The penalties for a DUI charge can vary from state to state. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you might be wondering about the consequences you could face if convicted. To learn about whether a DUI conviction can be considered a felony in New Jersey, read on or reach out to a Bergen County, New Jersey DUI Lawyer today.
WHEN CAN A DUI BE CONSIDERED A FELONY IN NEW JERSEY?
Some states consider DUI charges to be misdemeanors for first and second offenses, while repeat DUI offenses could be considered a felony in other states. In New Jersey, a DUI charge by itself is never considered a felony. Most DUI charges are actually considered serious traffic violations, but this doesn’t mean that the charges don’t come with criminal punishments. A DUI charge can be escalated to a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. If you drove drunk and caused an accident that injured someone, you are much more likely to face misdemeanor or felony charges, which usually also means harsher penalties. DUI charges can also be considered misdemeanors if you were committing another offense like driving with a suspended license or underage drinking.
WHAT PENALTIES CAN I GET FOR A DUI IN NEW JERSEY?
The penalties that you face depend on your criminal history and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when you were driving. In New Jersey, first-time DUI offenders can expect to face fines up to $500, participation at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, up to 30 days of jail time, and use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to a year. Second-time offenders may face higher fines, more jail time, use of an IID for up to three years, 30 days of community service, and a two-year license suspension. For either of these cases, you’ll face more consequences the higher your BAC was.
By the third DUI offense, you’re considered a repeat offender and therefore will likely face the harshest consequences possible without the right lawyer on your side. Repeat DUI offenders could be penalized with up to 180 days in prison and a 10-year license suspension along with high fines and the required use of an IID for up to three years. If you’re driving under the influence and cause an accident that injures another person, you’ll likely face extra penalties for negligent driving.
If you’re facing DUI charges, you don’t have to face them alone! Contact the Law Office of E. Gregory Cannarozzi today for a free consultation with a highly experienced criminal defense attorney.