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The legal and financial implications of a New Jersey DUI

In a recent report from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, New Jersey received only two out of a possible five stars for how it protects drunk driving victims. The organization says that over 50 percent of drivers who have a suspended license continue to drive.

Both opponents and supporters of making New Jersey's drunk driving laws stricter say that the way the state punishes those convicted of DWI simply is not working. The opponents say that the process violates offenders' rights and the fines are too high for drivers. Supporters say that keeping repeat offenders off the roadways is most important and can be done by using more ignition interlock devices.

In New Jersey, repeat offenders often end up getting increased fines and costs instead of increased jail time. The charge of DWI is tried in municipal court because it is considered a motor vehicle offense.

If convicted, the fees and costs could end up meaning that he offender is out thousands of dollars. Drivers can also their driving privileges for three months to a year. Repeat offenders could be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail. That is the maximum imprisonment for a DWI in the state. The fees, fines and surcharges for a DWI in New Jersey include:

-- A $1,000 insurance surcharge for three years.

-- A $100 intoxicated driving program fee.

-- A $100 surcharge for the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund.

-- A $100 Motor Vehicle Commission restoration fee.

-- A $75 Safe and Secure Community Program fee.

-- A $50 Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee.

There is currently a case being considered by the New Jersey Supreme Court over whether a person charged with drunk driving has a right to a jury trial. Currently, defendants do not.

If you have been charged with a DWI in New Jersey, you need to present a solid defense. An experienced lawyer can help you do just that.

Source: S.P. Sullivan, NJ Advance Media, "Are N.J.'s DWI laws tough enough?," April 06, 2016

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