Tag Archives: dwi

Help! My Driver’s License Was Suspended

My Driver’s License Was SuspendedA freedom enjoyed by so many over the age of 17: driving. There’s nothing like driving down the parkway heading to the shore or up to the city; that is until a police officer stops you. Maybe you were going a little over the speed limit, but you pull over and prepare yourself for the inevitable “license and registration please”. You hand over your driver’s license, your registration, and proof of insurance, expecting to hear the reason for being stopped. Suddenly, the officer tells you that your license is currently suspended.

This is a scary situation that people rarely expect to be in; usually if your license is suspended you would know why, especially for a DWI or too many points. If neither of those apply to you, you may be completely confounded as to how your license could be suspended. There could be a simple mistake such as a paper misplacement, a change of address, or the payment of a late fine that could have caused the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to suspend your license.

These simple mistakes however, are not so simple to excuse you from driving with a suspended license. Many times, they will still try to hold you responsible for the mistake, and the penalty could be severe. First time offense of driving with a suspended license is a $500 fine and you could lose your license up to six months.

Do not let a simple mistake ruin your good driving record. If you are facing a driving with a suspended license charge, call Mark A. Schneider today. He is an experienced attorney with only one goal in mind: to get you the justice you deserve. Call today at (609) 242-9337.

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The Cost of a DWI Conviction

As an attorney who has handled more than one thousand DWI cases in the past 23 years, I can tell you that a DWI is one of the most common charges the average person is likely to receive.  While most people associate this charge specifically with alcohol, it’s important to keep in mind that it also pertains to any substance that has the ability to alter your sobriety—even certain prescription medications.

N.J.S.A. 39-4-50

According to New Jersey Statute N.J.S.A. 39-4-50, you are considered driving while intoxicated if you “operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol”.

There are some pretty hefty consequences for those convicted of a DWI charge, so make sure you seek legal assistance to clear it up before it affects your life.

The Penalties for a DWI Conviction

The following is a list of penalties associated with a DWI conviction:

  • Jail Term and Fines: Incarceration can be up to 30 days. In addition, you are also required to complete 12-48 hours of community service.  For first offense conviction, your court costs and fines range anywhere from about $3,000 to around $5,000.
  • Loss of License: This is perhaps the most obvious of the consequences of a DWI conviction.  A first offense in the State of New Jersey requires between 3 months to one year suspension of your driving privileges depending on your BAC level.
  • Ignition Interlock Device: If your BAC level was .15% or higher on your first offense, you are required to install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles you own for between 6 months and one year after your driving privileges are reinstated.  You should also note that these devices have a $75 a month maintenance fee.
  • Employment: All the court dates, jail time, and community service that come along with a DWI conviction can greatly affect your current work schedule and job.  A conviction can give you a substantial disadvantage to other applicants since most employers are uncomfortable hiring an employee with a DWI conviction.  Beyond that, some jobs may no longer even be an option for you (like driving a cab or anything with a delivery service).
  • Higher Insurance Rates: If convicted, you would be considered a “high-risk” driver, which means your insurance premium will increase—and could possibly even double or triple in cost for the next few years following the conviction.  Depending on your auto insurance company policy, they could even terminate your coverage.
  • Background Checks: A drunk driving conviction will show up on a background check.  They are common additions to the application process for most employers.  Colleges and universities also look at your history when considering you for admission and for financial aid.  Also know that most schools won’t admit students with DWI convictions and any scholarship money will most likely be withdrawn as a result of a guilty charge.
  • Moving Out of State: Most States share conviction information for DUI/DWI charges. That means if you move to a new State, the new State will honor your conviction from New Jersey and treat it as if it happened in theirs, so there’s no escaping it.
  • Travel: People who have a DUI/DWI conviction are no longer permitted entry into Canada.  If you are a Foreign National and leave the USA, you may not be permitted to return into the USA.

Consulting an Attorney for DWI

Since a DWI charge carries such severe penalties even for first time offenders, you need to seek skilled legal expertise if you want a positive outcome to your case. You will need a team of experts to get you through the process as successfully as possible.  A DWI conviction is not a one and done kind of thing—it will haunt you for years to come.  So call me, Mark A. Schneider, Esq. today at (609) 242-9337 to talk about your options.  Don’t leave your freedom in the hands of fate.

When is Driving While Suspended a Criminal Offense?

If you have been convicted of DUI/DWI and drive while your license is suspended you can be convicted of a crime and sent to jail for a period between 6 months without parole and eighteen months. On March 3rd, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court decided a case that has the potential to affect a lot of people.

State v. Perry

According to the decision in State v. Perry, if the DWI suspension period has already expired prior to the defendant being charged with driving while on a suspended license, it is not considered a criminal offense.  The statute in question, 2C-40-26, says:

“It shall be a crime of the fourth degree to operate a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension in violation of R.S.39:3-40... A person convicted of an offense under this subsection shall be sentenced by the court to a term of imprisonment.”

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries consequences such as, fines, imprisonment, or the loss of your driving privileges. In the State of New Jersey, there is a mandatory license suspension if convicted of a DWI/DUI or refusal to submit a chemical test. The length of time an offender’s license is suspended varies depending on how high the driver’s blood alcohol content was at the time of the arrest and whether this was the first offense. After the suspension period has expired, NJ drivers are required to pay a restoration fee to reinstate their license.

Driving While Suspended in NJ

Every day, police officers stop scores of New Jersey motorists only to find out that they have been driving with a suspended license. Those charged with driving with a suspended license are subject to fines, loss of driving privileges for an additional period of time, and possible imprisonment. However, suspensions arising from certain violations, including a DWI conviction, suffer more severe punishments. A first offense will result in a fine up to $500. Any subsequent violations during the same suspension term will be charged as a fourth degree crime, which is punishable by a mandatory jail term of 180 days, a loss of license between one to two years, and over $1,000 worth of fines.

Penalties for a driving while suspended charge can be severe and the knowledge and expertise of a qualified defense attorney are required. The law office of Mark A. Schneider, Esquire can help you negotiate lower penalties or try to get the charges dismissed altogether. Contact me today at (609) 242-9337 to review your driving while suspended case.