Monmouth County DWI & DUI Attorney

Monmouth County DWI & DUI Lawyer

Have you been charged with DWI/DUI in Monmouth County, New Jersey? Without experienced legal representation, you could be at serious risk of hefty fines, a tarnished reputation, and possible jail time. A seasoned DWI lawyer in Monmouth County can help you fight your charges to avoid these harsh consequences.

Many people don’t realize the number of potential defenses that are available in DUI cases. It’s not just about what the breathalyzer test said. Besides being unreliable, the test results only tell part of the story. An experienced DWI attorney can analyze every aspect of your arrest and the facts of the case to build a strong defense on your behalf. Your lawyer will aggressively advocate for a favorable resolution to your charges, which could include a case dismissal, reduced charges, and lesser penalties. 

Get the legal help you need to defend your rights and reputation. Contact The Law Office of Steven Ellman today for a free initial case review. 

Understanding DWI & DUI Offenses in New Jersey

In New Jersey, authorities use the terms DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) interchangeably. However, state law New Jersey law formally lists the offense as “driving while intoxicated.”

New Jersey DWI law recognizes both traditional DWI offenses and per se DWI offenses. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogens, or other habit-producing drugs to the point that the operator cannot do so safely. Traditionally, intoxication is established by observation of the operator: bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol on their breath, slurred speech, and an inability to walk in a straight line.

Today, however, law enforcement and prosecutors typically pursue per se DWI offenses against drivers. A driver commits per se DWI when they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. Commercial drivers have a lower legal limit of 0.04 percent. New Jersey also has a zero-tolerance law that prohibits drivers under 21 from having any detectable alcohol in their system.

A person may also face DUI charges when they allow another intoxicated person to drive their vehicle.

Like many other states, New Jersey has an implied consent law. Every motorist in the state automatically consents to submit to a breath test upon request by law enforcement following a DWI arrest. However, police cannot force a driver to provide a breath sample for testing. Refusing a lawful request to submit to a breath test may result in administrative penalties, including suspension of driving privileges and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in one’s vehicle.

Consequences of DWI/DUI Charges

DWI charges can have significant consequences, particularly upon conviction. Penalties for a DWI conviction will vary depending on the level of a driver’s alcohol intoxication and whether they have prior DWI convictions. Here are some penalties under a variety of circumstances:

  • BAC of 0.08 percent or more but less than 0.10 percent – $250 to $400 fine, up to 30 days in jail, driver’s license forfeiture until ignition interlock device (IID) installation, three months’ IID requirement, a minimum of six hours per day for two consecutive days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), and an annual auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years
  • BAC of 0.10 percent or more but less than 0.15 percent $300 to $500 fine, up to 30 days in jail, driver’s license suspension until IID installation, seven to 12 months’ interlock requirement, a minimum of six hours per day for two consecutive days at an IDRC, and an annual auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years
  • BAC of 0.15 percent or more $300 to $500 fine, up to 30 days in jail, four to six months of driver’s license suspension, IID required during driver’s license suspension and for nine to 15 months after restoration, a minimum of six hours per day for two consecutive days at an IDRC, and an annual auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years

Penalties for a second DWI conviction include a fine of $500 to $1,000, 48 hours to 90 days in jail, and one to two years of driver’s license suspension. It also includes the installation of an IID during the license suspension period and for two to four years after license restoration. Penalties for second-time offenses further include 30 days of community service, completion of evaluation, referral, and programs of the IDRC, and an annual auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years.

Penalties for a third or subsequent DWI conviction include a fine of $1,000, 180 days in jail (with up to 90 days servable in an alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the IDRC), and an eight-year driver’s license suspension. Drivers also face an IID requirement while their license is revoked and for two to four years after restoration, 30 days of community service, and an annual auto insurance surcharge of $1,500 for three years.

Certain aggravating circumstances, like driving with a high BAC or drinking and driving in a school zone, can have a drastic effect on the outcome of your DUI case. That’s why consulting a skilled DUI lawyer with experience fighting DWI charges in Monmouth County is essential. 

The Process of Working with a DWI/DUI Lawyer

Talking to a DWI lawyer is the first step to fighting your charges. During an initial consultation, you will discuss your situation and the events leading up to your arrest so your attorney can identify all possible defenses. Your lawyer can help you understand the potential consequences of your charges and advise you on the next steps to take in your case.

Throughout your case, your DWI attorney will gather evidence to support your defense, such as proof that the police illegally stopped you or improperly administered the breath test. In addition, your lawyer may file motions to exclude the prosecution’s evidence or to reduce or dismiss your charges. Your attorney can also advise you on the strength of your case if you want to go to trial or whether you should consider exploring alternative resolutions to your DWI charges so you avoid the worst consequences of a conviction.

Call Our Experienced DWI Lawyer for Assistance

Are you facing DUI charges in Monmouth County? You need knowledgeable, dedicated legal representation to help protect your rights, freedom, and future. For over 35 years, Attorney Steven Ellman has guided clients through complex drunk driving cases. His 80 percent dismissal rate is a testament to his status as one of New Jersey’s premier DWI lawyers. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.