New Jersey DUI First Offense / Penalties

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New Jersey may result in fines, imprisonment, or the loss of your driving privileges. It can be expensive and time-consuming to get these privileges back. However, while it is a difficult task, it is not impossible.

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, it is in their best interest to hire an experienced New Jersey DUI Lawyer to help them fight the charges. At the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo, our New Jersey DWI lawyers can aggressively negotiate to lower the penalties you are facing or try to get the charges dismissed altogether.

Factors Affecting The Severity of DUI Charges

How severe the penalties will be in your particular case depends on a few different factors, including whether this was your DUI first offense, the level of your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest, and whether you refused a chemical test.
Regardless of how severe or insignificant the DUI charges against you may be, you do not want to simply plead guilty to avoid the “hassle” of dealing with the charges. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced New Jersey DUI attorney to help fight the charges against you and avoid the penalties altogether or at least have them reduced.

New Jersey DUI Penalty Overview

Our New Jersey DUI lawyers have compiled a list of DUI penalties you may face in a few different circumstances:

First Offense with Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.08% and 0.10%

  • Three months suspended driver’s license
  • $250-$400 fine
  • $230 IDRC* fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF*
  • $1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
  • $75 to Neighborhood Services Fund
  • 12-48 hours at Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • Up to 30 days imprisonment

First Offense with Blood Alcohol Content Over 0.10%

  • Seven months to one year suspended driver’s license
  • $300-$500 fine
  • $230 IDRC* fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF*
  • $1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
  • $75 to Safe Neighborhoods Services Fund
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • Up to 30 days imprisonment
  • Ignition Interlock Device if BAC ≤ .15

Second Offense

  • Two years suspended driver’s license
  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • $280 IDRC* fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF*
  • $1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge
  • $75 to Safe Neighborhoods Services Fund
  • 30 days community service
  • 12-48 hours IDRC
  • 49 hours to 90 days imprisonment
  • Ignition Interlock Device 1-3 years (starting from date license is suspended)

Third or Subsequent Offense

  • Ten years suspended driver’s license
  • $1,000 fine
  • $280 IDRC* fee
  • $100 to drunk driving fund
  • $100 to AERF*
  • $1,500/year (for 3 years) surcharge
  • $75 to Safe Neighborhoods Services Fund
  • Up to 90 days community service
  • 12-48 IDRC
  • 180 days imprisonment
  • Ignition Interlock Device 1-3 years (starting from date license is suspended)

STEP DOWN EXCEPTION

If ten years passes from a prior consecutive offense then, for sentencing purposes, defendant may take advantage of a step-down provision in the New Jersey DWI statute. In other words, defendant is required to be sentenced to the previous violation. In addition, a defendant may take advantage of the step-down twice however; it is NOT available for fourth or subsequent offenses.

Refusing a Chemical Test, First Offense

Refusing a Chemical Test, Second Offense

  • Two years suspended driver’s license
  • $500-$1,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

Refusing a Chemical Test, Third or Subsequent Offense

  • Ten years suspended driver’s license
  • $1,000 fine
  • 12 hours minimum IDRC

School Zones
There are traditional penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in a school zone or school crossing. They are typically twice the normal penalties (up to 20 years suspended driver’s license, a $2,000 fine, and 180 days imprisonment for a third offense).

Insurance Surcharges

First time conviction:

  • $250 and $400 fine
  • 3 months suspended driver’s license
  • 30 days imprisonment
  • Spend minimum of 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days in
  • intoxicated driver resource center
  • Pay automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for the following 3 years

Second time conviction:

  • $500 and $1000 fine
  • 7 monthsto 1 year suspended driver’s license
  • 90 days imprisonment
  • Spend minimum of 6 hours a day for 2 consecutive days in
  • intoxicated driver resource center
  • Pay automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for the following 3 years

Third time conviction:

  • $1000 fine
  • 10 years suspended driver’s license
  • 180 days imprisonment
  • Pay automobile insurance surcharge of $1,500 a year for the following 3 years

Contact DUI Attorney Dan T. Matrafajlo to Avoid the DUI Penalties

Clearly, the possible penalties you may face for a New Jersey DUI first offense conviction or a guilty plea are severe and can significantly affect all aspects of your life, especially if this is not your first offense. If you have been accused of driving under the influence, it is imperative that you hire the help of an experienced New Jersey DUI lawyer Dan T. Matrafajlo who can present the best possible defense on your behalf.
At the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo, we have the experience and resources to fight the DUI first offense charges in New Jersey against you and have them reduced or dismissed altogether. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our New Jersey DUI attorneys, call us at (908) 248-4404 or (908) 355-7100.

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