With a total of 460 DUI arrests in FY 2018, Hamilton Township of Atlantic County has some of the highest drunk driving rates in the state of New Jersey – trailing only Camden’s total of 495. If you or someone close to you has recently been charged with DWI in Hamilton Township, you may be wondering what to expect from the legal process and what consequences there may be. Here are some guidelines from our Hamilton Township DWI lawyers on what you can expect following a DWI arrest in Atlantic County:
Sentencing Guidelines for DWI Cases in New Jersey
Penalties for DWI in New Jersey vary depending on how many previous DWI convictions the defendant has, what their BAC was at the time of the crash, and if anyone was injured or killed during the accident:
For a first offense, there is a differentiation between a BAC that falls between .08 and .10 and a BAC that exceeds .10. First-time offenders with a BAC below .10 face fines of $250 to $400. There are also several fees which add up to $325, plus a surcharge to the Department of Motor Vehicles of $3,000 payable over three years. The driver’s insurance company will also surcharge the driver over three years. Anyone convicted of DUI/DWI in New Jersey is required to pay for the cost of alcohol counseling and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
Other penalties for a first time DWI or DUI arrest in New Jersey include:
- License suspended for 7-12 months
- At least 12 hours of jail time and up to 30 days
- Two days of mandatory 6-hour alcohol classes at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
For a second DWI conviction in New Jersey, the defendant will face a fine of $500 to $1,000 – plus all of the fees and surcharges covered in the first offense section. Additional criminal penalties include:
- 30 days of community service
- 12-48 hours at an IDRC
- 2-90 days in jail
- License suspended for at least 2 years
Third or Greater Offense
Drivers who have been convicted of three DWI offenses within a 10-year period will face a fine up to $1,000, plus the fees and surcharges listed in the first section. However, if the arrest happened within three years of another conviction, the DMV surcharge will be raised to $4,500 payable over a three-year period.
Other penalties for a third DWI/DUI offense include:
- Up to 90 days of community service
- 12-48 hours at an IDRC
- 180 days in jail
- License suspended for 10 years
Can You Get a DWI Expunged in Hamilton Township?
Unfortunately, DWI and DUI offenses cannot be expunged in Hamilton Township or anywhere else in the state of New Jersey. The state only allows criminal offenses to be expunged and considers DWI and DUI a traffic offense, which means these offenses are not eligible for expungement.
Should You Get a Lawyer After Being Charged with DUI in Hamilton Township?
After getting charged with DWI in Hamilton Township, many drivers wonder whether it’s worth it to hire an attorney and attempt to fight the charges. While it may seem like an impossible battle, there are circumstances where a DWI charge can be dropped in New Jersey due to procedural issues with the police stopping the vehicle, circumstances behind the arrest, and problems with field sobriety tests. If any of these issues are present in the case, an experienced NJ DWI lawyer will be able to prove them and potentially get charged reduced or dismissed.