Union County DWI Defense Lawyer

"It's a myth that you can't beat a drunk driving charge."

— Mark M. Cheser, DWI defense attorney

The Administrative Office of the Courts reports that 18 percent (nearly one in six) of DWI arrests do not result in conviction. Therefore, it is important to recognize that you have options if you have been charged with DWI.

If There's A Way Out, We'll Find It
Call Mark M. Cheser Toll Free: 1-866-456-9864

If you have been arrested for DWI, contact our criminal defense attorney, Mark M. Cheser for a free consultation. He is one of only 250 lawyers in the state who is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a criminal trial attorney.

You can be convicted of a DWI in two ways:

  • Police officers can establish by their observations that your driving ability was impaired. This is called an observation case. OR
  • Tests can determine that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 percent or higher. You may also be convicted of being impaired by other drugs.

The DWI charges may be defended in three main areas:

  • The officer's decision to stop your vehicle
  • The officer's reason to arrest
  • The admissibility of the Alcotest 7110, Breathalyzer or blood test results

We immediately investigate DWI cases to obtain as much information as possible before it is destroyed. Radio transmissions, onboard video and the appearance of the scene, all must be documented, preserved and examined. The New Jersey Supreme Court has directed that courts attempt to conclude DWI cases in 60 days. Time is of the essence.

DWI Penalties

First offense (No BAC or BAC under .10 percent)

  • Three-month mandatory minimum license suspension
  • No conditional license
  • A $250-$400 fine with $270 mandatory assessments
  • 12 to 48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • Up to 30 days in jail (it is unlikely that a first time offender will receive jail time)
  • $100 license restoration fee
  • DMV surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years
  • An estimated $1,000-$5,000 insurance premium increases per year
  • An ignition interlock device may be required on your car
  • Total cost can amount to $7,000 or more

First offense (BAC .10 percent or greater)

Penalties are identical to the under .10 violation except:

  • The fine is $300-$500
  • License suspension is a minimum seven months to one year

It is clear that the legislature intends courts to increase the license suspension and jail time for higher readings.

Second offense, regardless of BAC:

  • A $500-$1,000 fine
  • Two-year license suspension
  • 30 days of community service
  • Incarceration for 48 hours to 90 days and
  • An interlock device is required
  • All surcharges and assessments described above

Third offense, regardless of BAC:

  • $1,000 fine
  • 10-year license suspension
  • Mandatory 180 days in jail that can only be reduced by 90 days at an inpatient rehabilitation center
  • $1,500 DMV surcharge per year for three years and the other assessments described above
  • An interlock device is required

Enhanced Penalties For School Zone Violations

For violations in a school zone, even if no children are present:

First offense:

  • $500-$800 fine
  • Incarceration up to 60 days
  • One- to two-year license suspension

Second offense:

  • $1,000-$2,000 fine
  • 60 days of community service
  • Incarceration for 96 hours to 180 days
  • Four-year license suspension

Third offense:

  • $2,000 fine
  • 180 days of incarceration
  • 20-year license suspension

Commercial Driver's License

CDL drivers must be aware of the additional problems arising from DWI, including problems that can affect your license, including a suspension for life.

Don't delay. If you have been arrested for DWI anywhere in Central New Jersey, contact us today for a free consultation.

For more information about DUI, see our article. For information about test refusal, see our article on this subject.