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Minor drunk driving infractions come with big consequences

It's a misnomer to think that any drunk driving charge is "minor." If you're facing a drunk driving allegation, it means that you've been through the harrowing experience of being arrested and booked in jail, and this is not an easy experience for anyone.

The fragility of your rights as a human being becomes apparent as soon as a police officer puts you in handcuffs. The booking process at the local jail will be even more difficult to endure. You'll find yourself being searched, having your personal possessions taken from you, and then you'll be placed in a holding cell while you supposedly "sober up" and wait for someone to come get you -- usually the next morning.

The legal consequences of a minor DWI conviction

Beyond the demeaning and frightening effects of getting arrested and accused of a serious crime, however, a DWI charge comes with the risk of conviction and punishment.

Imagine, for example, that you've been charged with the lightest of all DWI offenses in New Jersey because -- when you took the Breathalyzer test -- you blew a 0.09 percent blood alcohol content level.

Here are the potential consequences of a DUI in New Jersey for someone with a BAC of between .08 and .10 percent:

  • The possibility of spending a maximum of 30 days in prison;
  • Fines of $250 to $400;
  • A $230 fee for mandatory attendance at the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) plus 12 to 48 hours of attendance at the IDRC;
  • A $100 payment to the drunk driving fund;
  • A $100 payment to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund (AERF);
  • A surcharge of $1,000 annually for three years; and
  • $75 paid to the Neighborhood Services Fund.

Can I defend myself against my DUI charges?

A court may take your side during your criminal proceedings if you can successfully defend yourself against your DWI charges. Indeed, countless people are wrongly accused of DWI in New Jersey every year. Some of them end up getting convicted even though the charges are unfounded, and others are successful in getting their charges dropped or dismissed.

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