How Long Does a New Jersey DWI Remain on My Record?
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Wed Dec 2023
Getting arrested and/or convicted on drunk driving charges can be a stressful experience. All you may want to do is move on with your life and leave it in the past. If you are trying to rebuild your life after a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction, you may wonder how long it will stay on your record.
Unfortunately, a drunk driving conviction remains on your record forever in New Jersey. This means you have no opportunity for expungement (or dismissal of the conviction off your record). This makes it imperative to hire the most aggressive New Jersey DWI defense attorney to avoid a conviction in the first place.
New Jersey 10-Year-Step-Down Rule
As stated above, once you are convicted on drunk driving charges, there is nothing you or your attorney can do to remove it from your driving record. For many people, this can have a drastic impact on all aspects of their lives.
However, New Jersey does have what is known as a 10-year-step-down rule. Under this rule, if you do not get a DUI or DWI in 10 years or more, your second charge will be treated like a first charge. In other words, a second drunk driving charge will be stepped down and treated as if it was your first charge for a DWI if more than 10 years has lapsed since your first offense. This rule also applies to a third offense if 10 or more years have passed since your second offense.
Avoiding a DWI Conviction Is Best
Given the harsh New Jersey laws, despite the possibility of the 10-year-step-down rule, it is best to try to avoid a conviction of drunk driving charges in the first place. To increase your chances of a dismissal of the charges, you should immediately get in touch with a New Jerey drunk driving attorney as soon as possible.
An experienced attorney will investigate the facts surrounding your arrest to come up with the strongest defense possible to increase your chances of avoiding a conviction or having the charges dropped altogether.
Depending on the facts, some possible New Jersey DWI defenses include:
- Illegal motor vehicle stop leading to the arrest and charge.
- Lack of proof of operation beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Failure to provide sufficient evidence that you were impaired while behind the wheel.
- Invalid or inaccurate Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).
The bottom line is that you should try to avoid getting behind the wheel while impaired. But if you are arrested on drunk driving charges, it is critical to immediately consult with a DWI attorney to begin building your defense.
Contact Us Today!
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you should discuss your case, including any potential meritorious motions to suppress, with an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, please call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-248-4404.