Ocean County DWI/DUI Attorney

Ocean County DWI/DUI Lawyer

Even though DUI charges are not criminal offenses in New Jersey, the state treats these cases very seriously. A conviction can have far-reaching consequences, including driver’s license restrictions, jail time, and heavy fines. An experienced Ocean County, NJ, DUI lawyer with The Law Office of Steven Ellman can help you navigate the justice system and seek the best possible resolution to your charges. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can protect you during this difficult time.

The Process of a DWI/DUI Case in Ocean County

A DWI case begins with the initial traffic stop. While law enforcement can stop a motorist on suspicion of intoxicated driving, many DWI arrests start when a police officer stops a vehicle for other traffic violations and suspects the driver might be intoxicated. New Jersey police might also stop a driver at a DUI checkpoint in Ocean County.

When an officer suspects a driver of drug or alcohol intoxication, they may ask the driver to perform standardized field sobriety testing to confirm their suspicions. However, drivers do not have to submit to field sobriety tests.

If the motorist’s behavior or demeanor suggests they are driving under the influence or a breathalyzer test shows they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater, the officer can arrest the motorist for DWI. Next, the officer will transport the motorist to the police station for booking and a more scientific BAC test.

New Jersey’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to a breathalyzer/Alcotest after a DWI arrest. Refusing a breath or blood test may result in administrative penalties, including removing a motorist’s driving privileges.

Following the arrest, a suspect will appear in court for an arraignment. At the arraignment, the trial court will explain the charges against the defendant, take the defendant’s plea, outline the defendant’s other rights, and confirm whether the defendant has or wants a DUI attorney.

How an Ocean County DUI Attorney Can Help

Convictions are not inevitable after a drunk driving arrest. Ocean County, NJ, DUI lawyers can help defendants obtain favorable resolutions to drinking and driving charges. These attorneys understand New Jersey’s DWI law and can investigate your case to identify potential defenses and seek a fair outcome. An attorney can also represent your interests in court, such as arguing for lenient sentencing, challenging the prosecution’s case by moving to exclude evidence, or pointing out reasonable doubt at trial.

Penalties for a DWI/DUI Conviction in Ocean County

Penalties for DUI offenses in New Jersey depend on the degree of a driver’s alcohol intoxication and whether they have prior convictions.

First DUI offense

 BAC of more than 0.08 but less than 0.10 percent: 

  • $250 to $400 fine
  • 12 hours or up to 30 days in jail
  • Driver’s license forfeiture until installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), which must stay on the vehicle for three months
  • At least six hours per day for two consecutive days at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
  • Automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years

 BAC of more than 0.10 but less than 0.15 percent:

  • $300 to $500 fine
  • Jail term of up to 30 days
  • License revocation until IID installation, which must remain on the vehicle for seven to 12 months
  • At least six hours per day for two consecutive days at an IDRC
  • Auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years

BAC of more than 0.15 percent: 

  • $300 to $500 fine
  • 30 days in jail
  • Driver’s license revocation for four to six months
  • IID required during the period of license forfeiture and nine to 15 months after license restoration
  • At least six hours per day for two consecutive days at an IDRC
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years 

Second DUI  

  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • 48 hours to 90 days in jail
  • 30 days of community service
  • Driver’s license forfeiture for one to two years
  • IID required during license revocation and two to four years following return of license
  • Completion of evaluation, referral, and program requirements at an IDRC
  • Auto insurance surcharge of $1,000 for three years

Third or subsequent conviction 

  • $1,000 fine
  • Jail term of 180 days (with up to 90 days servable in a drug/alcohol inpatient rehab facility approved by the IDRC)
  • 30 days of community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for eight years
  • IID required during suspension and two to four years following license restoration
  • Completion of evaluation, referral, and program requirements of an IDRC
  • Auto insurance surcharge of $1,500 for three years

 A DWI conviction can also have consequences that last even after serving a sentence. In addition to the mandatory insurance surcharges, auto insurers may increase your premiums after a DWI if they view you as a riskier driver. You also could face a personal injury lawsuit if your actions led to a drunk driving accident that harmed another motorist.

How Can an Ocean County DWI Lawyer Help Me?

Ocean County DUI cases are handled in municipal court. A judge will hear the case and evaluate the evidence before deciding whether you should be convicted. Because DUI cases are formal legal proceedings, having a DWI defense attorney to represent your interests and ensure the prosecution treats you fairly is wise.

A New Jersey DWI lawyer from The Law Office of Steven Ellman will stand by your side during every step of your case. Our law firm can help you fight your DWI charges by investigating your case to obtain evidence that might support a viable defense, such as challenging the legality of the traffic stop or the reliability of field sobriety testing or breath or blood tests. We can help you understand the potential consequences of a DWI conviction and prepare you for what to expect in the criminal justice process. We will fight to secure the best possible result under the circumstances of your case, whether that means lighter sentencing, alternative disposition of your charges, or contesting your charges at trial.

Contact Our Ocean County, NJ, DUI Lawyers Today

Have you been charged with driving under the influence in Ocean County, NJ? Get the legal help and personal attention you need to enforce your rights, protect your reputation, and move forward. Contact Attorney Steven Ellman today for a free consultation with an experienced DUI attorney in Ocean County.