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Princeton DUI/DWI Lawyer

Aggressive DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer Works Tirelessly To Protect Clients’ Rights In Princeton and Throughout New Jersey

When people get arrested for a Princeton DUI/DWI they know they can trust Anthony J. Vecchio to provide skilled, aggressive representation.  When everything is on the line, they know they can’t afford to take chances. Our firm immediately gets involved in their case and protects their rights. We put our clients’ interests at the heart of everything we do. It’s one of the reasons why Anthony has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in New Jersey every year since 2012.

Over the course of his legal career, Anthony has handled more than 1,000 combined municipal, criminal and appellate cases. To talk about how he can put that experience on your side and fight your DWI charge in Princeton, contact us today

About Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton is a vibrant community located just north of Trenton. It is located south of New York City. Once ranked among the top 20 places to live and work in America, Princeton sits in Mercer County and is notably home to Princeton University. As in many college towns, police in Princeton look out for young, inexperienced, and possibly impaired drivers. The Princeton Police Department and Mercer County Sheriff’s Office frequently stop cars for suspected traffic violations and conduct DWI/DUI checkpoints in the early morning hours. 

If a law enforcement officer arrests you for an alleged DWI/DUI after a traffic stop or checkpoint stop in Princeton, you know where to turn for help. The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, is conveniently located just off the Brunswick Pike on Carnegie Center Drive. You can set an immediate appointment to talk with Anthony about your case.

What You Should Know About a DUI/DWI Charge in Princeton

DWI and DUI are the same thing in New Jersey. Prosecutors use the two abbreviations interchangeably to describe driving while impaired. Since you can be intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or any combination thereof, the law focuses on your impairment more than the substance that actually causes the impairment. The primary focus is on whether your condition is suitable to drive.  

Under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50, New Jersey law defines DWI as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in your blood, or while under the influence of: 

  • Intoxicating liquor (beer, wine or spirits)
  • Narcotics
  • Hallucinogenic substances
  • Habit-producing drugs.

You can also be guilty of the offense if you let someone who is intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle you own or control. If you are a minor, or if you operate a vehicle with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), special rules apply. For the holder of a CDL, your BAC cannot be 0.04 percent or higher. If you are a minor, or under age 21, you can have no trace of alcohol in your system – even 0.01 percent. This is called New Jersey’s “zero tolerance” law.

Additional Charges

Don’t think prosecutors will stop at charging you with one violation. Many people with a DWI/DUI end up facing related charges such as:

  • Refusal to submit breath sample –Under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50.2, all drivers are deemed to give implied consent to breath testing. If you refuse a first time, you will lose your license for seven months. A second offense will get you a two-year revocation. A third offense can mean up to 10 years without a license. Needless to say, the penalties for refusal can be very severe.
  • Reckless driving –Under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-96, a person can be charged with “reckless” driving if he or she drives a vehicle in a “willful or wanton disregard” for the rights and safety of others, or in such a way that it could reasonably “endanger or likely endanger” people or their property. New Jersey law also allows a lesser charge of “careless driving.”
  • Open container – Through two statutes – N.J.S.A. §§ 39:4-51aand 39:4-51b– New Jersey law requires any open alcohol containers to be in the trunk and out of the access of anyone in the passenger compartment. Likewise, no one can drink alcohol while a vehicle is in motion.

As we explain in more detail below, penalties for DWI can be severe and take a toll on your life. If convicted you could lose out on jobs and college options. It could also interfere with military service. For instance, just think of all the opportunities and activities you could miss out on if you cannot drive. This is why it is so crucial to immediately contact if you get a DWI charge in Princeton.

What Are the Consequences of a DWI In Princeton?

