DWI Second Offense
If you have been arrested for DWI for the second time, you may be somewhat familiar with what to expect. However, you probably still want a clear explanation on what lies ahead. If you have been perusing the internet for answers, chances are you have come up with confusing deterring information. We assure you that after meeting with us for a free consultation you will have the answers you need and will feel confident in choosing the right DWI attorney for you.
A conviction for a second DWI offense carries a laundry list of severe penalties. The most severe of which is a mandatory jail sentence. If convicted of a second DWI, jail time is unavoidable. At LS&P Lawyers our goal is to get the case dismissed before it ever reaches a verdict. If you find yourself charged with a DWI for a second time, you need unmatched representation.
At LS&P Lawyers our defense attorneys have the honed skills and professionalism needed to aggressively defend our clients. One of our founding partners is a former prosecutor providing us with unique insight as to the tactics of the other side. We have undergone weeks of training with the people who manufacture the Alcotest machine. Therefore, we know what procedures the officers are supposed to follow and problems the machine itself may have. Our lawyers have also been trained and certified in the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) that are employed by police officers during roadside stops. In most instances, we have a very high success rate in getting the Alcotest reading excluded from evidence and challenging the accuracy of the field sobriety tests.
We will begin your defense by investigating the details of your prior conviction. First, we may be able to nullify your first conviction. For example, if your rights were not protected because you did not have counsel, you weren’t advised of your right to counsel or you had counsel but he/she was ineffective, there may be grounds to make a motion to vacate your first conviction. Strategically, this is important. In the event you are convicted of the current charge, you will not be sentenced as a second time offender. Instead, the judge will sentence you according to the lesser penalties of a first offense. In most instances, a mere three-month license suspension.
Next, we will examine the circumstances of the present offense. Often, the police do not follow proper procedure which could provide us with grounds for a dismissal. However, if at the outset we cannot get the current offense dismissed, we will aggressively prepare for trial. The State must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and at LS&P Lawyers we have a reputation for casting doubt on the State’s case. Call us to schedule a free initial consultation to begin exploring a defense strategy.
Aggressive Counsel is Necessary: the Mandatory Penalties for a Second DWI Offense are Detrimental
As in any DWI offense, there is no plea bargaining and there are mandatory penalties. Both of which the judge has no discretion to ignore or reduce.
If convicted, the mandatory jail sentence will range between 2-90 days but cannot be less than 2 days (48 hours). Although the judge has no discretion to withhold a jail sentence altogether, a skilled defense attorney will advocate for you to serve the 2 days in the IDRC (Intoxicated Driver Resource Center) Program. For a second offense, the IDRC program will require you to spend two days (consecutively) at a facility where you will receive classes and counseling. The judge may choose to require a longer jail sentence (but not more than 90 days) depending on aggravating factors including:
- Whether there was an accident
- If there was an accident, was anyone injured?
- Blood alcohol content – was it very high?
- Your behavior upon arrest – were you cooperative with the police?
- The amount of time that has passed since your first conviction
The consequences don’t stop there...
As if spending time in the county jail was not bad enough there are several other mandatory penalties as a result of a second DWI conviction including:
- A mandatory 2-year license suspension;
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device into your vehicle for a period of 1-3 years, following the reinstatement of your driving privileges;
- 30 days of community service – (typically, a community service sentence requires the defendant to perform 180 hours of community service, usually 6 hours per day and it must be completed within one year);
- Fines ranging from $500-$1,000;
- $1,000 per year Department of Motor Vehicle surcharge for 3 years.
What does all of this mean for you?
You need an aggressive attorney to advocate on your behalf to minimize the consequences you face. Remember, your most valuable constitutional right is the right to be represented by counsel.
When facing what seems like insurmountable consequences for a second DWI conviction, it is of tremendous importance to have a skilled and knowledgeable DWI defense attorney. At LS&P Lawyers we understand the challenges a second DWI presents. Right from the start our goal is to get the charge dismissed. If that’s not possible we will combat your first conviction so the court must treat the current offense as your first, rather than second DWI.
At LS&P Lawyers our experience, certifications and qualifications are what distinguish us from other criminal defense attorneys in New Jersey. These attributes allow us to immediately spot any mistakes in the police procedure or the State’s case. Our number one priority is to protect your interests. Call to arrange a consultation with one of our DWI defense attorneys today.