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How Much Jail Time am I Facing for DUI?

September 4, 2019

If you receive a DUI in New Jersey, you could be facing jail time. How much jail time exactly? It depends on the specific circumstances of your case.

Here, our New Jersey DUI defense lawyer gives an overview of the drunk driving penalties in our state. We address the three key factors that will determine how much jail time you will be facing if you are convicted of intoxicated driving.

Jail Time for DUI in New Jersey: What You Need to Know

Do You Have a History of Intoxicated Driving Offenses?

Under New Jersey state law (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50), drivers are charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or more, or if a substance is impairing them. A key factor that determines jail time for a DUI arrest is their driving history. New Jersey usually punishes each drunk driving offense more than the previous one. The range of potential jail time for a DUI in New Jersey is:

  • First time DUI offense: A defendant may face up to 30 days in jail.
  • Second time DUI offense: A defendant may face between 48 hours and  90 days in jail.
  • Third time DUI offense: A defendant will face a minimum of 180 days in jail.

Are There Any Aggravating Factors?

DUI conviction history is not the only thing that the state of New Jersey considers when penalizing intoxicated drivers. There are circumstances where a defendant could face more jail time. These are often referred to as ‘aggravating factors’. If an aggravating factor is present, you are likely to face more severe penalties. The most common aggravating factors in New Jersey are:

  • Having a BAC level at or above 0.15 percent;
  • Engaging in reckless driving while impaired;
  • Getting a DUI while in a school zone;
  • Getting a DUI with a child in the car; or
  • Involvement in an accident while under the influence.

The most serious form of DUI is vehicular homicide. If a drunk driver causes an accident that results in death, they may face felony charges and a long prison sentence.

If you or your loved one was arrested for a DUI with aggravated factors, call a criminal defense lawyer right away. You must take immediate action in these cases.

Can I avoid Jail Time for a DUI?

You will not face any jail time until you plead guilty or the prosecution proves the DUI charge and gets a conviction. The first goal in any case to obtain a dismissal. If convicted, how much jail time you may face in a DUI case depends on a variety of factors some listed above. Consult with a top-rated New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyer after being arrested and charged with a crime.

There are options to avoid any jail time . Jail sentences are almost never imposed for a first-offense DUI in New Jersey. While the law calls for jail for a second offense for at least 48 hours, this can also be avoided. There are even ways to avoid jail on a third offense DUI. An experienced DUI lawyer will review your case and determine how to protect your rights and best defend against your case.

How to Get No Jail for a NJ DWI

Here just a few of the ways to avoid jail time for a second, third, or subsequent DUI conviction in New Jersey:

  1. Previous offense was more than ten years before the current offense. This is what is known as a “step-down.” The gap in time is counted between the incident dates, not the conviction dates.
  2. Unrepresented on previous DUI case. If you pleaded guilty to a DUI without an attorney, it may be possible to have that offense not count as a prior for jail sentencing purposes. This is done through attacking the previous conviction. You so by successfully raising a petition for post-conviction relief (“PCR”). This particular type of PCR is known as a “Laurick” motion.
  3. IDRC in lieu of jail. This option is available for a second offense DUI. It may be possible to get the minimum jail term (2 days) and have that sentence served in the intoxication driver’s resource center rather tan the jail.
  4. Inpatient rehabilitation. This may be possible in a second, third, or subsequent DUI conviction. A judge may allow to you serve a portion of you jail sentence in a rehab facility.

Get Help From Our New Jersey DUI Defense Lawyer Right Away

At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, our top-rated New Jersey drunk driving defense attorney is a strong advocate for clients.

If you or your loved one is facing potential jail time for an intoxicated driving offense, we are here to help.

To set up an initial consultation, please contact us today.

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