Have you been charged with DUI/DWI in Middlesex County, New Jersey? A conviction carries significant legal consequences, including license suspension, steep fines, and possible jail time. The repercussions of a guilty verdict can ripple through your personal life, affecting your finances, your ability to drive, and your freedom. Even as you face these possibilities, remember you are innocent until proven otherwise. You can improve your chances of a favorable outcome by working with an experienced Middlesex County DWI-DUI lawyer.
Ready to fight back? Contact The Law Office of Steven Ellman today for a free consultation with a trusted drunk driving lawyer.
What Counts as a DUI Offense in Middlesex County?
In Middlesex County, a DUI/DWI offense involves operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Law enforcement officers determine alcohol impairment by testing a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. For drivers 21 and older, a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is over the legal limit. The BAC threshold is cut in half for commercial drivers, at 0.04 percent. For drivers under 21, any detectable BAC level is illegal.
In addition, New Jersey’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to breathalyzer tests if police officers suspect them of DUI/DWI. Non-compliance can result in an automatic license suspension, hefty fines, and auto insurance surcharges.
What Happens If I Am Convicted of DUI/DWI in New Jersey?
The penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction in New Jersey vary based on factors like BAC level and offense history. Subsequent offenses for driving under the influence carry harsher penalties, including longer license suspensions, higher fines, and more potential jail time.
Penalties for First-Time Offenses
- $250 to $400 fine for a BAC of 0.08 percent but less than 0.10 percent
- 30 days in jail
- License forfeiture until an ignition interlock device (IID) is installed
- Installation of the IID for three months
- At least six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
- Automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years
First offenders With BACs Between O.10 But Less Than 0.15
- $300 to $500 fine
- Jail for up to 30 days
- Driver’s license forfeiture until IID installed
- IID installation is required for seven months to one year
- Mandatory six hours a day for two consecutive days with IDRC
- $1,000 auto insurance surcharge for three years
First-time Offenders With a BAC Of 0.15 Or Higher
IID installation during a license suspension period of four to six months and for nine to 15 months following license restoration
- $500 to $1,000 fine
- Imprisonment of at least 48 consecutive hours and up to 90 days
- License suspension for a minimum of one year and up to two years
- Mandatory completion of evaluation, referral, and program requirements with IDRC
- 30 days of community service
- Auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years
- Installation of an IID for the period of license revocation and two to four additional years after license restoration
Penalties for Third and Subsequent Offenses
- $1,000 fine
- Imprisonment of 90 to 180 days
- Eight-year license revocation
- 30 days of community service
- Completion of IDRC evaluation, referral, and program requirements
- Installation of an IID for the period of license forfeiture and two to four more years following license restoration
- Automobile insurance surcharge of $1,500 a year for three years
A DWI conviction also requires a defendant to pay fees to the NJ Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, Motor Vehicle Commission, Violent Crimes Compensation Fund, and the Safe and Secure Community Program Fund.
Do I Need a DUI Defense Lawyer?
Yes. Hiring a drunk driving defense attorney is highly advisable if you face DUI/DWI charges in Middlesex County. DUI cases often hinge on complex legal and technical details that benefit from an attorney’s review. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can interpret the law, scrutinize the evidence, and challenge any procedural errors in your case. They can develop a robust defense by questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, the validity of field sobriety tests, and the legality of the traffic stop.
Your defense attorney can also advocate for alternative sentencing, like rehabilitation programs instead of jail time, especially if you are a first-time offender. Furthermore, they can provide valuable guidance on license suspension, IID installation, and license reinstatement processes.
What Strategies Can a DUI-DWI Lawyer Use in My Defense?
In many DUI/DWI cases, defense strategies focus on questioning the accuracy of evidence, the legality of the law enforcement procedures, and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Possible defense approaches your DUI lawyer might take include:
- Challenging the traffic stop – Your DUI lawyer might argue that officers lacked probable cause for the initial traffic stop, making it unlawful. Without a valid reason for the stop, the court could deem any evidence gathered subsequently as inadmissible.
- Disputing field sobriety test results – DWI/DUI attorneys in Middlesex County often question the accuracy and administration of field sobriety tests. Factors like medical conditions, improper instructions by police, and even stumbling caused by irregular road surfaces may invalidate these tests.
- Contesting blood alcohol content (BAC) test results – This involves scrutinizing the BAC test procedures and equipment for errors. Inaccuracies in the calibration or maintenance of breathalyzer machines can result in false readings.
- Raising doubts about officer observations – The defense might argue a police officer inaccurately observed signs of impairment.
- Medical condition defense – Certain health conditions, like diabetes or acid reflux, can interfere with BAC tests, resulting in false readings.
- Questioning chain of custody and handling of evidence – Your lawyer might look for flaws in how authorities handled or stored evidence, questioning its integrity and admissibility.
How Do I Find the Right DWI Defense Attorney?
Finding the right defense attorney for a DUI/DWI case in New Jersey is essential. You need a lawyer who combines experience, determination, and a proven track record of success. This is where The Law Office of Steven Ellman stands out. Steven Ellman has an outstanding reputation across New Jersey for his ability to secure favorable outcomes in DUI/DWI and traffic violation cases. His track record includes an 80 percent dismissal rate, making him one of the elite DWI-DUI lawyers in Middlesex County.
Choosing Steven Ellman means opting for a lawyer who believes in respect, honesty, transparency, and reasonable fees for every client. He goes beyond the call of duty to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. With Steven Ellman, you’re not just getting a DUI attorney. You’re gaining a dedicated ally committed to aggressive advocacy and building a robust DWI defense on your behalf.
Contact a DWI Lawyer in Middlesex County Now
If you are facing DUI charges in Middlesex County, don’t wait another moment to get the hard-hitting defense you deserve. Contact The Law Office of Steven Ellman for a free consultation with a proven DWI lawyer.