When you face DUI or DWI charges in Newark, NJ, the decisions you make early on can significantly affect the outcome of your case. If prosecutors convict you, you could lose your driving privileges and face jail time, hefty fines, and other penalties. Faced with these severe consequences, you need a Newark DUI attorney from the Law Office of Steven Ellman on your side right away.
Steven Ellman has more than 35 years of legal experience, much of it spent assisting Newark residents with DUI and DWI cases. About 80 percent of the firm’s clients have their charges eventually dismissed, and we work tirelessly to protect their rights throughout the legal process. Call the Law Office of Steven Ellman today or reach out online for a free consultation.
Types of DUI/DWI Offenses in Newark, NJ
There are several types of offenses under the banner of Newark DUI/DUI law. Those offenses include:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) – Technically, there is no such crime as “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) in New Jersey. Instead, state law calls this offense “Driving While Intoxicated,” or DWI.
- Repeat DWIs – Multiple DWI charges in quick succession can substantially increase your penalties upon conviction. For instance, while the maximum jail sentence for a first-time DWI is 30 days, a second DWI conviction within five years carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days.
- Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or other test – As a condition of having a driver’s license, all drivers in New Jersey automatically consent to breathalyzer tests to measure their blood-alcohol content (BAC). Under New Jersey law, refusing to take one of these tests is grounds for an automatic license suspension and a mandatory ignition interlock device.
- Aggravated DWI – If an impaired driver injures or kills someone in a collision, they will face stiffer penalties for their actions. Other factors that might lead to an aggravated DWI charge include driving through a school zone while impaired or driving with a child in the car.
- Underage DWI – New Jersey has a zero-tolerance policy regarding underage drinking. Underage, impaired drivers could face stiff penalties if the police catch them.
- Assault by auto – Under New Jersey’s assault law, injuring someone with a vehicle is a fourth-degree felony if the crash results in severe bodily injuries. Fourth-degree felonies in New Jersey carry a maximum prison sentence of 18 months.
- Vehicular homicide – State law says vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony, and the penalties include up to 10 years in prison.
Legal Procedures in Newark, NJ
Understanding the basic legal procedures of a Newark DWI case can help you prepare for what lies ahead. Below, we break down the essential components of the legal processes in a New Jersey DUI case:
Upon seeing a suspected drunk driver, a police officer might stop them for a routine traffic check or due to observed erratic driving behavior. After the stop, the officer will typically conduct a field sobriety test, which may involve simple tasks like walking in a straight line or following the movement of a light with one’s eyes. Based on the results of this test and other observations, the officer might make an arrest on suspicion of DUI/DWI.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Testing
After making an arrest, the officer will usually take the driver to a police station or hospital for BAC testing. In New Jersey, the law says drivers are assumed to be impaired if their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher.
Once the arrest and testing phases are complete, the case moves to the courtroom. The initial appearance, known as the arraignment, is where the state formally presents the charges against the defendant. The defendant then enters a plea (guilty or not guilty). If the defendant pleads not guilty, a pre-trial conference or motion hearings may follow, which may involve obtaining and examining evidence and witness testimony. Depending on the complexities of the case, it may go to trial, where a judge will decide the outcome.
Role of an Experienced DUI/DWI Attorney
A DWI lawyer is an essential ally if the police accuse you of drunk driving, and their job encompasses many roles, such as:
- Investigating the case and gathering evidence to support your defense
- Examining how the police obtained their evidence and checking for any violations of your rights
- Negotiating with prosecutors on your behalf
- Representing you in any court appearances
- Explaining the consequences of DUI/DWI in Newark, NJ
The specific circumstances of a DWI case inform the potential penalties defendants face.
Generally, the penalties for DWI in New Jersey include:
- 1st offense with a BAC of at least 0.08 percent and less than 0.10 percent, or no specific BAC level – Up to 30 days in jail, a minimum of two days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC), $250-400 fine, mandatory ignition interlock for three months, driver’s license suspension until interlock installed.
- 1st offense with a BAC of at least 0.10 percent but less than 0.15 percent – Up to 30 days in jail, a minimum of two days at an IDRC, $300-500 fine, mandatory ignition interlock for seven months to a year, driver’s license suspension until interlock installed.
- 2nd offense within five years – Up to 90 days in jail, driver’s license suspension for one to four years, $500-1,000 fine, 30 days of community service, interlock installed for two to four years after license restoration.
- 3rd offense within five years – Up to 180 days in jail, driver’s license suspension for eight years, $1,000 fine, 30 days of community service, interlock installed for two to four years after license restoration.
Why Choose Steven Ellman for DUI/DWI Cases in Newark, NJ
Newark has no shortage of DWI attorneys, but that does not mean all DWI lawyers are the same. The Law Office of Steven Ellman brings much to the table that you won’t find at other law firms, including:
- More than 35 years of legal experience, much of it involving DWI cases
- A proven record of success, as about 80 percent of our clients have the charges against them dropped
- Specific knowledge and insight from focusing on DWI/DUI cases
Contact a Newark DWI/DUI Lawyer Now
Newark DWI cases require an experienced, knowledgeable attorney if you want to avoid the worst possible outcomes. Call our New Jersey DWI lawyers today or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.