Jersey City DUI/DWI Lawyer
Jersey City DUI/DWI Lawyer
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How much does a Jersey City DUI/DWI cost?
Sooner or later it’s bound to happen, even to New Jersey’s best drivers. Maybe you were running late and had a bit of a lead foot, or maybe you came to one of those “rolling stops” at the stop sign because you could tell nobody was coming. Perhaps you passed under the traffic light just as it turned red. If you spend any significant time on the road, the reality is that you could face one – or more – DUI/DWIs in your lifetime and may find yourself in need of a Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer.
DUI/DWIs are no big deal, right? Wrong! In addition to fines, you could face hikes in insurance premiums, court costs, time in jail in certain cases, and even a loss of your driving privileges. That means that if you have a DUI/DWI, or have acquired multiple tickets over time, the issue needs to be dealt with quickly and professionally, and a Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer can help you through every step of the process.
How much does a NJ DUI/DWI cost?
DUI/DWI convictions in NJ can lead to fines that go into thousands of dollars. But when you are considering the cost of your ticket, you must add in more than just the fine itself. Some common NJ DUI/DWI convictions and related fines include the following:
Should you choose to fight your ticket, you face related court costs of $34 in the NJ traffic court. In addition to fines and court costs, you also have to factor in the impact a DUI/DWI conviction can have on your auto insurance. New Jersey is different from the majority of states in that once you have a traffic offense on your record, that offense is there for life. It does not come off your record after so many years. That means that a single offense could potentially impact your auto insurance rate for life.
In addition to these expenses, DUI/DWI convictions can lead to points on your driver’s license. If you get six or more points within three years on your current driving record, you will be assessed a surcharge. Once you have accrued 12 or more points, your license may be suspended or even revoked. With so much at stake, you should allow your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer to help you fight your ticket and get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Can I get rid of points on my record?
As we have already discussed, DUI/DWI convictions in NJ never disappear from your record. However, you can earn point deductions under certain conditions. Staying violation and suspension free for one year is one way to have points deducted, and another way is by taking a qualified driving course approved by the state. Additionally, there are remedial programs that will help reduce points, although you must be careful to adhere to the program deadlines to earn the point deductions. A Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer understands the different programs that are available and can help advise you on the best course of action to remove points from your record.
Should I hire a Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer to defend me?
There are a few options for handling an Jersey City DUI/DWI. The most obvious one, of course, is to simply go ahead and plead guilty and pay the associated fine for the violation. This is not always in your best interest, however. Your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer will evaluate your case while considering other factors, such as your prior driving history and extenuating circumstances at the time you were cited. Your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
For several reasons, hiring an Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer to handle your DUI/DWI can help you in the long run. Certain charges — such as DWI or driving over 40 miles above the speed limit — cannot be resolved without a court appearance, even if you want to plead guilty. In these more serious cases, it would be better to hire an Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer “sooner” rather than “later.” That way your lawyer can walk you through the process and immediately begin efforts to resolve your DUI/DWI case.
When trying to decide whether you should defend your DUI/DWI yourself or hire an Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer, one question that should be asked is, “Do I know how to present my case?” Traffic court is a busy place, with a full schedule. That means as a defendant you only have a brief window of time to present your case. Unless you are accustomed to the court system, this process can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time in traffic court. An Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer has the expertise to present your case concisely, addressing the pertinent facts that the prosecutor will need to make a decision.
Whether a court appearance is mandatory or not, your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer can provide you a few other advantages:
- It can save you time. If your DUI/DWI conviction has a mandatory court appearance or if you have chosen to fight your ticket, prepare to spend a lot of time in an NJ municipal court, possibly hours. However, by having a Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer, you stand a better chance of having your case heard more quickly. Most courts tend to move up cases in which a defendant has legal representation.
- You have someone who understands the system. Your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer is familiar with NJ’s municipal courts — and the courts are familiar with your attorney. This understanding of the court processes and the penalties for various NJ DUI/DWI convictions gives your attorney an added advantage in fighting your offense.
- Your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer will be with you throughout the process. Your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer will also be able to represent you before a judge if your case goes to trial.
Your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer may be able to appear in court for you. Depending on the charges you are facing, if you wish to fight your DUI/DWI but do not have the time to take from your hectic schedule for a court appearance, your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer may be able to appear on your behalf, effectively protecting your driving record while saving you from having to change your schedule.
What if I fail to show up for court?
If you do not show up for court, a judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Then, you could be held in jail until your court appearance, and you could be sentenced to jail time and more fines. Even if you avoid arrest or jail time, there are other consequences for failure to resolve your DUI/DWIs, including not being able to get your license renewed or having your license suspended.
Are Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyers expensive?
