New Jersey DWI and Assault Leads to Five-Year Sentence

New Jersey drunk driving laws provide harsh penalties to anyone who is convicted of driving while intoxicated, either by proof of blood-alcohol content (BAC) at or exceeding .08 percent, or established by the observations of law enforcement officers. DWI penalties for a first offense can range from a license suspension of up to seven months and include fines up to $500. Aggravating factors include higher BAC measurements and DWI in a school zone.

With repeated offenses come enhanced penalties. A third offense can bring a $1,000 fine, up to six months of incarceration and a ten-year license suspension. But even harsher consequences await a Morris County man recently convicted of DWI and assault by auto after he crashed a tow truck into a Honda Accord in Fort Lee and caused serious injuries to a New Jersey woman.

Due to a lengthy driving record, including 12 car accidents, multiple license suspensions and two DWI convictions over the past five years, Kenneth Verpent received a five-year prison sentence. While Verpent did not test positive for drugs or alcohol in his blood, urinalysis detected the presence of cocaine, and the prosecution successfully argued that he was impaired due to a "cocaine hangover."

The theory that intoxication also means the effect of the drug on a person's driving ability after the high diminishes is new to New Jersey law, and could lead to a wave of new prosecutions as aggressive prosecutors seek to expand DWI enforcement. With such legal developments, the need for an equally aggressive NJ DWI lawyer is greater than ever.

Fighting Back Against the Worst Consequences of a DWI Arrest

Experienced DWI attorneys understand that success at trial requires an equal mastery of New Jersey statutes and the facts specific to each client's case. The prosecution must prove that the officer had a proper basis to stop your vehicle and arrest you, and that the BAC results are valid.

The important thing is to act swiftly and put up a stiff defense long before you are facing your second or third DWI charge. By responding early, your full range of legal options may be preserved, and your rights and long-term interests can receive full consideration.