One of the most common questions people have when they’re facing DWI charges is whether they’ll have a criminal record if they’re convicted. The answer is no, but that doesn’t mean they’ll face no scrutiny. Drunk driving charges in New Jersey are technically classified as traffic infractions, but the degree of public interest, not to mention punishment if you’re convicted, push it into a quasi-criminal realm. Your local paper is unlikely to include reports of traffic tickets in its coverage of the local police blotter, but a New Jersey DWI arrest does make the cut.
Media reports of an arrest are typically not a violation of your rights or actionable on your end, but they do raise the question of whether DWI is properly categorized in the state. Punishment for DWI, especially when a driver has had previous arrests for driving drunk, look increasingly like the penalties a criminal defendant would face for a variety of charges we prosecute in the state every day, but in a DWI case, defendants aren’t even entitled to make their case to a jury.
Drunk driving charges are tough for you, your family, and your career. You can lose your license for months or years, pay huge fines, and even face jail time. While the media is free to report the arrest, and you’ll likely have to explain it in some difficult situations down the line, you can fight back and win. Matthew Reisig has helped more than 1,040 drivers in New Jersey avoid conviction in their DWI cases. Call 732-625-9660 today for a free consultation.