There is no “cookie-cutter” answer for how much an attorney will cost. The price will vary based on several factors, such as how old the ticket is, what prior offenses you have, and what the circumstances are surrounding your DUI/DWI convictions. After giving your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer the details of your case, you will have a clearer picture of how much cost is involved.
An alternative question to how much an Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer charges could be, “Can I afford not to have an attorney?” You are fighting to keep points off your driver’s license, to keep your auto insurance rates down, and to keep your driving record clean. In the long run, the fines and surcharges, as well as the time you spend out of work while fighting your ticket, could cost you more than you would have paid by hiring an Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer at the very beginning of your case.
How do I choose the best Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer?
Choosing the attorney to represent you is the most important decision you can make when it comes to protecting your driving record — and your wallet! So how do you know which Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer is the right one for you?
You’ve heard the saying that first impressions matter. This is especially true when you are looking for the right Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer to represent you. So how do you determine if the attorney you are talking with is the best one to handle your case? Go with that first impression! When you speak with a potential attorney, do you feel that they are truly listening to you? Or do they act as if you are wasting their time? Are they talking with you and asking you specifics about your situation? Or do they just seem to breeze past your explanations? Your first impression matters, because the Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer is there to represent you.
You should be comfortable with your decision regarding which attorney will handle your case, so here are a few questions to ask:
- How many traffic cases have you handled like mine?
- How often do you get charges dropped or reduced?
- How long have you worked with the court system in Jersey City?
- What are your fees?
- What information do you need from me?
NJ DUI/DWI Penalties
NJ DUI/DWI Penalties
In New Jersey a DWI and a DUI are synonymous. DWI (driving while intoxicated) and a Drug DUI (driving under the influence), punishments are not the same for every case. The penalties for driving under the influence range from losing your license for 3 months to 10 years, depending on the severity of your charge. Fines, surcharges, jail time, and community service can vary too. The extent of DUI consequences in New Jersey is based on blood alcohol content and past offenses. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is set forth below:
A BAC above 0.08%, but less than 0.10%
A BAC higher than 0.10%.
DUI/DWI Penalties and Fines in New Jersey – First Offense
If you are convicted of DWI in New Jersey with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%, but lower than 0.10% and this is your first conviction, you are facing the following court-imposed and administrative penalties and punishments.
- Loss of your driving privileges for 3 months.
- At least twelve hours of jail time and no more 30 days.
- Between $250 and $400 in fines.
- A $1,000 annual automobile insurance surcharge for three years.
- Other fees and surcharges in excess of $525.
- Possible Ignition Interlock requirement for six to twelve months.
- Alcohol/substance abuse assessment.
- Two days of 6-hour mandatory alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
If your BAC is 0.10% or higher, the penalties are worse.
At least 7-12 months loss of license..
$300 to$500 in fines.
DUI in a School Zone
If you are convicted of DWI while driving in a school zone, you are subject to an additional $500 to $800 fine, up to 60 more days of jail time, and your driving privileges will be suspended for an additional one to two years.
Additional Fines and Costs
Drunk driving enforcement fund surcharge (DEDR) $100
Court costs $33
Safe Neighborhood Services Funds surcharge $50
Alcohol Education, Rehabilitation & Enforcement Fund $100
Intoxicated Driver Resource Center per diem fees $75 per diem
DL Restoration Fee $100
Merit Rating Plan Surcharge $3,000
Merit Rating Plan Point assessment $525 – $675
If you are unable to pay your surcharges your driving privileges may be suspended indefinitely and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) may file a claim in Superior Court and obtain a lien against your property and garnish your wages.
NJ DUI/DWI Penalties – Second Offense
If you were convicted of a NJ DUI/DWI and within ten years of that first conviction you get arrested for a second DUI/DWI in NJ you face the following penalties:
Minimum fines of $500 and maximum of $1,000
30 days of community service
12 – 48 hrs Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
$3,000 in automobile insurance surcharges over a 3-year period
Jail time between 2 – 90 days
A minimum 2 years of license suspension
An ignition interlock device while license is suspended and following return of license
NJ DUI/DWI Penalties – Third Offense
Minimum $1,000 fine
A maximum of 90 days of community service
12 – 48 hrs Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
$4,500 in automobile insurance surcharges over a 3-year period
180 days of jail time (this may be reduced if you attend inpatient regabilitation)
10 years of license suspension
An ignition interlock device
You Don't Have To Face Your Jersey City DUI/DWI Alone
Handling a DUI/DWI can interfere with your work or family schedule. It can impact your driving record and increase your auto insurance rates. In some situations, it can lead to jail time and high fines, fees, and surcharges. Do not underestimate the impact an unresolved DUI/DWI can have on your driving record or on your peace of mind. Let your Jersey City DUI/DWI lawyer fight for you.
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