First-Time DUI/DWI Offense, New Jersey

Have your driving privileges been threatened because you have been charged with a first-time DUI/DWI offense?

My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, criminal and municipal court DUI defense lawyer and partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo. I am a former prosecutor and current public defender with over 35 years of criminal trial experience, a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer who knows how the system works. It helps to have legal representation by a lawyer who is respected by judges, prosecutors and the police.

Being charged with driving while intoxicated can be overwhelming, but I can help you, call 866-664-8118 for a free DUI/DWI analysis and review of your arrest. Talk to an experienced criminal lawyer today.

You may have many questions about the possible consequences of a DUI/DWI charge. Will my license be suspended? How will I get to and from my job? What if I already have a suspended license? Will I go to jail? While this page is in no way a replacement to the valuable role an attorney can play in your case, it should help answer some of your immediate questions about first-time DUI/DWI offenses. Our firm defends individuals accused of crimes throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Union County, Ocean County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Somerset County and Hudson County.

First-Time Offense Penalties

Penalties for a first-time offense depend on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and whether you were using drugs in addition to alcohol.

If your BAC was between .08% and .10% and no drugs were involved, you can expect:

  • A fine of $250 to $400
  • Detainment 12 to 48 hours
  • Jail up to 30 days
  • Surcharges of $325
  • Possible participation in supervised visitation program of probation or community service
  • Mandatory installation of an interlock device for three months

If your BAC was between .10% and .15%, you can expect:

  • A fine of $300 to $500
  • Detainment 12 to 48 hours
  • Jail up to 30 days
  • Surcharges of $325
  • Possible participation in supervised visitation program of probation or community service
  • Mandatory installation of an interlock device for seven to 12 months
  • If requirements are not met, then a mandatory two-day term of imprisonment and driver’s license suspension until requirements are satisfied

If you were found to be driving under the influence of drugs and this is a first-time offense, you face the suspension of your driver’s license for seven to 12 months.

Ignition Interlock Device

As of December 1st, 2019, New Jersey law requires most drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. This is a breathalyzer device that is connected to the ignition. In order to turn the car on, you must breathe into the device. Once the device determines that you have not been drinking, the car will turn on. During the time the device is required in your car, you are not allowed to drive any other car but your own. For a first-time offense, the device will be installed for a period of at least three months.

Have You Refused A Breathalyzer Test?

Refusal to take a breathalyzer test in New Jersey is a separate penalty from a DWI/DUI. Penalties can substantially worsen if you are convicted of both charges. A first-offense DWI and refusal could result in the loss of your driver’s license until you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. It must remain installed for nine to 15 months. For more information on refusal to take a breathalyzer, visit Breath And Blood Test Refusal.

Common DWI/DUI Mistakes

I receive countless telephone calls from DWI/DUI offenders who have made serious mistakes trying to handle their DWI, DUI or refusal case on their own. Instead of hiring a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending DWI charges, they unsuccessfully:

  • Got advice from a friend who had a DWI but was not an attorney
  • Plead guilty and are very unhappy with the consequences, instead of hiring a lawyer to fight their charges
  • Hired a lawyer who quoted the lowest legal fee but ended up putting in very little time fighting for their rights
  • Made the mistake of talking to the prosecutor about their DWI case
  • Tried to handle the DWI charge on their own with the free legal information given on the internet but overlooked the valuable role a DWI attorney plays – who knows how the system works

If you need help because you have been charged with driving under the Influence in New Jersey, contact an experienced DWI/DUI attorney today. I have been successfully providing drunk driving defense for over 35 years. For an attorney who is skilled at handling drunk driving cases, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo at 866-664-8118 for a free initial consultation.