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What should I keep in mind when facing a DWI charge?

When you see the flashing lights of a police car in your rearview mirror, the panic can immediately set in. Maybe you knowingly got into your vehicle after a few too many drinks. But it’s also possible that you believed you were sober enough to drive or that you truly hadn’t consumed anything that would cause your driving skills to decline.

Regardless of the events that led up to the DWI charge you are now facing, it’s important to keep in mind the penalties and long-term consequences you will face.

DWI penalties

Getting a DWI in New Jersey can lead to a whole slew of penalties. First-time offenders who receive a charge for driving with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.10% can expect to have to deal with the following:

  • Pay a fine of $250 to $400 and a $1,000 auto insurance surcharge for three years
  • Attend a two-day program at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Serve up to 30 days in prison
  • Install an ignition interlock device (IID) for three months
  • Forfeit driver’s license between initial charge and IID installation

Those with a higher BAC and repeat offenders can expect to pay pricier fees and fines and keep an IID installed for more than just a few months. Simply put, penalties can only increase.

Lingering consequences

It’s also crucial to note that not only will these harsh penalties immediately impact your life, but they will follow you many years down the line. For example, going to jail, even if it’s just a brief sentence, can leave a lasting effect. You probably won’t be able to carry out parental or career obligations behind bars. And, in turn, this can create way for unemployment or custody complications. Also, the period where you don’t have a license could get in the way of daily and weekly responsibilities and cause those close to you to lose their trust in you.

If you feel like you are undeserving of these penalties, then an experienced attorney can help you develop a plan to achieve justice.

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