Frequently Asked Questions About A DWI In NJ

Does New Jersey provide for conditional, provisional, or work related licenses in the event that an individual is convicted of DUI or Refusal?

NO. There is no mechanism to apply for a driver’s license during the suspension period if you are convicted of DUI or Refusal. That is why it is so important to hire a New Jersey DUI attorney to fight your case in municipal court.

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Is there a difference between DUI and DWI in New Jersey?

No. New Jersey makes no distinction between the two terms.

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Are there different types of DUI’s in New Jersey?

Yes, there are several. The following is a list:

  1. DUI based on breath samples from an Alcotest (New Jersey’s newest breath testing machine).
  2. DUI/Refusal where the individual allegedly refuses to provide breath samples or the operator deems the defendant’s breath samples to be inadequate.
  3. DUI blood case where the prosecution’s proofs depend largely upon blood samples taken at a hospital upon request by law enforcement and ultimately tested at a state police laboratory to determined blood alcohol concentration. These cases typically arise in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
  4. DUI based on the individual being under the influence of a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug. These are very interesting cases where the prosecution’s theory is that the person was high on drugs rather than intoxicated on alcohol.

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Am I going to be sentenced to jail time for a New Jersey DUI conviction?

That depends on your choice of an attorney, where your matter is, your particular facts, and whether you have prior DUI convictions. For a first offense, there is jail for up to 30 days. However, a first offender is rarely, if ever, incarcerated upon conviction. For a second conviction, there is mandatory jail of between 2 and 90 days. However, the mandatory 2 days is almost always permitted to be served in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) in lieu of jail. For a third or subsequent offense, there is a mandatory 180 days in the county jail upon conviction. If petitioned, the judge can allow up to 90 days of this jail sentence to be served in an inpatient treatment program.
The important factor to bear in mind is that the foregoing penalties only apply if the individual is convicted of DUI. That is why it is so critical to hire an experienced DUI attorney for your matter.

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How much does it cost to hire experienced New Jersey DUI attorney Matthew Reisig?

I am a certified criminal trial attorney. As such, I charge flat fees for all of my cases. Therefore, I do not bill the client on an hourly rate or per court appearance. My fee will depend on the facts of the case, its anticipated complexity, and the number and extent of the other charges independent of the DUI. That is why there is a free consultation associated with my law firm.

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Can I beat a New Jersey DUI charge in court?

I have made my career and reputation on beating DUI charges. Any attorney can represent a client and plead guilty to the DUI charge. That is a result that the client can achieve on his/her own. The artistry and skill in DUI defense is beating the case that other attorneys encourage their clients to plead guilty to. However, every case has its unique facts. There are defenses to mostly every type of DUI case.

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What happens if I refused to take a breath test?

That depends on the individual’s choice of attorney. I made the law on refusal in the seminal New Jersey Supreme Court case, State vs. Widmaier, 157 N.J. 475 (1999). In that case, I successfully argued that double jeopardy attached to my client’s Not Guilty finding in municipal court and he was acquitted of Refusal.

The penalties for Refusal are severe. On a first offense, the fine is between $300-500, assessments of $100, an IDRC commitment, and license revocation of between 7 months and one year. On a second offense, the fine is between $500-1,000, assessments of $100, an IDRC commitment, and license revocation of 2 years. In a third or subsequent offense, the fine $1,000 with a $100.00 assessment, IDRC commitment, and license revocation of 10 years. These penalties are essentially doubled if it is determined that the motorist was driving through a school crossing or within 1,000 feet of a school zone. There is no jail for a Refusal conviction.

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What is the format and cost for the Alcohol Education classes?

New Jersey’s Intoxicated Drivers Resource Centers (IDRC) is where you go for required alcohol education and awareness classes when you’ve been convicted of a DUI charge. For a first offense DUI, it is required that you take at minimum a total of 12 hours of class sessions. You generally attend two 6 hour sessions, which costs $100. You will be then be evaluated by New Jersey’s Intoxicated Driver Program (IDP) unit who may require additional training or treatment as they see necessary.

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If I was convicted of DUI in another state, is that considered a prior conviction in my current case?

It depends on the facts and circumstances of the out-of-state matter. New Jersey’s DUI statute puts the burden on the defendant to “demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the conviction in the other jurisdiction was based exclusively upon a violation of a proscribed blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.08%.” Simply put, an experienced DUI attorney fighting for his client’s interests should argue that there was a procedural deficiency in the out-of-state matter in an effort to argue that it should not be used as a prior offense for the pending New Jerrsey matter.

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If I have a previous conviction for DUI that is over 10 years old, does that count as a prior conviction in the current case?

No. If the second DUI offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense, the court will view the second conviction as if it is a first offense for sentencing purposes. If a third offense occurs more than 10 years following the second offense, the court will view the third conviction as a second offense for sentencing purposes.

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