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Joseph A. Lombardo

New Jersey has some of the busiest and most crowded roadways in the country, and law enforcement takes drugged and drunk driving very seriously.  If you are charged with DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, you could be subject to extremely harsh penalties.  Depending on details like your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and whether or not you have a record of prior offenses, you could receive a lengthy sentence and have to pay very expensive fines.  You may also be ordered to attend community service, receive counseling, or install a breathalyzer device called an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) in your car.

DWI is a serious matter that has the potential to turn your life upside down.  If you have been charged with DWI in Hamilton, you deserve the benefit of an experienced defense attorney in your corner.  A lawyer can help protect your legal rights, advocate on your behalf in court, and may be able to reduce the charges against you or even have the charges dismissed.  To schedule a free and private case evaluation with an experienced Hamilton, New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, call the law offices of Joseph Lombardo at (609) 318-6196 today.  Let’s start exploring your legal options together.

Joseph Lombardo: Hamilton, New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney

The penalties for intoxicated driving can be very severe.  You could lose your job, your driving privileges, and even your freedom itself.  During this challenging time in your life, you need the support of a dedicated attorney with practical experience handling these matters.

DUI lawyer Joseph Lombardo has been representing clients charged with intoxicated driving for over 20 years, and has worked on thousands of cases.  Whether a DUI charge is a first offense with a low BAC or a repeat offense involving drugs, Joseph Lombardo can help you fight the allegations against you.  Call today to schedule your free legal consultation.

When DWI May Be Charged

While most states use the term DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, New Jersey’s terminology is slightly different: DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated.  “Intoxicated” can refer to impairment by either drugs or alcohol.  You can be charged with DWI if your BAC reaches or exceeds 0.08%.

Needless to say, drugs will not yield a Blood Alcohol Content reading.  DWI with drugs may be suspected if the motorist appears to be driving strangely (e.g. weaving across lanes), displays any visible side effects of drug use, or if there is any visible paraphernalia in the car.  The New Jersey Association of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) are specifically trained to detect and identify drug use.

DWI allegations are fairly common in Mercer County, with a total of 879 arrests made in 2005. The same year, seven fatalities were documented.

DUI Legal Stuff - Hamilton, New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer

Refusing a Breathalyzer

New Jersey observes a law called “implied consent.”  The name refers to drivers “implying” they give “consent” to breathalyzer testing, and comes into effect as soon as a person receives his or her driver’s license.  While you technically have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, it is not advisable to do so for a variety of reasons:

  1. The prosecution may argue that you tried to avoid a breathalyzer test because you knew you were guilty.
  2. You can be penalized for the refusal itself, even without an actual DWI.  If you refuse a breathalyzer in New Jersey, your license will be revoked for a period of months or even years, you will be heavily fined, and you will be required to participate in an Intoxicated Driver Program (IDP).

Penalties for DWI in New Jersey

Bear in mind that the following penalties represent only the bare minimum (first offense, BAC lower than 0.10%, no injury or death to others).  As the degree of impairment climbs, and/or as the arrests accumulate, the legal consequences become more severe.

Prison Sentence

  • Maximum 30 days

Loss of License

  • Maximum 3 months

Fees and Fines

  • $75 toward Neighborhood Services Fund
  • $100 toward drunk driving fund
  • $100 toward AERF (Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund)
  • $230 IDRC (Intoxicated Driver Resource Center) fee
  • $250-$400 fine
  • $3,000 surcharge ($1,000 annually)

Taken collectively, these fees add up to about $4,000.

Drunk Driving 2 - Hamilton, New Jersey DWI Defense Lawyer

Miscellaneous DUI Penalties

  • Maximum 48 hours in an IDP (through an IDRC).

Additionally, there are several more fees for participation in the IDP, including:

    • $100 attendance fee
    • $100 restoration fee
    • $230 first offense fee

Together, these IDRC fees heap another $430 atop the fees associated with the charge itself.

Once again, these consequences apply to first offenders with a relatively low level of impairment, meaning they have the potential to increase dramatically.  If you have a third offense, for example, the first offense license loss of three months shoots up to suspension lasting 10 years.  

It’s also important to point out that DUI can sometimes lead to separate charges.  For example, if a drugged driver has narcotics in his or her vehicle, he or she could then be charged with drug possession. Likewise, if a DUI accident results in a fatality, the driver could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

If you were arrested for DWI in Hamilton, you need to act fast to defend your rights.  Call the law offices of Joseph Lombardo at (609) 318-6196, or contact us online today.

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