If you are convicted of a DWI in Princeton, the penalties you can expect to face include: 

First Offense

  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Up to 90 days license suspension
  • $250 – $400 in fines
  • Over $400 in fees
  • Surcharge of $1,000 p/year for 3 years
  • IDRC counseling for 12 to 48 hours

Second Offense

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Two-year license suspension
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Over $400 in fees
  • Surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years
  • Interlock device on your vehicle for 1 to 3 years
  • Community service for 30 days
  • IDRC counseling for 12 to 48 hours

Third or Subsequent Offenses

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Lose your license for 10 years
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Over $400 in fees
  • Surcharge of $1,500 per year for 3 years
  • Interlock device for 1 to 3 years
  • IDRC counseling for 12 to 48 hours

Collateral Consequences

In addition to the costly and terribly inconvenient penalties that the government and court system levies, you could also suffer the following unexpected consequences:

  • Lose your job
  • Lose your scholarship or financial aid in college
  • Have your college applications rejected
  • Face expulsion from school or other discipline
  • Lose out on graduate programs
  • Be rejected for volunteer opportunities
  • Lose internships or competitive job opportunities
  • Face difficulty enlisting in the military
  • Have a permanent mark on your record that affects your housing options and career choices.

If you have been arrested in Princeton and face a DWI charge, you absolutely should not take it lightly. Contact an experienced DWI defense lawyer today.

What Happens if Police Arrest You for a DWI in Princeton?

As you contemplate your DWI offense, you should understand some of the basic steps in the process:

Your Arrest and Testing

When a police officer pulls you over, the officer will take the “totality of the circumstances” into consideration. The officer will try to determine if your speech is slurred, your eyes are red, your balance is off and whether a scent of alcohol is on your breath. If the officer determines that he or she has reasonable suspicion that you have been drinking, the officer may put you through a series of field sobriety tests and, ultimately, arrest you for suspected intoxication. The officer will take you to a station and ask you to submit to a breath, blood and/or urine test. The station will depend on who arrests you:

  • NJ State Police – If the State Police pick you up in Princeton, then you will likely be taken to a “Troop C” station. These are local barracks.
  • Princeton Police Department – If the Princeton Police Department arrests you, then you will likely go to their local station at 1 Valley Road.
  • Mercer County Sheriff’s Office –For those who are arrested in the unincorporated areas of Mercer County, outside of Princeton’s jurisdiction, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will likely be the arresting agency.  

The breath test will instantly reveal results. The police will need to send blood or urine samples to the lab.

Your Hearing

Initially, your DWI case will go before the Municipal Court. In New Jersey, Municipal Courts have local jurisdiction over a host of offenses, including DWI charges. For Princeton, the Municipal Court is located on Witherspoon Street. The Municipal Courts hear a heavy volume of cases. So, it’s not uncommon for mistakes to occur. 

If you wish to appeal your Municipal Court conviction, you must follow the procedure to appeal to Mercer County Superior Court. Substantive or procedural issues, including due process violations or other constitutional challenges, often get raised in appeals to Superior Court. The Superior Court is located on South Warren Street in Trenton.

How Can a Princeton DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer Help You?

As both a former prosecutor and public defender, attorney Anthony J. Vecchio knows what it is like to handle criminal cases from both sides of the aisle. Having handled over 1,000 cases, he knows what it takes to succeed. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, he may help you to avoid your charges altogether – especially if the prosecution or the police made mistakes in their handling the case.

Additionally, the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio offers many of our clients the option of paying a flexible and convenient flat fee, depending on the type of case. A flat fee arrangement can allow you to know upfront what it will cost to handle your case from start to finish, with less uncertainty.  

Get Help Today from an Experienced Princeton DUI Attorney

If you face a Princeton DUI or other serious criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio today to schedule a confidential consultation about your case. With a 10-star rating on AVVO and over 1,000 cases to his credit, Anthony can put his experience to work for you today. 

Rating Methodology

Charges Dismissed

Criminal Offense

Charges Reversed

Jail Sentence

Charges Reduced


Charges Dismissed

Criminal Offense

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    “Mr. Vecchio was very thorough and efficient. His team was accommodating and the ultimate outcome was better than expected. Mr. Vecchio kept me up to date with every detail via emails and text messages. An all around good guy and family man.”
    “I have been working with Anthony on my husband’s out of state case for a few days now. He is punctual and doesn’t make you feel like you are asking too many questions in such a stressful time. He knows exactly what is happening before you even tell him. He is very professional and treats you like a human at the same time with the most respect.”
    "Anthony was instrumental in making the worst time in my life manageable. He's smart, intuitive and most of all he gave me peace of mind. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a sharp, progressive attorney who knows how to navigate the law."

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