Wayne NJ First Offense DWI Lawyer
DUI Defense Attorney in Passaic County, New Jersey
A DWI charge can happen to anyone. If a police officer suspects that you are driving while under the influence of alcohol, he or she may detain you for sobriety testing. DWI refers to “driving while intoxicated,” while DUI refers to “driving under the influence.” If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you need to get legal advice from an experienced DWI defense lawyer so that you can avoid going to jail and losing your driver’s license. Even a first offense DWI results in a MANDATORY suspension of your driver’s license, in addition to other penalties outlined below.
Alissa D. Hascup is an aggressive DWI defense lawyer who has successfully defended countless clients who have been charged with alcohol-related offenses, including first offense DWI, DUI (driving under the influence of drugs), and underage DWI in municipalities such as Paterson, Clifton, Wayne and Little Falls. Ms. Hascup has extensive experience in the courtroom, which has allowed her to develop advanced defense strategies she can use to help you beat your DWI charges. Additionally, she is a former municipal prosecutor who regularly handled DWI trials. This gives her an edge in the courtroom because she understands how the other side thinks and she can anticipate the prosecution’s arguments in your case.
Contact the Law Office of Alissa Hascup, LLC today for a free consultation, and feel free to continue reading this page for additional information about first offense DWI charges and penalties in New Jersey.
First Offense DWI in New Jersey : N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
In New Jersey, first offense DWI is criminalized under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, which provides in pertinent part:
(a) A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant’s blood shall be subject:
(1) For the first offense:
(i) if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10%, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or the or more of the following chemical compounds: acetone and acetate, amyl nitrite or amyl nitrate or their isomers, benzene, butyl alcohol, butyl nitrite, butyl nitrate or their isomers, ethyl acetate, ethyl alcohol, ethyl nitrite or ethyl nitrate, ethylene dichloride, isobutyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, nitrous oxide, n-propyl alcohol, pentachlorophenol, petroleum ether, propyl nitrite or propyl nitrate or their isomers, toluene, toluol or xylene or any other chemical substance capable of causing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction or the dulling of the brain or nervous system as a result of the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of such chemical substance. (b) A person convicted under this section must satisfy the screening, evaluation, referral, program and fee requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers and a program of alcohol and drug education and highway safety, as prescribed by the chief administrator. The sentencing court shall inform the person convicted that failure to satisfy such requirements shall result in a mandatory two-day term of imprisonment in a county jail and a driver license revocation or suspension and continuation of revocation or suspension until such requirements are satisfied.
(ii) if the person’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established under subsection (f) of this section and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than seven months nor more than one year.
Penalties for First Offense DWI in New Jersey
As the above statute indicates, the penalties for DWI can be severe. In New Jersey, the threshold for DWI is 0.08% blood alcohol content. Even if you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, you can still be charged and convicted. Worst of all, NJ prosecutors often try to push DWI cases through the system quickly. You will need a skilled DWI attorney by your side to help you avoid strict mandatory DWI penalties, including:
Jail Time: A DWI conviction can result in serious jail time. A conviction for first offense DWI can result in a sentence of up to 30 days in jail.
Suspension of Driver’s License: A DWI conviction can result in full-time loss of driving privileges. A first-time offender is subject to suspension of his or her driver’s license for between three (3) months and one (1) year. If your blood alcohol content was less than 0.1%, your driver’s license could be suspended for three (3) months. If your blood alcohol content was greater than 0.1%, your license could be suspended for one (1) year. Worse yet, if your license is suspended for a DWI conviction, there will be no way around this punishment: you will not be allowed to drive under a restricted driver’s license under any circumstances. That means no hardship license and no restricted license.
Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC): A person convicted of DWI may be required to participate in an alcohol education program at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). A first-time DWI offender must spend 12 hours attending an intensive program at the IDRC, during which time you will be interviewed by drug and alcohol counselors and possibly referred for additional treatment for a period lasting up to one (1) year. And failure to comply with IDRC requirements could result in jail time.
Ignition Interlock Device: A person convicted of DWI may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on their car. This is a device that makes it impossible to start the car without first providing a clean breath test sample. For a first-time DWI offender with blood alcohol content greater than 0.15%, a court can require that the ignition interlock device be installed for a period of one (1) year.
Fines: A DWI conviction can result in sizable fines. A first-time offender may be fined up to $400.00. This amount does not include court costs and fees, which can total an additional $400.00. That’s $800.00 in fines.
Surcharges: A DWI conviction can subject you to thousands of dollars in surcharges. For a first offense, you could be required to pay to the NJ Division of Motor Vehicles a mandatory surcharge of $1,000.00 per year for three (3) years. That’s another $3,000.00 on top of all the other fines and court expenses.
Criminal Record: A DWI conviction can show up on background checks for the rest of your life. I know how to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
Contact a Totowa NJ First DWI Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Alissa Hascup knows how to defend clients against DWI charges. One defense available to a first offense DWI charge is challenging the legitimacy of the police stop. Perhaps the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle in the first place. Another defense involves questioning the reliability of the police equipment used to administer the intoxication test. This is where Alissa D. Hascup’s experience matters. .
Call or email the Law Office of Alissa Hascup, LLC today so Ms. Hascup can look over the details of your file and formulate a strategy to help you avoid DWI penalties.