Driving with a License Suspended for DWI in New Jersey
Criminal & Traffic Defense Lawyers Edison, NJ
A DWI conviction can have a disastrous secondary consequence about which most New Jersey residents are completely unaware. You can be convicted of a separate, related crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, if you are caught driving on a license suspended due to earlier DWI conviction. Shockingly, the penalties applicable to these types of offenses can be far harsher than the penalties for your original DWI conviction. It is very likely that you will lose your license for some period of time after being convicted of a DWI offense, and most certainly following a second DUI or subsequent DWI offense. This is where your real troubles may begin. Many people feel compelled to drive even though their license is suspended, based on important or unavoidable work or childcare responsibilities. Think twice before you do this. If you are arrested for driving while your license is suspended for DWI in New Jersey, you can actually be charged with a fourth degree felony-level crime. In fact, driving on a DWI suspended license is a criminal offense, not a traffic offense. With additional license suspension, extremely high fines, and jail time hanging over your head, you need a knowledgeable attorney fighting for you in court.
The sooner you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case, the sooner you can learn what defenses may apply in your situation and whether you may be able to achieve some other favorable outcome. If you have been charged with driving while suspended or revoked for DWI, the highly respected team of criminal and traffic lawyers at our Middlesex County defense firm are here to help. Call us 24/7 at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation or contact us online to arrange an appointment at our local Edison office.
What Happens if you get Caught Driving with a Suspended License after DWI in NJ?
New Jersey law, specifically N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26, states that it is a fourth degree indictable offense to operate a vehicle during the time that your license is suspended after a DWI. The applies to driving while intoxicated and driving on drugs, meaning a conviction for driving with drugs or alcohol in your system. It also applies to related charges for refusal to complete a breathalyzer test. You can also be convicted of a fourth degree crime if you are caught driving on a license suspended for a second or subsequent DWI conviction, or if you have refused a breath test on two prior occasions. In short, if you drive on a license that has been suspended for DUI charges or refusal to take a breath test, you can quickly graduate from facing traffic offenses to facing felony-level charges. This can come as a severe shock to otherwise law-abiding individuals and repeat offenders alike. Even worse, you can face this severe charge even if one or more of your previous DWI convictions occurred outside of New Jersey.
Sentence for Driving on DUI Suspension: License Suspended, Fine, Imprisonment
DWI offenses carry significant penalties upon conviction, but those penalties can be far less severe when compared with the penalties for a fourth degree crime for driving suspended after DWI in New Jersey. If you are convicted of driving on a license suspended for DUI, you can face an additional one year license suspension and a minimum of 180 days in the county jail. Fines can run upwards of $1,250, and you can face additional fees, assessments, and court costs as well.
Since this is considered a criminal offense that is technically indictable in nature, your case will be heard in Superior Court, rather than municipal court. It is important to consult your lawyer about whether you may be able to obtain a transfer of your case from Superior Court back to municipal court, where the potential penalties can be lessened.
Your already high insurance rates will likely skyrocket further and you will be forced to deal with the significant additional consequences of having a felony on your criminal record. Finding employment can become more difficult, professional licensing can be near impossible to achieve, and applications for school or housing can face setbacks. That said, your situation is likely far from hopeless. Finding the best lawyer to have on your side can significantly improve your chances of avoiding these serious consequences.
Woodbridge Driving with DWI Suspended License Lawyers
Charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26? Our attorneys will aggressively defend you against serious driving under license suspension or revocation charges in Old Bridge, New Brunswick, Edison, South Brunswick, Carteret, East Brunswick, and other Middlesex County, NJ areas. Contact (732) 659-9600 to discuss your case with a defense lawyer today.