial, even though jail time must be spent on third and higher convictions, and jail time can be a component of a second or even first conviction. This is based on the Supreme Court of the United States decision, which stated that jury trials are not required when the jail sentence does not exceed six months. A third DWI conviction results in a 180-day sentence in county jail.
Can a DWI sentence be reduced?
In the case of reduced DWI charges, prosecutors are not entitled to make plea bargains. The original charges in most DWI instances must be upheld, and you will be obliged to appear in court to defend yourself against those charges. However, this does not rule out the possibility of plea bargains for DWI convictions.
Would a DWI affect my job?
Although DWI is not considered a “criminal” offense, it is a serious issue. Because of a DWI, your company may dismiss you or take other negative steps, especially if your employer needs you to have a driver’s license.
A DWI arrest or conviction will almost certainly appear on a background check. As a result, it may have an impact on future employment opportunities.
Can I fight my DWI/DUI case on my own?
Yes, but it isn’t a wise decision. First and foremost, DWI law is a complex field. Lawyers can obtain various certifications that allow us to contest certain aspects of DWI cases brought against you.
The Ultimate Rule to Reducing DWI Charges
Hire an experienced DWI attorney
By demonstrating mitigating elements and a defendant’s candidacy for drug and alcohol diversion rather than jail time, a skilled and well-versed criminal and DWI defense lawyer can be important in making a case for a low sentence. A knowledgeable DUI attorney can assist their client in avoiding a criminal charge entirely. A skilled DWI lawyer can ensure that a defendant’s plea in municipal court will not be used against them as an admission in a civil case for harm or damages by requesting that the court enter a civil reservation on their behalf.