New Jersey DWI Attorney

Elizabeth, New Jersey DWI Lawyer

Elizabeth New jersey DWI lawyer

You only had a drink or two.
You didn’t feel like you were intoxicated and felt OK to get behind the wheel, but the police officer that pulled you over thought otherwise, and now you’re facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

A New Jersey DWI is a serious traffic offense with severe penalties and consequences.

If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges, New Jersey Criminal defense attorney Dan Matrafajlo can help.

The legal team at the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo has the experience and resources needed to protect your legal rights and dismiss or reduce the New Jersey DWI charges you are facing.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol In New Jersey

Section 39:4-50 of the New Jersey state law makes operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance a crime in New Jersey. If you were arrested on DWI charges in New Jersey, your case would be heard in the municipal court of the city in which your alleged offense took place.

While the most common DWI charge in New Jersey involves alcohol, you may also face charges for driving under the influence of drugs, such as narcotics and hallucinogenics. The only difference between an alcohol and drug DWI charge is that there is a maximum legal limit of alcohol that must be present to determine intoxication, while any amount of drugs in your system is enough for you to be arrested and charged with DWI.

New Jersey DWI Fines and Penalties

Penalties for a DWI under New Jersey law vary depending on your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest and whether you have any prior history of drunk driving charges. A person can be found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol when they operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of at least .08%. The .08% BAC limit is considered a per se violation under N.J.S.A 39:4-50.

Below is a list of penalties the Court will impose for any individual found guilty of driving a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater:

1st Offense

BAC level is greater than 0.08 percent but less than 0.10 percent:

  • $250- $400 court fine upon conviction
  • Imprisonment up to 30 days (rarely imposed)
  • Loss of driver’s license until ignition interlock is obtained and installed into your registered vehicle for three months
  • Mandatory participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program (IDRC) for 12-48 hours
  • Three years of state surcharges of $1,000.00 per year (paid after conviction and not to the court)

BAC level is greater than 0.10 percent but less than 0.15 percent:

  • $300- $500 court fine upon conviction
  • Imprisonment up to 30 days (rarely imposed)
  • Loss of driver’s license until ignition interlock is obtained and installed into your registered vehicle for a period between 7 to 12 months
  • Mandatory participation in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program (IDRC) for 12-48 hours
  • Three years of state surcharges of $1,000.00 per year (paid after conviction to the state)

If BAC is above 0.15 percent:

  • A fine between $300-$500
  • Jail for up to 30 days
  • License suspension for a period ranging from four to six months
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device for a period ranging from nine to fifteen months
  • A minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • An automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years

2nd Offense

BAC level is above 0.08 percent:

  • $500- $1,000.00 court fine upon guilty plea or sentence
  • Imprisonment for at least 48 consecutive hours and up to 90 days (potentially could be served in IDRC)
  • Loss of N.J. driving privileges for at least one year up to two years
  • 30 days of community service
  • Evaluation and completion of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program (IDRC)
  • Ignition interlock installation for two to four years after the restoration of NJ Driver’s License
  • Three years of state surcharges of $1,000.00 per year (paid after conviction to the state)

3rd or Subsequent Offense

BAC level is above 0.08 percent:

  • $1,000.00 court fine upon conviction
  • Imprisonment for at least 180 days (6 months), except that the judge can credit 90 days of imprisonment if served in an inpatient rehabilitation center approved by the courts
  • Eight years of N.J. driver’s license suspension
  • 30 days of community service
  • Evaluation and completion of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center program (IDRC)
  • Ignition interlock installation for two to four years after the restoration of your NJ driver’s license
  • Three years of state surcharges of $1,500.00 per year (paid after conviction to the state)

Just because you were arrested and charged with a DWI in New Jersey does not mean you will automatically face these severe penalties and consequences.

Contact an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer immediately to protect your legal rights.

How New Jersey DWI Charges Can Impact Your Auto Insurance

A conviction for a DWI may impact your automobile insurance premiums.

A conviction or a guilty plea for drunk driving in New Jersey will result in nine insurance points on your driving record. Insurance companies use these points, which are different than the Motor Vehicle Commission points for most driving offenses, to determine eligibility and the rate of your insurance premiums.

Getting too many points on your record may result in the cancellation of your policy, your inability to get new coverage, or a significant hike in your current policy premium.

If, as a result of your conviction, you cannot obtain insurance coverage through an established company, you will be forced to purchase auto insurance through the more expensive New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP).

Why You Need to Contact a New Jersey DWI Attorney

A DWI arrest and conviction can seriously impact all aspects of your life.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey, it is imperative that you immediately contact a New Jersey DWI lawyer with the experience and resources needed to protect your legal rights.

The legal team at the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo can help dismiss your DWI charges or reduce the charges to minimize the resulting penalties as much as possible. Call us today for a Free Consultation at 908-355-7100.

The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo have locations in Elizabeth, North Brunswick, and Newark, New Jersey. Dan T. Matrafajlo has experience fighting DWI charges in New Jersey’s municipal courts. He has been recognized locally for his legal ability and named a SuperLawyers Rising Star by his peers. He has the knowledge and skill to prepare the best strategy and present the best evidence at your DUI bench trial to increase the likelihood of dismissing the DUI charges against you.

Frequently Asked Questions

New Jersey law mandates that the State must provide a trial within a specified time period. If the state fails to do so, your DWI case may be dismissed for timely prosecution. Guidelines require that NJ DWI cases be resolved within 60 days of the date of arrest.

Absolutely. A good New Jersey DWI attorney is educated and trained in blood testing, breathalyzer tests, and the science and law behind drunk driving cases. This knowledge and experience can help successfully fight your case, plea it down to a lesser offense, or get it dismissed altogether.

A DWI is a serious offense in the state of New Jersey that remains on your record for a minimum of 10 years.

There would be a mandatory license loss when someone is convicted by a trial or if they plead guilty to DWI. This would begin immediately and they would often order the person to hand in their physical license.

New Jersey law considers drunk driving a traffic offense, not an indictable crime (felony) or disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). If you are convicted of DWI charges, then the conviction appears on your driving record.

It is your responsibility to submit proof of payment of outstanding fines or tickets to the MVC to be restored. Once you have satisfied the reason for the suspension, completed any suspension period that had been ordered, and paid the required fees, you will receive a Notice of Restoration in the mail.

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Isahac Ramos

Called after hours and was surprised on how quick they reached back out the next day! Carried on through court and was incredibly helpful!

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Dan and his team are beyond amazing !! Everything that I needed & requested was completely taken care of. My main tickets and charges were dismissed & dropped in a timely and just manner. I...

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Was going through a legal situation and didn’t know where to turn too asked around and they said to hire Dan once hired he went all out to make sure I was comfortable with him and was diligent in proving my innocence needless to say all charges were dismissed if you want a lawyer that is loyal and

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