New Jersey has severe penalties for repeat offenders. Second offenders are dealt with harshly, and third offenders face more substantial consequences yet.
What Happens If I am Convicted of a Second DWI?
With multiple offenses come harsher penalties. If convicted of a 2nd DWI, New Jersey courts will sentence you to:
- between 2 and 90 days in jail
- loss of license for 1 to 2 years
- pay fines between $500 and $1,000
- compulsory detainment in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) for 48 hours
- perform 30 days (180 hours) of community service
- install an ignition interlock device in the car you operate to get your driving privileges restored, and for 2 to 4 years after your license is restored
You will have to pay costly surcharges:
- $3,000, payable at $1,000 every year for three years to the State
- a range of $3,000 to over $10,000 in surcharges from your insurance company
- $75 payable to the Safe Neighborhood Services Fund
- $100 payable to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund
- $100 to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund
- up to $280 payable to the IDRC
Note that if your first conviction occurred more than ten years before your second, the State will sentence you as a first-time offender.
What is Different About a Second DWI?
The per se Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit in New Jersey is 0.08%. For first offenders, there is a distinction between drivers with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.10%, 0.10% and 0.15% and a BAC of 0.15% or higher. Convicted of DWI with a BAC higher than 0.150% and you will be subjected to higher fines and a longer period of license revocation. As a result, there is more flexibility with first offense cases.
For second offense cases, New Jersey does not make that distinction. If you are convicted with a BAC of 0.08% or above, or if the State proves that you were DWI based on your physical behavior, your New Jersey Driving privileges will be suspended for 1 to 2 years. You will have to install an ignition interlock device in your car for 2-4 years after your suspensions. Fines are higher, and you will have to go to jail for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 90 days. In addition, you must perform 180 hours of community service.
Is Post Conviction Relief An Option?
In some cases, a process known as “Post Conviction Relief” (PCR) may be available to reduce the severity of your penalties.
The attorneys at Levow DWI Law will investigate your prior convictions to see if filing a petition for Post Conviction Relief makes sense for you. If we can get your old conviction vacated and dismissed, your current second offense becomes a first offense. Based on the evidence that we can gather, we assess whether we could be successful in vacating the conviction altogether, or if our goal is to keep you out of jail, we try to get an order from your prior court to sign an order saying that conviction cannot be used to put you in jail in the current matter. We will order the case files and court documents from your previous conviction. After a thorough review, we may be able to identify serious errors or omissions that can help us obtain a successful for you.
You can find more information on seeking post conviction relief here.
Contact New Jersey’s Leading Second DWI Defense Team
New Jersey takes multiple offenses seriously, and so do we. That’s why you should consult with the defense lawyers at Levow DWI Law for a free consultation. Our expert team will review your case and establish a plan of attack. We won’t stop until every defense has been investigated on your behalf. We have decades of experience successfully defending 2nd offense cases.
Please call 1-877-789-5652 or fill out our contact form. There is no obligation. Let us discuss with you how we can help you defend the charges against you.