Understanding the Long-Term Consequences of a DUI
DUI Defense Attorneys Serving all of New Jersey
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), the thought of pleading guilty may have crossed your mind. You may have also read some free information online about how to defend yourself for your DUI/DWI. After all, if you were drinking before the police pulled you over, a guilty verdict seems all but certain, so what is the point of hiring an attorney? Plus, it’s just a DUI, so how bad can the consequences really be?
Unfortunately, this is an approach that far too many people take after being arrested for DUI/DWI in New Jersey. They only look at the short-term consequences – the hassle of going to court, the temporary license suspension, the costs of hiring a lawyer. But, as much as you may want to avoid dealing with your DUI/DWI charge, the consequences of getting convicted can be far, far worse than standing up for your legal rights. In fact, the truth of the matter is that you cannot afford not to mount a strong defense against your DUI or DWI.
What Happens After You Get Convicted of DUI or DWI
Let’s talk about what happens after you get convicted of drunk driving in New Jersey. To keep things simple, let’s assume this is your first DUI/DWI. So, you enter a plea or try to defend yourself, and you end up getting convicted. What now?
- Jail Time – While jail time is unlikely, New Jersey law provides for up to 30 days of incarceration for a first-time DUI. What will happen if you spend 30 days (or even a few days) in jail? Will you lose your job? Will you miss rent, mortgage, or child support payments if you can’t work? What will this mean for you and your family?
- Financial Penalties – The fines and fees for a first-time DUI in New Jersey can easily approach $1,000. You will may also be required to spend time in alcohol education, and you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in each of your vehicles. Of course, these are all at your own expense.
- Insurance Surcharge – In addition to the fines and fees listed above, you will be required to pay a $1,000 insurance surcharge for three years.
- License Suspension – In New Jersey, a first-time DUI carries a mandatory minimum license suspension of seven months if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above 0.08, and your license could be suspended for up to a year.
- Enhanced Penalties for Subsequent Offenses – Remember, we have been discussing the penalties for a first-time DUI. If you are charged with a second drunk driving offense in the next 10 years, you will face even greater penalties: Up to 90 days in jail, thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and a mandatory license suspension of two years.
Don’t forget, you will also have a criminal record. This could make it hard – if not impossible – to get into school or land a job in certain occupations. A DUI conviction can change the rest of your life, and protecting your future starts with talking to an experienced attorney.
Discuss Your DUI Case with Bergen County DUI Lawyer Jeffrey S. Hasson
If you are facing DUI charges in New Jersey, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for a free consultation. You may have several defenses available. To discuss your case in confidence, call (201) 254-8484 or request an appointment online today.