Traffic violations in New Jersey are considered serious crimes and they come with serious consequences. Motorists are expected to drive soberly and if they cause an accident while driving under the influence, they expose themselves to a likely jail term, driving ban, community service, hefty fines, and much more. The standard advice is to drive soberly because a DWI offense can also cause short-term or long-term consequences, impacting your future negatively.
The arresting officer will establish whether you’re guilty or not by subjecting you to a BAC test, which measures the alcohol content in your blood. If BAC test results show that you had exceeded the legal limit, you’re considered guilty of DWI and you’re booked to take a plea in court. Most legal experts recommend “not guilty” pleas to DWI violators then pay bail to be released. They should then contact a DWI attorney in NJ for legal counsel & representation to avoid conviction.
What you Must Know When Preparing for DWI Charges
1. DWI Charges are not Exclusive to Alcohol
Intoxication is synonymous with alcohol to most people, and when DWI is mentioned, they think offenders are facing driving while drunk charges. The reality is that DWI includes driving under the influence of many substances that range from OTC to prescription drugs, or any other banned substance–provided they impact driving negatively.
2. DWI Convictions can Result to Imprisonment
Most people, particularly teen drivers, do not understand the seriousness of DWI offenses. If you cause a fatal accident while intoxicated, prepare for its harsh penalties which can include a total ban, community service, license revocation, and even imprisonment.
3. Repeat DWI Offenses are Considered Crimes in Most Jurisdictions
First time DWI violators are given lighter sentences if the facts surrounding their cases are not serious. First-time DWI offenders with no accidents or injuries are given light sentences or warning–but repeat offenses are considered crimes in most states. The legal BAC limit in most jurisdictions is 0.15, anything above is illegal.
4. DUI Lawyers can Represent DUI Violators
DUI violators are entitled to legal representation according to law. Your attorney will evaluate your legal situation, mostly for free, and recommend an ideal legal option to resolve your case. The lawyer will also ensure your legal rights are not violated, appeal unfair verdicts, and negotiate lighter sentences on your behalf. Most lawyers work on contingency basis, meaning you’ll lose nothing even if you lose the case.
5. DUI Convictions are Costly
The litigating process is typically expensive because you’ll start spending even before the case takes off. When BAC test is performed and you’re found guilty, your car will be towed to the police station and you’ll have to pay for the towing charges. You’ll then take a plea and pay bail to secure your release. Your lawyer may also demand a down payment.
6. DUI Convictions can Attract Serious Restrictions
The consequences of DUI convictions can include driving restriction, partial or total ban, license revocation, and much more. This can jeopardize your employment if the nature of your employment if your job involves driving. If your license is revoked in such a case, you may lose employment. You’ll also struggle with routine activities, such as commuting, shopping, attending meeting & family gatherings, and much more. A car is a luxury and not a luxury in some states.
7. DWI Charges Result in High Insurance Premiums
Your insurance premiums will be more expensive after a DUI charge or conviction because your insurer will see you as a high-risk client. Some insurance companies will terminate your policy, leaving you uncovered.
8. DWI Convictions can Result in Probation
DUI offenders are placed on probation if their situation is serious according to DUI laws in NJ. You’ll be prohibited from taking alcohol and other prohibited substances and visiting places that serve alcohol, besides prohibiting use of alcohol and other specified drugs. Additionally, you’ll need the permission of your probation officer any time you’re going outside your current jurisdiction.
Qualities of Good DUI Lawyers
The following are some qualities of a good DUI lawyer:
1. Good Rating
You should evaluate your attorney’s past assignments to evaluate and rate them. A good rating is a combination of many things, including:
- Positive reviews by past clients.
- High recommendation from past clients.
- Online presence.
2. Committed and Dedicated
Commitment is the ability to keep fighting even when you have no reason to. Committed attorneys remain steadfast and reassure their clients even in difficult times.
3. Good Listeners
A competent attorney should be a good and keen listener to gather the details of their clients’ cases without missing important details. If a potential attorney talks much and listens little, it could be a red flag.
DWI are typically complex without the help of DUI experts, and it can be disastrous when you go it alone. DUI attorneys facilitate fair trials besides safeguarding their clients’ legal rights and interests.