24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Understanding the Penalties for DUI in New Jersey

 

Getting Pulled Over After a Few Drinks: What to Expect if You’re Charged with DUI in New Jersey

We’ve all been there – out for a fun night with friends, had a few drinks, and now you’re driving home. You see the flashing lights behind you and get that sinking feeling in your stomach. “Did I really have too much to drink?” This article will walk you through what to expect if you’re pulled over for suspected DUI in New Jersey, the potential penalties, and some tips on navigating the legal system.

The Stop: Stay Calm and Know Your Rights

Getting pulled over is always stressful, even if you’re stone cold sober. With some liquid courage in your system, it can feel downright panic-inducing. Take some deep breaths and focus on staying calm and collected. Being argumentative or abusive will not help your case.

It’s important to know your rights during any police encounter. You are not required to perform field sobriety tests during a traffic stop, but refusing may lead to you being arrested. Anything you say can be used against you, so limit what you volunteer. If you’re asked to step out of the car, comply with the officer’s orders. But don’t feel like you have to answer questions without a lawyer present ACLU.

Booking and Charges: The Legal Process Begins

If the officer suspects you are impaired, you’ll be arrested for DUI and taken to the police station. At the station, you’ll be photographed, fingerprinted, and asked for basic information. You may also be asked to undergo chemical testing – usually a breathalyzer test. There are penalties for refusing the test, so it’s usually best to comply DMV.

You’ll then be formally charged with DUI and given a court date. The exact charges depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC) and other factors. Common DUI charges in NJ include NJCourts:

  • DWI (driving while intoxicated) – BAC of 0.08% or higher. This is the standard DUI/OVI charge in most states.
  • DUI (driving under the influence) – BAC below 0.08% but still evidence of impairment.
  • DWAI (driving while ability impaired) – BAC of 0.05-0.08%.
  • Underage DUI – Driver under 21 with ANY amount of alcohol in their system.
  • School Zone DUI – DUI while driving through a school zone (harsher penalties).
  • Drug DUI – Driving under the influence of drugs, with or without alcohol.
  • Refusal – Refusing the chemical breath test. Carries penalties similar to a DUI conviction.

The Day After: Start Preparing Your Defense

Once you’re sober and recovered from your arrest, it’s time to start building your DUI defense. Don’t just ignore the charges and hope they go away – a skilled DUI lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Gather Evidence and Witnesses

Any evidence or witnesses who can shed light on your level of intoxication will be helpful. For example, if you have receipts showing exactly what you drank, or friends who can testify to your sobriety, share that info with your attorney. Video footage from the bar or your arrest may also be useful.

Seek Character References

Judges and prosecutors may look more favorably on defendants who can demonstrate their good character. Letters from employers, teachers, family, or community members attesting to your strong values can help humanize you.

Enroll in Counseling or Education

Showing that you’re taking positive steps like alcohol counseling or a DUI class before your court date displays responsibility. This can help secure a favorable plea bargain or reduced sentence.

Consider Hiring an Expert Witness

In complex cases, an expert witness may be able to punch holes in the prosecution’s argument. For example, a toxicologist could challenge the accuracy of your breath test results.

Plea Bargaining: Negotiating with the Prosecutor

Many DUI cases end up being resolved through plea bargaining – negotiating with the prosecutor to plead guilty to lesser charges. A good DUI lawyer knows how to craft a persuasive argument to encourage a favorable bargain.

Why plead guilty when you feel you’ve been wrongly accused? Often, it’s the path of least resistance. Trials are time-consuming and uncertain. Pleading down to reckless driving, for example, avoids the DUI on your record. The penalties may be lighter too.

Don’t rush into any plea deal without fully understanding the consequences. And know that you always have the right to take your case to trial.

Potential Penalties: Fines, License Suspension, and More

If convicted of DUI in New Jersey, either through guilty plea or trial, here are some of the potential penalties you face NJLaws:

Fines and Surcharges

Fines start at $250 for a first offense but can reach into the thousands of dollars when other fees are added on. There are also monthly surcharges of $100-$150 for 3+ years.

License Suspension

A DUI conviction comes with mandatory license suspension of 3-12 months. For a first offense, you may be eligible for a restricted license after 3 months.

Ignition Interlock Device

You’ll be required to install this breathalyzer device in your car for 6 months-1 year before getting your full license restored. It prevents the car from starting if alcohol is detected.

Jail Time

First time offenders rarely serve jail time. But 2nd and 3rd DUIs can lead to weeks or months behind bars. School zone DUIs also increase the likelihood of incarceration.

Alcohol Education and Counseling

You’ll be required to complete an alcohol education or treatment program – usually 12-48 hours long. For repeat offenders, this may become months of intensive alcohol therapy.

SR-22 Insurance

You’ll need to obtain special high-risk SR-22 auto insurance for 3+ years, which is significantly more expensive.

Community Service and Probation

Expect to complete 70-90 hours of community service. Probation may also be assigned, requiring check-ins with a probation officer.

The Trial: Your Day in Court

If no plea deal is reached, your case will head to trial. Don’t panic and consider it a chance to tell your side of the story. Your lawyer will advocate for you every step of the way. They’ll also advise if it’s strategically smarter to opt for a bench trial vs. jury trial.

Some key events at your DUI trial DMV:

  • Prosecution’s Opening Statement – The prosecutor lays out their case and evidence against you.
  • Defense’s Opening Statement – Your attorney responds with the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and your innocence.
  • Prosecution Witnesses – Police officers, chemical test technicians, and other witnesses take the stand. Your lawyer will cross-examine them.
  • Defense Witnesses – Your witnesses present testimony demonstrating your sobriety and credibility.
  • Closing Arguments – Final chance for lawyers to argue their side to the jury or judge.
  • Verdict – The jury or judge decides your guilt based on the evidence. Not guilty? Congrats, you beat the charges. Guilty? Your lawyer will advise on next steps for appeal or sentencing.

Finding the Right DUI Lawyer for You

If you’ve been charged with DUI in New Jersey, the stakes are high. Finding an experienced attorney you trust is critical. Look for these qualities:

  • Specializes in DUI defense – You want someone who lives and breathes DUI law, not a general practice lawyer.
  • Successful track record – Check their case results. Do they have a history of achieving not guilty verdicts and favorable plea deals?
  • Strong negotiator – Can they persuade prosecutors to reduce or drop charges? Good rapport with local officials is a plus.
  • Trial experience – If your case may go to trial, your lawyer should have plenty of courtroom experience.
  • Clear communicators – They should clearly explain your options, keep you updated, and answer all questions in an understandable way.
  • Affordable fees – Their rates should be fair and transparent. Beware lawyers who nickel and dime you.

With the right legal guidance, a DUI charge does not have to derail your life. We all make mistakes – focus on learning from the experience while fighting for the best possible legal outcome. Stay strong and know there are people who will support you along the way.

Schedule Your Consultation Now